at what age should a child wipe their own butt? - Mothering Forums

View Poll Results: when should a child start wiping their own butt
age 2 or as soon as potty learned 13 100.00%
age 3 21 100.00%
age 4 36 100.00%
age 5 35 100.00%
age 6 or later... or as long as you can do it for them 8 100.00%
Multiple Choice Poll. Voters: 5. You may not vote on this poll

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#1 of 61 Old 08-03-2010, 01:26 AM - Thread Starter
 
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i'm still doing it for DD, age 4. we've had some issues with eczema rashes and i just prefer to know that all the poop is definitely removed, so she doesn't have any irritants causing her skin to flare up in the crotch area.

but i hope i'm not holding her back developmentally. plus we've been lucky so far in that she seems to have great control and only pees at preschool and sorta times her poops for when she's home and i can wipe her. but at some point obviously she will need to take over this responsibility for herself.

so... how do you know when the time is right, and what degree of "completeness" of butt wiping is acceptable for you? sorry if this is getting "graphic" or otherwise disgusting, but what about "skid marks" in the underwear, or itchy butt holes if poop residue is left behind by insufficient wiping on the part of the child?

yuck! sorry again, but i am interested in others' perspectives on this!

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#2 of 61 Old 08-03-2010, 01:55 AM
 
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My DD is 5.5. When she was at preschool, there were 3 teachers and therefore always help available when a child needed to use the washroom. Before she started K (only 1 teacher and 20 students), I started getting her to wipe her own bum in case she needed to do it at school. She was only there 1/2 day and managed to never need to poo at school, so I've sort of started helping her again.

DS is almost 4 and there is no way I would let him do it. He has eczema, and quite a few mysterious rashes in that region, so he's often itchy and always has his hands down there. Everytime he poos, I wipe, then stick him in the shower and wash the crotch area with soap and water - 1) to prevent rashes and 2) to prevent poo residue from getting on his hands.

If the eczema/rashes get better, and his hands are no longer down there, I would consider it.

I didn't actually vote because I think it depends on the child, and other issues, like rashes. I would say 4 seems reasonable for an average child?

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#3 of 61 Old 08-03-2010, 02:22 AM
 
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My oldest is 3 and wipes her own butt. She actually does a better job at it than I do since she doesnt' like me wiping her butt and tries to get away from me when I do. If I found she wasn't wiping good enough (which has never been a problem) then Ill worry about it.

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#4 of 61 Old 08-03-2010, 02:56 AM
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My dd is almost 5 and starting K in the fall so I started showing her how a month or so ago. At first she would wipe on her own and then I would do a check but after a week or so she had it down. Getting some of those flushable wipes was a huge help.

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#5 of 61 Old 08-03-2010, 03:03 AM
 
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Wow, I clicked on this from the main page and was expecting to be brought to the toddler forum, not the childhood years!!!

Ds was out of diapers (except at night) at 15-16 months, so I certainly didn't expect him to wipe his own butt at that point. I just started making him do it consistently about a month ago (at 2.5) and we haven't had any problems, other than him using waaay too many flushable wipes just for fun, lol.

i'm always really unimpressed by kids at school (I used to work in an elementray school) who were calling their kindy or 1st grade teacher to come help them in the bathroom. Well, I guess i'm unimpressed by the parents--it's not the kids' fault. I really dont' see why someone that old cannot wipe their butt---if you have the manual dexterity to tie your shoes and eat with a fork, butt-wiping really should not be a stretch.

Plus, I don't want someone else wiping my kid's butt in elementary school...to me that's kind of crossing a boundary, unless the child has special needs.

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#6 of 61 Old 08-03-2010, 03:09 AM
 
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I said 4, but I think my real answer is....when they can!

Both my kids started wiping on their own at age 3. We sent ds1 to preschool at age 3 and he HAD to wipe his own self or he couldn't go. I panicked, but a week before school started, I told him we had to learn this to go to school and he just did it. So he was right at age 3. DS2 is almost 3.5 and in the past month he just stopped calling me in to wipe him. He will occasionally when he's feeling lazy! But mostly, he's independent.

That said, I know not all kids take to it at age 3. Having a 4yo now, I can't imagine why he wouldn't be capable of it at 4. But whatever, as long as it's not causing anyone any problems or embarrassment.

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#7 of 61 Old 08-03-2010, 03:20 AM
 
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I said 4, but haven't managed it yet. Ds1 was over 6 due to sensory/anxiety issues. Ds2 swore up & down he'd start doing it when he was 5. He's been 5 for a few weeks & is now swearing he'll do it when he's 6. *sigh* I wish I knew how to make him do it, because I have had enough. He needs wiping way too often when the baby is asleep on me.

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#8 of 61 Old 08-03-2010, 03:35 AM
 
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My twins aren't quite 5 and they've been doing it for a few months. They were in preschool all last year though and managed just fine there so they were capable before they were willing. I think they mostly just enjoyed bellowing "Come wipe my tushy!!!!"

I think dds were physically capable of doing a good job of it around 3/3.5 but didn't think that they necessarily "should" be doing it if they preferred that I did. But I also think that they should do it themselves once they're in preschool/school.
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#9 of 61 Old 08-03-2010, 03:37 AM
 
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My nephew was PL'd just before his 2nd birthday and starting wiping his own bum shortly after that. Of course we had to double check for him at first, but by 2.5 he was completely independent in the bathroom, except for rebuttoning his pants.

