Toilet Training: Developing a Toileting Routine

Family Submitted Situation:

“I know there must be a way to help my son with his toileting. It becomes so chaotic sometimes as he runs to the bathroom to use the toilet. He doesn’t seem to know what to do first. Do you have any ideas to help?”


Developing and teaching a toileting routine can provide consistency and predictability for children. A toileting routine allows the child to know what to expect and what to do.


A toileting routine consists of identified steps to follow when toileting. Visual supports are used to show the steps of the toileting routine.

Quick Facts:

Tools appropriate for children ages 3-5 or 6-10

Planning Effort: Low

Difficulty Level: Easy


Understanding of objects, symbols, pictures, photos or written words.


  1. Identify the toileting routine you would like to establish with your child. You can begin with a visual cue such as a picture of the bathroom or the word “bathroom” that your child can retrieve and bring to you or that would cue him/her to tell you he/she needs the bathroom.
  2. List the steps of the routine.
  3. Identify the visual representations of the steps of the routines. These should be in the format that your child understands. You could use photographs, drawings, icons or words.
  4. Decide where to display the toileting routine. Choose a location, probably inside the bathroom, where your child can easily see the routine.
  5. Identify how your child will access the toileting routine.
  6. Model and teach how to use the routine.

Documents and Related Resources:

Ironman Potty Story (PDF)

Ironman Potty Story (Word Document)