TMI alert: teaching bottom wiping - help!

(16 Posts)
omama Thu 28-Aug-14 06:45:54

Oh god I've failed ds havent I? blush

He is just turned 4 & starts school next week. And still can't wipe his own bottom.

We have tried & tried to encourage him to do it over the last few months & he will sometimes do one wipe but refuses to do more. He gets himself upset & is boking & saying he doesn't like it.

TMI but he always needs lots of wipes (minimum 5) & I am terrified he is going to just do one & end up with it up his back/all over his hands(happens often)/on his clothes when he is at school & his bum will still be covered in it & he'll be sore as a result.

Should we have started this much earlier? blush How can I encourage him to do this by himself? Should I make his teacher aware even though I know they are not allowed to help?

makkahakka Thu 28-Aug-14 06:57:40

if it is any consolation, my Ds is just turned 5, about to go in to yr 1 and still doesn't wipe himself. I don't know why but he has always had poo issues. He has successfully managed to not poo at school all year!

Delphiniumsblue Thu 28-Aug-14 06:59:23

He knows you will do it for him if he won't,- it will be different at school.

omama Thu 28-Aug-14 08:24:27

delphinium should I just leave him there for as long as it takes? Or try reward chart? Am willing to try anything!
Feel unsure if am teaching him the most effective way of doing it - tried to show him folding the paper but he insists on having it wrapped right around his hand, which does cover it completely to save any mess, but is tricky to get off & takes up loads of paper. I cant believe I don't know how to do this!!!! blush

Delphiniumsblue Thu 28-Aug-14 13:32:56

Can you get him to try and do one first thing before he goes as a regular habit?
Have you had chance to leave him with Granny or similar who just say briskly 'I don't wipe bottoms ' to see what happens?
How is about getting his hands messy generally? Can you get him doing hand prints or baking or something where his hands are very messy and he has to wash them?
I appreciate that time is short. You will have to explain that adults don't wipe bottoms at school and he is going to have to manage. Therefore I wouldn't go winding paper round his hand. I would resort to bribery - but something immediate rather than a delayed star chart- due to lack of time.

omama Thu 28-Aug-14 20:10:08

Unfortunately there is no way on this earth granny would refuse to do it for him! So I think a little more tough love is required from me/dh & fast.

I have been telling him for the last few months that his teachers wont wipe his bum for him so he does know this but its not enough to have the desired effect. Most often he goes first thing in the morning at 5.30-6am & we're all still sleepy & so when he starts protesting, I probably give in sooner than I should, to avoid disturbing sleeping neighbours. I will have to grit my teeth.

He's on half days for the first 2 weeks of school so we potentially have a couple of weeks more time to try & crack this. In terms of immediate bribery are you talking more like chocolate buttons type treat in return for trying?

He hates getting dirty hands (hence the boking) which is why I took a friend's suggestion & tried wrapping his hand but I actually think its harder to do it that way, esp when it comes to getting his hand out of the tissue at the end. So I will def try another method.

Anyone know if it is easier to get a child of that age to scrunch rather than fold? Not sure he's dextrous enough for folding & refolding & avoiding getting fingers covered. Sorry I know this is really gross to ask about, its just I never realised it'd be so tricky to teach him how to do it properly! blush

Fubsy Thu 28-Aug-14 20:43:07

An OT I knew taught children to do this by spreading nutella on a sheet of acetate to mimic poo, then they could practice using loo paper to "gather" it rather than smearing it around.

Just don't lick the plastic clean after.

Delphiniumsblue Thu 28-Aug-14 21:15:46

I had a feeling it was a lot to do with getting his hands dirty in general. I think you need to crack that- lots of gardening, making shapes in shaving foam with fingers, play dough and that sort of thing. Bribery would be something like choc buttons- immediate - eat them yourself, in front of him, if you are the one to wipe.

Delphiniumsblue Thu 28-Aug-14 21:16:57

I like the Nutella idea- except it may put you off it for life!

omama Thu 04-Sep-14 22:09:53

Sorry only just updating - eewww fubsy think that'd put me off nutella for life!
delphinium we are still persisting with it & have progressed to him agreeing to alternate wiping with us so we do one, then he has a go & so on til its done. Have also got him to agree to try scrunching & that seems to be going better. He's still missing target most of the time & coming out with clean paper when bum still dirty so next step is to try & work on that as well as increasing his no. of wipes so i'll do one, he'll do 2 & so on til eventually he is doing it all & I'll just check.

