Jacob, a child with Down Syndrome, enjoying a family holiday and browsing in shops, like any other 5 year old child wouldJacob looking at books and watching TV at age 6 years - Down Syndrome doesn't stop normal development, but social attitudes do. - Jacob, a baby with Down Syndrome - Jacob at one year of age

Toilet Timing and Toilet Training

INDEX, but I suggest you just read your way through all of thia toilet training page. Also our potty training and timing page discusses the techniques we used to toilet train Jacob very rapidly the first time round. This page describes his second toilet training using another technique. Please remember: underlined means clickable.

Jacob was toilet trained at the age of 3 years, 3 years later we were still trying to recapture the earlier toilet training


Potty / Toilet Timing converting to Potty / Toilet Training.

Essentially, when a kid is able to physically use a toilet, even with aids, potty training is at an end and you are now into toilet training or timing.

At 5 1/2 years, Jacob is showing a mixture of toilet training and toilet timing. He knows what to do, the order in which to do it and he sometimes he goes by himself.

The toilet training techniques used for this second training were given by his Child Care centre:

Toilet Timing and Toilet Training – the Day care centre approach and hands on stuff.

The day care toilet training techniques: At Child Care, toilet training of Jacob has been quite successful. The toilet training was a long process, but with all the staff using the same toilet training procedures with him, he had much more ‘dry times’ (not weeing clothing), recently the dry times lasted nearly or all the entire 9 hours at Day Care.

Toilet training initially involved taking him to the toilet every 30 to 40 minutes – Telling Jacob to go to the toilet verbally and with the sign (sign being hand gesture) for toilet.

He is never asked if he wants to go to the toilet, as most kids answer “No” anyway.

The staff member then goes into the toilet area with him and squats in front of him, saying and signing “more Jacob” to ensure he empties his bladder. Otherwise, Jacob will give a little wee, hop off, then do another wee in his clothes. During the Toilet training, they found that Jacob would give the sign (wave his finger at them) and or say “no more” when he had emptied his bladder. They found by encouraging Jacob in his toilet training this way, they were having less accidents.

Also, the toilet training required Jacob to change his own clothes when he urinated them, so that he experienced consequences.

After doing this toilet training for some time, they then reduced his toileting to every hour or one and half hours, as well as before and after he goes outside to play.

Apart from the toilet training being more frequent than for the other kids, during the toilet training he is treated no differently – the staff know Jacob understands what is expected of him and what is said to him.

The above may seem odd, with the toilet training resembling toilet timing, but the end result was Jacob being toilet trained, as he realised he missed out on some play time through urinating his clothes and he also wanted the big praise that the other kids got when they went, so he then started going of his own accord.

Of course, the staff during the toilet training taught him the connection through the consequences of urinating his clothing – verbally told him also, as part of the toilet training, that he missed some play time by having to change his clothes and so on.

Toilet Training – update on Jacob.

Well, it’s been three years since Jacob was first potty trained. Jacob is now six years old. The toilet training is going well. He rarely has toileting accidents at school, though he does need to be prompted to go on occassions.

At home toilet training still involves Jacob being prompted to go and often we have to physically walk him to the toilet – toileting accidents are still common at home.

With the toilet training, Jacob has also learned to hold on when he needs to go, so he can wait an hour or more before going to the toilet and, yes, he does put off going to the toilet when at home because he is too wrapped up in doing other things – toilet timing and toilet training just gets in his way.

We are building consequences up around the accidents of course, the toilet training has entered a new phase.

Toilet Timing and Toilet Training – overcoming negativity from authority, eg, school.

Toilet training and toilet timing at school and getting round the Negativity:

If the kindergarten and one Down Syndrome worker had had their way a couple of years back, Jacob’s toilet training would have been stopped, with Jacob put back into nappies.

We strongly opposed ending the toilet training at that time, pointing out to the school staff that Jacob had the right to be toilet trained.