However, I still wipe my 5 year old's bum, but he is SN and hates being wiped so when I try to get him to do it himself, he just pats his bum with the cloth.

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#10 of 61 Old 08-03-2010, 03:49 AM
 
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I voted 4, I really mean 4ish...or at least before going to school full time. I was a teacher assistant for a time in a Kindergarten room. I was just REALLY uncomfortable with the idea of wiping a child's bottom by that age. To me, it really felt like a liability issue as much as anything else. Some of the schools I student taught at had pretty strict rules about things like hugging, ways to offer comfort etc. Because things like that can and have been taken the wrong way and lawsuits have occurred when something was misconstrued or misunderstood, by a child or parent or care provider or all three even.

I believe that learning to wipe the bottom is a part of learning to potty train. It's something I plan to teach my child as a part of the potty process. She's 20 months old and I think we still have many months before we even start that process. I don't recall though wiping my older one's bottom for much longer after she was trained...she was like 3.5 when she was finally potty trained.
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#11 of 61 Old 08-03-2010, 04:48 AM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by waiting2bemommy View Post

I just started making him do it consistently about a month ago (at 2.5) and we haven't had any problems, other than him using waaay too many flushable wipes just for fun, lol.

i'm always really unimpressed by kids at school (I used to work in an elementray school) who were calling their kindy or 1st grade teacher to come help them in the bathroom. Well, I guess i'm unimpressed by the parents--it's not the kids' fault. I really dont' see why someone that old cannot wipe their butt---
TBH I don't think that many 2 yr olds have the ability to really clean their behinds without leaving residue. Sitting in that all day is not only stinky and uncomfortable, but a health hazard (remember the odd times that you left a poopy diaper too long accidentally and had a huge old painful and ugly rash to deal with?)

It really has a lot to do with the child. Some have fine motor skill dexterity earlier than others, and it doesn't mean that they're slow, or developmentally disabled. Kids develop different skills at different times.
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#12 of 61 Old 08-03-2010, 10:03 AM
 
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ds is 4.5 and while he can wipe his own behind, it is often with disaterous results

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#13 of 61 Old 08-03-2010, 10:05 AM
 
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I taught both my kids the summer before kindergarten.
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#14 of 61 Old 08-03-2010, 10:43 AM
 
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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.

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#15 of 61 Old 08-03-2010, 11:18 AM
 
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Well Ds turned 3 yesterday (whoa!) and is not wiping his own butt. We might start talking about it soon, we use flushable wipes, which I think make it sooooo much easier for me to wipe him, and hopefully for him to wipe himself.
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#16 of 61 Old 08-03-2010, 11:26 AM
 
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My 4 year old is very good at taking care of himself. I don't even have to deal with skid marks! (My child butt wiping prodigy *G*) However some of my friends kids of the same age still need help. I'm thinking around 5 or 6 they should hopefully have that stuff mastered, for their mother's sake.

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#17 of 61 Old 08-03-2010, 07:02 PM
 
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I voted 4, but it definitely depends on the child. My dd is 3.5 and can do it on her own, but if it happens to be a messy one she needs help. I mostly do it for her at this point. I do encourage her to do it on her own if I am breastfeeding or something (then I only have to go in if things get messy).

I'd rather have her clean than independent when it comes to feces.
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#18 of 61 Old 08-03-2010, 07:19 PM
 
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I think my dd might have been close to 6 before she could logistically handle it, but she's always been really slow at learning and handling physical things, so most kids might be able to handle it earlier.
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#19 of 61 Old 08-03-2010, 07:22 PM
 
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So funny 'cause my 25 month old just came out of the bathroom saying:

"I just used some toilet paper to wipe pee off the floor and then wiped my bum with it and I threw it in the toilet." (just so you know mom.)

We have been having success with her taking care of her peeps, but I will probably be wiping her butt of poop for a long time. I have fond memories of calling my mother in to wipe my butt. She was so darn good at it. I don't remember how old I was, but I remember thinking one day, 'wow, I think I am starting to really get the hang of this wiping thing. I am almost as good as my mom.' It waas never an issue for school. that would be weird.

ETA: I did not vote. I don't know. i don't have an opinion.
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#20 of 61 Old 08-03-2010, 07:29 PM
 
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I can't actually remember when my children started wiping their own bottoms. Whenever they were able to? I think it was sometime around the time when they turned 3.

No, they didn't always do a great job at first, and my 3 1/2 year old sometimes asks me for help in a particularly messy situation, which is fine with me.

I don't get worked up if he occasionally doesn't wipe well enough -- he's gotten an itchy bottom a couple of times, and I explained why it happened. Seems like part of the learning process to me.

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#21 of 61 Old 08-03-2010, 10:02 PM
 
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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.

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#22 of 61 Old 08-03-2010, 10:43 PM
 
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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.

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#23 of 61 Old 08-03-2010, 10:50 PM
 
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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.

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#24 of 61 Old 08-03-2010, 11:21 PM
 
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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.
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#25 of 61 Old 08-03-2010, 11:52 PM
 
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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.
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#26 of 61 Old 08-04-2010, 03:05 AM
 
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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.
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#27 of 61 Old 08-04-2010, 03:42 AM
 
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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.

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#28 of 61 Old 08-04-2010, 10:52 AM
 
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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.

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#29 of 61 Old 08-04-2010, 12:54 PM
 
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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.

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#30 of 61 Old 08-04-2010, 04:49 PM
 
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2. Which is the time both of mine were completely potty trained.
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