|My one-year-old reading Smile! while sitting on the potty.|
Because my one-year-old loves them, and has loved them for several months. And her love of them is part of what makes her early potty training possible.
My friend told me she wanted to try infant potty training, but that she couldn't get her son to sit on the potty for any length of time. Join the club! I do not have mellow children. Only spazzes here. At first I had to sit with my baby almost the entire time she was on the little potty, entertaining her with electronic toys (the kind parents hate), singing songs, and later reading her board book after board book. But now I can come and go, leaving her for several minutes at a time while she looks at her baby face board books by herself. I make the bed, get her next diaper ready, get breakfast for my 3-year-old, clean the house -- all while she sits on the potty. This makes potty training my one-year-old much less time consuming.
Here are some of our favorite baby face board books:
1. Baby Faces by Margaret Miller
2. I Love Colors by Margaret Miller
These books from the series Look, Baby! by Margaret Miller are so good that they merit two separate listings. When I first saw these books, I kind of thought they were a rip-off, because there is just one huge face on one side and then text on the other side. What a waste of space! But now I see the wisdom of this layout. My one-year-old finds the faces so riveting and engaging, and there is only one face to worry about at a time. The photos are so well-designed (Margaret Miller is an award-winning photographer) and just pop off of the page. These books come in two sizes. The larger size (about 7" square) is more fun for baby to look at, but the smaller size (about 5" square) is easier for baby to hold by herself. I think the two listed above are the best. We also own Get Ready, Baby and What's On My Head. Other titles in the series are Peekaboo Baby and Baby Food.
3. Global Babies. I love this book for its photos of babies from all over the world. I love all the babies snuggled up against their mommies' bodies and the beautiful and unique apparel of each baby. I also love that part of the proceeds from the book are donated to the non-profit The Global Fund for Children. Very little text.
4. Smile! This is one in a series of many Baby Faces Board Books. There is one large face per page (2 faces per spread) and black backgrounds. I don't like the black backgrounds because the faces don't stand out as well, but the faces are cute and my one-year-old enjoys the rhyming text.
5. Where's the Baby? We have this one in Spanish. Although the baby faces are pretty small in this book, it gets extra points for being a lift-the-flap book, and the flaps are nice and big and pretty thick, and less liable to be torn off by your toddler.
6. Where Is Baby's Belly Button? I do not particularly like this book or its illustrations, but my baby really likes lifting the flaps and will look at this book for 5-10 minutes at a time by herself. I have repaired several of the flaps that she has torn off, however.
7. Baby Signs for Mealtime. This is also one in a series. Engaging photos and educational too, if you are into the baby signing thing.
8. Clap Hands. This is a serious favorite. I have almost died of boredom from reading this book so many times in a row. My one-year-old loves to clap and wave along with the babies in the book. I am not super enthusiastic about the style of the illustrations, by they have their charm, esp. for my one-year-old. You can also find Say Goodnight and All Fall Down by the same author.
9. Happy Baby Colors/Colores. Cute babies.
10. Homemade book of cousins. I also bought one of those cheapy plastic 4x6 photo albums, and put a bunch of 4x6 baby pictures of cousins in it (years ago). I cropped the photos so that the photo is just the baby's face. You could also make a photo book through Snapfish or another site. With the plastic ones, you can add more photos as new baby cousins are born (I've never gotten around to doing this), but your baby also might tear the plastic slots apart (as mine has). I found that she likes this book better if I only put the photos on one side (one photo per 2-page spread).
|My one-year-old reading What's On My Head? while sitting on the potty.|
So plop your baby on a little potty with a few baby face board books and give early potty training a try. It's cheaper, greener, healthier, and kind of fun. What's not to love?
Update November 2014: Click here for additional board book recommendations.
For more tips, tricks, and tales from early potty training, visit my Early Potty Training page.