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Stress-Free Potty Training: A Commonsense Guide to Finding the Right Approach for Your Child

3.47  ·  Rating details ·  335 ratings  ·  69 reviews
No two children experience the toilet-training process in exactly the same way. While some kids might be afraid to even go near the bathroom, others may know when to go...but still never seem to make it there in time. This helpful guide takes the stress out of this challenging rite of passage, giving parents much-needed advice to help them identify what approach will work ...more
Paperback, 183 pages
Published April 1st 2008 by AMACOM/American Management Association (first published 2008)
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Average rating 3.47  · 
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Nov 05, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This is a straightforward guide to potty training. Instead of giving one magical, rigid solution, it covers everything that might work and breaks the tips down by personality type. Very realistic.
Jan 24, 2012 rated it liked it
I think that this book had some good ideas and solutions, especially the personality type divisions. However, we made the mistake of purchasing the audiobook version. The woman reading the book has a nice soothing voice, but is torturously sloooooow. I sped it up to 2x speed on my iPod because I feared we would never finish it otherwise (it sounded fine that way).

Unfortunately we didn't learn much that was useful from this particular book, other than the fact that with our hard-headed child, al
May 02, 2020 rated it did not like it
I got this as an audiobook.
As a Registered Dietitian, I couldn't stand the fact that food (ice cream parties) are suggested as a reward for not using a diaper. Not only rewards and punishments do not work in the long run (I suggest the book Punished by Rewards by Alfie Kohn for the author to read), food in particular is a very, very bad idea. It can create a complex relationship with food in adulthood and kids should not be punished or rewarded with food. Restricting the child's water intake be
Mar 17, 2017 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
A good start in my toilet-training research. I like the idea of using my child's personality to guide the process along and to have lots of personality-geared tips to help me remain a little calmer through this process.

It does only give guidelines for the slow and steady approach to toilet training and does not really cover the fast-track method if that is your cup of tea. I did not think it went through the step-by-step very well, though. It talks about focusing only on the skill of peeing in
Aug 14, 2017 rated it liked it
Shelves: parenting
3.5 stars. I didn't love everything they said for method, but the personality quiz and assessments were spot on for my daughter, and were quite helpful and realizing it was just going to be more of a process with her, and that it was ok. I took a more patient approach after this read. By that, I mean I went forward with the mindset that it was going to take longer than I'd expected, but that was what was working for my daughter, and also that we weren't having as many setbacks as I'd originally ...more
Sep 27, 2018 rated it liked it
Slightly too fluffy for me because I wanted coherent clear laid out steps to potty training. I ended up skimming it. This book is more laissez-faire about potty training and encourages you to decipher what kind of personality your child has before deciding which chapter to use for the general approach. But this isn't helpful if you have a kid with several of the personality traits, including goal-based, impulsive, internalizer, etc. The book is a lot more lenient with the perfect window to potty ...more
Jun 23, 2017 rated it really liked it
I appreciate how this book explains how kids with different temperaments experience potty training. There's a quiz at the beginning to help you find strategies for your child. My daughter fit into the "impulsive" category, and bringing the potty chair into her play area has helped her remember to try more often. I also *love* the "nakedtime" strategy! She has so much fun playing without clothes and when there is an accident, it has her full attention.

The book is also good for managing your own f
Feb 01, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I first started reading the Oh Crap! Potty Training book, but the rigid approach wasn't working for our family. So I bought this book and really liked the idea of customizing your strategies based on your child's personality. My husband and I learned a great deal about our older son's temperament through the quiz and relevant chapters. Our son is now potty trained, thanks to the tips and techniques outlined in this book. We are so happy, and we feel like we can use the knowledge we gained about ...more
Liz Stoneking
Aug 01, 2018 rated it it was ok
I was feeling pretty good about this book, until I finished my kids personality quiz. Surprise! I have the “stubborn child”. While not remotely shocked, I was annoyed that it’s main tailor made suggestion for my little savage and myself was to “wait until they are ready.” The techniques for getting started just didn’t exist. My child still won’t put a single drop of pee in the toilet.
Nov 08, 2018 rated it it was ok
Why I Hated This Book:

Trashy magazine quiz for your kid’s potty training personality. Groan!!

The constant use of the word ‘pee-pee’

Inane example conversations between example parents and kids - these drove me nuts. I disliked every one of these imagined people.

Why I Liked This Book:

Page 26 - the data-filled Table 1 was useful
Jul 13, 2017 rated it did not like it
Too many words. When your child is peeing on the floor, you need quick tips and infographics. And perhaps an outstanding preschool teacher who kind of does the hard work for you. ;)
Jun 05, 2018 rated it liked it
Shelves: raising-a-baby
Haven't potty trained yet, so that's the caveat. Thought this was an interesting but perhaps somewhat limiting way to look at your child's personality.
Guillermo Sparks
Jan 07, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Gülsüm Akyıldız
May 08, 2019 rated it it was ok
The book classifies children according to their behaviour I think this is nonsense because human are more complicated than this.
Mar 08, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2017-reads
Practical and encouraging.
Leila Hays
Apr 11, 2014 rated it did not like it
Shelves: leave-it
I'll admit that I'm probably not the best person to give an impartial review of this book. The potty training philosopy advocated by this book goes against my personal ideas about the subject, which I have come by from reading extensively about natural infant hygene (elimination communication) and the work of John Rosemond.

