Occupational Therapy Potty Training: Comprehensive Guide with Toileting and Wiping Activities

Potty training can be a challenging time for both parents and children. However, when additional needs like developmental delays, sensory processing disorder, or physical disabilities complicate matters, it can become even more daunting. Parents may become overwhelmed, wondering where to begin, what approach to take, or how to handle difficult situations such as stool withholding.
This is where occupational therapy can step in, helping to equip children with the necessary skills and strategies to make the transition to independent toileting. Occupational therapy techniques can include teaching interoception and bottom-wiping activities.

In this blog post, we will take a closer look at occupational therapy potty training, including how to practice wiping, and answer commonly asked questions such as “can you potty train at 18 months” or “can you potty train a 21-month-old?” We will also explore adult toileting needs and the goals of occupational therapy toilet training. Additionally, we will discuss when to give up on potty training, and how occupational therapists can help with the process. Finally, we will provide useful tips on how to potty train a child with sensory processing disorder.

Get ready to learn practical techniques, insightful advice, and helpful resources to make the potty training journey smoother and less stressful for both parents and children.

Toileting Activities: Making Potty Training Fun and Easy

Potty training is a major milestone for young children, but it can be a real challenge for parents. Fortunately, occupational therapy incorporates a range of activities to help children develop the necessary skills and make the process more comfortable, less stressful, and even fun. Here are some helpful toileting activities for your child:

Practice Dressing Skills

Help your child practice buttoning and unbuttoning, pulling pants up and down, and wiping, which are essential skills for potty training. You can use pretend play time to teach these skills, such as dressing up dolls or stuffed animals in potty training clothes.

Use Visual Schedules

Visual schedules are helpful for teaching children what to expect during the toileting process, reducing anxiety and confusion. Create a visual schedule with images of the steps involved, such as walking to the bathroom, closing the door, sitting on the potty, wiping, flushing, and washing hands.

Play with Water

Water play is a great way to teach children about the concept of flushing and hand washing. Encourage your child to dunk toys in the water and watch them “flush” down the drain. You can also have them practice washing their hands with soap and water, which is an essential habit to keep them healthy.

Teach Body Awareness

Before your child can master toileting skills, they need to learn body awareness. Help your child learn body parts names and functions. You can use picture books, songs, and games to make the learning process more engaging.

Encourage a Relaxing Environment

Make sure your child feels comfortable and relaxed when using the bathroom. You can make the environment more inviting by adding soft lighting, music, and books. It can also be helpful to use a stool to help children assume the proper position.

Be Patient and Encouraging

Remember, every child learns at their own pace, and potty training is no exception. Approach the process with patience, positivity, and encouragement. Always celebrate small successes to keep your child motivated.

Use Reinforcement

Positive reinforcement is an effective tool for encouraging children to use the potty independently. Use a sticker chart, small toys, or treats to reward your child after successfully using the potty. This will provide them with a sense of accomplishment and motivate them to continue practicing.

Incorporating these fun and engaging toileting activities into your child’s routine can help them develop the necessary skills for potty training. Remember, it’s important to approach the process with positivity and patience. With these activities, your child will be well on their way to mastering toileting skills.

Bottom Wiping Activities for Successful Potty Training

As your child progresses in their potty training journey, they’ll eventually learn to wipe themselves. Here are some bottom wiping activities to teach them how to do so properly:

Demonstrate How To Do It

Children learn best by example. So, it’s essential to show them how to wipe their bottoms the right way. Teach them to wipe from front to back to avoid spreading bacteria and infection.

Use Visual Aids

Using visual aids such as pictures or videos can help your child understand better. Show them how to fold toilet paper, how much to use, and how to wipe between their legs.

Practice With Dolls or Stuffed Animals

Using dolls or stuffed animals during playtime can help teach your child how to wipe properly. Show them how to hold the toilet paper and wipe between the doll’s legs, then encourage them to try it themselves.

Teach Good Hygiene Habits

Teach your child good hygiene habits, such as washing their hands after using the restroom, using a bidet, or taking a shower. This will help prevent the spread of germs and bacteria.

Consider Wet Wipes

Using wet wipes can help your child feel cleaner and more comfortable after using the bathroom. But make sure to choose unscented and alcohol-free wipes to avoid irritation.

Practice Makes Perfect

Potty training can be a messy and frustrating process, but keep practicing with your child, and they’ll eventually get the hang of it. Be patient and encouraging, and celebrate their successes along the way.

