Breastfeeding doll...creepy or a good idea?

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momW's picture
Joined: 09/29/09
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Breastfeeding doll...creepy or a good idea?

Oh come on, you knew someone was going to bring it up eventually right Biggrin

New Doll That Teaches How To Breast Feed Causing Controversy

NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) – A new doll hitting stores in the U.S. is causing some controversy with parents. It’s called The Breast Milk Baby and it claims it teaches young girls how to breast feed.

The doll is made by Berjuan Toys, a company out of Spain. It comes with a special halter top that has two flowers where nipples would be. When a little girl puts on the top and holds the baby doll up the flowers, it makes suckling sounds.

The company says the doll is a top-selling toy in Europe and on its website, says the toy ”lets young girls express their love and affection in the most natural way possible, just like mommy!”

But the toy has many parents asking if it’s going too far.

“I think that it’s totally bizarre to teach a prepubescent child how to breastfeed,” said Nicole from Manhattan. “Quite strange.”

“I think it’s very creepy,” said one woman. “I don’t think little kids should be breastfeeding.”

“I don’t approve of it at all. I think it’s ridiculous for a child. Let her learn it when she’s older,” said another woman.

Scott from Manhattan says he wouldn’t buy the doll, but gives credit to the company for coming up with the idea. “Make a product, if it sells, it sells,” he said.

The company has had to defend itself against critics. In a news release on its website, U.S. spokesman for Berjuan Toys, Dennis Lewis, says “Breastfeeding is good for babies, it’s good for mommies and it’s good for society. We really don’t understand why this has created such controversy.”

Lewis also claimed in a release promoting the doll’s introduction to the U.S. market, that the company has “been asked by millions of U.S. women to offer the doll here.”

Whether or not that’s the case, the doll’s arrival is sure to stir up mixed emotions with consumers around the country.

http://newyork.cbslocal.com/2011/07/16/new-doll-that-teaches-how-to-breast-feed-causing-controversy/

What do you girls think?

Joined: 05/31/06
Posts: 4780

I agree with Scott from Manhattan. If it sells it sells!

I don't find it creepy, but I also would not buy one. Kids do play "work", have play kitchens, play tools, play ironing boards and whatnot, they play with babies w bottles and no one finds it "creepy". My kids have their own real live walking talking breast feeding doll in the form of their 13 month old brother Smile I'm glad that we taught them that breast feeding is normal and healthy the good old fashioned way, by example.

ClairesMommy's picture
Joined: 08/15/06
Posts: 2299

It’s called The Breast Milk Baby and it claims it teaches young girls how to breast feed

lol....you don't need a special doll to do that. All my DD had to do was watch me feed DS a few times and up went her shirt and she was feeding her Baby.

“I think that it’s totally bizarre to teach a prepubescent child how to breastfeed,” said Nicole from Manhattan. “Quite strange.”

“I think it’s very creepy,” said one woman. “I don’t think little kids should be breastfeeding.”

“I don’t approve of it at all. I think it’s ridiculous for a child. Let her learn it when she’s older,” said another woman.

While I don't necessarily see the point of actively instructing a child how to breastfeed, what's wrong with them learning (by watching and maybe asking questions) that what you're doing as a mom is how babies get fed? I couldn't have prevented DD from learning about it unless I went off into the bedroom and hid from her view every couple hours. Yeah, not happening with a 2 y.o. running around the house.

culturedmom's picture
Joined: 09/30/06
Posts: 1131

I think it is stupid. Flower nipple covers? Ugh. But there are alot of toys I think are stupid like the Barbie with the dog that poops out little brown balls. WTF?

I don;t think it is contraversial. If a mom wants to give her daughter pasties and let her have a doll pretend suck her chest, hey whatever.

A doll that makes sucking noises with a special flower bikini top sounds like something you would buy at a sex shop not Toys R Us.

momW's picture
Joined: 09/29/09
Posts: 5634

I'm not sure if this doll is going to actively desensitize a new generation to bf'ing like some hope it will. I don't find the doll creepy. I just am not really sure how I feel about it. If Clara gets older and wants one, I'll buy one I guess, but I'm not going to go out and buy her one just to make a point. A good friend of mine has 4 kids, none of which have ever had a bottle. Her two older girls pretend to bf their regular dolls all the time, it's all they know. They don't really get the concept of bottles so I think they will really get into a doll like this. I don't get the uproar about the doll at all.

culturedmom's picture
Joined: 09/30/06
Posts: 1131

"Potter75" wrote:

I agree with Scott from Manhattan. If it sells it sells!

I don't find it creepy, but I also would not buy one. Kids do play "work", have play kitchens, play tools, play ironing boards and whatnot, they play with babies w bottles and no one finds it "creepy". My kids have their own real live walking talking breast feeding doll in the form of their 13 month old brother Smile I'm glad that we taught them that breast feeding is normal and healthy the good old fashioned way, by example.

There are alot of body functions that are normal and OK, but I woudn't want doll that emmulates it. You can teach a child to be comfortable with different things without having to go produce a doll to emmulate it. My DD knows about getting her period and it is very normal and she has no problem talking about it with me. But I wouldn't buy her Mary Menstral Doll. Ewww.