Stress-Free Potty Training suggests that potty training can be made simpler and (of course) less stressful by understanding your child's temperament and following their sugges
Feb 07, 2012 rated it liked it
Stress-Free Potty Training: A Commonsense Guide to Finding the Right Approach for Your Child is a potty training guide based on the standard approach in the US of waiting until your child is ready. It identifies five personality types: the goal-directed child, the sensory-oriented child, the internalizer, the impulsive child, and the strong-willed child. Most of the book discusses how to tailor your toilet training technique to each of the five personality types. The very first chapter in the bo ...more
Jan 13, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
As far as potty training books go, this was far more up my alley than anything else I've picked up. I would recommend reading it when your first is close to two and you start to feel the inevitable peer pressure to get the job done. Just realize, kids at this age don't actually care what other kids are doing most of the time (and especially don't care what their parents think they should do!)

I loved that the basis of the book was discovering when YOUR child is ready and using cues about their p
Joannah Keats
Jan 22, 2013 rated it liked it
Shelves: own
This book does not provide a formula for potty-training, so if you're looking for a checklist solution this is not the book for you. The most useful information I found in this book was the assessment of your child's personality type and using that knowledge to shape the way you approach potty training. Beyond that, this truly is a "commonsense guide" as the cover states. With the exception of "Nakedtime" as a recommended method for all personality types, everything else is pretty instinctual - ...more
Apr 15, 2012 rated it it was amazing
Potty training can be a very difficult experience for children and parents alike. Everyone has a friend or cousin whose kid was fully potty trained by 18 months. Then, there’s the “helpful” unsolicited advice that everyone seems to provide when your kid reaches their second birthday and they still aren’t trained. None of this seems to help, in fact it often hinders progress.

Stress-Free Potty Training looks at two things. First, is your child really ready to train? Second, what is the best appro
Nov 09, 2015 rated it liked it
The first chapter of this book has you take a test to identify your child's personality type and then asks a few questions to get you thinking about how you, as a parent, would respond to potty training issues. The next chapter gives advice on determining readiness followed by a chapter with universal potty training strategies. The following five chapters go through each personality type (goal-directed, sensory-oriented, internalizer, impulsive, and strong-willed). The last chapter discusses int ...more
Erin Ching
Dec 02, 2015 rated it really liked it
The thing I really liked about this book is that it acknowledged the possibility that your kid will offer resistance to the potty training process. Most books lay out a plan, like put them in underwear and have them try the potty every 30 minutes; be consistent; stay positive. But they do not address the possibility that your kid might fiercely resist every step of the process, and then you have to choose between being consistent (ie carrying your kicking and screaming child to the bathroom) or ...more
Feb 07, 2011 rated it really liked it
This was just the kind of toilet training book I was hoping for. The whole "training-in-a-day" methods were completely stressing me out. I think I'm just not that committed yet.

Anyway, this book actually has you analyze your child's personality (goal-directed, sensory-oriented, internalizer, impulsive, or strong-willed). Then it talks about common strengths/pitfalls for each personality type. I actually made some discoveries about my son (who knew he was impulsive?!), and I'm feeling more confi
This book gave me a bit of a chuckle in the beginning because the "personality quiz" in the beginning told me my child is Strong Willed and Impulsive (which describes him exactly).

There were some ideas in here I hadn't heard of before. I'd previously tried a bunch of "Have a completely potty-trained child by tomorrow!" type of strategies, but nothing ever worked. The suggestions in here felt more natural and helped explain why some techniques I'd been trying before weren't appropriate for my ch
Nov 16, 2016 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
There is not much of a synopsis I can say about this book. It's a book about potty training with a fun quiz at the beginning to help you pin point your child's personality. Then you can read specific things related to their specific personality.
It was not a easy read...but personally I find these books never really are. It was helpful thou. Lots of great tips and reassurances about things. Ready to have another baby and your toddler is not potty trained...means you are NOT a bad parent. So yes
Patti K
May 29, 2012 rated it liked it
This was pretty good - at the very least, it helped me to understand how my kids think and their personalities are a little less of a mystery. It definitely makes the potty training slightly less stressful, but that could also be the fact that this is for kid #2. I'd certainly recommend to other parents who are looking for suggestions on how best to approach training their child. I think the biggest thing this book has to offer is reinforcing the idea that your child is the person who should gui ...more
Mar 11, 2010 rated it really liked it
Shelves: 2010
I started potty training my twins about a month ago, and after two days they were both very resistant, and I felt like I was going to pull my hair out. I put things on hold and we all ended up sick, lengthening our potty training hiatus. With this time to think, I decided to order some books on the subject.

This book was very helpful for someone like me who doesn't have a clue what I am doing! It was also very beneficial to determine my twins' personality types and get tips geared to their speci
Sep 28, 2011 rated it liked it
The premise of this book is to figure out which type of child you have, then focus on strategies that fit that personality type. I found that Natalie didn't have one strong personality type. Also, she started training showing traits of one type, then changed to traits for another. Most of what I remember about this book a month later is the basics. Expect accidents, and deal with the calmly and patiently. Don't rush when you start. Once you switch to undies, try not to go back to diapers. Keep p ...more
When I first read through this book a few months ago, I gave it 4 stars. Now that I'm actually ready to start potty training my boys and have been reading multiple books on potty training, I'm upping my rating to 5 stars. It has a gentle and practical approach that I very much appreciate. (12/1/18)

It's too soon for me to be thinking of toilet training my twins, but I thought I'd read this book to get a sense of the process. I love that it provides different suggestions based on your child's pers
Jan 11, 2013 rated it really liked it
It's is the first potty training book I've read, and I haven't started any of its suggestions yet, but I really think this will be a good guide to helping potty train my daughter. I like how the book has a personality quiz and then gives you suggestions based on those different personalities. Knowing my child as I do, I think that some of the strategies I learned will really be helpful. I didn't read every word of the book, but only focused on the 2 personality types my daughter seems to identif ...more
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