SOCIAL SCIENCES

Ready, Set, Go! A Gentle Parenting Guide to Calmer, Quicker Potty Training

TarcherPerigee. Jun. 2018. 208p. ISBN 9780143131908. pap. $16. CHILD REARING
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Blogger Ockwell-Smith (SarahOckwell-Smith.com) is read by two million parents each year. As a prenatal teacher, birth and postnatal doula, cofounder of GentleParenting.com, and mother of four, the author provides tips for potty training. In the first chapter, bringing her gentle approach to a developmental milestone, she devotes attention to the physiological factors involved in potty training and how to know when your child is ready. The decision can only be made by your child, advises the author. As the text continues, she provides suggestions on how to begin and answers questions, such as do pull ups contribute to a mixed message that slows the process? And are girls usually ready to potty train before boys? She disagrees with the common carrot-dangling reward method, preferring a more mindful technique using effort-based praise and dealing with emotions involved in the act itself. Nighttime training is a common struggle for parents, and the author dedicates an entire section to solving evening potty woes. The last chapter contains common questions parents ask, and helpful recommendations of books and videos for children fill the appendix.
VERDICT There is little new here, but potty training is of perennial interest to parents, and newbies may find this a solid starter manual.

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