How to Teach Children to Wipe Their Own Behind

7 Tips to Get Your Children to Take Care of Potty Time Cleanups

A picture of a child on the potty
Just when you think you've conquered potty training, now you've got to teach your child how to wipe her bottom. Photo © Lillian Hoyt / Getty Images

It's not the most pleasant subject but if you have kids you'll have to deal with it at some point. Your child needs to learn how to wipe her bottom after going to the potty and you get to teach your child to wipe her bottom after using the potty. Lucky you! Show her how to wipe her behind so she can begin doing it and you can stop.

1. Start with the Basics

As you potty train, also teach your child how to wipe her bottom.

Show her how to rip the toilet paper off of the roll and how many squares she should use for each wipe.

You'll also want to show her how to grip the toilet paper. You want her to know that it shouldn't be crinkled into a ball when she goes to wipe.

2. Talk Her Through It

You've had better conversations, of course. But before you expect her to pick up the toilet paper and start cleaning, talk her through it while you clean her up.

For girls, make sure she knows she should always wipe from front to back. Boy or girl, you may have to get graphic to describe what you're doing and, yes, why.

3. Give Her a Demonstration

Don't run away from this article screaming. The demonstration doesn't have to be you demonstrating how you clean yourself.

Use Mr. Teddy Bear to show your child the proper way a bottom should be wiped. Let her practice on him to get the concept down but keep in mind how different it is to wipe someone else's bottom vs. your own.

4. Grab an Apple and Peanut Butter

After she's ready to graduate from Mr. Teddy Bear, head to the kitchen and grab an apple and some peanut butter.

Spread the peanut butter on the apple. The apple is basically a bum and the peanut butter is the poo. Now she can get a visual of what it's like to wipe a bottom clean.

Let her wipe and see how many tries it takes to get the apple clean. You may never look at apples and peanut butter the same way again but it's a great demo for her to see that you don't wipe once and then call it a day.

Note: If your child has a peanut allergy, use pimento cheese spread instead. The consistency works well on the apple.

5. Let Her Practice on Herself

We all had to learn and it took time. Your child will be no different.

She'll need practice, practice and more practice. She'll make mistakes. She'll miss a spot. She'll probably get it on her undies or even hands. Give her the chance to continue practicing so she can finally master wiping her bottom.

6. Use Baby Wipes

Since baby wipes don't crinkle up like paper, they can be easier for your child to use when she wipes her bottom. She's also used to feeling a wipe on her bottom so it may be easier for her as she adjusts to wiping herself.

Set a limit on how many baby wipes she can use before she calls you in for help so she doesn't go through an entire package. Also make sure she understands that baby wipes can't be thrown in the toilet.

7. Have Her Call You for a Quality Check

Let her try on her own and then call you when she feels she's clean.

You can take a quick quality check to make sure she got it right.

If she didn't, initially, you can talk her through it again as you clean her up. Or you can always have her give it another try after you tell her where she missed.