A Practical Guide for Easier Toilet Training
by Katie van Pelt
This was the last book I read on toilet training, but I think if it had been the first I would have had an easier time! It's short, simple, and very practical. It doesn't go into a lot of detail, but explains fairly clearly how to transition your child out of diapers and on to using the toilet beginning at one year old and ending when they're two. Potty Training Your Baby states that teaching earlier is easier, because by the time your child reaches the "terrible twos" and is asserting independence by wanting to do the opposite of everything you ask them (at least, that's how it felt to me), toilet use will already be a habit. Van Pelt breaks down the process into three major steps: teaching your child to recognize the need to go, where to go, and control of their body functions.
The book also discusses things like how to choose a child potty, teaching an older child, and dealing with setbacks. Especially useful, I thought, was the idea of letting your child occasionally go somewhere acceptable other than the potty (like peeing in the grass, or in a plastic cup) so that if you happen to be far from a bathroom someday, your child won't panic and refuse the alternative! There's strong emphasis on attitude, and here I think the author takes it a bit too far. I agree with the need to keep a relaxed and calm attitude, and not tease a child about body functions, but she says you shouldn't have your child wash their hands after every time, only when they've actually got something on their hands, so they don't get the "unhealthy" idea their body is dirty and acquire a "negative self-image". Personally, I think it's better to instill in a child the habit of always washing hands after using the bathroom, and is quite possible to do so without making them feel their body is "dirty". My toddler loves washing her hands, playing with the soap and water, and will do so many times a day even when it's not necessary or required!
Rating: 3/5 ........ 119 pages, 1996