Wednesday, March 30, 2011

The Breastfeeding Doll

There seems to be a lot of discussion in the media about a breastfeeding doll that teaches young girls to breastfeed. The doll comes with a floral halter top which has sensors that mimic a sucking noise when the doll is brought close to the chest. Currently the doll is only available in Spain, but the manufacturer intends on bringing it to America next year.

Many are calling the doll "gross" and very inappropriate citing that it will promote teenage pregnancy and force girls to grow up too fast. Some have even described the doll as "sick".

Considering it's completely socially acceptable for children to carry around dolls that require diaper changing because they wet themselves and dolls that actually bottle feed, is this doll really offensive?

I question the necessity of the doll: I just don't feel that the halter and suckling noises are necessary. However I feel that way about all dolls that feature real life bodily functions. My thoughts are that children can imagine all those acts themselves. I know a few mothers that have given their first born children a doll when a new sibling has come into the family. When it comes time for the new baby to nurse, the older child has to feed their baby, too. Is that odd? Or is it teaching tool?

Thinking forward to if we were to have a sibling for Ember, I would absolutely give her a "baby" to help her ease into her new role as big sister. I expect that she would mimic nursing her doll as I would be nursing a baby, just as she would burp it, change its diaper and take it for a walk.

I'm dying to know - what are your thoughts?? Let's discuss.


  1. Well, I thought it was odd at first too, but you make a good point. Our son would mimic breastfeeding baby dolls we had in the house when his baby sister was born. He'd hold them up to my chest, etc. I do think the halter and sucking sound aren't needed. Our daughter has a baby doll that sucks on a pacifier and it is annoying more than anything else; and really breastfeeding I found was silent (with my kids anyway). What happened to good old imagination? Toys these days are so high tech kids can't think up anything on their own anymore.

  2. Well there was and still is enough breastfeeding going on in this house between my two girls and myself that we could tell Spain to keep their doll and we could become a Canadian travelling, education show ourselves! ; )

    Kam totally breastfed her dolls and I am pretty confident that both of my girls are fully aware of what my boobs and their friends mom's boobs are capable off too! I think that pretend play among my girls would beat out that doll in the video for sure.

    Yay though for making breastfeeding something that is natural and representative of nurturing rather than being ashamed of breasts, fearful of showing them in public or sexualizing it in some way!