In conclusion, teaching your child how to wipe properly is an essential step in their potty training journey. By demonstrating, visualizing, and practicing good hygiene habits, you can help them become more confident and successful in their bathroom routine.

Interoception Potty Training

Interoception, or the ability to sense what’s happening inside your body, plays an essential role in potty training. Kids with poor interoception skills may not recognize when they need to use the bathroom until it’s too late, leading to accidents and frustration for everyone involved. Here are a few tips to help improve interoception during the potty training process:

Start with Sensory Activities

Sensory activities can help kids improve interoception skills by increasing their awareness of sensations in their body. Try these ideas:

  • Blowing bubbles to develop deep breathing
  • Playing with clay or Play-Doh to improve fine motor skills
  • Using a weighted lap pad during circle time to improve posture awareness

Teach Your Child to Recognize Sensations

Help your child recognize the sensations of a full bladder or bowel by talking to them about how it feels when they need to use the bathroom. Some kids benefit from picture schedules or social stories that explain the process step by step.

Practice Relaxation Techniques

Teaching your child to relax their body can improve interoception and reduce anxiety around using the potty. Try these techniques:

  • Deep breathing exercises
  • Progressive muscle relaxation
  • Yoga poses that promote relaxation, like Child’s Pose

Use Positive Reinforcement

Rewarding your child for successful bathroom trips can provide positive feedback that reinforces interoception skills. Use a chart or stickers to track progress, and offer a small treat or toy as a reward for reaching milestones.

Stay Consistent

Consistency is key when it comes to potty training, especially for kids with interoception challenges. Stick to a regular routine and provide plenty of reminders throughout the day to help your child develop good bathroom habits.

In conclusion, interoception is an essential skill for successful potty training, and there are many ways to support its development. By incorporating sensory activities, teaching your child to recognize sensations, practicing relaxation techniques, using positive reinforcement, and staying consistent, you can help your child become more aware of their body and achieve potty training success.

How to Practice Wiping during Occupational Therapy Potty Training

Wiping is an essential part of potty training, and occupational therapy can help children learn how to do it effectively. Here are some tips:

Practice with Toys

Use dolls and toy animals to demonstrate wiping techniques. Allow the child to practice on the toy before moving on to themselves.

Use Visual Aids

Visual aids like picture books or videos can help children understand the process of wiping. These can also be used to model proper techniques.

Give Positive Feedback

Praise the child when they wipe correctly. Positive reinforcement can help reinforce good habits and build confidence.

Use Hand-over-Hand Techniques

Help the child understand the wiping motion by guiding their hand during the process. This can help build muscle memory and promote independence.

Help Develop a Routine

Establishing a regular wiping routine can help children become more comfortable with the process. This can also help prevent accidents and promote better hygiene.

Encourage Handwashing

Washing hands after wiping is an essential hygiene habit. Encourage children to wash their hands thoroughly with soap and water after using the toilet.

Adapt to Individual Needs

Every child is different. Occupational therapy practitioners can work with families and caregivers to develop personalized strategies that meet the child’s needs.

Incorporating these strategies into occupational therapy potty training can help children develop the necessary skills to become more independent with toileting.

Potty Training Therapy Centers Near Me

Are you a parent or caregiver searching for a potty training therapy center near you? Look no further, we have got you covered. Here are some of the considerations to keep in mind when searching for a potty training therapy center near you:


Consider a therapy center that is close to your home, place of work, or your child’s school. This will make it easy for you to attend therapy sessions without disrupting your day-to-day activities.


Ensure the therapy center you choose is accredited and has the necessary certifications and licenses to provide potty training therapy services.

Experience and Reputation

Do your research and choose a therapy center with experienced and reputable therapists. Check online reviews and ask for recommendations from other parents or caregivers who have used their services.


Potty training therapy can be expensive. Therefore, it’s essential to choose a therapy center whose services are within your budget. You can also find out if they accept insurance or offer any discounts.

Special Needs

If your child has special needs, choose a therapy center with therapists that have experience and specialized training in treating children with those needs.

In conclusion, finding the right potty training therapy center near you can be daunting, but with the above considerations in mind, it’s possible to make the right choice.

Potty Training at 18 Months: Is it Possible

Potty training can be an exciting, yet challenging milestone for parents and toddlers. Many parents wonder when is the right age to start. Can you potty train your child at 18 months? The short answer is yes, but there are a few factors to consider.

