Written By Lacey Glancy, June 2021
After my twins were potty trained at age 3 (gold stars all around, especially for me!), and they had even night trained, I found it essential to teach them how to actually wipe their own rears. They would soon be starting preschool, and I needed to prepare them for the inevitable event that they needed to go #2 without me doing their dirty work for them. Though my Mr. E insisted that he would just never poop at school, so, problem solved. But if I am being honest, I was probably more nervous than my kids were at handing the cleanliness reins over to people who, up until recently, still put spaghetti in their hair.
I decided to give my kids the confidence they needed to try something quite daunting. I mean, what IF they got poop on their hands, they asked?? They had quickly crossed the bridge of being babies, who couldn’t care less if they were sitting in their own excrement, to being toddlers who just wanted to be rid of the mess coming out of them.
The day came for Wiping Booty Camp, and I prepped my supplies: plastic plates, peanut butter, toilet paper, wipes, and a large bowl to throw trash into. Here is how the training went down:
- First, I showed my sons how much toilet paper is acceptable. Hint: it’s not half the roll. We use about 2 squares, depending on the ply.
- The next step was perhaps the most important: how to wipe and fold. I swiped a small amount of peanut butter onto the plastic plate and showed them how to wipe the plate once (not smearing back and forth) and fold the toilet paper. I repeated this step until the smear was gone or I needed another square of toilet paper. After watching me, they got the chance to practice.
- If they use a few squares and there’s still some peanut butter, then we advanced to using wipes, for a bit of extra heavy duty cleanup while being gentle. At this point we talked about where all the supplies go. Poop and TP go in the potty, wipes go in the trash.
- After they get the hang of wiping the plate in front of them, and if nobody is grossed out yet (trust me, you will NOT want PB&J for lunch that day!) then you go to the next round. Round 2 is where you hold the plate on their behind and let them wipe off the peanut butter, preferably while squatting a bit, without really being able to see it! Tough stuff! But they’re big boys now and can do hard things, with correct practice.
Remember to praise, praise, praise, and have fun with it. In the coming weeks your child will get better at wiping, or they may still want you to do it each time. I let them try first, then I would clean the rest. This relieved them of the pressure of having to do it perfectly each time, knowing that they would still end up clean. With my twins we only had a few poopy underwear incidents, but after showing them each step, they caught on quicker than I thought they would. Here I am 6 months later and I still have to do some bum checks every once in awhile, but I don’t have to be woken up by a kid yelling “mommmmm, I pooooped”. What a relief for everyone! Hurray for independence!