Monday, September 22, 2008

There's a Potty Goin' On Around Here

Ah, potty training. Feared by parents who haven't been there yet, subject of parenting books galore, and known to drive grown men to the very brink. I was lucky in this regard - Pumpkinpie was on the case before I was really even worried about it. Even so, I employed a book or two, in my usual manner, to help explain things to her, to show her other kids in action, and to give us a talking point. Now I can't tell you how to go about potty training your child (sorry), but I can tell you about a few good titles to help put forth the suggestion.

Girls_potty_board_bkThere are a, um, boatload of board books and other small volumes on this, many split into gender-specific boy and girl books. In the library, board books are not organized in the catalogue, and therefore cannot be requested on hold, so I won't give you suggestions for those here, except to say that if you are looking to buy one, I did really quite like the Dorling Kindersley (publisher) board book entitled My Potty Book for Girls, which I took home to read with Pumpkinpie. (ISBN for easy finding online: 0789448459, cover image so you know you've found the right one if you're looking, since board books can be tougher to locate and this one doesn't really have an author to be filed under.)

No More Diapers for Ducky!, by Bernetter Ford and Sam Williams

This is a cute, newer (2006) book in the field, and features drawings that are sweet, but not saccharine - a balance that can be hard to strike. When Ducky goes to Piggy's house to play, Piggy is busy on the potty, so she amuses herself for a while as she waits. And as she waits, her diaper becomes cold and wet and not so comfy, until she wriggles out of it and decides she's going to make the bold move to potty usage with her friend. How successful thsi first trip is, we don't know, but the book is a nice one, and uses my personal favourite among potty training methods - peer pressure. If that works for you, bring this one home.

I Want My Potty, by Tony Ross

Fans of the Little Princess have a go-to book on potty use here, as she decides she is sick of diapers, but has some adjustments issues with potty use initially. Soon she got used to it, and agreed that the potty was indeed "the place." Even so, even a potty-trained princess can have an accident now and then when she is too far from the potty, it turns out, which is a nice way to address that such slip-ups are a part of the learning process, not a major flaw in the learner.

The Potty Book for Girls/Boys, by Alyssa Satin Capucilli, ill. Dorothy Stott

This duo of small, rhyming, gender-specific books makes for a ncie introduction to pottying. In it, a child is comfortable with diapers, but when a box arrives and it is a potty, s/he is willing to give it a try. Accidents happen, so do times when s/he needs to sit for a spell. Still, his/her parents are encouraging, and all involved are proud of the eventual success, which is celebrated with phones calls to grandma and the purchase of new underwear.

My Big Boy / Girl Potty Book, by Joanna Cole, ill. Maxie Chambliss

This small book starts out by setting up the similarities between the main character and the reading (read-to) child, so that the child may relate to him - clever. It asks questions along the way to involve the child, encouraging them to discuss their own experiences or guess what is happening along the way as the boy gets a potty and tries it out. He doesn't have immediate success, but after a few tries, he does, to his parents' great delight. The child goes to pick out underpants, but still wears a diaper at night for a while, making for reasonable expectations. The books also show that the child has an accident when he forgets, but that it is not a big deal. It ends on a note of encouragement: "You can learn to use the potty, too. Then won't you be proud of yourself!" The boy version of this duo mentions also the boy's father teaching him to pee standing up. These are simple and straightforward, but create a nice environment of being supportive without pressure. I quite like them, in fact.

Try pairing these wtih a silly story about potty use, like Andrea Wayne-von-Konigslow's Toilet Tales to lighten things up, too.

Find these and more great resources at your local public library!

Originally posted on MommyBlogsToronto/Better Than a Playdate.

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