How do I get my son to wipe his own bottom?

Q: My 3 1/2-year-old son has been happily potty trained since 1 years old. However, about eight months to one year ago, he decided that he did not "know" how to wipe his bottom.  He refuses to try.  We've tried every trick that many publications give sbout potty training help, but I haven't seen any information on how to handle this particular issue and I can't seem to find a solution. Any suggestions?

A: Toddlers and preschoolers may not be the best at wiping, and they may leave some soiled areas that get itchy and uncomfortable. I am a big fan of disposable "diaper" wipes--wet, soapy cloths that help make wiping a bit more successful for a young child.  It's ok for your 3 year old to feel like he needs help, so after he finishes going to the potty, encourage him to participate in the experience of wiping himself and then check to see if he does ok.  Eventually, after some praise from you, he will graduate to wiping on his own going forward.


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