I thought our potty training days were over. We were done with the accidents because we didn’t make it in time. We were done with the backup clothes everywhere we went. I thought all of this potty training mess was behind us once and for all. Except there is just this one extremely annoying thing my three year old will not let go of.
This conversation is sponsored by Charmin, as part of an ongoing partnership, but all opinions are my own.
At this point, to say my daughter is strong willed and independant would be an understatement. When its time to do her duty in the bathroom she wants to be left alone. Just today, she told me she doesn’t even need the potty seat any more and we can pass them on to a family that needs them.
“My baby is growing up.” I think to myself as I choke back a tear. “She doesn’t need me any more.” Sob. Sob. Sob.
Then it happens. Every single time. Just as I’m feeling super nostalgic and doing what mommies do when their babies are growing up, I hear a piercing cry from the other room. As my eyes roll back in my head, her words replay in my head over and over again like a broken record.
“Mommy. I’m done. Wipe me.”
Ugh. Really? We’ve been over this. I know she knows how to wipe. I know she can be independent. But yet, every single time, she calls for me like a call to the wild wolves… COME NOW!!!!!
As soon as I turn the corner to the bathroom, I am not sure if I should grab my camera, laugh out loud or cry. There in all her glory, she has been kind enough to pop off the potty, turn around and point her shiny white tush in the air for me to easily help her out. I can just imagine what her preschool teachers must think if she ever happens to do her business during her two and a half hours at school. Let’s just pray, they haven’t seen my child’s shiny whiteness.
So what can I do? Continue to wipe my daughter until she gets married 2o years from now? Refuse to wipe and be left with skid marks and stinkies? Or… muscle up and get creative with my efforts. I’ve chosen to get ridiculously creative with my potty training efforts to teach my child to wipe her own bottom. Honestly, I have Charmin to thank for all of it.
Four Simple Step to Preparing Your Child to Wipe Themselves
About six months ago, I was actually invited to the manufacturing plant for Charmin and it was so fascinating. I’m not sure if I liked the flush lab or the science demos better. Both left lasting memories. In fact, when my daughter flashed her bum at me, I had immediate flashbacks of my trip to Charmin headquarters where we learned just how they test their toilet paper.
One awesome science experiment that involved a balloon, some peanut butter and toilet paper still brings me to tears of laughter. So when my little three year old refused to wipe herself, can you guess what I pulled out? Yep, you guessed it. A balloon, some super strength toilet paper and I left the peanut butter for another day. That didn’t stop the tip from working like magic! Seriously.. MAGIC. Why did I wait so long to try this?
Step One: Make sure your child is actually ready to wipe themselves.
Your child should be able to actually reach and have the dexterity to wipe themselves before you expect this from them.
Step Two: Emphasize the importance of wiping.
Your kid obviously has the rest of the potty training down or you wouldn’t be moving on to the “wipe” stage just yet. It is important to read books and chat with your little ones about the importance of getting a good wipe. I know its a gross conversation, but someone has to do it.
Step Three: Practice toilet paper distribution frequently.
I’ve been really lucky in this department. Each of my kids have only filled the bathroom floor with toilet paper once. However, the amount of toilet paper they use when they go to the bathroom is a different story. Too little.. gross. Too much… clogged toilet (also gross).
Step Four (the golden step): Make wiping fun!
Yes! Make wiping fun and practice often. Are you curious how you can possibly make this gross job fun? Here’s what the team at Charmin showed me and it’s pretty brilliant!
Brilliantly Creative Potty Training Trick to Teach Your Child to Wipe Themselves
What you need:
A Ready & Willing Child (age 3 and up, preferably)
Charmin Ultra Strong Toilet Paper
Peanut Butter (if you want to have a lot of fun)
How to Set Up this Brilliant Game:
Start by blowing up a balloon about half-way. You want it moldable and pliable (like a tushie).
Next, have your child pull off the right amount of toilet paper and fold it over into squares.
Finally, have them hold the balloon with one hand and “wipe” with the other. If your child is anything like mine, they will bust into laughter. If you really want to have fun, you can spritz the balloon with a little bit of water, or get really daring and put a dab of peanut butter on the balloon.
When we first started, we didn’t try to squeeze the balloon into the shape of anything, but once she got the hang of it, I stretched the balloon out and made a crease so she could practice getting in there and getting clean!
Once your child has the hang of wiping with the balloon in front of them, practice with the balloon behind them. This is harder for short arms than you think. Your kids aren’t just standing their ground on this issue for no reason. They might really need help!
Before you know it, you will hear a flush before you even knew your child went to the bathroom. Then you will be right back to realizing your baby won’t need you any more and missing that shiny tush waving in the air at you. Until then, embrace the moment, have fun with it, and get lots and lots of toilet paper! We use the Mega Rolls of Charmin Ultra Strong toilet paper around here because they are
For even more potty training tips and tricks, you have to check out all of these awesome ideas shared by real parents just like you!
Charmin even has you covered with some super creative ways to teach your kids to wipe on their own. You can check out tips for teaching boys to go potty and how to potty train girls. They even have this super creative video you can watch with your kids.
Do you have an awesome potty training hack? I’d love to hear all about it!