Secondly, that he had almost mastered the toilet training – had all the toilet training steps in place, except the actual going to the toilet of his own accord and that his toilet training had evolved to teach him about the urge to urinate, that the urination was yucky wet and that he needed to do it in the toilet.

Thirdly, to stop the toilet training then, would have just meant delaying the toilet training to a more inappropriate age

Fourthly, to stop the toilet training would have delayed the toilet training to the point where ALL the toilet training would have to be retaught, with all gains so far made with his toilet training then lost.

All this hassle because, on one occassion, he did a poo in his pants, then tried to get the poo out and contaminated alot of stuff with it without realising. At first they thought he was playing in the poo, but the fact is, he hates poo in his pants and tries to get it out. We needed to explain that to the school staff as well, as they were horrified by the mess.

The school staff agreed that Jacob should continue with the toilet training. The Down Syndrome worker was new in the job and yes, we spoke to her about making such a decision without consulting us first.

Toilet Timing and Toilet Training – some information on toileting aids.

Some toilet training and toilet timing information I need to include: Toilet training and toilet timing also included a ladder with attached toilet insert, so that Jacob could then use the normal toilet.

From here the toilet training advanced to using a wooden step so that he was high enough to wee standing up, or to climb onto the normal toilet.

Toilet Timing and Toilet Training – contact us for more help.

Hope all goes well with your toilet timing and toilet training.

For more toilet training or toilet timing ideas, just use the forum or email us. After toilet training four sons and one daughter, we may be able to help.

Toilet Training and timing questions from parents:

Dear Carolyn and Donald,
I am the mother of a beautiful, intelligent 5 year old girl with down syndrome. I have spent months trying to potty train her. She has been on the potty at school every couple of hours for 4 months and has never gone pee in the toilet. I don’t know what to do next. She has the ability to hold it for hours and hours and the second I answer the phone or go to make dinner she will go and pee in a corner. I don’t know how to make it more fun, we watch movies on the potty, we tried sticker charts, we tried food rewards, we tried hugs and kisses. I know that she can do this, she has overcome many challenges and this is just one more for her to conquer.

I know you said you don’t answer individual emails, but as a mother of a DS baby to another if you have any help to offer me I would really, really appreciate it.
Thanks …


OK I do still reply, it’s just that I kept getting so many.
Firstly, does she pee in the potty at all? Secondly, are you toilet training or timing?
Kind regards


Thanks so much for you reply. She has gone pee in the potty a total of twice in the months we have been working on it. WE are are doing the timing thing. It sort of goes like this, I will decide to work with her on it really hard, so for about three days I will set her on the potty every 30 minutes. After three days of this I am exhausted, she is mad and frustrated and our carpet has about 35 new potty stains, because I put her in panties for those three days. We have been through this same cycle 4 times and now I don’t know what to do. I know we can do this. Thanks for your help and have a very Merry Christmas.
Thanks …


Not easy toilet teaching our kids. You are not considered to have a problem until the child reaches 10 years old. Toilet timing every 30 minutes seems over the top, possibly going to stress any child and maybe make them uncooperative, suggest about one hour intervals and maybe a check to see if there is a neurological problem with the bladder. Going from undies to nappies then back to undies then back to nappies etc is going to possibly confuse any child. One has to be consistent. Also 3 days of toilet training / timing is unlikely to be helpful, three weeks may establish a pattern, if you are lucky.
When Jacob is finally toilet trained, been nearly there for several years now, we intend to throw out some of our furniture and carpet. It’s one of those costs we have to brunt.

If it’s any consolation, after you soak up the wee or clean up the poo, try pouring or spraying tonic water containing quinine over the area, then soak it up with rags after about 10 to 20 minutes. It appears to help control any urine odour problem, provided you get onto the wee etc before it’s had a chance to dry into the carpet.
Hope these suggestions are helpful.
Kind regards,

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