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#1 Simple Solution for Toddlers Who Forget to Wipe

Updated: Dec 30, 2023

Inside: Here's a potty training tip to help the toddler who forgets to wipe after going pee or poop in the potty.

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It takes a village with motherhood means more than reaching out for babysitting support or a shared comraderie over the sleepless nights. It means stumbling upon those must-try tricks.

The little ideas that help you in the daily messes as a mama.

Like your friend’s go-to dinner when Friday exhaustion sets in (and the refrigerator is bare).

Like the simple trick for getting ketchup out of a favorite tutu.

And an oh-so-simple solution for an often-asked question in potty training...

what about the child who is not great about wiping?

What can you do about that?

I've got a solution. My trick that I share with potty training clients and friends when they come to me with this question. (I picked up the solution from a pediatrician years ago and it works so well.)

And much like Friday’s dinner idea, this simple solution also relates back to the pantry..

Here is one golden tip on helping the toddler who's not wiping well in potty training.

1 Simple Solution for toddlers who forget to wipe

After you child has ditched the diapers and moved through potty training, you may notice a new problem pop up.

Newly potty trained toddlers sometimes develop this *funk* smell down there.

It's this *not fresh* odor that you may notice, and persists even with regular bathing. Yep, and it's super common with girls, who may even get a little redness down there with irritation. You can get the funk odor with boys, too (especially in the summer months).

Why is it more common with girls? Because it's more often related to wiping (or lack of wiping) with pee, rather than the poop. Letting the pee drip-dry rather than wiping after peeing in the potty.

Most newly potty trained girls will forget to wipe after peeing. And if she's at preschool or daycare, she's likely doing the bathroom trip on her own and without a reminder, she's probably not wiping regularly after going pee.

You'll even see this with older preschoolers (even 5-year-olds will commonly forget this step). They're rushing to get back to doing what they were doing, so wiping tends to be the one thing that gets left out of the process.

You may also see toddler girls wiping in the wrong place.

Like wiping their bum when they just went pee. So then the vagina area is still not wiped and the dribbles of pee settle there. That can cause irritation.

Related: Here are some favorite children's books on the human body so your toddler knows where to wipe what.

Or the reverse can happen. Over-wiping.

Wiping too rough with the toilet paper, or excessively wiping, and then that causes irritation.

Pee is acidic and when there's a repeated lack of wiping after she goes pee, it can irritate the skin (the dribbles) and it can create this funky odor.

You know it when you have it.

And yes, it tends to be worse in the summer when kids are also running around in the sunshine, but it's not just a warm weather issue. You may definitely see this issue pop up at any time of year.

A number of years ago, I stumbled upon the solution, thanks to a pediatrician. It's so simple and it works.

So here it is: my golden tip for when your toddler gets this funk odor down there.

Add a big heaping scoop of baking soda to their bath. Repeat for a few baths.

Problem solved. Well almost.

If your daughter has that mild redness and irritation I mentioned above, then you'll also need a solution to heal the skin. I really love Bum Bum Balm and found it effective for healing irritated skin around the vagina for my girl. It will create a natural shield and let the skin heal. (It was also my go-to product when my kiddos were in cloth diapers — couldn't live without it.)

The balm soothes the skin, and the baking soda deodorizes the funk.

It's just one more magical way that baking soda seems to solve all problems.

Keep in mind you don't want to be using a tiny, dinky scoop out of your baking box of baking soda. What you'll want to do is head to your BJs, Costco, or Target and buy a giant 5-pound bag of baking soda. Because you need a good quantity of it in the bath for it to work. I basically put in a handful scoop — dig my hand in for a generous scoop and toss in while the bath water is running for the baking soda to dissolve.

You'll also want to be mindful of fragrance body products and bubble baths which can further irritate the skin. Keep it simple for a little while until the odor is gone and the skin has healed.

I like to use the baking soda trick as maintenance to *prevent* that funk odor from setting in.

So I'll add it to the bath once a week to keep things on the up and up — especially when schedules are crazy and I've slacked and not given my kids a good bath in a couple days.

Simple solution for toddlers who forget to wipe

It's that simple!

My golden tip for mamas: add baking soda to the bath to help with the funk from less-than-stellar wiping after going potty.

Go forth with toddlers who smell fresh.

**Please note: I am not a doctor or medical practitioner, and this post is not to be considered medical advice. If your child has an unexplained rash, odd odors, or discomfort, you should check in with your pediatrician.

Illustrations: Citrus and Mint Designs

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