May seem small steps & yes very long winded, but the more I pressure him to do something, the more reluctant he gets. He is responding much better to this & I guess he just needs time to get used to it.

PourquoiTuGachesTaVie Thu 04-Sep-14 22:19:25

My just turned 4 year old also refuses to wipe his own bum.

All summer holiday I've asked if he wants to try so he can learn but he point blank refuses.

There was one day over the summer when he didn't tell me he had done a poo and tried to clean himself but I didn't notice until that evening when I asked to check his bum as it had been itching all day. sad

I told him if he wanted to try and do it himself that was fine but he can always ask me to help if he needs it however he hasn't done it again and has gone back to not wanting to try at all.

I don't see how I can get him to try without making him more reluctant. I'm trying to make sure he poos at home for the time being to help avoid needing to do it at school.

BettyFlour Thu 04-Sep-14 22:25:26

Good for you to keep teaching him. Perseverance is the key. In the meantime,

1) I think if your DS poos at 5.30-6am then he will manage not to poo at school. My DS rarely poos at school.

2) i think you need to focus on washing hands thoroughly as poo on hands is far worse than skid marks on pants

3) ask him if he's done a poo at school (particularly if he hasn't done one at home that morning). If he has, then give him a quick wash (shower, bidet, sitting on bath edge and shower head onto bottom like a bidet) and change into clean pants and play clothes - this will prevent him getting sore

He will get better with time. Try not to worry.

This has reminded me that I need to teach DD (3.7) how to do this properly for herself.

She's great with wees, great for getting to the bathroom on time, but hasn't mastered the poo-wipe yet. Time to get practising I think!

Hamsolo Thu 04-Sep-14 22:34:11

How is he with wet wipes? Maybe a little pack of hand wipes he can keep in a pocket would help?

SBGA Fri 05-Sep-14 00:00:05

I've been teaching my DS aged 4.5, by practicing with clear instructions - simply because he's the personality that responds better to black and white scenarios:

Two sheets of toilet paper folded, "wipe and post" without looking.

I instruct for that to happen 3 times, the we can move to phase two which is to "wipe and peep!"

If there is any residue left it won't be much, and usual only takes one last wipe. DS then proudly waves a clean piece of toilet paper, job done!

FloweryBoots Fri 05-Sep-14 21:30:04

I posted something about this a week or two ago and didn't get much response. My DS is only just 4 and also starts school on monday. I really thought he would go to school still unable to wipe but we seem to have cracked it today! He was getting more and more insistent on not trying as he knew he was jsut making it more of a mess so we took 2 weeks off entirely, didn't mention it (appreciate you dont really have time for that now) then I just said right, you need to do lots of bottom wiping practice so I'm not wiping your bottom any more except just to check when you've had a go. I told him this first thing on Sunday morning before any need to poo had arisen so he was aware, and reminded him gently a couple of times that day. DS scrunches paper, and does only one wipe with each bit (uses a lot, but I don't think at this age you can escape that, and at least he's doing it!). He gets off the toilet and wipes stood up. I've realised a big problem we had was that DS was not reaching far enough down so there has been plently of reminding him he needs to reach right down to where his legs start to get to the pooy bit! I supervised the first few days and now tell him to get on with it when he calls to say he's finished and that I will come and check when he has finished. Finaly today he has had 2 sucesful wipings where he has got him self throughly clean (go DS!). I also said he needs to check 3 times when he thinks he's clean, just to be really sure (i.e. 3 clean wipes). We have many poos per day, all very loose, so at least had the oportunity for plenty of practice in only one week! I did try the wet wipes with him but it didn't seem to help much, and they won't have them at school any way. I have told DS that I have put a spare pare of pants in his PE bag so if he has a poo and later feels uncomfortable or goes to the toilet and finds there is a bit of poo on his pants from earlier he can get the clean pair from his PE bag and go back to the toilet to change them.

I would not be at all averse to chocolate/similar praise when he tries when even getting them to try is tricky, it would have been my next resort!

Good luck.

Join the discussion

Join the discussion

Registering is free, easy, and means you can join in the discussion, get discounts, win prizes and lots more.

Register now