Is worrying how to potty train behind you? Great! But, of course, a parent’s job is never done. Some of the best potty training techniques come after going on the potty is mastered—the ones that will set your kid up for a lifetime of cleanliness—from wiping well to keeping those little hands clean. Here are five tips to help ensure a clean bottom every time.
1. The technicalities of wiping
There are specific aspects to wiping that you must remember to show your kids. Front to back is an important approach to stress. As is using enough toilet paper: have them count a certain amount of squares and tell them to repeat the wiping process until there is no more poop left on the TP. If they have a hard time figuring out how much toilet paper to use, you may want to have them finish off with a flushable wipe when they go number two (at least while they’re first learning). So keep a box of Charmin Freshmates on hand and make sure to use durable, quality toilet paper like Charmin Ultra Strong so their little hands don’t get soiled in the process.
2. Use a model
If you’re potty training girls, you can have them follow you to the bathroom several times in a row and slowly demonstrate the process of wiping, flushing, and washing your hands. Daddy can do the same when potty training boys… Or maybe your prefer not to use yourselves as models. A teddy bear or favorite doll are also good candidates—slowly go through the motions and then have your child practice on the bear or doll as well.
3. Peanut butter or chocolate sauce
These two substances make for great practice material. Spread some on a plate and have your child practice wiping it clean with toilet paper without getting any sauce or peanut butter on him or herself. Teach your youngster to wipe rather than to smear and to repeat until the plate is clean.
4. Weaning the help
While at first you will be helping your kid get that bum clean, the time will come to scale back on the assistance. Start by sharing the task—for example, mommy wipes first, then the child, or the child wipes first and then daddy. Keep to that process until you scale back to just a check up at the very end and perhaps a helping hand once in a while.
5. Don’t hold back on the praise
Just like the best potty training techniques, good cleanliness lessons come with plenty of encouragement. Make sure to praise your kids often as they learn to clean themselves after the potty. Once in a while, even reward them with a treat—perhaps when they reach big milestones like wiping completely on their own for the first time.