16 answers

3 - 4 Yr Old Learning to Wipe Himself!!! Help!

Ok so when is the right time to let them wipe themselves and how much supervision is required. Whenever I leave him to his own devices...there is poop on the toilet set or skid marks in his underwear and he ends up with a rash. gross!!! All I can do is picture the germs he must be spreading. Thus he is almost 4 and screaming "Wiiiiiiiipe Meeeeeeeee!" after he goes cuz he knows Mommy wont let him ! I have to let go evenutally obviously but Im so much happier knowing we are sanitary!!! HELP. How do I get him to do it cleanly?

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I bought flushable wet wipes for my son because he has the same trouble and after that we never had a problem. They helped him to be able to clean better so he didn't have the rash and it wasn't smeared anywhere else. He is now 6 and still uses them.
Good luck,

I have not even tried to teach my son to wipe himself yet...and he is 4 y.o. & 4 months. His arms are in the short side and I know we'll have messes all over the place. I plan on training him this summer, before he starts kindergarten -unless he decides he wants to give it a try before that. We have issues with pee aiming too (he has peed on his own hair a few times because the stream comes upwards like a geyser!) so he needs someone to aim it for him. I just have to wait until his arms or wee-wee grow a bit longer LOL! (we live close to his Pre-school and they'll call me if he ever needs to go pee or poo there, so that's not a big issue right now)

More Answers

Hi J.,
The best advice I have to give is...flushable moist wipes for toddlers. Target sells their own brand for less than $2. You can find them in the aisle with the baby wipes. I have 4 young children and the wipes make life so much easier (and cleaner!), plus they help to foster your child's independence and "can-do" attitude. Good luck!

I know I'm late with responding, but I have to warn you about the flushable wipes - do not flush them! I have heard horror stories from close friends. I don't care if the label says you can (and if the wipe was really nasty, fine) but in general don't do it over and over again. One friend of mine used to have her girls use them every time after they wiped so they'd be "clean" She ended up spending a few hundred bucks on roto rooter.

Anyway, my 4 year old son is going through the same thing, although he says - "are you coming" over and over again until someone shows up to help him. I have that spreading the poop fear too. But he wipes himself, then I wipe after just to check. Finish with a flushable wipe - but put in the trash can. Good luck!

Oh J....Trust me, I've been in your shoes...but you have to let him do it for himself first, then you go in and do "mainentnance"...keeping lysol or clorox wipes next to the toilet makes clean up easier (for the bowl!)

My friend was so worried about the germ issue that her 7 year old still sits there and says "mama, I'm done going poo-poo"...it's ridiculous she's let it go so far...

Let him do it, it's good for him to become independent - and necessary...Don't worry about the mess...that's totally "fixable".

Stock up on wipes!

Hi J.

It's great to see that your toddler wants to do things himself. You can help him achieve his goals by installing a washlet bidet. Check out their website


This will allow him to clean himself and give you the assurance of better hygiene.

Good luck!

Make sure he wipes himself while still on the toilet. If he stands up his cheeks go together and its much harder to get clean. Also if his arms are a little short for his body he might be having a hard time reaching. Toddlers proportions are not all the same and you might have to wait till his even out. Let him keep trying, but you should keep checking and if necessary finish the job.

I'm a mother of 3 (girls) and my youngest is 3 1/2. I always wipe her poops, and did so with my older 2, probably until they were 4 1/2. They just won't be able to do it "properly", and they will, as you said, leave a mess on the toilet seat, in their underpants, and god only knows where else. And ALWAYS have them wash their hands after. This will definitely become a healthy habit!
Good luck! It is one of those things that they'll eventually be independent at. Believe me, wiping is not something I want to hang on to!

4 or 5 years old depending on the child. They need to be able to do this well before starting school. At 3 they definitely need the help.

When your child is ready to be more independent, leave a box of moist flushable wipes to make cleaning easier. And continue to supervise handwashing too! They are lousy at it! :)

I feel your pain :) My son just turned 5, and I still help him & yes when he goes he hollers, " MMMMMOOOOOOMMMMMMMMY!! " I plan on working on it very soon, so that he won't have any problems in Kindergarten next September. But don't worry - at your son's age I believe it is better to be santitary than have him make a big mess.

Good Luck.

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