Developmental Readiness

Every child develops at their own pace, but there are some typical signs of readiness for potty training. Look for these signs as a cue that your child may be ready:

  • They can pull down their pants or diaper
  • They can follow simple instructions
  • They show an interest in using the potty
  • They can communicate when they need to go

Timing is Everything

When it comes to potty training, timing is crucial. Consider these factors in deciding when to start:

  • Your child’s physical and emotional development
  • Your family’s schedule and routines
  • Any major changes happening in your child’s life (e.g., new siblings, moving to a new house)

Tips for Successful Potty Training

Here are some tips that may help make the potty training journey smoother:

  • Make it fun and exciting with stickers, rewards, or a special potty chair
  • Be patient and consistent in your approach
  • Avoid punishment, shame, or pressure, as it may lead to setbacks and unhealthy attitudes towards bathroom habits
  • Celebrate every success and don’t focus on setbacks or accidents

Bottom Line

In conclusion, potty training can be initiated as early as 18 months, but it’s essential to watch for developmental readiness and consider timing. Remember that every child is different, and there’s no one-size-fits-all approach. Stay positive, patient, and consistent, and you and your child will eventually conquer this milestone. Good luck!

Can You Potty Train a 21 Month Old

Potty training can be a daunting task regardless of how old your child is. However, the age at which to start the process is always a debatable topic. Most parents start wondering if their child is ready for potty training around the age of 21 months. Here is what you need to know when it comes to potty training a 21 month old.

Signs that Your Child is Ready for Potty Training

Not all 21-month-olds are ready for potty training. However, some children can demonstrate that they are ready to start the process. Here are some of the signs that indicate that your child is ready for potty training:

  • Your child can remain dry for at least two hours
  • Your child shows interest in using the potty
  • Your child can follow simple instructions
  • Your child can express the need to go to the bathroom

Tips for Potty Training a 21 Month Old

Once your child shows an interest in potty training and is ready, there are different techniques you can use to make the process easier. Here are some tips that may help:

  • Keep your child in loose clothing that they can take off easily when they have to use the potty
  • Make the potty accessible to your child. You can put it in the living room or in the area where they spend most of their time
  • Use different rewards such as stickers, candies or positive affirmations to encourage your child
  • Praise your child for their progress, even if they don’t perfect every stage of the process
  • Use trial and error. Watch what works best with your child, and tailor to their needs.

Potential Challenges When Potty Training a 21-Month-Old

As with most things in life, potty training can have its own set of challenges. Some common challenges that you might encounter when potty training a 21 month old are:

  • Your child might have accidents
  • Your child might not want to sit on the potty
  • Your child may not be ready and might resist the process
  • Your child might not be able to communicate their needs effectively

Potty training a 21-month-old can be stressful, but with patience and consistency, you can make the process easier for both you and your child. Remember that every child is unique, and the right time to start the process is different for everyone. If you are struggling, try different techniques, and remember to stay calm and positive throughout the process. You’ve got this!

Occupational Therapy and Toileting for Adults: A Comprehensive Guide

As we age, toileting can become a difficult task to manage independently. This is where occupational therapy comes in. Occupational therapists can help adults with limited mobility, disabilities, or chronic illnesses to manage their toileting tasks and maintain their independence.

What Do Occupational Therapists Do

Occupational therapists use a patient-centered approach to evaluate and develop treatment plans that are tailored to each individual’s needs. They work with adults who have difficulty performing their daily activities, including toileting.

Occupational therapists can help adults with toileting by:

  • Evaluating their functional abilities and needs
  • Developing customized treatment plans to address the specific issues
  • Teaching techniques to improve strength and flexibility
  • Providing adaptive equipment to support independence
  • Educating on hygiene and self-care

Common Challenges Faced by Adults with Toileting Issues

Here are some of the common challenges that adults with toileting issues typically face:

  • Limited mobility or range of motion
  • Weakness or lack of endurance in lower body muscles
  • Incontinence or difficulty controlling bladder or bowels
  • Chronic illnesses, such as arthritis or diabetes
  • Cognitive or neurological impairments

How Can Occupational Therapy Help

Occupational therapists can help address these challenges through different treatment approaches, such as:

  • Strengthening exercises to improve lower body muscles
  • Stretching techniques to improve flexibility
  • Training on adaptive equipment for toileting
  • Education on hygiene and self-care
  • Behavioral strategies to improve continence

