The downside of toilet training in the winter (and a giveaway)


It was upon pick-up one day in early December when Little Dude’s daycare teacher pulled out a calendar and said “On January 11 we are starting to toilet train”. I didn’t exactly think he was ready, but hoping through the power of peer-pressure with his friends training at daycare also, I was hoping it would work! Just like I had done with Princess Peach, I got everything I needed ready for toilet training. It’s one of those things that when you are well-prepared things just seem to go smoother. So I collected a variety of boxers and briefs, made sure we had flushable wipes, easy-to-clean sandals for him to wear at daycare instead of runners, Easy-Ups instead of diapers, stools and toilet rings in the bathrooms.

When Little Dude’s teacher had mentioned toilet training I didn’t think so much into the season. We had waited 2 months before Princess Peach third birthday to toilet train and she was trained in 2 days. It was intense but it was pretty quick! We sat outside colouring and playing and if she had an accident it was not a big deal because it was outside. But this time it is much different and toilet training a toddler in the winter has one major difference between training in the warmer months. What’s the biggest issue? That we live in Canada, where it is cold in the winter and bundling toddlers in their snowsuits who are toilet training just don’t go together! Luckily, this winter in Toronto has been quite mild and we are just getting hit with snow now, the middle of February. No matter what winter activity or sport we participate it, it requires Little Dude to be wearing many layers making it a challenge if he has to go pee!


If you have ever read the book, “I Have To Go!” by Robert Munsch and have a toilet training toddler, in the winter, I know you will be able to relate! Yesterday, Little Dude was that boy Andrew in the story! The Hubster went to his brother’s house to take our kids tobogganing at a nearby hill. Everyone went to the bathroom, and then all the kids got bundled in their snowsuits. Little Dude and his cousin JJ went in the wagon to the hill. What do you think happened once Little Dude got there? He had to pee! Sadly in the winter it’s too cold to get undressed and pee on a tree like boys can do so easily in the warmer months. So they trekked back home, got him undressed and he went to the bathroom. After a few minutes, The Hubster got him all bundled again to go back and meet everyone at the tobogganing hill. And once again, Little Dude uttered those words! “I have to pee!”So, The Hubster got him undressed again and back to the bathroom. By this time, he had given up and by the time Little Dude was done in the bathroom, the other kids were back home. 

There was no lesson learned yesterday, just a lot of dressing and undressing! Because when you gotta go, you gotta go, no matter what the season and how many layers one has to remove! 

Win it!!!


One (1) My So-Called Mommy Life reader will win a toilet training bundle! This bundle includes Ivory Snow laundry detergent, Charmin toilet paper and Pamper Easy-Ups.

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  1. andrea amy says:

    My best tip is don’t force it. Don’t make such a big deal about it, it will happen when he’s ready.

  2. Anne Taylor says:

    I think my best tip is to be patient and positive!

  3. it will happen when it happens. just give them space to figure it out

  4. Cheryl says:

    My best tip is to be patient, very patient, don’t push it

  5. Julie F says:

    For little boys try the Cheerios trick, throw a couple in the toilet bowl and get them to aim at them!

  6. bsaucierblog says:

    I’ve been using fruit loops to get my little guy to learn, but its been very difficult, he doesnt like the potty so its hard to get him to want to use it.

  7. Brittney says:

    I made a sticker book for my oldest! Worked great! Ever time she went, she got to put a sticker in her book. Hopefully it works as well for my second!

  8. edmontonjb says:

    My best tip is to be consistent but wait until the child is ready.


  9. My best tip is have lots of patience and fun rewards.

  10. Jeannie says:

    Patience is my best tip. Don’t start until you think your child is ready. I also think having reward chart will also be great!

  11. Courtney says:

    My tip is to let kids clean their own messes. It teaches them how it feels to be wet and they learn to clean up after themselves

  12. israel y says:

    my tip is if its a boy, put a cheerios in the potty and he’ll have fun aiming for it.

  13. Wendy hutton says:

    to be patient with the child, let they train when they are ready and make it fun

  14. My only tip is to wait until THEY are ready – sometimes this may even mean waiting even if they understand the concept because their bladders just aren’t ready to hold it for a long time. If they have to go consistently every 15 minutes, it is hard to go anywhere (including outside). Once they can hold it a while, try again, and make sure they sit there long enough to EMPTY the bladder. Our daughter gets so excited to use the toilet paper, she doens’t finish and has to go 5 minutes later. Go slow. It will come, even in winter 🙂

  15. lynnbeanie23 says:


  16. kristen visser says:

    My best tip is to be patient and to not give up. Also potty train when your child is ready! Don’t force them

  17. I don’t have any tip cause I am so bad at it!! My sister did it in 5 days and my little guy is still not fully trained after a year!! 🙁

  18. marie s says:

    Patience and repetition is key. Do and say the same thing over and over again

  19. Carole Dube says:

    My best tip is to be understanding, patient and positive!

