Potties in Finland
It's been interesting potty-training a kid in Finland. It would have been "the time" last winter (based on the age I trained the girls), but the layers of clothes we would have been dealing with was an obstacle. So we kept a small potty in the bathroom and encouraged Sterling to use it, and päiväkoti did the same, but that was it.
We took advantage of the warmer temperatures in the late summer and early fall this year to finish the job while not hassling with tights and pants and winter coveralls. Sterling is basically potty trained (I'm almost afraid to speak the words out loud to the universe, because once you count on it for a sure thing...).
One extremely helpful thing about public bathrooms here is that they almost all have a children's potty in them. It makes taking Sterling to the bathroom so much more convenient and consistent - so far, I have never had to put him on one of those full-size toilets that are so terrifying for little kids. Instead, he gets to sit on a little potty and do his thing, just like at home. Here is the setup at the library bathroom downtown, for example:
Quite the range of choice - potty, child-size toilet, and full-size toilet. Nice.
With potties widely available in public restrooms, the only other challenge we're left with now that it's cold outside is the layers of clothes. Coveralls are a dream for keeping kids warm and dry (and their clothes clean) during the fall and winter, but they are a bit of a hassle when you're trying to strip a kid down to use the toilet.
Or: when you're trying to get them to pee outside. It seems to be fairly normal to let very small children pee discreetly outside if there's not a bathroom nearby, but think about doing that when it's 0C, as it was over the weekend. We were out hiking and Sterling's bum got exposed to the elements a few times. I just tried to keep things as quick as possible.
But hooray for small potties in public bathrooms! It makes potty training so much easier.