12 answers

How to Get My 4 Year Old to Wipe After Going to the Bathroom

my 4 year old has been using the toliet for 2 years. she use to wipe all the time but now she "forgets" to wipe. i tried sitting and talking to her and i tried my mom talking to her but nothing has worked. i know she can wipe herself she just doesn't what should i do to get her to wipe

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Sounds like you got some good advice. I just wanted to mention something about the wet wipes. Even though they are supposed to be flushable, I wouldn't flush them. I've heard of at least two acquaintances who had expensive plumbing problems because these wipes clogged up their pipes.

My daughter is 3.5 and I still wipe after bowel movements only. She's not good at cleaning herself yet.

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I am having the same problem but he does not want to flush either! But we have started stickers when he does and we started with 10 then he gets something small next we will continue to up the number the bigger the number the better the prize! Yes it is bribery but so far he has been trying!

Hi, J.. I'm guessing the wiping problem is after a bowel movement, yes? You should check your daughter's anal area to see if she has any irritation. A rash really hurts when it's wiped with plain toilet paper, and that may be what she's avoiding.

If so, get her some moist baby wipes with aloe vera, but no alcohol. You might not be able to see a rash, exactly, but she might have a sore bottom for some reason. Show her how to use the wipes, and see if she will use them herself. The aloe vera in the wipes will help heal any irritation she might have, and that should eventually solve the problem.

Do you have a new baby in the house, or has the family schedule changed in any other way so that your daughter gets less time and attention from you and other grownups? If so, she could be doing this for attention. She remembers when you used to wipe her, before she got to be such a big, grown-up, independent little girl. This may be a subtle way for her to ask you for more time, nurturing, etc. If she has gone through some kind of upset recently (or even not gone through anything -- she just might be feeling a sense of loss because she is aware she is growing and losing that baby-type nurturing), she might go back a few steps in her emotional growth and independence.

Try giving her a little more nurturing and attention in some other way, while gently reminding her that she needs to keep clean because that's what good girls do. You don't have to emphasize what BIG girls do because that might be what's setting her off -- she doesn't want to be such a big girl yet. But certainly she wants to be a good girl. Let her know how much she is loved in every other way, but don't put extra attention on the wiping thing. You can let her know how good the moist wipes feel, and how they make her skin soft. If she sees you using them, too, that's an extra incentive to use them herself.


then have her rinse out her soiled underwear and get in the tub...she'll start to wipe real soon.

My son is 4.5 and I still wipe him. He screams for the bathroom "I need a wipe!". His are usually very soft and a little messy, so he just can't get clean on his own. I use the wet flushable wipes as well. He is also not flushing like the other poster said. We still have a few years left of these phases I think!

I have the same problem; and it was my husband who suggested I get a box of wet wipes; and it has helped a little. I wish you luck; and if you find something that works well, pls. let me know also! God bless you!
Kathy N.

Is she refusing to wipe when she urinates or after a bowel movement? Many children have a hard time with wiping after a bowel movement, and for good reason. It's messy and at 4, she still may not be wiping well. You need to be patient with her and instill effective and proper wiping, like front to back. If she is pulling up her pants after a bowel movement and not wiping, you need to let her know that this is NOT acceptable and show her how dirty her underwear get. Remind her what a big girl she is and that big girls must always wipe after using the toilet...and most importantly you MUST instill proper hand washing: Soap, water, and later for as long as it takes to sing Happy Birthday to Me twice, then rinse. She'll learn but you must enforce it with love and patience. You might also reward her with something like a sticker after properly wiping AND washing of the hands.

I'm going to assume you mean the bum. I still wipe my son (5) and daughter's (3 1/2) bum because they would stink otherwise (we call it monkey butt). If you just mean the front area, then you just need to keep reminding her and rewarding her for wiping.

Hope this helps :)

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