Summer has always been considered the ideal potty training season. We understand why; the warmer weather means your potty training toddler can roam around inside and out bare-bottomed for a seemingly uncomplicated introduction to potty training without catching a chill. However, choosing when to start potty training can be a difficult decision. This is especially true if your toddler has reached the perfect potty training age or shows signs of potty training readiness in the autumn or during the coldest winter days. Should you wait for warmer weather or attempt potty training now?
Despite popular opinion, we believe there are many benefits to potty training in winter instead of waiting until the sun comes out, especially if you are seeing sure signs your toddler is ready to start potty training. In this article, we will look at some good reasons why winter is the perfect time to potty train.
You are at home more anyway
Families tend to spend more time at home during the winter months. It’s cold and wet outside, and everyone is generally a bit happier when they are warm and at home. This poses the perfect opportunity to begin potty training and show your toddler what they need to do to master the potty and stay dry. During summer, it’s likely your toddler will expect to be outdoors at every opportunity wanting to ride their scooter, go to the park or play at the beach. This makes it harder to keep them inside. At this time of year, they are probably used to spending a fair chunk of time indoors and won’t feel to put out or change your daily routine hugely.
You won’t feel like you are missing out
We tend to feel less like we are missing out by staying inside for a few days during winter’s colder weather. When you begin potty training your child, it’s best to stay home or close to home for the first few days to establish a routine. Being stuck inside with your potty training toddler can make you feel like you are missing out during the summer months. You’ll be thinking about those sunny park trips with friends and days at the beach. This makes it more emotionally challenging and more challenging to stick with than introducing the potty during the winter when you don’t mind being inside. If you do need to visit friends or family during winter potty training. Take along a folding travel potty to continue your training anywhere.
Your child will be warmer
It might sound crazy, but if you plan on your toddler strutting around in little more than their pants for the first few days, you can turn up the heat at home and often create an environment that is warmer and more comfortable than it would be in the summer months. You are in complete control of the heat inside your home. Plus, you can always keep a warm top on your child with long socks to keep their feet warm while they wander around.
It’s the perfect time to play with traditional toys
During the summer, it’s all about where you can go to enjoy the sunshine and making the most of those longer days. This may include getting out on scooters bikes and playing with buckets and spades. But, instead, pull out those puzzles, flashcards, threading beads, and play dough during winter. Enjoy some mark making, playdough squidging or read all your favourite stories. By choosing “unplugged” toys and activities that can be enjoyed together, you are more likely to notice the signs your child needs to use the potty than when they are engrossed in their favourite tv show or tablet app.
Of course, we know that tablets do provide great distractions and entertainment when you need five minutes to prepare dinner or just to drink a warm cuppa. There’s no reason they shouldn’t continue to be used wisely during those intense early days of potty training.
It’s easier to keep your child hydrated
Staying hydrated during a summer heatwave isn’t always easy, and you need to drink a lot more water. During winter, it’s easier to keep your potty training toddler topped up with fluids to help present lots of potty training practice opportunities. Being hydrated also makes pooping easier for your little one too. So keep a water bottle handy and close to your child at all times for maximum effect!
You’ll be ready for summer
By far, my favourite thing about winter potty training is that by the time summer rolls around, your toddler is likely to be pretty confident when it comes to using the potty. This means you can enjoy stress-free days out in the sunshine without the need to shut yourself and your child inside for days on end, which can feel emotionally isolating. Instead, if you managed to master potty training during winter, you can plan all those fun days you have dreamed of all winter. All you’ll need is to pack a potty kit, so you are ready wherever you are. We recommend a Pottiagogo travel potty for quick and easy potty access on the go that fits inside your backpack along with some wipes, tissues and spare pants (just in case). For more ideas, take a look at our potty training travel checklist.
So, in conclusion, if your child is showing those key signs of potty training readiness or even if you are just wondering, “is my toddler is ready for potty training?” this winter, don't hold off until the sun comes out. You’ve got nothing to lose by starting potty training now, and if successful, you’ll be in a much better position to enjoy a less stressful summer when it rolls around! If you're interested in reading more about the nitty-gritty of potty training, check out our ultimate guide for some handy tips to get you started.