May 24, 2020

Wiping Bottoms


An often forgotten yet still important part of toilet training!


"I’m ready!"

Does that sound familiar? It’s often the cry from the distant toilet room from the child who has successfully pooed in the toilet but hasn’t yet learnt how to wipe and, it often goes on until the child goes to school!

They’re smart enough to know it’s not done until they are cleaned up, hands washed and pants on but somehow it’s the wiping step that still remains the parent (or kinder teacher or carer) responsibility.

It’s often easy to forget to teach your child to wipe their bottom in the excitement of them pooing in the toilet!


So when the poo goes in the toilet, lets work on keeping clean bottoms in clean undies.


So When Should We Teach a Child to Wipe?


Most children are physically capable of wiping their bottoms from 3–3 1⁄2 years of age. That’s generally when reaching is possible. If your child can reach earlier, teach them earlier!

This is an additional step to learn so it’s important that children are having regular success with pooing in the toilet before asking them to learn something else. When its happening with consistent success (and they can reach) then we need to add wiping to the toileting process. 

How do we teach wiping and what does a child need to know?

It’s important, especially for girls to teach them to wipe from front to back. We don’t want the bacteria that’s present in poo, to have access to their urethral opening (where the wee comes out) or their vagina.

We start by wiping the bottom ourselves and asking the child to finish. As we do this we teach them to check the paper as the measure that they have cleaned all the poo off their bottom.

When they have mastered this, we change it around. Its now time for them to wipe first and for you to do the last bit to check they have completed it successfully.

Consistent success, means the job is done. They can now do it themselves and take the pressure off parents and other very kind bottom wipers out there!

Monica Ferrie is Mama You've Got This' Toilet Training Expert from Toilet Training Educators. Monica presents on the different stages of toilet training in the Toddler Experts on Demand Video Series and at the Mama You've Got This Toddler Masterclass where she will answer your questions live. There are fantastic resources available for download from her website here.


Monica Ferrie

Toilet Training Expert

Mama You've Got This