  20. Janine a says:

    Great giveaway my little guy will soon begin potty training so I would love to win this

  21. Janine a says:

    I am beginning potty training but my best tip from what I’ve learned so far is waiting till they are ready with encouragement but don’t push it

  22. lori b says:

    patience with a side of patience …

  23. Carey Hurst says:

    I dont have a tip this time around my boy will not train whatso ever and we are pushing 4, it is so frustrating bc he cant run around naked like the warmth of the warmer months lol

  24. hmrcarlson says:

    Don’t push. Follow your child and look for signs of readiness like dryness after nap.

  25. Silvia D says:

    each child is different and trains at different time, patience and encouragment is best.

  26. sschool2010 says:

    Be patient!!! (Suzi)

  27. krystyl olson says:

    My best advice is this: when you are feeling REALLY down, just remember, they’ll NOT be going to HighschOol in DIAPERS .

  28. Juliee Fitze says:

    Let them do it at their pace don’t force it.

  29. Anne Dougherty says:

    Having patience 🙂

  30. Jenny says:

    be patient!

  31. Jennifer L. says:

    My best tip is to watch for signs that your child is ready and start then. Otherwise, it’s a waste of time.

  32. ivy pluchinsky says:

    be patient, some kids are just not ready to be potty trained, they will get there eventually!

  33. Florence C says:

    My tip is patience and the kids will go when ready. Some need a little more encouragement than others.

  34. Sarah says:

    Patience, and know the signs!

  35. Gillian Morgan says:

    Use a rewards system. Sophie was having trouble using the potty but when we started rewarding her wth M&Ms she got motivated. Two days later she was fully trained.

  36. Angela Mitchell says:

    Actually I don’t really have any tips. I need help with my 3 year old son right now. My daughter trained herself at 2.5.

  37. Lisa bolduc says:

    I am a first time mom trying to potty train my 2 year old now. I can use all the tips I can get. The only thing I have noticed is not to force the potty in him..he is so far learning when he wants to

  38. Nate Fuller says:

    Sometimes you can’t force the situation, one of my kids trained straight away the others took to it slowly.

  39. Holly MacRitchie says:

    My best toilet training tip is reward good behaviour! It worked for us as kids, and it works for mine.

  40. I put some books in the bathroom for the little one to read while sitting.

  41. Patience! it takes time

  42. jessica eapen says:

    Have patience! =)

  43. Kelley Moore says:

    the best tip is just go with the flow, when it happens it happens

  44. Eldon says:

    My tip is to have patience

  45. Yuen C says:

    Have patience!

  46. sandra says:

    I have none! My son hasn’t shown interest yet

  47. Erin W says:

    Don’t force it! Take cues from your child, they’ll let you know when they are ready.

  48. Monique L.S. says:

    Follow the child’s lead. Don’t rush them to use the toilet. It will come in good time, and when they are ready.

  49. angela m says:

    My tip is to introduce the potty early and let them get use to it .

  50. michelle matta says:

    Don’t get angry or badger them. Theres a difference between being persistent and too in their face.

  51. Don`t force it,they will go when they are ready.

  52. Viv Sluys says:

    My best potty training advice is to introduce the potty super early (like newborn early!). A newborn will pee when held in position over the toilet (look up elimination communication). We don’t do extreme EC but we do make sure to let our baby ‘go’ on the toilet at least once or twice a day. Our youngest is only 6 weeks but we did a relaxed version of EC with our previous baby and she potty trained herself at 2. Our older 2 girls potty training experiences were nightmareish and we didn’t do elimination communication with them.

  53. Julie bolduc says:

    My tip is to use a sticker chart it always worked for me

  54. JaimeeM says:

    have patience and let them progress on their own time.

  55. Tammy Dalley says:

    Patience and a sticker chart always works

  56. tip is to be patient

  57. hez15 says:

    we hung a bristol board in the bathroom to make a sticker poster. every they used the potty they got a sticker to add to the poster.

  58. Erika Letson says:

    My best tip is to wait until the child is really ready. Don’t force them!

  59. Lindsay T says:

    My best tip is to wait until they’re ready & be positive!

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