My Big Girl Potty and My Big Boy Potty By Joanna Cole
These two books are pretty much the same story, swapping out Michael in the boy book for Ashley in the girl book. The story is especially engaging as the young reader is introduced to the character and asked some questions. I used the boy book with my own son when we potty trained and he loved answering the questions and finding similarities between himself and Michael in the book.
In this story, the child is given a potty chair. They go through the steps of trying out the potty but not being ready, to having success, to still wearing a diaper at night, to celebrating with the purchase of some big kid undies. The books give a nod to accidents, assuring the child it is okay. At the end of the book, the young reader is assured they will use the potty to, and “won’t you be so proud!”
To read some of our other potty training books, look HERE!
Potty Time is a fantastic combination of sign language, songs, verbal, auditory, and visual stimulus to help a little toddler learn about how amazing their body is. In Potty Time you learn new sign language signs. Each sign is showcased with Rachel (the creator and instructor of the videos) showing the new sign and saying the name of the sign. Also showcased is the actual word written out, plus a photo to show what the word means. It’s a very well rounded instruction to ensure any learning style will be well received.
Thanks, Amber! We’re so glad you liked Potty Time! To read lots more about Amber’s take on our programming, and see what else she’s up to, please visit her blog at JadeLouise Designs!
My Big Girl Undies and My Big Boy Undies by Karen Katz
This book comes in two editions, one for boys and one for girls. These books celebrate the fun of underwear, and also acknowledge the occasional accident. The prose is largely the same, just switching out boys and girls. Neither book is really gender specific, at least not beyond the patterns on the underwear and the gender of the children in the illustrations. In other words, your child won’t learn anything about the differences in going potty when you’re a boy or a girl, such standing up or sitting down, wiping front to back, etc. Nonetheless, this is a carefree and fun way to enjoy the potty process, particularly the celebration of wearing underwear.
We have two great resources for training boys and girls here on the blog that do help with gender specifics, and these would be a good addition for Mom and Dad if using these books.
This bright colorful lift-the-flap book follows a child, along with a very patient Mommy, through the potty training process. At first the child is hesitant to use the potty, then tries but has an accident and finally goes and gets to wear “big kid pants.” The child is nondescript and could be seen as a boy or girl. Parents will like the opportunity to discuss accidents and opportunity to “try again.” The book has a sing-songy rhyming rhythm that flows easily, and the sense of pride the child feels at the end brings a smile to your face.
I have used this book for years in my Signing Classes. I loved the vocabulary (potty, try, diaper, big kid, accident, proud) and emphasis on children trying rather than the pressure to succeed. The author’s focus on child readiness and use of emotion vocabulary (happy, proud) was also a big draw for me.
With the release of the Potty Time board book, “Hopkins Uses the Potty”, I now use both. They work well together and give the parents in my signing classes an opportunity to practice vocabulary while reading a book to a toddler. When parent go home and sign during the potty routine, or sign another book, they have shared with me that the additional practice helps them feel more confident and comfortable with signing. Signing with your child is good not only for potty training, but early literacy skills too!
This book is listed for ages 24 – 36 months on the cover and contains simple illustrated representation of the loveable Sesame Street characters. What I particularly appreciate about this book is that each character is at a different stage of development, one who goes all the time, one who has the occasional accident, and one who is just not interested at all yet. This may be very reassuring to children and parents alike!
The text invites children in by asking occasional questions and explains what each character is doing and why.
One page even mentions how a character calls her time in the bathroom “potty time”, which is a rather convenient link to the Potty Time program too!
Too Big for Diapers (a Sesame Street Babies publication)
In five quick page turns, this book follows Baby Ernie (shown as a stuffed doll) through the potty training process. It has very simple words describing what he is doing on each page, stressing the “stop and go!” concept in a similar way to Potty Time.
The photos of the dolls and props are large and bold, likely very engaging, especially to children who are training a little bit on the younger side, or who absolutely love Sesame Street.
A really nice companion to this book might be our Baby Hopkins plush who can be snuggled with as the story is read, and used to act out what Baby Ernie is doing in the book.
We are reviewing some potty training books! Our entire collection of reviews will be housed HERE.
