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The Breast Milk baby doll: Do seven year olds need to learn this skill?

Posted by admin on Aug 7, 2011 in opinion, random

The breastfeeding debate is one that all mothers have an opinion about- and is something to which there will never be a ‘correct’ answer. As a non mother (I realize this makes my opinion of far less value) I’d say it’s a good thing to do as it promotes bonding with your child, but if- for whatever reason-you’re unable/ disinclined to do so, that’s really fine, as it’s non imperative to their future as a human being (PS. not breastfed myself). Were this a blog on Mumsnet I’d know expect some angry responses, but  I feel fairly confident none of my readers will get to angry about my above statements.

I recently came across the ‘Breastfeeding baby doll’, and this is something I have rather strong thoughts on. I’m no stranger to odd dolls- remember the Skipper doll whose breasts grew?– but this doll feels like a new low. I grew up with all sorts of female-centric toys, from Barbie’s dream house, to babies that you fed with a bottle which then wet themselves, and you had to change their nappy. Yes, really, that was NORMAL in the eighties.

The Breast Milk baby doll feels like it takes that premise to a new low, and their website only adds to my discomfort. They have six types of baby dolls to choose from, three boys, three girls, two of which are African American, the rest of which are blithely blonde and blue eyed.

The idea is horribly simple- you choose a doll for your child, they put on the special top it comes with- covered in flowers- and when the doll comes near the flower on your chest, suckling sounds come from its mouth as it reaches for your ‘flower nipple’. I couldn’t make this stuff up.

So, lets give this odd concept a little bit of background. Created by Berjuan Toys, ostensibly the premise is to make breastfeeding more prevalent in the world. They quote the U.S. Health Resources and Services Administration goal of having ‘at least 75% of all mothers breastfeeding for at least six months by 2011’. I’m not sure how targeting little kids will advance that aim,other than making new mums feel guilty? Read more…

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