Potty Training and Wiping His Bottom

Updated on April 01, 2010
A.T. asks from Lynnwood, WA
10 answers

My son did great when it came to peeing in the potty. The first time he pooped in the potty he had a meltdown, jumped off the potty into my arms with his pants still down. After I calmed him down we talked about it but it took 5 or 6 months before he would sit on the potty again. Now he does great with it but we are having issues with him wiping his bottom.

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answers from Seattle on

From my experience as a mom and a daycare provider. Children do not wipe their bottoms properly for awhile and still need an adult to do it for them after they poop on the potty. There are also the flushable wipes for toddlers that make it easier to get really clean down there.

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answers from Orlando on

You should get some special wipes made just for children with beautiful designs for him. Does he have any special action figures? You can perhaps make a special box for the wipes if you cannot find the exact one, and he might become interested in wiping his bottom properly. I always wash the kids' bottoms after each poop, and just stand them in the tub after I wipe them. I did it for my own, or the kids that I care for as a sitter. I want to make sure they are clean, dry, and smell good all the time up to 6 years old. You should be patient with him if he is still under 6 years old, and find some incentives to encourage him. Good luck!

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Stationed Overseas on

Generally children aren't really good at wiping themselves until school age, around 6 or so. While you can certainly teach him how to do it, he probably won't do it really well or even willingly until he's older.
Definitely get wipes designed for kids that are flushable. They will be easier to use than toilet paper and because they are fun it may encourage him a little more.
Put a sticker chart in the bathroom and give him a sticker every time he wipes. Then after so many stickers give him a little reward like taking him to the park or playing his favourite game or what have you.
Again, just temper your expectations around how good he'll be at this until he's a little bit older. But definitely encourage him to try and be comfortable with it.
Good luck!!

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Fort Wayne on

I wiped my son's bottom until he was 5, then I taught him how to do it. I thought it was worth waiting because he was old enough at that time to learn how to do it properly



answers from Portland on

One potty training book I read blase'ly passed over this issue with, "well, underpants are easy to wash and he'll take a bath in the evening anyhow" ... OY.

I taught my kids a pretty structured way of toilet-papering from day one, because I had a girl first and there is the whole make-sure-no-poop-goes-forward-during-wiping (so no nasty infections happen) problem. Perhaps why girls are born with hymens--did I just discover the evolutionary reason for that?!? weird.

Anyhow, my son particularly likes things that have structure and a "right way" to do them, and as far as his hygiene goes, he is pretty self-driven. So I taught him, like his sisters, how much toilet paper to use (no longer than his arm), how to unroll it, how to hold the top with his left hand so he could pull the bottom and rip it off with his right hand, how to crumple it (loosely!, instead of into a tight useless wad), and the mechanics of how to wipe, guiding his hand to make sure he understood how far down to reach and talking to him about "how hard does Mommy have to wipe to get your butt clean? alright, so you need to wipe that hard too, then" ... and then he needs to check the toilet paper before he drops it in the toilet, and if it isn't clean, he needs to do the whole thing again. When he was still young enough that I was supervising the situation (3), it usually took three wipes. His underpants have rarely had any stains in them ...

That said, one of my daughters, also trained when she was three, has for reasons unknown suddenly forgotten that toilet paper exists for peeing ... luckily she's a fairly tidy pee-er, but ?!? where did the two years of habit go???

Anyhow, it sounds like from the other responses maybe my kids were outliers on the early-effective-wiping scale, but I figured my 'method' might be useful to someone ...



answers from Phoenix on

You didn't mention your son's age, but I have a 3 and 4 year old and am still wiping both of them. My daughter (3) tries to do it herself all the time and I actually have to discourage her because she just doesn't have the coordination to do it without getting poop on her hands (and several other surfaces). My son just knows to bend over and let mommy do it, though I believe he stands a much better chance of doing it well if I trained him at this point.

Honestly, though, neither one of them would truly be able to get themselves "clean" down there, even if they were doing everything else right. So have some wet-wipes in the bathroom at all times and train your son to tell you when he has a poop so you can wipe. Otherwise, I'm sure he can handle it. ;-)



answers from Miami on

My daughter is 4 and I still wipe her bottom too. She refuses to try currently. I'm trying to encourage her to try and have me come in after. But, I've been told it takes awhile until they're good at it.

I would caution anyone who uses flushable wipes. They don't break down and they can clog your pipes resulting in very expensive plumbing bills. My husband and I know someone who had this happen to them and their plumber told them how horrible these wipes are.



answers from Seattle on

My son is five turning six next month and he still has major wiping issues. He only does a good job if it is a non-messy one LOL. I can't wait till he masters it, I'm so tired of wiping his butt after he makes it all messy!



answers from Pittsburgh on

My son recently turned 7 and I only now feel he does a good job at solo wiping! Does he use wet, flushable wipes? They help some.


answers from Charlotte on

Just takes practice and patience. Get him some flushable wipes, they get them really clean and won't stop up the toilet.