The Art of Wiping: A Pivotal Step in Potty Training

Potty training is a milestone filled with triumphs and, let's be honest, a fair share of messy mishaps. Among the many skills your little one must conquer on their quest for potty independence, the art of wiping is a crucial, and often the final, step. While it may seem like a straightforward task to us adults, for a child, it can be a monumental challenge!

Potty training is a milestone filled with triumphs and, let's be honest, a fair share of messy mishaps. Among the many skills your little one must conquer on their quest for potty independence, the art of wiping is a crucial, and often the final, step. While it may seem like a straightforward task to us adults, for a child, it can be a monumental challenge!

Just picture this: your toddler, beaming with pride over their successful use of the potty. But then comes the daunting task of wiping, and suddenly, that confident smile turns into confusion or even frustration. It's a scene many parents are familiar with – the uncertainty, the endless rolls of toilet paper unraveling into a tangled mess, often being left with stained undies anyway.

So, what exactly are the struggles a child might encounter when learning how to wipe?

  • Well, for starters, there's the issue of coordination. Maneuvering a wad of toilet paper while perched precariously on a potty seat requires a level of dexterity that most toddlers are still in the process of mastering. Many young kids just aren’t yet proportioned in a way that allows them to execute the proper “reach around/front-to-back” wiping technique.
  •  Then there's the matter of knowing how much pressure to apply – enough to clean, but without causing discomfort – a delicate balance that can take time to perfect.
  • Finally, how are they even supposed to know when they’re fully clean down there? It’s hard to clean what you can’t see! Practicing the WFR, or the wipe-fold-repeat until the toilet paper comes back clean, is something many kids just don’t have the patience for.

How do I teach my child how to wipe effectively?

Don’t worry. There are ways to navigate the challenges outlined above and guide your little one toward wiping mastery. 

  • First and foremost, patience is key. Rome wasn't built in a day, and neither is a potty pro! Encourage your child to take their time and reassure them that it's okay to ask for help if they need it while they’re learning.
  • Demonstrating proper wiping technique yourself, or practicing with toys and dolls can also be immensely helpful. Sometimes, a visual aid is worth a thousand words. I like to put a little peanut butter or washable marker on the bottom of a plastic baby doll and have your child practice wiping it off until the doll is clean. You can show them how to wipe and then fold the toilet paper or wipe to prevent waste, then wipe again. This is a skill that takes practice!
  • Being sure your child is wiping from front to back is also an important step to establish early on for hygiene reasons. This helps to keep harmful bacteria away from the genitalia which can potentially lead to infections. Children can practice this motion while in the bathtub. Just spread some suds on their bottom and, using a washcloth, show them how to reach around their body to pull the cloth from the front to the back.

But how can we be confident that they’re actually clean?

Cleaning a doll is one thing - how is your child supposed to know when THEIR OWN bottom is clean after wiping? Enter The Toilet Mirror by Ehde! This genius invention takes away the mystery of wiping and gives kids added independence with their potty routine. After wiping until the toilet paper or wipe come back clean, they can give their bottom a quick check in The Toilet Mirror for confirmation before redressing, washing hands, and being on their way. No more being called into the bathroom to do the wiping for them, or going behind to check that they did a sufficient job. This is often the final step before your child is fully potty independent, just like a big kid!

The Toilet Mirror adheres right to the lid of the toilet and can be placed at a height that works based on your child’s size and posture. The B.P.A. free food grade silicone frame protects a shatter resistant acrylic safety mirror. Both of which are also eco-friendly and anti-microbial materials! You can’t wipe what you can’t see, so using a mirror to ensure that there’s nothing left to wipe away just makes sense.

Why does my child need to be able to wipe themselves?

I really want to reinforce the importance of a child knowing how to wipe on their own, especially before they head off to school. Many parents forget that this is a crucial skill that your child MUST have in order to start kindergarten. Your child’s teacher is most likely not going to be allowed to help them in the bathroom like you have been at home. And if you think about it, for personal safety, it’s best that your little one can confidently manage each step of the potty without the help from a grown up that’s not you anyway. Not to mention that you want your child to grow into a responsible and self-sufficient individual who takes pride in caring for themselves and having good hygiene! Again, The Toilet Mirror is a super helpful tool to get your child to this place more quickly and with confidence.

Hang in there…

It seems like a super daunting task, but the next time you find yourself knee-deep in potty training woes, take heart in knowing that you're not alone. Every parent has been there, navigating the messy maze of toilet training with varying degrees of success. But with patience, persistence, and a healthy dose of humor, you and your little one will conquer the challenge of wiping together – one square of toilet paper, and one Toilet Mirror, at a time. 

How Potty Training Consultant can help

Here at Potty Training Consultant, we are the first to acknowledge that potty training doesn't always come easy! We offer a variety of free and paid resources to help your child achieve this milestone with confidence, success, and positivity! Check out our website for details on scheduling a phone consultation, online course offerings, free quizzes and guides, and much more.

Check out my new book!

Finally - a potty training book for parents and caregivers that is backed by science and research while being grounded in the reality of life with small children. Written by potty training expert and the founder of the world-renowned Potty Training Consultant, this is currently the only potty training book that will leave you feeling confident and empowered with research-backed strategies to help you achieve potty training success. The author's warm tone and realistic approach will make potty training finally feel like something you and your child are capable of taking on.

But how do you know it’s the right book for you? One of the most daunting aspects of potty training is the fact that what works for one family may not work for another. This can leave you feeling overwhelmed, hopeless, unsupported, and even worse - like you’ve failed in some way if potty training isn’t successful the first time around. Allison is the first to admit that there isn't one method or book out there that can solve everyone's problems because there is no one-size-fits-all way to potty train!

That's why The Potty Training Survival Guide is so revolutionary! It helps you to identify which process will work best for your child and your family, and then how to fully customize that process to match all of your individual unique needs. This is the same proven process Potty Training Consultant has used to help thousands of families achieve success, saving more than 10 million diapers worldwide.

The Potty Training Survival Guide delivers how to:

  • Create a plan that works for YOUR child with interactive worksheets, lists, and charts at the end of each chapter to customize every aspect of the process
  • Fit potty training into your existing lifestyle
  • Stay committed and empowered without being pressured by unrealistic goals and timelines
  • Enjoy the process and build big connection with your child
  • Get additional support from certified resources if you feel like you need it

It’s completely possible to make potty training a positive experience! Potty training has never been easier!

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