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The controversial new parenting technique that many new mums are signing up for.

Just think of the money you’d save on nappies.

No, not three years. Three weeks. That’s how old Lucas Krause was when his mum Ulla held him over a specially designed potty and watched him do a wee.

Lucas is now nine-and-a-half months old, and Ulla says he is close to being toilet-trained.

When iVillage staff read Lucas’s story in the Manly Daily, most of the mums scoffed, while one mum-to-be hoped it could be true. Well, it is.

In fact, more and more Australian mums are getting into infant toilet training – or, as many of them prefer to call it, “elimination communication”. The idea behind it is that you don’t need to put nappies on your baby. You communicate with your baby so that you know when they’re going to do a wee or a poo.

Not saying it’s easy, but it can be done. The obvious benefit is that you’d have a one-year-old who could go to the toilet by themselves. Think of the money you’d save by not buying disposable nappies.

Does this little cutie need a nappy?

Queensland doctor Sarah Buckley tried the method on her baby daughter Maia 14 years ago. She'd read about women in Africa making a "pssss" sound when their babies did a wee or poo, so she did the same with Maia from birth. When Maia was three months old, Dr Buckley held her up over the laundry tub, made the "pssss" noise and she peed.

"It was like, 'Oh my God, that's amazing!'" she remembers. "I’m a doctor, and you get taught that you can’t really toilet train till they get the nerves wired up, until they’re two or three, so it blew all that away."

Dr Buckley, author of Gentle Birth, Gentle Mothering, says elimination communication is a method that anyone can try, from the time their baby is newborn. It's to do with timing, and also with reading a baby's signals.

"If you see that look on your baby's face when they’re about to poo, you put your baby in the appropriate place. You might hold them out, or you can sit them on a little potty and catch that one.

"The other one that's easy to catch is when the baby wakes up. We all usually pee when we wake up."

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"When I wake up, I'm going to do a huuuuuuuge wee. Oh yes."

During the day, babies might want to wee 10 or 20 minutes after a feed. They might signal that by becoming unsettled.

Dr Buckley says many parents who use this method will still put nappies on their babies. But she rarely put them on Maia, even overnight. 

"I was waking up to pee her at night," she explains. "So that was a bit of work."

"You can choose what works for you, really." 

Dr Buckley says it's quite an intensive thing to do, and she often found herself cleaning up, mostly when she missed her baby's signals. 

"We’re lucky because we live in Queensland with wooden floors," she laughs. "It wasn’t that difficult."

By the time Maia was 14 months, she was going to the potty by herself.

Here's Dr Buckley talking about elimination communication. Post continues after the video.

Dr Buckley says this method has traditionally been used in many countries, including China and India, and it's really taken off in Australia recently.

"There are elimination communication playgroups around the country, there’s a whole range of elimination communication babywear - because obviously you want to take whatever they’ve got off quickly - and they use little potties."

She stresses that it's not about training, but about figuring out the language between you and your baby.

"You’ve got to be really tuned in and aware and present, which is half the pleasure of it."

Would you be willing to give this method a try?

Click through the gallery of recommended potty's from Grapevine Mums which you can read more about here.

Want more? Try:

Primary school punishes children for taking toilet breaks.

"Is it normal that... my son is seven years old and still wets the bed?

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