Toilet training and wiping of bottoms
At last your little one is showing that he or she is ready to be toilet trained! This also means that you might as well start teaching your little one the correct way to wipe his or her bottom – daunting though the task may seem! Some little boys may even copy their mom and start wiping off the wee on their willy – whilst hilarious to watch, there’s nothing wrong with that! And it is important to teach your toddler that there is a correct way to wipe that little bum whilst not using the whole toilet roll! You may hear the cry of your independent toddler saying “I can do it myself, mommy!”. It is important to let him try, but you will probably have to go in and clean up after him (I will spare you the details of what a toddler together with poo and toilet paper can get up to!!).
Potty training and teaching them how to wipe should go hand in hand. Hopefully the following 7 tips may help you to train your precious one and remain sane at the same time.
1: How much toilet paper?
Make a mark on the wall (or put a piece of tape) and teach your child that the mark is to where they pull the paper to – you may have a really keen child who likes to use the whole roll! Or one who is scared of getting poo on his hands and winds off the whole roll! If your toddler can count, you could tell him how many squares to use.
2: How to fold the paper
It may seem obvious to us adults, but some children will try to use just one square – yuk! So show him or her how to fold the paper into an appropriate wad.
3: Front to back
Girls in particular need to wipe from front to back. For little boys, this way of wiping is probably natural, given their anatomy! With girls, the distance from their bottom (where all those lovely poo germs are) to their vulva, (where the wee comes out) is short and those nasty germs can easily travel up the urethra and into the bladder, resulting in a urinary tract infection. This is true, even for us adult girls! One can also just teach a little girl to dab in the one place, if you prefer.
4: Once only rule
The wad of toilet paper should only be used once after which it is thrown in the toilet and a fresh wad made to repeat the process of wiping until there is no more poo on the paper.
5: Poo-bottom comes first
Teach your little one (especially little girls) to wipe that poo botty first until all the brown yuk has gone and then deal with the wee.
6: Check up time
Your little one may object, but it is essential that you go in to check on whether a proper job has been done! Once they have got the hang of wiping themselves, you just need to go in to check at the end that all is clean!
7: Wash hands
After pulling up underwear, trousers etc, it’s time to wash hands with soap and water (or in the case of drought as is the present situation in Cape Town, use hand sanitiser). Much of the time your toddler just wants to get back to what he was doing before nature called, but he must be taught that washing his hands after using the toilet prevents the germs from going forth and multiplying! So whether it’s a wee or a poo, girl or boy, washing hands is really important.
You may ask, at what age should a child be able to successfully wipe their bottoms? All little ones develop differently so although your friend’s 3 year old child may be wiping successfully, it doesn’t necessarily mean yours will! But once you start with potty training, you can start showing them how wiping is done. They will probably want to try it themselves but probably won’t get the hang of it immediately. Even if you are in a hurry, try to let them “get in the practice” as if you are always wiping those little bottoms you may land up with a 6 year old who still needs it done for him or her! Always give positive encouragement with hugs, claps and show great excitement when attempts are made. Before you know it, the check up times will become less and less and your child will have mastered wiping his or her own bottom!!
I’d love to read about any experiences you might have had about potty training, wiping little bottoms and how long it took before you were confident your child could manage on his or her own. Email your story to me at firstname.lastname@example.org or just message me in the comment block below this post.
Yours in lifestyle newborn photography