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Old 03-14-2012, 03:26 PM   #1
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Should my 3 year old be able to wipe her own behind?

I am signing my girls up for pre-school/mother's day out for next fall. My DD will be 3 in August. She is not yet potty trained. She can go both pee and poop in the potty and has for a long time, but is just as happy to go in a diaper. I have been dealing with pregnancy complications for the last 5 months and DH has been the main caregiver for all the kids so I haven't pushed anything. I know it's just a matter of taking the diapers away, putting underwear on her and cleaning up a couple of initial accidents.
So, here's my question. For pre-school she has to be "Fully potty-trained". She will be there from 9-3 two days a week, so chances are, she'll have to go poop at some point. The teachers are not allowed to help. Is it reasonable for me to expect to be able to teach a barely 3 year old to adequately clean herself after going poop? If so, any suggestions?
I don't think my oldest did it successfully until the summer before kindergarten...
Maybe I'm doing something wrong?

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Old 03-18-2012, 09:03 AM   #2
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Re: Should my 3 year old be able to wipe her own behind?

No, I don't think this is a reasonable expectation. Kids' proportions are such that most can't physically reach to get a good clean until they're around 5 years old. She might as well be encouraged to try, but IMO you shouldn't expect anything close to perfection, and there should be an adult willing/able to help as needed.

My 4-year-old wipes herself sometimes, but more often asks for help.
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Old 03-18-2012, 09:21 AM   #3
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Re: Should my 3 year old be able to wipe her own behind?

I think she should be able to "try" but to be expected to do an adequate job, no. At that age, they still need help washing their hands (effectively).
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Old 03-18-2012, 09:34 AM   #4
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Re: Should my 3 year old be able to wipe her own behind?

our preschool has the same expectations. Lucky for me, my oldest turned 4 that december and had been potty trained since 18 mos. We did, however, have to teach her to wipe BMs the week before school started. It didn't feel like it was time, but we did it. Our youngest has a Feb birthday and the thought of teaching her to wipe her own BM butt at 3.5 yo scares the living daylights out of me. She's the sort who needs a bit more supervision or we'll end up with "artwork" on the walls.
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Old 03-18-2012, 09:49 AM   #5
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I don't really think it's reasonable, either. DS (29 months) potty trained a few months ago, and while he usually insists on trying to wipe, he can't really reach or do a good job. I've noticed he does a lot better with flushable wipes than tp; can you provide those? Also, putting a little unpetrolatum jelly on his bum after bath makes wiping after BMs a little easier.
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Old 03-23-2012, 03:23 PM   #6
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At DS's preschool (he's 3) they are (by policy) not allowed to help wipe, but they do help wash hands. If he has a bowel movement at school they will just tell me and i then use a wet wipe when we get home.

Apologizing in advance for iPhone typos/autocorrect
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