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

3.49  ·  Rating details ·  374 ratings  ·  77 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 3.49  · 
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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.
Lauren Salisbury
Aug 13, 2020 rated it liked it
Shelves: ebooks, nonfic, parenting
Mostly useful for thinking about your child's individual mindset and personality as the directive for how to approach potty training. ...more
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
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
Jun 04, 2020 rated it really liked it
This is the best potty training book (out of 3) that I've read. I love that they teach different approaches to potty training and acknowledge that not every child should be trained in the same way. I also appreciated that they referenced research done on potty training. The authors' experience with children and childhood psychology is helpful, and reading this book made me realize that a lot of potty training is a mind game with your kids.

The book was not comprehensive, so there are things that
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
N Serena Kyper
Oct 06, 2020 rated it it was amazing
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Jul 07, 2020 rated it liked it
Shelves: parenting
Good book to flip through that is based on training your child using advantages from their personality. It didn’t tell me anything new in the training process, but I am glad that I was able to determine that my child was Goal Oriented with a mix of Strong Will hooray for me).
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. ...more
Guillermo Sparks
Jan 07, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Gülsüm Öztürk
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.
Fairly repetitive, but the book had some useful tips.
Cassie Trapp
Feb 27, 2021 rated it liked it
Good info. Now let's see if it works. Haha ...more
Julie H
Mar 22, 2021 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2021
This book has an interesting chart detailing toilet training skills and what age they are typically obtained. There are almost 30 skills involved in toilet training.....
Ashley Scannella
Apr 14, 2021 rated it really liked it
Shelves: parenting
Really good tips! Much better IMO than Oh Crap. I prefer Sara Au's tone and approach. ...more
Mar 08, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2017-reads
Practical and encouraging.
Leila Reads
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
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