Potty Training: Schedule vs Mand Trained

You’ve created a schedule and your child is successful with going to the bathroom as long as you continue to take them. One question I get asked frequently is when to know if a child is ready to request going to the bathroom after they’ve been accident free while on a schedule. The answer is yes, but the way in which to get your child to request the bathroom may be trickier.

Here are some ways to create opportunities for requesting the bathroom:

  1. Find the best method for your child to learn how to request the bathroom by using a vocal button, a picture exchange board or vocally. Even for vocal children, starting with a button or picture can give them a prompt that they need to tell others when they have to go to the bathroom.
    2. Any time your child indicates they have to go, prompt the language
    3. Take data on how often you are prompting
    4. Slowly fade out your visual and vocal prompts
    5. Start waiting a certain amount of time before prompting to request the bathroom, this is using a delayed prompt
    6. Have other family members practice this as well so your child generalizes requesting to multiple people

Implementing a few of these waiting strategies during your daily potty schedule will increase your child’s independence in the bathroom and will increase their ability to be toilet trained in all locations.