What Are Some Adaptive Equipment for Toileting

Here are some examples of adaptive equipment that an occupational therapist may recommend to support independence in toileting:

  • Raised toilet seats to make it easier to sit and stand
  • Grab bars or handrails to provide support and stability
  • Bedside commodes to provide a toilet alternative
  • Incontinence products, such as adult diapers or pads

Occupational therapy can be a crucial aspect of toileting management for adults with limited mobility, disabilities, or chronic illnesses. By working with an occupational therapist, adults can regain their independence and maintain their dignity. Don’t hesitate to seek professional help if you or someone you know is struggling with toileting tasks.

Stool Withholding and Occupational Therapy

Stool withholding is a common issue that affects many children who are potty training. Occupational therapy can help children overcome this problem by teaching them strategies to use the bathroom and addressing any underlying issues that may be contributing to the behavior.

Understanding Stool Withholding

Stool withholding is a behavior where a child intentionally holds in their bowel movements. This behavior is often related to anxiety or fear around using the bathroom.

How Occupational Therapy Can Help

Occupational therapists can help children with stool withholding by addressing any underlying sensory issues or anxiety that may be contributing to the behavior. They can also teach children strategies to use the bathroom and make the experience less stressful.

Some techniques occupational therapists may use to help children with stool withholding include:

  • Encouraging a consistent bathroom routine
  • Using sensory techniques to improve bathroom comfort
  • Teaching relaxation techniques to reduce anxiety
  • Using positive reinforcement to encourage bathroom use

The Importance of Early Intervention

Stool withholding can lead to a variety of complications, including constipation and even infections. Early intervention through occupational therapy can help children overcome this behavior and prevent these complications from occurring.

While stool withholding can be a challenging behavior to overcome, occupational therapy can provide effective interventions to help children learn to use the bathroom comfortably and without fear. With the guidance of an occupational therapist, children can overcome this behavior and move forward confidently with potty training.

Occupational Therapy Toilet Training Goals

When it comes to toilet training goals, occupational therapy can be a helpful tool for children who struggle with potty training. With a focus on fine motor skills, sensory processing, and self-regulation, occupational therapists can work with children to achieve the following goals:

1. Independence in Toileting

One of the primary goals of occupational therapy for potty training is to help children become independent in toileting. This includes:

  • Recognizing the need to use the bathroom
  • Pulling down and up pants independently
  • Wiping and cleaning themselves effectively
  • Flushing and washing hands

2. Building Fine Motor Skills

Toilet training also involves developing the fine motor skills necessary for toileting. Occupational therapy can help with:

  • Developing hand strength and dexterity for wiping and clothing management
  • Coordination for sitting on the toilet and standing up

3. Sensory Regulation

Occupational therapy for toilet training also addresses sensory regulation, including:

  • Identifying the sensation of needing to use the bathroom
  • Tolerating the sensory experience of using the toilet
  • Adjusting to different bathroom environments and routines

4. Self-Regulation

Toilet training can be stressful and frustrating for children, and occupational therapy can help them with self-regulation skills, such as:

  • Coping with accidents and setbacks
  • Staying focused and on-task during toileting routines
  • Advocating for their toileting needs and communicating with caregivers

With the help of occupational therapy, children can develop the skills they need to become confident independent toileters.

When to Give Up on Potty Training: Signs to Look For

Potty training can be a frustrating and challenging experience for both parents and children alike. It’s natural to feel overwhelmed and wonder if you should give up on it altogether. However, it’s important to remember that every child is different, and there’s no one-size-fits-all answer. Here are some signs to look for that may indicate it’s time to take a break and revisit potty training later.

Signs that Your Child May Not Be Ready:

  • Consistently having accidents or not showing progress for an extended period
  • Showing a lack of interest or motivation
  • Becoming anxious or stressed about the process
  • Having trouble following instructions
  • Showing signs of physical or emotional distress during potty training

Potential Reasons for Potty Training Challenges

  • Underlying medical issues such as constipation or bladder control problems
  • Developmental delays in areas such as speech or motor function
  • A negative or stressful environment surrounding potty training
  • Feeling pressured or forced to succeed
  • Trying to potty train too soon or too late

Ways to Approach Giving Up on Potty Training

  • Take a break and revisit potty training later when your child may be more ready.
  • Focus on creating a supportive and positive environment surrounding potty training.
  • Talk to your child’s pediatrician to rule out any underlying medical issues.
  • Consider seeking the guidance of an occupational therapist who can help develop a customized plan for your child’s needs.
  • Remember that every child is different, and there’s no “right” or “wrong” way to proceed with potty training.

