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at what age should a child wipe their own butt? - Page 2

Poll Results: when should a child start wiping their own butt

This is a multiple choice poll
  • 11% (13)
    age 2 or as soon as potty learned
  • 18% (20)
    age 3
  • 33% (36)
    age 4
  • 32% (35)
    age 5
  • 7% (8)
    age 6 or later... or as long as you can do it for them
109 Total Votes  
post #21 of 61
My three year olds can do it, albeit imperfectly. But I don't think I'd say a 3 year old SHOULD be able to. But I think by five, unless there's some mitigating reason, a kid should at least be in the process of learning. In any case, before kindergarten. I wouldn't send a child to elementary school without that skill.
post #22 of 61
I voted by 4. Generally kids are physically capable by 4 yo. Obviously this wouldn't pertain in certain exceptional circumstance, such as SN or the rash situation a PP mentioned, but barring those 4 yo seems like a doable goal. I think many kids are ready even earlier. I see no reason to not start teaching them to as soon as they are basically PLed and their arms a long enough to reach all the way back. DS started at 3 1/2 yo when his arms were long enough.

I don't think most 4 yo will be perfect at it, but isn't that the point of underwear? The underwear is there to keep the skid marks off the rest of the clothing. An occasional itchy butt is the feed back that one should be wiping more carefully. This is also why we bath our kids.
post #23 of 61
I think somewhere between 3-4, a child can understand how to do it and why there is a need to do it. My son is 3.75 and will ask me to do it sometimes, I usually stop there and ask him to TRY first - then I finish. I'm lucky that he is regular and has rather easy poops to deal with. I use toilet paper as does my son but my DH insists on using the cloth wipes we use with our younger's diapers which my son won't use on himself (well not without throwing the cloth wipe into the toilet, ugh).

He does know how to wash his hands with soap by himself after going to the bathroom, which is a plus.

I might add, my son is fussy about his underwear - if there is any sign of skid mark or one drop of urine on the front or anything, they need to be changed immediately...LOL...
I'm not complaining, I'm glad he likes to be clean.
post #24 of 61
I think that if you leave your child in the care of others (lots of playdates, etc...), barring special needs, they should be able to potty independently around 4. If your child is always with someone who is willing to wipe their butt, I think it's fine to let them ask for help for as long as they like.

I once had an 8 year old ask me to wipe her. It felt inappropriate to me, and I was unhappy to be put in the situation.
post #25 of 61
My dd was about three and a half and her teacher did an awesome job of acting out how to wipe your own bottom (fully clothed of course). DD picked it up very quickly. There were some skid marks from time to time. My dd had horrible rashes when she was in diapers and had to be on only one kind of diaper with cream at every change, she never once had a rash even a third as bad as they were then. She was uncomfortable a few times and she had a rash once, but we talked about why she had it and she did a much better job after each time. Skid marks may have been mildly annoying to me when she was younger, but now that she is seven it has been so long since she has had any that it isn't something I suggest focusing on and worrying about.
post #26 of 61
Ds has been out of diapers sense he was 15months old (day and night), and wiping his own butt from about 20ish months. We use cloth wipes with a squirt of wipes solution.
I have to re-wipe sometimes, more when he was younger than now (he just turned 3), but he does have food allergies and therefore poop issues, so sometimes its just messy and he needs more help. He is getting more and more independant with it though, and I dont plan on having to re-wipe for much longer....ew.
post #27 of 61
my dd is almost 8. she tries but still doesnt do a good job (only bottom). she is v. v. fastidious where cleanliness is concerned. so when she is with me, i do it. she does her best at school. at her dad's she uses a bidet.

i dont mind. whatever. it wont be forever.
post #28 of 61
my daughter has wiped her own bum since she was probably 4. my little guy is 6 & wipes his own most of the time. but if he has a loose stool & needs help, he knows he can certainly call for me still. i don't mind helping him, but i can say that helping another kid his age would be a little weird for me. if he was out and about though without me, he would never ask someone for assistance... he'd just figure it out i suppose.
post #29 of 61
My DS is 5 and wipes himself most of the time, but asks for help every once in a while. Sometimes I give him a peri bottle to be kind of like a bidet and help get all the bits off so that he just has to dab dry with toilet paper.
post #30 of 61
2. Which is the time both of mine were completely potty trained.
post #31 of 61
Quote:
Originally Posted by laohaire View Post
Mine is on the cusp of 5, and I wipe her butt. (Obviously she does the rest).

I do think she's capable of wiping her own butt but I prefer to do a more thorough job. Also I wipe her butt with wet family cloth (she loves that) but it would be difficult for her to wet her own cloth and so on (she's hypotonic so she doesn't climb on stuff like many kids... she'd have to move the stool from the toilet over to the sink, wet the cloth, all the while with her undies around her ankles).

