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At what age would you expect a child to wipe their own bottom? Should nursery help with this?

(85 Posts)
blueskythinker Sat 04-Oct-08 23:36:43

My DD 3.4 has just started nursery school. She would be one of the youngest in the class, having an early June birthday.

She is very competent at using the toilet, apart from wiping her bottom. At home, she just gives me a shout, and I wipe it for her. I have tried to encourage her to do it herself, but she isn't interested.

I noticed last week after coming home from nursery, that her bottom hadn't been wiped after a poo. I asked her do the teachers help her to wipe her bottom and she said no.

Before I discuss it with the teacher, I wanted to gauge what 'normal' was. Are all other children this age wiping their own bottom's successfully? Would you expect teachers / TAs in nursery school to help children with this?

cornsilk Sat 04-Oct-08 23:39:05


cornsilk Sat 04-Oct-08 23:39:48

Not unless your dd has special needs that is.

sherby Sat 04-Oct-08 23:40:23


blueskythinker Sun 05-Oct-08 18:00:31

What about anyone else with children at 3.4 who have started nursery? Do they mange ok?

BoysAreLikeDogs Sun 05-Oct-08 18:01:51


barbiehouse Sun 05-Oct-08 18:04:19

i would expect them to get bottoms wiped for them at that age. still, it might give her incentive to have a try at home

ladyconstancekeeble Sun 05-Oct-08 18:09:33

My ds went to playgroup 2 months before he was 3 and could manage by himself then. You had to be potty trained to go which I assumed (perhaps wrongly) meant wiping. My dd is 3 next week and wipes herself but I do check her to see if she has done it right.

I wouldn't expect a teacher to wipe a child's bum but I might ask them to remind her to do it herself.

blueskythinker Sun 05-Oct-08 18:17:01

My DD started potty training last December, so she is by no means a novice - we would rarely have accidents, and she just goes to the toilet whenever needed, without any help before or during. It is only afterwards that she shouts 'I've done a poo / wee wee, wipe my bottom!!!!!' at the top of her voice . blush

I'm just a bit reticent to speak to the teacher in case she looks at me like I've 3 heads!

donnie Sun 05-Oct-08 18:19:53

dd2 is 3.5 and can't really wipe her own bottom - she can do it a bit but the results are very unpleasant smears so I tend to do it for her! so far she hasn't done a poo at nursery but the day is bound to come sooner or later. I would say the nursery should not be expected to wipe children's bottoms unless there is a SENs.

Twiglett Sun 05-Oct-08 18:21:23


she should be able to do it herself if she can go to the toilet she can wipe herself ... so you need to start making her do it and check her then gradually teach her to check herself (bum wiggle .. do you feel clean)

oh and as an aside when you're teaching her little girls must do front to back and DD's paed advises teaching them to take an extra piece of tissue at the end and dabbing .. this avoids UTIs

Smithagain Sun 05-Oct-08 18:22:28

My three year old (August birthday) tells me that her teachers help her at nursery. She looked amazed when I said "do you wipe your own bottom at nursery" - "no mummy, Miss x does it".

However, the Reception teachers at DD1's school make a point of telling all new parents that they do not wipe bottoms and children need to practice before they come!

I reckon 3 is old enough to start learning, but will probably need some help for a while.

mommy6 Sun 05-Oct-08 18:24:34

My ds is 3.2 and just started nursery.I wouldn't expect teachers to wipe his bum,they would never be out of the toilets.
He doesn't wipe himself at home very often though.

allgonebellyup Sun 05-Oct-08 18:26:07

i am a nanny to a boy who is nearly 4 and i refuse to wipe his shitty arse!


WantThisWantThat Sun 05-Oct-08 18:36:56

Crikey - you lot are a bit harsh! My DD is nearly three and still needs me to do it for her most times. She does try, bless her, but I would expect her nursery teachers to help out at as well. And there are 4 year olds still in nappies. It's the same thing surely. AllGone... i take it he's totally proficient then, or do you just leave it for his parents to clean up.

jimjamshaslefttheyurt Sun 05-Oct-08 18:39:24

ds3 does it himself at pre-school (he's 3).

toolly Sun 05-Oct-08 18:39:50

Allgonebellyup? Can he do it himself? If not I think you are being unfair to the boy. I imagine his bottom could be quite sore not to mention the state of his pants. Isn't that part of your job, to care for the child?

noonki Sun 05-Oct-08 18:39:56

nice way to talk about a little boy allgonebellyup hmm

my ds is 3 last week and he is learning but still I would check as he isnt profiecient yet!

Overmydeadbody Sun 05-Oct-08 18:46:43

Interesting thread.

DS is 5.6 and in yr 1 at school.

He has never wiped his own bottom and gets into hysterics at the mere mention that he might want to practice doing it himslef. He also has to strip naked in order to do a poo, or gets hysterical that the poo might get on his clothes hmm

He has never done a poo outside of our house unless I'm there with him. His ability to hold it is phenomenal.

As long as it distresses him thisd much I am not going to make a big deal out of it or force him to do it himself.

Nayway, he is odd to say the least, so I allow him these little peculiarities.

ShyBaby Sun 05-Oct-08 18:58:42

When dd potty trained she started wiping her own bum.

That was years ago. She has the odd wee/poo accident as ds did, which im sure the teachers understand. She is old enough to wipe her own bum.

Smithagain Sun 05-Oct-08 19:41:50

I'm finding all these highly competent three year olds very interesting. As I said above, DD2's nursery teachers help her. She's three and a quarter.

She cannot reach to wipe poo from the back of her bum - her arms simply are not long enough. So what is she supposed to do if no-one helps?!

DD1 was helped at nursery and we started insisting she did her own in the summer holiday before Reception. When she was physically capable of doing it.

Or do I just breed children with very short arms? hmm smile

Loshad Sun 05-Oct-08 19:48:20

not potty trained in my book until they can wipe their own bums - it's really not that hard, and i haven't had a bunch of competent 3 yo's, just if you ecpect it then they manage it, and perfectly well too.

Spatz Sun 05-Oct-08 19:49:11

This has made me focus on DS aged 5 and half. He still doesn't find it easy and often ends up with poo on his hand.

mytetherisending Sun 05-Oct-08 20:03:35

DD1 is 2.9, she can wipe her front but not her backside yet. She can't reach it!grin Chubby bum and short arms!
Lots of school age children of 4/5yrs don't do it well IME (or at all sometimes)

mytetherisending Sun 05-Oct-08 20:05:50

Loshad I was under the mishaprehension that potty trained was where they used the toilet/potty at every toileting. FWIW dd1 still can't pull up her own trousers/ get tights down due to the size of her bum blush

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