Encouraging Good Hygiene During Potty Training
2/24/2007 | by Jennifer Shu
Good hand washing is one of the best ways to stay healthy. In addition to making
wash their hands before eating, after coughing or sneezing, and whenever they’re noticeably
dirty, I make it a point to remind children (and adults) to pay a visit to the sink after every
bathroom break. A recent study caught 33 percent of men and 12 percent of women leaving
public restrooms without washing their hands. We can help our children be a little bit better than
adults at post-potty hygiene by reminding them during the potty training process.
Here are some tips for getting your child into a good hygiene routine right from the start.
Wash early and often. If your toddler or preschooler learns to wash his hands during
the potty training process, he’s more likely to continue this habit into adulthood. Even
better, get into the habit of washing your hands (as well as your child’s) after every
diaper change. If soap and water are not available, reach for the hand sanitizer or wipes.
Make it convenient. Place a stool in front of the sink so your child can reach the faucet
more easily. Have all the required equipment such as soap and towels close by to
ensure they get used. If your child has not yet mastered the skill of wiping, consider
using Pull-Ups® Flushable Moist Wipes for easier cleanup.
Take your time. You can teach your child to spend 20 seconds at the sink by singing
"Happy Birthday" twice (or just counting to 20 slowly). Have them rub their hands
together and try cleaning well between their fingers to clear away as many germs as
Warm up the water. Using water that’s a comfortable temperature will make it more
likely that your child will wash long enough.
Have some fun. Consider using soap that your child can pump out of a dispenser. Or
choose one that smells good, has an appealing color or foams when it comes out.
Keep it simple. A simple phrase I taught my son was "cover, flush and wash, please" so
he would have a consistent routine to follow while potty training and beyond.