You Can Go to the Potty
By William Sears, M.D., Martha Sears, R.N., and Christie Watts Kelly
This book is from the Sears pediatrician team, particular favorites of those who like the attachment parenting method. It’s also one of the books I (Colleen) used with my own son! It actually starts out with tips for parents, and explains some of the choices in the book, as well as giving a few tips if you are experiencing any difficulty during the potty training process.
The story starts out talking about the baby days. In line with the attachment parenting approach, the illustrations show both nursing and co-sleeping, which some families will greatly appreciate and others may not as much. It then transitions into what big kids can do, and talks about where pee and poo-poo might go, first in a diaper and now into the toilet.
This book takes a specific approach to the timing of potty training, telling children they will switch to underwear when they can keep their diapers dry. Some families will do well with this timing, whereas others may find a different approach is going to work better for their child.
The book moves on to the process of potty training, including a supportive take on accidents and of course lots of great celebrating. A particularly nice aspect of this book is the little insets on some pages called “Answers for the Very Curious”. These boxes contain questions children might ask about going potty and simple answers that they can understand – very helpful!
As this is geared towards little ones but is very factual, it would make a nice companion to a more playful approach, such as our book “Hopkins Uses the Potty”
I recently sat down to a great phone chat with co-creator of Signing Time, Emilie Brown, and also listened to a radio interview Rachel Coleman did, to learn more about the creation of Potty Time. You can read the back-story to Signing Time HERE and the first installment of the interview with Emilie HERE.
What was the creation of Potty Time like?
As we talked about in PART TWO of this series, from the very beginning of Signing Time (even from year one!) many requests for a potty training show were rolling in. But Rachel freely admits that she felt resistant to teaching signs for bathroom words and singing about bathroom words.
However, once Rachel and Emilie realized there was a big need for a potty training approach that taught kids about their amazing bodies, and how they needed to listen to those bodies, Potty Time production was up and running.
The creative process of writing “Look at you Grow” and “Your Body is Amazing” were easy for Rachel. But she still just did not want to write a potty song! So, the obvious answer was to pass on the job to their youngest brother, Aaron (who incidentally is in on the family business and helps with music production and sound design.)
So Aaron is responsible for “Uh-oh, It’s an Accident” and “The Potty Dance”, writing the potty songs as only a little brother can do (and we are very glad he did!).
You can listen to a radio interview with Rachel on the creation of Potty Time HERE.
How do you see Potty Time being used at home?
I asked Emilie what their vision was for Potty Time once it was created. How would families from all walks of life use it? The first hope of course was that families would start watching the video, using the signs, and integrating it into their potty training routines.
More than that though, the hope was that every family would have the support they need to have potty training be a great experience – with whatever method they choose – with a tool to help kids be excited about potty training and be successful in that process.
What about using Potty Time in childcare settings?
To the Signing Time folks, the most effective trainers are the parents because they can be the models. It’s a challenge for someone who is not the parent to be able to navigate something like potty training. If they are using Potty Time, that framework of positive messages and support can really help them be aware of the important messages that kids need.
In daycare, there are often kids of all ages and developmental stages, so signing in general can be critical and very helpful. In addition, if the daycare uses media (like videos), Potty Time can make a difference for their kids more so than some shows that are purely for entertainment.
When it comes to preschools, most children are expected to be potty trained when they enroll. But this video isn’t just for kids who are starting to train. Even after potty training is more or less complete, you still have to deal with some of those bathroom things… like remembering to wash hands all the time! In this case, Potty Time can be an ongoing support to help newly potty-trained kids in a new environment.
Finally, it is Potty Time, after all! Let’s keep our sense of humor!
Just for fun, I asked Emilie if she had any funny stories to tell about the creation process. She had a few!
During production there were some pretty funny conversations about the products that would be used with Potty Time. The creation of these products is literally a fine art. So when something like the pee spot Hopkins makes in the board book isn’t quite the “right” yellow, a conversation has to happen. You can imagine the laughter from the illustrators, who probably weren’t quite accustomed to these sorts of… details in their work!
After Potty Time was created, the team hosted a preview party for all the kids who were involved in the show. There is a song in the video called “Stop and Go” (to the bathroom), and by the end of the song, half the young audience was all lined up to go to the bathroom. Proof that the concept works, I guess!
I hope you’ve enjoyed this behind the scenes look at Potty Time creation and all the love and effort that went into the production process.
As Emilie said, “Who knew that potty training could be so fun and tender? And that potty training could be another opportunity to strengthen the relationship between parents and their kids?”