Convincing 5 Year Old to Wipe Own Bum

Updated on July 07, 2010
K.J. asks from Billerica, MA
9 answers

Ok here is sort of a personal question but I need to ask. My 5 year old is going to kindergarten in the fall and up until now we've wiped her bum after she has pooped. But now she has to learn to do it herself b/c she is old enough and nobody will do it for her in school. We have taught her how to do it but she down right refuses and literally has a fit. We refuse to constantly give in b/c it's time for her to learn plus we are tired of doing it. Also we need to focus on potty training our 2 1/2 yr old this summer before she starts preschool in the fall. So I can use some tips on how to get my oldest to wipe her bum after she's pooped. Background on her - she potty trained within a week when she was 3 yrs old and has no problem with going to the potty when she needs to. She is very smart, VERY headstrong, stubborn, and emotional so her personality is what causes most of the battles. Her motto is if it's not her way then it is the highway, get my drift?

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So What Happened?

Shortly after I posted this she started doing it by herself and by the time she started kindergarten she was all set. My technique was that I would do two wipes and she did the third, then I would slowly go down to only doing one and she did the last two until she was ready to do all wipes. It worked thank goodness!

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answers from Boston on

I had the same problem with my kids not wanting to wipe their bums. I would tell them that everyone needs to take care of their "own" body. When they complained or said that it was too hard - I just told them to take their time and since it was his bum and his body he needed to take care of it. After reiterating that point a few times - they got it. Good luck!

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answers from Boston on

Nothing is too personal between mothers. I think it is great we all talk openly about pooping. In response to your question, I can remember dealing with this. I told my child this........... You try and wipe the best you can and if it is SUPER MESSY (which it is not always) then I would help. Otherwise, he'd have to try and wipe one or two times, then I would finish........... This got him in the habit of at least getting into do it, it wasnt before long, he just cleaned himself. It also helps to have those flushable wipes too.
Have fun!!

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answers from Lewiston on

my five year old loves the moist wipes. although i wish she would use fewer of them. As long as you bath her daily just refuse to do it for her... she must stay there until she wipes. until you need the toilet then just pull up her undies anyways.. She may cave to keep her bum from being sore..



answers from New York on

yes i need help my self to my 5 year old daughter refuses she call and calls me i always wiped her bum since birth i don't want tp do it anymore helpppp so won't do it her self and she is going to school in september



answers from Lewiston on

My son just turned 5 and just started wiping himself because I just refused to continue doing it for him. I just let him sit there, and he'd yell and cry for me to do it, and I just refused (I had already taught him how to do it). Finally he gave in and started doing it. Sometimes he'll still ask me if it's really messy, and I'll help him then, but most of the time he does it on his own now. It's hard to resist the urge to do quality control checks everytime, but at some point he has to learn to do it right all by himself.


answers from Boston on

I agree with the other posts about using the moist wipes - we all use them and they are great, although the child needs to be able to use toilet paper in places where wipes aren't available (school, public rest rooms).

With my son, it worked to establish "big boy" responsibilities and privileges. If he couldn't put away his Legos, he was still to young to play with them. If he couldn't eat a variety of foods in restaurants, he couldn't go to Disney World. If he couldn't wipe himself, he was too little to play outside by himself. Use whatever "currency" has value to your child. If she's too little to wipe herself, she is too little to watch certain TV shows or have certain toys, whatever works.

Good luck and stay consistent! This will pass when she gets to school! And she will NOT like the younger child getting privileges for responsible potty habits, if she is still whining on the toilet!



answers from Boston on

Yvonne, we had the same issue last year with my 6 year old daughter, whose personality is similar to your daughter's. Her big worries were that she'd get her hands poopy and that she wouldn't do a good enough job and still have a poopy bum after she wiped. So we practiced wiping and washing, and I'd do "quality checks" each time after she wiped. It helped to give her the control of using moistened wipes if she preferred. Nice scented hand lotion helped too. She was fine by the time she started kindergarten last fall... but she still asks for a quality check every once in a while!



answers from Boston on

My 5 year old has gone through a similar situation, but we started the process when he was 4 1/2 or so. The rule is that he wipes, checks, wipes again, checks again (repeat until sees clean toilet paper). Then, mom or dad "double checks". We told him that he would have to be doing it all on his own before he started kindergarten. He just turned 5, and some days he is so stubborn about wiping, especially when he's tired. I try to encourage him, but I find it best if I walk away (to the next room) instead of engaging him in a debate about wiping. Some days he sits on the toilet for an eternity it seems, but he finally wipes when he realizes I'm not going to do it for him. I figure that being consistent with him will eventually work. My son is also very headstrong and stubborn (and lets us know it!). I don't like using rewards for these kinds of things, but maybe you could make some kind of sticker chart that coincides with the count down to kindergarten. Set a date for her to be wiping on her own so she can see her goal on paper. If you can make it through the battles, then you'll win in the end. Just be firm, persistent, and consistent. Good luck!



answers from Boston on

Hi Yvonne,
Wow does your 5 year old sound like mine! She is perfectly fine wiping herself for pee, but she some how always has a reason for why we need to wipe her poops! She'll sit on the potty cheering out P O O P! Until we acknowledge it. I know she can and sometimes does wipe herself. When she was off to preschool, wiping her self for either or was not an issue. We have also explained to her that she needs to wipe herself to get used to it for kindergarten this fall, she explains she knows that but likes us to help her out now because she thinks it's an easy way to not have to wash her hands. what I have started to do is make her wash her hands even if I have wiped her. She doesn't quite like that, but I told her she needs to get used to washing her hands after EVERY bathroom trip regardless of whether or not I wipe or she does. I know they have the "know how" they just want to rely on us for it. I would just constantly be consistent, sometimes it's much easier for us to just go in and get it done, but if she has to sit there for a half hour crying about it, let her. She'll get bored eventually and just wipe herself or explain you are busy right now so she can either wait for you to be done, or she can wipe herself and come back and play (usually this one works for us) :) Wishing you the best of luck, don't worry though, she DOES know how to do it, she just doesn't want to! :)

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