To convince your child to go diaper-free, you’ll need the right supplies: A potty chair she’s willing to sit on, a stool to reach the bathroom sink, and a couple packs of big-kid underpants are obvious necessities. Another key resource? Books. Lots of good potty training books!

A Pile of Books

A stack of reading material next to the potty seat will keep her entertained during all that inevitable sitting and waiting. Books specifically about kids who are learning to use the toilet, will help little ones envision themselves successfully transitioning from diapers to underwear. 

The titles on this list are the best of the best in toilet-training literature. I know this because my daughters went through a phase where they’d spend hours reading potty-training books to their dolls and stuffed animals.

During this time, at our weekly library visits, we checked out (and re-checked out) every book on the subject. I learned there are numerous potty-training books that are downright cringeworthy. Books that use words for “pee” and “poop” that are so perplexing and awkward, they’re near unreadable, and have to be shut halfway through. The books that follow are all winners.

Read them with your child, and may your summer 2022 be full of beach visits, swim lessons, camping trips, and air travel—all without diapers!

Potty Training Books


Dinosaur vs. the Potty by Bob Shea

This book follows an adorably chunky red T-Rex as he zooms through his day. He runs through sprinklers, guzzles three juice boxes, stomps in puddles, makes lemonade—and never once stops for a bathroom break! What happens when he finally has to go?

Big Girl Panties by Reran Manushkin, illustrated by Valeria Petrone

We read this board book so many times in our house, both my daughters had it memorized. A spirited, pigtailed girl shows off all the feats she can tackle, while rotating through her spiffy collection of big-girl underwear. She’s thrilled how wearing panties means she’s now more like her aunt, grandma and mom.

I Use the Potty by Maria van Lieshout

Simple and straightforward, this book features a boy excited to wear underpants, eager to master the potty.

Time to Pee! by Mo Willems

This is a book about “that feeling” that signals it’s time to head to the bathroom. With colorful, soothing drawings, the beloved creator behind the wildly popular Elephant & Piggie series teaches young ones to pay attention to, honor, and respond quickly to that sensation of needing to go #1.

Daniel’s Potty Time by Alexandra Cassel Schwartz and Jason Fruchter

Of course Daniel Tiger has a wealth of encouragement and info to share with young potty trainees! His tips include the importance of going to the bathroom before leaving the house, and how there are restrooms all over town that kids can use if they have to go when they’re not at home. The book includes a flush button, so little ones can give Daniel a hand with that important step. Don’t miss the corresponding Daniel Tiger’s Neighborhood episode on PBS Kids.

Poop or Get Off the Potty by Margaret McNamara, illustrated by Allison Black

Yes, you will blush when you add this to your cart, or hand it to the librarian at checkout, but it’s worth the embarrassment! What is the potty for? And what happens when you have to go #2? Follow young Mason and Mia as they find out. They’ll explore their brand new, very own potty chairs, and learn to respond to their body’s cues.

Dinosaurs Love Underpants by Claire Freedman

Sometimes a kid needs a break after so much focus and emphasis on the potty. There is nothing in this book about toilets, or bathrooms, it’s just a silly story starring underwear, dinosaurs, and cavemen! How fun does that sound?

P is for Potty by Naomi Kleinberg, illustrated by Christopher Moroney

When Elmo’s young cousin Albie comes over for a playdate, he helps him navigate the day in big-boy underpants—reminding him to wash his hands, and offering reassurance and support after he has an accident. This book is full of sturdy flaps to open and shut and keep little ones busy.

Uh-Oh! Gotta Go! by Bob McGrath, illustrated by Shelley Dieterichs

An array of toddlers and preschoolers make a go of potty training, and get a little goofy in the process. One girl envisions her potty seat as a royal throne, another makes snowballs out of toilet paper, and a little boy turns his potty chair upside down and uses it as a drum. 

Potty Animals – What to Know When You’ve Gotta Go! By Hope Vestergaard

The students at Sycamore Preschool all have to use the restroom at some point during the school day, and all of them have a bathroom habit or skill they need to learn. This book will help little ones remember important hygiene rules, such as always washing with soap, checking your zipper before leaving the restroom, good aim, and remembering to flush.

Goldilocks and the Just Right Potty by Leigh Hodgkinson

The Goldilocks of this fractured fairy tale is tired of soggy diapers and on the hunt for her just-right pair of underwear (not too frilly, and not too silly), and the perfect-sized potty chair. She’s cheerful and charming, a delightful guide for kids who are ready to graduate to the potty.

potty training

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Ashlee grew up in Newbury Park, and returned to the area after studying journalism at Cal Poly San Luis Obispo, and teaching English in Santiago, Chile for two years. She spent three years as a working mom, before leaving the corporate world to become a full-time, at-home parent. Her daughters are 5 and 6 years old, and she relishes getting to experience her old childhood stomping grounds through their eyes. An Enneagram 4, Ashlee enjoys reading, running, music, collecting vintage fashion magazines, and sharing a fun cocktail with her husband after work while their kids sit/jump beside them on the couch and watch "Pinkalicious." She is a whole-hearted believer that “it takes a village” not only to raise a child, but also to raise a mother. She is grateful for a supportive family, friends, and community, and is passionate about the power of writing to connect us and let us know we’re not alone.


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