Toddlers and hygiene

Do you worry about how to get your little one to wash his or her hands after using the toilet? Here is some good advice:

David Gellerpediatrician

When your child is old enough to use the potty, he’s old enough to imitate what you do afterward. Let him watch your usual routine of going to the bathroom, which includes how you wash your hands. If he sees you do this, he’ll probably start to associate hand washing with going to the bathroom. Have him stand on a stool to reach the sink, and help him with the water and the soap.

To reinforce this behavior, you can give him a reward, such as a sticker, a star on a star chart, or a hug. I would separate rewards for hand washing from those for potty usage so that if he succeeds with the potty but doesn’t remember to wash his hands, he has still accomplished something. To make it more fun, you can designate special wipes or towels to be used only for post-potty hand washing. After a while, washing his hands after using the potty will become automatic.

Also teach him to wash his hands before eating. And make sure you model good behavior for your child by washing up yourself!

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