Anyway, she's homeschooled so I don't feel any pressure or special need to get her to wipe her own butt. I can't fathom that I'm somehow disabling her, that at age 9 or 19 or 49 that she won't be wiping herself. She doesn't wash her own hair, either - she's perfectly capable of wetting her hair, spreading shampoo around, and wetting it again but she's not going to be as thorough in washing - or, more importantly, rinsing. I don't feel the need to get my panties in a bunch about her being "independent" when some things are just better done by adults for now.

I am quite certain that within the next 6 months I'll be handing the job over to her, though.
We've been talking about how when dd turns 5 she will be big enough to wipe her own butt. You know, sort of selling it like "You'll finally be big enough to do it yourself!! I'll let you!!" I'm not interested in doing it anymore.

She did tell me last week that I had to wipe it until she got married, then he husband would do it for her. Good luck with that!! I can't get her dad to put his dirty underwear in the hamper!!
post #32 of 61
Quote:
Originally Posted by mamalisa View Post
She did tell me last week that I had to wipe it until she got married, then he husband would do it for her.
Priceless!
post #33 of 61
Quote:
Originally Posted by laohaire View Post
Anyway, she's homeschooled so I don't feel any pressure or special need to get her to wipe her own butt. I can't fathom that I'm somehow disabling her, that at age 9 or 19 or 49 that she won't be wiping herself. She doesn't wash her own hair, either - she's perfectly capable of wetting her hair, spreading shampoo around, and wetting it again but she's not going to be as thorough in washing - or, more importantly, rinsing. I don't feel the need to get my panties in a bunch about her being "independent" when some things are just better done by adults for now.
I homeschool too. I think you may want to consider giving her a brief course on how to wipe herself, in case she has a bowel movement when she's in someone else's care, or only leave her with people who are aware that she doesn't toilet independently. I know that some homeschoolers don't do drop-offs at 5, but some do, and if a 5 year old were left in my care, my expectation would be that I would not be wiping bottoms.
post #34 of 61
My DD turned 4 in June and I still wipe her, but that is MY preference. I just get grossed out thinking that she is walking around with poop on her butt, so I'd rather do it myself. I did teach her how because at her preschool they are not permitted to help in any way, but she so far will ONLY poop at home (with clothes ALL off, books set up on a stool, etc.) so it has not been an issue.
I know the day is coming I need to hand it over to her to do....but not yet!
post #35 of 61
It is required for preschool here. Preschool teachers are not allowed to wipe butts so we practiced the summer before preschool started. My boys generally potty train between 2 &2 1/2 so it isnt an issue
post #36 of 61
I think this is like asking at what age should a child sleep though the night, be out of diapers, stop nursing or using a bottle, or the other host of "milestones" that kids are supposed to hit. I don't think there's any universal age because there are so many variables involved. Just like everything else, I don't think anyone is going to go off to college without knowing how to wipe their butt.

My daughter is going to be five this fall, and her dad and I still wipe her because she doesn't want to do it herself. Also, she has extremely sensitive skin, so it's important she be wiped really well. None of this has been a problem because we don't mind, and she hasn't been in school or daycare, so no worries there. However, she'll be starting preschool next month and even though they're willing to help somewhat, I think she should be able to handle things in the bathroom by herself while she's there. So we'll be spending the rest of the summer on butt wiping lessons. But if she still wants me to do it at home, no problem.
post #37 of 61
I put 3 cuz that's when DS learned, but it is as soon as the child has the physical coordination to do so. Some parents seem determined to believe that their children are not as capable as they really are...
post #38 of 61
Quote:
Originally Posted by Wolfcat View Post
Some parents seem determined to believe that their children are not as capable as they really are...
And some parents seem determined to believe that what works for them should work for everyone....
post #39 of 61
I said 3; I stopped wiping my oldest on his 4th bday (with some practice and warnings before then) and my second at 2.5 before he started preschool. I think 4 is too old to be wiping their butt for them. Both my boys potty trained a little before 2 and I expect to potty train my daughter between 18-24 mos. as well, with wiping coming at 2-3.
post #40 of 61
dd is 6.5...she has been wiping on her own with touch ups from me since she was 2-3 ish. however...she needs re-instruction from time to time to remember how to get all the poo. We've had a few pretty nasty undies over the years.

I voted but don't think it was acurate to say that every 3 year old could do it...and mine didn't do it well at that point, but she did it, which was good practice for her.

as a side note I remember my sister (15mo younger than me) at 6 or 7 screeching at the top of her lungs "I NEEEEEEEED HEEEEELLLLP" and one of my parents would wipe her bum. I'm sure it didn't end at that point. I have no idea when I stopped needing help, I'm not nearly as dramatic as her!
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