Updated: Nov 1, 2019
Inside: Can winter be a good time to potty train your toddler? Yes! Here are 5 reasons why.
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Your toddler’s bare bum is about the sweetest sight. And envisioning that little bare bum dashing over to the potty to catch pee in the block one stage of Oh Crap Potty Training may even spark joy. What a little hero!
Here’s the mystery.
What about winter days? What about when it’s cold outside?
How do you follow Oh Crap Potty Training, bare bums and all, when it’s the season for snowpants and mittens?
I have a secret.
Unlike the obvious potty training season (summer), winter is actually my preferred time to potty train. I potty trained one kiddo in the summer and one in March (which in Maine feels like winter...we get snow in April!).
Here’s why I prefer the cold weather season for stepping into potty training.
And if you potty train your toddler in the winter, here’s how to keep your little one feeling warm, too.
1. You don't feel like you're "missing out" by staying indoors for a few days
The reality is when you're teaching your child to use the potty, it helps to stay close to home for a few days. I've personally potty trained in both sunshine-happy warm weather and through a cold-and-bundled Maine winter, so I know what both extremes look like.
When was my favorite time of the year to potty train?
Personally, I have to say potty training in the winter, when it's cold outside. And you're indoors more often. I felt like being trapped at home was easier for me emotionally when I potty trained in the winter.
Because being inside was the norm for that season, anyhow.
2. Your child is used to being indoors
In the summer time, your toddler wants to spend every second outdoors..
Riding the scooter, hanging out at playgrounds, beach days, you name it.
But by the time Thanksgiving rolls around, in many parts of the country, you're already in the groove of spending more time indoors.
So it won't be a huge change in your routine to be indoors for those early days of potty training.
I think the downside of summertime potty training is that in the summer, potty training can stir up more instances of cabin fever for all.
3. Your child won't freeze
If you're an apartment dweller, your space may actually be warmer in the winter versus the summer — thanks to that cranking radiator (I lived in many NYC apartments and remember that dry heat feeling of winter.)
If you're in a home, you have control of your heat.
And there are simple ways to keep your child warm without cranking the heat super high.
4. It's an easier time to unplug
I personally love how winter is a time to retreat, especially after the holiday craze. Summer is all about checking off summer wishlists and traveling as much as possible.
So winter is naturally an easier time to clear the schedule, turn off the social media, unplug distractions, and focus on observing your child and working through the process of potty training.
5. Your child is less likely to be dehydrated
In the summertime, it can be tricky for everyone, even us grownups, to stay fully hydrated with heatwaves and peak humidity levels. You've got to be drinking a lot of water!
When you start potty training your child, you'll need your kiddo to be fully hydrated to set you up for more opportunities to catch pees in the potty (and being hydrated helps with the poops, too).
I've personally found staying hydrated is easier in the winter..when you're not sweating in the sweltering heat.
Illustrations: Citrus and Mint