How To Teach Toddlers To Wipe Themselves

Posted by Potty Expert on December 19, 2011

Don't let your toddler be surprised on how easy it is to wipe themselves

When children are potty training, they may not be able to wipe themselves. This is normal, since they cannot necessarily reach and they do not have the motor skills yet to be able to wipe themselves. You will need to check your child, as well as possibly continue to help them wipe too up until they are 5 to 6 years of age.

Since children do love toilet paper and watching it come of the roll, that doesn’t mean they can wipe themselves with it unfortunately. So to help with the wiping, make sure that your child can actually reach the toilet paper and have alternative wipes on hand as well, that may be easier to use and clean up better as well.

However, making sure that your child understands good habits in the bathroom is still important, even when you are helping them with wiping. These need to be taught from the first day that toilet training begins. Wiping and washing in the bathroom needs to be reinforced from the beginning, so that once they can do these tasks on their own, they will.

Here are some tips on teaching your child to wipe and wash themselves after each bathroom use:

  • Always have flushable wipes on hand when potty training. These are so much easier to use and they can clean up better too. Also, children usually love these better than toilet better even since they are wet and cool too. Allow your child to get their own wipe, but help with the actual act of wiping though. However, this reinforces that they need to wipe after each bathroom use.
  • Make sure to show your child that they need to wipe from front to back. This is extremely important for both boys and girls, since bacteria can get into areas when wiping the other way and cause infections. Once they have pulled their own wipe, you want to help them go through the motion of wiping. If you are using a potty training doll, make sure that the doll ”wipes” also. This is important when using model potting training, since you are using a model that you want your child to replicate and copy. So, even a doll needs to be wiped after a bathroom use.
  • Ensure that the sink is in easy reach with a step stool and everything that your child will need to wash their hands after using the bathroom. The easier it is for them to get to the sink, the more likely they will be to want to wash up after going. Also, there needs to be soap and towel there too that your child can reach as well. If they are waiting for items, cannot reach them or cannot find them, they will lose interest in getting the job done.
  • Lastly, make sure that you always wash your hands and wipe properly as well, especially when your child is watching. Again, they are going to do what you do and model their behavior after you, so you want to make sure you follow the same cleanliness rules that you have set forth with your child. If they see you doing it that way, they will be more likely to want to do it the same way also. ​​​


Leave a Reply