Pros:easy to understand, positive message
The Bottom Line: big girl potty and bottom line, I guess the two go hand in hand!
BabyGirl is four years old. Born 16-17 weeks premature, there are developmental delays that we are working hard to overcome. One of these delays is potty training. My four-year-old wears diapers. We are currently trying every way we can think of to encourage her to use the potty, so when I spotted My Big Girl Potty at the library I decided to give it a try. Written by Joanna Cole and illustrated by Maxie Chambliss, I am hoping that this book might be just the stimulus to get BabyGirl into the bathroom and out of diapers.
The book tells the story of Ashley, a girl just your age. Ashley likes books and toys. (Just like BabyGirl!) She wears diapers too! Mommy and Daddy dry Ashleys diaper when shes wet or dirty. (Just like BabyGirls mommy and daddy do!) Ashleys mommy and daddy decide that its time for Ashley to try using the potty, and brought one home. (Just like BabyGirls!) It was fun sitting on the potty, but not much happened. Ashley needed to tell Mommy and Daddy if she needed to make pee or poop. Sometimes they try just sitting on the potty for a while to see if anything comes out. Sometimes Ashley read books while she sat on the potty, but nothing went into the potty. But one day something happened! Ashley did pee and poop on the potty! Mommy and Daddy were very proud of Ashley! They helped her wip and flushed it into the toilet. They explained where the pee and poop went, and then Ashley washed her hands. Ashley still needed to wear a diaper at nighttime and naptime for a while, but in the morning she always used the potty. After a while Ashley got big-girl underpants, but one day she had an accident. It felt better when Mommy and Daddy told her that all children have accidents, and that it was okay. Shed remember next time. And she did! Ashleys proud of herself for using the potty. (BabyGirl can be proud of herself for using the potty too!)
I really liked the way the book describes Ashley as being a girl just your age. Because my daughter is four shes much older than most children using diapers. I certainly dont want her to think of herself as a baby, particularly after all the gains shes made the past year. Using that phrase, BabyGirl doesnt feel inadequate or pressured about potty training. I also really like the explanation of where the pee and poop goes when flushed down the toilet. A simple, but reassuring explanation of something that seems to frighten BabyGirl. She seems to be a little afraid that she might be flushed down along with the pee and poop if she sits on the toilet. The illustrations are well done, with smiling mom and dad and Ashley, stuffed bunnies and toys about the rooms. There are no intimidation tactics used here other than the desire to be like other kids your age. Yes, peer pressure can be used to advantage in certain situations. Its done in such a gentle way that its in no way a negative.
I do find it a little unrealistic for my BabyGirl in that Ashley has no resistance to the potty at all. BabyGirl fights like a demon if I even suggest Potty Time, and I know many of my friends have had the same resistance from their children in the beginning. I do think that its a plus for the book though, in that it shows that there is nothing to fear from the potty, no reason to fight the change, that growing up and going potty is a good thing that many other children dont resist.
There are tips at the back of the book, a helpful Note to Parents for Successful Potty Teaching. Tips such as not rushing, explaining the process, waiting until the child is ready, having potty time every day, and expect accidents. These are all helpful reminders for those of us who have been through the process before, as well as helpful hints for those going through this with their first child.
The book is recommended for ages 1-3, but I recommend it for any child just beginning the potty training process. The simple text and pictures make the book easy to follow and the positive message it contains just may make a difference in my daughters hopefully soon success at potty training. My daughter has enjoyed the book the first few times weve read it, and I am hoping that shell sit on the potty for the next few readings. Wish us luck!
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