Potty training is something we all knew was going to come up when we had children. But you may not have thought about some of the important things that go along with it!
One of the necessary but still overlooked things, is how to teach your child to wipe their bottom on their own. Believe it or not, some parents will never reach that stage — but you’re here reading this article so put an end to all your fears that you’re going to be wiping poopy butts for decades to come!
1. Are They Ready to Learn?
Before you go any further in teaching your kid how to wipe their bottom, take a second to think about where they’re at and if they’re at the right stage to handle this big new step.
As with potty training, your little one needs to be ready to learn how to potty train, and in turn also wipe themselves properly after going to the bathroom, otherwise you’re probably not going to see great results.
One of the signs that they’re a good candidate to learn is being able to wash their hands thoroughly after using the toilet without you needing to prompt them. This means that they’re a lot less likely to spread germs after wiping.
2. Explain Why It’s Important
If your kid knows why they need to be making the effort to wipe their bottom and keep it clean, they’ll be more inclined to do it.
The first step is therefore to talk to them about the importance and what will happen if they don’t get it right. Let them know about nasty germs and the potential for getting itchy and/or sore skin “down there” if they don’t keep it clean.
They’ll soon get the message and want to help themselves!
3. Tell Them Why They Need to Wipe in a Certain Way
Your kid may be quite quick to pick up why they need to wipe but the whole idea of why they need to wipe from front to back may be a lot more alien to them.
Once they know that getting used to this style of wiping means that they’re a lot less likely to get icky problems like urinary tract infections, they’ll probably be more on the board with the idea.
Plus, it’s far less messy for them to wipe like this as there’s less chance that they’re just spreading the poop around rather than actually wiping it away.
4. How Much Toilet Paper?
Left to their own devices, a lot of kids will use an obscene amount of toilet paper in their quest to keep their bottom area clean. The rest of them will likely go in the completely opposite direction and try to do the job with just the one square of toilet paper.
This is why you need to teach them about the appropriate amount of toilet paper to use after a bowel movement as this won’t necessarily be as obvious to them as it is to adults.
Once they get the hang of how much they should be using, you should reach a happy medium between too little and way too much.
5. Keep the Wet Wipes Handy
Wet wipes have probably already become one of your best friends and they’ll soon be just as indispensable for your little one too. Teaching them to wipe their bottom with toilet paper is a good start but wet wipes can go a step further in helping to get the job done.
And they’re going to be particularly useful if your kid has very soft poop that is difficult to clean up with toilet paper alone.
6. Patience is Key
Even if your kid totally gets why they need to keep their bottom clean and makes a big effort to make it happen, things won’t always go to plan. Chances are, there will be some incidents where it becomes obvious that they’re not quite getting the hang of it.
You may notice dirty underwear or see them scratching “down there,” for example. These can be signs that their bottom isn’t quite as clean as it could be and for the most part, this is par for the course.
Teaching your child to wipe is such an important part of potty training, but I find it’s often ignored on a lot of sites. Heck, potty training as a WHOLE is very difficult, and I’m sure you know that well.
If you’d like a little more help with things, there’s a great video from a mom named Carol who covers all the big (and little) details you’re going to need to know. You can watch it now by clicking here.
BTW, I would love it if you pin this article if you found it helpful!