As the mother of one son who is daytime potty trained and another who is still in diapers, I can tell you this: training your child to use the toilet instead of soiling himself (or herself) is not an all-or-nothing process.
Two steps forward, six steps back and all of that.
One of the things I absolutely will not miss about having littles in a few short years is hearing “Mommy, I’m done pooping! Come wipe me!”
No one wants to hear those words, not even if you’re thrilled that said poop is in the toilet instead of in a diaper. Not even if you’re happy they’re asking you to come and wipe them and not running around un-wiped. If someone else is home you’re still quiet for a few seconds, hoping they’ll answer the call instead of you.
So, how can we encourage these little poop-monsters to wipe their own behinds? How can we teach them to do it well enough that it doesn’t need a double check?
Keep reading for answers, my friend.
First, the bad news: your young toddler who has just potty trained is not going to be able to wipe their own rear. They don’t have the dexterity, for one, thing, and for another, they don’t have the biological development necessary to even know when they’re actually done pooping.
So, those with kiddos (like me) who trained somewhere between 2 and 3 and a half, you still have to do the wiping. Cheers.
To those with kiddos marching toward 4 or older, listen up.
First, being able to go to the bathroom is sort of intuitive. They’ve done it since they were born, all you’ve done is encourage them to move that process to the toilet. Wiping, on the other hand, is something that must be learned – and therefore taught.
You’ll need to explain what you want, how they should go about it, and then be there to watch and offer feedback.
Remember to tell them how much toilet paper to use, how to fold it, how to hold it, how to wipe, and where it goes afterward (and what definitely doesn’t go in the toilet, as well).
You are the manager of all things pooping, basically.
I know. What an entry on your resume.
Don’t be impatient. That never worked on anyone in any bathroom ever.
Do a double check for a few weeks after they say they’ve “got it,” just to be sure. Or, you know, if you’re the one that does the laundry, keep an eye out for the telltale skid mark.
When you find one (because you will), remember it’s not personal. Instead, take it as your reminder that another performance review is probably in order.
Hats off to us, fellow parents of littles. One day the only butt you’ll have to wipe is your own…but there probably won’t be as many snuggles in your life, either.