What Can I Do When My Child Refuses to Wipe Bottom?

Using the toilet after potty training gets all the attention, but there’s an often-overlooked part. That’s teaching your tot proper wiping of their backside. But what if, despite your efforts, your child refuses to wipe bottom?

The short answer involves showing your kid how to wipe their bottom while offering positive encouragement properly. That will include unsavory inspections to ensure they’re sanitary. Make the wiping part an essential part of your child’s potty training and not the last part.

Yes, they’ll probably perform inadequately, to begin with, but be patient since it’s a vital life skill you’re imparting. You’ll also be preventing various infections and complications that can arise from poor wiping. To give your child the self-reliance needed as far as their toileting is concerned, read on to arm yourself with fixes to a nasty situation.

Why Does My Child have Difficulties Wiping Their Bottom?

Not all kids will achieve the phases of potty training simultaneously, and some can take months. These include getting to the bowl in time, safely pulling down pants or undies, sitting and releasing their intricate business, and then wiping themselves clean.

Of course, there’s the flushing, dressing, and the vital part of washing hands with soap, but for now, let’s concentrate on tissue paper. While many kids will wipe their bottom with relative accomplishment, others struggle with hands-on approaches. There’s nothing glorious about poop, and the best you can do is getting rid of it completely.

As a parent, you’ve often sabotaged this self-reliance by interfering. Giving a hand, so to speak, is enabling your child’s refusal to wipe their bottom and should only be used as a means of training. You’ll first do the bulk of the dirty work, but let your tot do seconds or thirds if need be.

The secret is in the motions and having access to their hindquarters, not easy when you can’t see. Essentially by the time your child is four years old, they should be doing their wiping. I’ll have you know that pre-school teachers don’t wipe bottoms, so you’ll need to work fast.

Is It That Your Toddler Doesn’t Want or Can’t Wipe Their Bottom?

Your child is strong-willed and clamors for their independence. But sometimes, and accurate for many moms, that’s an understatement. They refuse or completely ignore the performance of due diligence after visiting the toilet, and you’re just about done with the underwear skid marks.

A sore or infected bottom, however, is another matter. Despite the progress of sitting on a bowl from diapers, you’re still relying heavily on showers, baths, and washing machines.

However, you should set realistic expectations depending on the age of your child. Toddlers can’t master the motor skills needed for certain levels of motion. That’s fine since potty-time at age three and below will always require closer supervision. Be patient as you risk derailing the progress of skill-building so take your ass-wiping duties with ease.

Active coaching with explicit instructions and lots of practice, including review and rewards, must accompany each trip to the bowl. Your toddler doesn’t have much in terms of a point of reference, so you’ll teach bottom wiping techniques with illustrations or examples.

It’s never wise to compare, criticize or report your child to peers, siblings, or relatives as building an inferiority complex interferes with this process. Stick around even after they’ve mastered the bottom wiping technique to offer a wet wipe and ensure hands are properly washed.

My Older Kid Is Still Struggling with Wiping Their Bottom

Every child is different, and you shouldn’t grade your older kid against society’s benchmarks. Crusty bottoms, peculiar smells, and train tracks on underwear are expected, a part of growing pains. These won’t hurt unless baths or other cleaning measures aren’t taken, but with your tot’s age, you’re starting to get worried.

Again, it boils down to your parenting and whether you’ve patiently taught them the importance of cleaning their bum. Other tactics you’ll use to make toilet paper use more appealing for your older child include;

Teach On Toilet Paper Use Techniques with Guidance

Hand your child the toilet paper, and if they’re unsure what to do, a hand demonstration is in order. All the time, you must reinforce the importance of clean behind to counter bacterial and fungal infections. On wiping, your child should check the toilet paper to see if it’s clean and repeat until there’s no more smear.

Toilet paper goes into the bowl, not the trash can. Always remember to have your child wash their hands after wiping their bottom. Emphasize with encouragement how poo on their hands causes stomach pains.

Keep Toilet Paper in an Easy-To-Reach Place

You’ll be lucky if you’ve never encountered a toilet floor full of toilet paper. Once your older kid learns the proper use of this essential item, you’ll also monitor how much of it they utilize. Using too much can lead to a clogged loo, while too little just won’t cut it hygienically.

Make Wiping Their Bottom a Fun Activity

Kids will practice what they love doing very often. When your older child refuses to wipe the bottom, you’ll have to admit that it’s because it’s not a particularly pleasant activity. However, creative tricks add fun to bum cleaning, such as this one that involves a balloon.

For this bottom wiping game of learning, you’ll need;

  • Your child’s willingness to participate
  • A roll of toilet paper
  • Peanut butter
  • A balloon

Blow the balloon halfway to end up with a pliable and moldable bottom-like shape. Offer your child a toilet paper roll and have them cut out the right amount, about four squares.

Let your kid fold the tissue twice while you spritz some drops of water on the balloon’s surface. If your child is female, use this to teach them how to wipe gently after peeing. Go further and place a dab of peanut butter on the balloon.

Your child should then hold the balloon with one hand while wiping off the mess with the other. For the next stage, have your older kid wipe the balloon while holding it behind their back.


Indeed, you can’t continue stepping in for your child that refuses to wipe their bottom. It’s not a lost cause if you keep an eye on things and give constant reminders on the vital importance of a clean bum. If your kid is approaching nine and still thinks you are their medieval groom of the stool, toilet paper etiquette reeducation becomes critically necessary.