Last week, while watching television, I saw a short news item about a doll that mimics breast feeding. Any mention about dolls on television always makes my ears perk up, so I watched the story and was very interested. The doll comes with a special vest, which looks like a bikini top, where the doll is "fed."
The Breast Milk Baby is made by Berjuan, and is available on their website in a variety of skin tones, girl or boy, and in different outfits. The doll costs a little more than an American Girl doll, so this is not cheap, but may be worth the cost to some.
At first I questioned the value of such a doll but the more I thought about it, the more it made sense. As a former nursery nurse, I know first hand how much breast feeding needs to be encouraged, and I think this doll could do just that; particularly in families where children do not see breast feeding is action. In families where children are breast fed, future mothers, at a very young age will imitate with their dolls what they see Mom do. My daughter used to nurse her baby, when she was only 18 months old, while I nursed her new brother. In that case, any doll will do, but this doll can encourage little mothers to breast feed their baby where no other example exists.
I was unable to learn whether the doll requires batteries, but I know it can be turned on and off, so it has some mechanism to make it work. The vest is not at all anatomical in appearance, which is a plus, in my opinion, for young children. The doll must also be burped after being fed, so it's a great learning tool for baby care and adds more realism to the experience.
This topic will stir some debate, I know opinions run high on both sides of the question, so feel free to bring your comments to the Doll Making Forum.
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