Top 4 Toilet Training Books

parenting books potty training toilet learning toilet training

A great book is an excellent starting point in your toilet training journey. Ideally you'll find one that really speaks to your values and helps you to get a handle on how you're going to approach things. It should act as a good reference resource when your child throws you a curve ball too!

There's no shortage of "experts" out there when it comes to toilet training and some books are definitely better than others. We've sorted through and found the best of the best to cover the most popular training methods. 

For a sensible Kiwi approach

Parenting Tips - Toilet Training by Diane Levy


Diane Levy is a prominent family therapist, parenting coach, author and she's a New Zealander. Think of her as your super-knowledgable and sensible gran who happens to have written all her wonderful insights down for you!

This book will give you insight to the process your child will go through when learning to use the toilet; empowering you to recognise readiness and teach effectively. There are also helpful FAQs and bedwetting advice included too.

For a short, intensive effort

Potty Training in One Week by Gina Ford


Gina Ford is a highly respected bestselling childcare author and, while the title of the book is a bit of an over-promise, the methods will likely lead to quick results. Gina takes you through day by day instructions for an intensive potty training effort. Note that this is suitable for children who are showing clear signs of readiness for the potty - probably closer in age to 3 than 2.

For a stress-free gentle approach

Sarah Ockwell Smith is a trained psychologist, doula and author of a series of well-received gentle parenting books.

In this book she takes you all the way through the process of a gentle child-led toilet training approach backed by scientific study. This can take longer than more intensive strategies but tends to be relatively stress-free and works with the child's physical and emotional development level. It works well for parents who prefer a gentle approach or those who follow attachment parenting techniques.

For the parents who want to start early (VERY early)


This book is the bible for parents doing EC (Elimination Communication). EC is a type of toilet learning started when baby is only weeks old and, while it's done widely around the world, it takes some serious commitment. Whether you're totally sold on EC, or just curious, this is a great book to get you started.

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