Scheduled Toilet Training


Before beginning schedule training, ensure that your child is ready for potty training. Your child should have some bowel control, indicated by extended periods of dryness and should be willing to sit on the toilet. Scheduled training is the technique used most often with typically developing children, and within early childhood classrooms. Scheduled training involves taking your child to the restroom at pre-determined times of the day and providing reinforcement for successes.

Your child may remain in diapers forEBIP_toilet training_12 the duration of training. Before beginning schedule training, determine how often you will take your child to the restroom. To begin training, we suggest taking the child every 2 hours. Your child may participate in normal home/school routines while participating in scheduled toilet training.

Before beginning, you should collect the following materials:
Data collection sheet
Child’s Reinforcers (determined from PA)

Now you and your child are ready to begin.

  1. Begin when your child wakes up (or arrives at school if you are a teacher), and take the child to the restroom
  2. Have the child sit on the toilet for 5 min.
  3. If the child is successful, provide praise and reinforcement. Ensure the reinforcement is of high quality and only available for potty successes. If it is a food item, allow the child to consume it. If it is a toy or object, allow the child to engage with it for 2 minutes.
  4. If the child does not go during the scheduled sit, ensure they sit for the entire duration. If necessary, provide gentle pressure on the
    shoulders to ensure the child sits. You can remind them, “When you go pee on the potty, you can get off!”
  5. Record the condition of the child’s diaper (wet, soiled, dry) as well as if the child goes potty successfully.
  6. Have the child put on a clean diaper, and wash hands
  7. Ensure the scheduled sits are positive and encouraging.
  8. Bring the child back to the potty in 2 hours and repeat the routine. Continue until bedtime or when the child leaves school.

EBIP_toilet training_9You can stop scheduled toileting when the child consistently initiates to the toilet when he or she needs to go. If this doesn’t happen after several weeks of consistent prompted successes, begin to increase the time between scheduled trips so the child has the opportunity to initiate. For children with impaired language, you can also teach initiations by practicing communication during prompted trips. For example, you can prompt a child to take a picture from a picture communication book that represents toileting and take it to an adult who can allow access to the toilet. For this to be successful, a child will need to have consistent access to the picture so that he or she can tell you when they need to go in many different situations. You can switch to underwear when a child is consistently successful with one or fewer accidents per day. This potty training practice is quite easy to implement, especially when potty training many children at once. However, for children with disabilities, this practice may be slow. It is important that you follow your sit schedule in all settings, including home, school, and within the community.

Data sheets:
Scheduled Toilet Training: Data Sheet 

To cite this page (APA 6th edition):

  • Harbin, E.R., Ledford, J.R., & Chazin, K.T. (2016). Schduled toilet training. In Evidence-based instructional practices for young children with autism and other disabilities. Retrieved from