Three day potty training. Again.

Sometimes when I don’t write, it’s because I am busy.

Confession: I am of the opinion that a woman should have at least a year or two to recover from one potty training experience before launching into the next.

But that is not how it happened in the Zook household.

A mere half year ago, we potty trained Jenny with our now-famous three-day Jensen method, an experience from which I developed PTSD and a noticeable eye twitch. She was our most compliant child, and since we had already potty trained twins with the same method, I thought Jenny would be a piece of cake.

Let’s just say there was no cake involved in that story.

But now, with bio family applying pressure to get potty training for Small Son underway, and the 2nd birthday coming up soon, we looked over our schedule and said NOW. We have three free days, let’s do this thing.

Only I could have timed our training to coincide exactly with

  1. The first three days of summer vacation – more kids, less time
  2. An ear infection in the child being potty trained (again!)…
  3. The antibiotics for which he reacted to, with a flaming diaper rash…
  4. Which led to a hasty doctor appointment during training
  5. Five routine dental visits
  6. A dinner invitation (outdoor, so we went)
  7. Intense personal stress from a situation I don’t want to discuss
  8. Landing briefly on the hot seat in the fostering department because we failed to reschedule a visit someone else cancelled
  9. A craft project I promised to beta test for a friend
  10. An overnight stay in a sleep clinic on Day Four

No, I am not joking. And no, he did not once soil the clinic’s bedding. This child, whom I was sure would not get it, was a boss at training, and rebuilt my faith in the method. (But FYI – I still hate it. I’ve potty trained seven children so far, four with this method, and so help me if I ever do it again.)

The three-day program involves throwing away all the diapers, launching straight into underwear, serving lots of beverages, and using the frequent accidents as positive training on rushing to the bathroom. YOU MUST CATCH EVERY ACCIDENT AS IT HAPPENS.

Well, guess where Shari Zook was during her son’s first two accidents? On the phone with medical providers, trying to sort out the antibiotic complications.

But he learned!!

And now the Zook home is officially diaper free!!!*


* Though we’re still addicted to other things, like coffee and sleep and random potty accidents. And chocolate. And yelling. And exclamation points.

Here is the e-book that we use. Yes, that was an affiliate link. The method is not as surefire guaranteed as the author insists, but it is a great method, and she will teach you everything you need to know about potty training!

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5 years ago

I’m in love with the 3 day method. I potty train early so we understandably have relapses, but I prefer extra laundry to buying diapers lol

My last one was pretty funny. His poops come out fast and the first time it happened I had to laugh because he was turning around, trying to see what was happening behind him and then he stepped in it, froze and started crying because it felt bad to him.
The second time I had my back to him for like 30 seconds and smelled something bad, I turn around and see a trail of turds and a little boy triumphantly sitting on the potty.

Congrats on having the job accomplished though!

5 years ago

Oh you had me laughing! I just went through my own potty-training-in-3-days experience and can relate to needing two years to recover!

5 years ago

I blundered terribly through my first two boys potty training. We all were miserable ? I tried the three day training on my third and wished someone had told me about it sooner!!! It’s absolutely lovely to have a child trained at two!!! Preach it!!!

5 years ago

Wooohooot.!!!! Proud of you and that little man!!!! This is a HUGE mission accomplished. BTW, I have concluded there is NEVER a convenient time for potty training. And potty training is hard no matter what approach you choose. It’s nice getting the hardest part over within a week though!

L. Baer
5 years ago

WOW! That was a lot on your plate. You are a survivor! :):)

5 years ago

WOW × 10! 🙂 Congratulations!! Potty- training is just not something I look forward to. It’s facing me tho with my youngest being old enough for it and this post gave me the nudge to trying the 3 day training. So, maybe I will soon.:) How many foster children do ya’ll take care of at the moment? (Maybe you mentioned it in your post.)
P.S. How is your mother’s health presently if I may ask? 🙂 I’m hoping to hear good news…..

5 years ago
Reply to  Shari Zook

I’m very happy to hear that your mom is doing good! What a blessing. (I care about you…and your mom to.:) )

5 years ago

I love how you documented this momentous occasion with a pristine photograph of toilet paper! A classic, for sure! Bravo, dear Shari!

Psychiatrist please
5 years ago

You are made of some stern stuff! Congrats on being diaper free! I tried training my first with the 3 day method (tried 3 different times) and also have the eye twitch and PTSD. I am also cured of using the method again. I think. Number two is training beautifully with the accident as a training tool method without the pressure of having to catch it every time. Looking forward to joining you in the diaper free category!

5 years ago

You know what I love about this post? Not once did you use the words “shit” or “hell”. You are walking with Jesus and it makes All The Difference when life is insane.

5 years ago

“She reacheth forth her hands to the needy. . . .She looketh well to the ways of her household.” Shari, you show me what this looks like, and it’s not as calm and pretty as one may fantasize.

5 years ago

Confession: I’m a failure at the 3-day method.

But the book did give me some hints.

I’m doing the super relaxed approach with my two-year old that worked wonderfully with my last child and save my sanity.

Right now Sanity trumps speed.

From a (hopefully) soon diaper-free household

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