Giving up on potty training can be a tough decision for any parent, but it’s important to trust your instincts and do what’s best for your child. Remember to approach the process with patience, positivity, and understanding, and you may find that success is just around the corner.

Do Occupational Therapists Help with Potty Training

Potty training is a significant milestone in a child’s life, but it can be a challenging process for parents and children alike. Fortunately, occupational therapists can help children with developmental delays master this essential life skill. Here’s what you need to know about occupational therapy and potty training:

What is Occupational Therapy

Occupational therapy, or OT, is a healthcare profession focused on helping people of all ages participate in daily activities they find meaningful and necessary. Occupational therapists work with individuals who have physical, cognitive, or behavioral challenges that prevent them from performing tasks independently.

How Can Occupational Therapy Help with Potty Training

Occupational therapists who specialize in pediatrics can help children with developmental delays or disabilities learn and master various skills, including potty training. They use a variety of techniques to help children:

  • Improve their muscle strength and coordination to sit on the potty and eliminate waste.
  • Develop their sensory processing abilities to recognize when they need to go to the bathroom.
  • Improve their visual perception and planning skills to complete the necessary steps involved in using the toilet.

When Should You Consider Occupational Therapy for Potty Training

If your child is having trouble with potty training, you should speak with your pediatrician or an occupational therapist. They can help determine if your child would benefit from occupational therapy services. Some signs that may indicate the need for therapy services include:

  • Difficulty with fine motor skills, such as wiping and pulling up clothing.
  • Trouble sitting still or following instructions.
  • Reverting back to using diapers after making progress.

What to Expect During Occupational Therapy for Potty Training

During occupational therapy sessions, the occupational therapist will work with your child to address the underlying issues affecting their ability to use the toilet independently. They will tailor the intervention to meet your child’s specific needs and goals. Some of the interventions may include:

  • Play-based techniques such as game-based or toileting simulations.
  • Movement-based techniques like stretching, movement exercises, and obstacle courses.
  • Positive reinforcement through praise or rewards.

Occupational therapists can be a valuable resource for parents whose children are struggling with potty training. Whether your child has developmental delays or disabilities, they can help develop the necessary skills to use the toilet independently. If you are considering occupational therapy for your child, speak with your pediatrician or an occupational therapist to learn more about the benefits and resources available to support your child’s development.

How to Potty Train a Child with Sensory Processing Disorder

Potty training can be a daunting task for any parent, but it can be especially challenging for those with children who have sensory processing disorder (SPD). SPD can cause children to have difficulties with toilet training, including discomfort with certain textures or sensations, anxiety, and fear. Here are some tips to help ease the potty training experience for both you and your child.

1. Start Slowly and Gradually

Start by having your child sit on the potty fully clothed until they are comfortable. Gradually, have them sit on it with their pants off or diaper opened and, eventually, without a diaper. Always praise your child for their efforts and progress, even if it’s only sitting on the potty.

2. Give Sensory Support

Provide sensory support to help your child feel more comfortable. Use a padded potty seat to soften the texture of the seat, use toilet paper instead of wipes if they are uncomfortable with the sensation, or allow them to wear comfortable clothes that promote freedom of movement.

3. Use Positive Reinforcement

Using positive reinforcement techniques, such as stickers, small toys, or other rewards, can be an excellent way to encourage and motivate your child to use the toilet. Make it a fun and positive experience, and don’t get discouraged if it takes longer than expected.

4. Stay Patient

Patience is key when potty training a child with SPD. It’s normal for them to have setbacks or regressions, so it’s important to stay calm and supportive. Avoid punishment or negative reinforcement, as this can cause more stress and anxiety for your child.

5. Seek Professional Help

If you’re having trouble with potty training, don’t be afraid to seek the help of an occupational therapist. They can provide individualized strategies and activities tailored to your child’s unique sensory needs, making the process of potty training smoother and less stressful.

In conclusion, potty training a child with SPD can be challenging, but with patience, sensory support, positive reinforcement, and professional help, it can be a successful and positive experience for both you and your child. Remember to celebrate your child’s successes, no matter how small they may seem, and don’t compare their journey to that of other children.

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