Joined: 05/31/06
Posts: 4780

Maybe, but I don't think of breast feeding like I think of tampon changing or pooping.

I would not change a tampon or take a dump in public, but I feed my baby in public all the time.

elleon17's picture
Joined: 01/26/09
Posts: 1981

The only thing I find strange is that it is a doll, which innately makes us think of a child, and children don't/can't breastfeed.

I personally wouldn't buy it.

I think it would be much more effective for children to see grown women breastfeeding and understand the natural feeding process.

Joined: 05/31/06
Posts: 4780

Young children also don't use powertools, yet my son has a play workbench. Children mimic adults. It is only creepy if you think of breast feeding as sexual in the first place, IMO. The only person I could see benefiting from a doll such as this is perhaps a child of a homosexual guy/guy couple, or someone who is an only child, who may never have any exposure to a nursing woman.

Again, I would not buy it, simply because it isn't even accurately reflecting breast feeding, which does not need anything but ones breasts. My son and daughter both pretend to nurse their babies, simply by picking up their shirt like I do, not by strapping on some flower nipple contraption.

elleon17's picture
Joined: 01/26/09
Posts: 1981

First, I don't find it creepy, but I do find it odd.

I just think it's not something for me. I'd rather have my child see me or another woman breastfeeding to learn what it is. If they imitate at that point I would not care.

Joined: 03/08/03
Posts: 3189

I think it's dumb. I have no interest in teaching my daughter to breastfeed while she is a child.

Joined: 12/10/05
Posts: 1681

I wouldn't buy it, but both my sons and daughters breast feed dolls (or stuffed animals) while I breast fed their younger sibling.

Breast feeding a normal and healthy action. I don't see kids pretending to feed their "babies" any different than when they play with a kitchen center, play school, or any other imaginary game they play.

Joined: 12/10/05
Posts: 1681

I do think the wording "teaching young girls to breast feed" (in the first paragraph) is silly. It isn't as if you are working on their latching technique or something... That would be weird.

They're are just making a doll that feeds the way nature intended, as opposed to the toy bottle that comes with every second doll.

culturedmom's picture
Joined: 09/30/06
Posts: 1131

"Potter75" wrote:

Maybe, but I don't think of breast feeding like I think of tampon changing or pooping.

I would not change a tampon or take a dump in public, but I feed my baby in public all the time.

Well does it have to be the exact same thing to be a good analogy? And I don't breastfeed in public. And I think most women who do BF in public do so with some discretion. So though it may not be as private an act as pooping, it is a bodily function in some regards. Plus, you may not change your tampon in public, but you get your period regardless of wherever you are, no? And I am assuming the point of this doll is to "normalize" BFing. Well shoudln't a girl be just as comfortable with getting her period as she would be with BFing?

That's my point.

I don't need a doll for every activity I want my kids to be comfortable with. Sometimes a parents actions and comfort with a topic is more then enough to teach a child that something is OK.

And I may not poop in public but I changed my kids diaper in public. I still don't want a realistic pooping baby doll.

momW's picture
Joined: 09/29/09
Posts: 5634

"kris_w" wrote:

I do think the wording "teaching young girls to breast feed" (in the first paragraph) is silly. It isn't as if you are working on their latching technique or something... That would be weird.

I thought that too Smile

culturedmom's picture
Joined: 09/30/06
Posts: 1131

"freddieflounder101" wrote:

I think it's dumb. I have no interest in teaching my daughter to breastfeed while she is a child.

Thank G-d, I thought I was going to be the only one.

Joined: 01/18/06
Posts: 1626

My DD1 has a doll that pees in its diaper. There's no alarm over those kinds of dolls.

I agree entirely with Miss Potter.

Joined: 05/31/06
Posts: 4780

"culturedmom" wrote:

Well does it have to be the exact same thing to be a good analogy? And I don't breastfeed in public. And I think most women who do BF in public do so with some discretion. So though it may not be as private an act as pooping, it is a bodily function in some regards. Plus, you may not change your tampon in public, but you get your period regardless of wherever you are, no? And I am assuming the point of this doll is to "normalize" BFing. Well shoudln't a girl be just as comfortable with getting her period as she would be with BFing?

That's my point.

I don't need a doll for every activity I want my kids to be comfortable with. Sometimes a parents actions and comfort with a topic is more then enough to teach a child that something is OK.

And I may not poop in public but I changed my kids diaper in public. I still don't want a realistic pooping baby doll.

Ah, I think that that is the total difference. I don't see this as some agenda toy. I don't see this as a toy with some subliminal societal shifting political agenda of "normalizing" anything. Just like toy guns or irons or play workbenches don't "normalize" anything....they are just toys! I don't think that Jordan's DD's peeing doll "normalizes" peeing in a diaper, it is just a fun toy for little children who love make believe.

Of course she should be just as comfortable! And if at 12 my daughter got comfort from a menstruating doll, that would be cool! I find it unlikely, but that is more due to age. At 12 a girl is not as interested in dolls or make believe play or mimicking ones parent as a small child is.

As to the bolded I agree! That is why I don't have any interest in buying the doll, I'm content to just nurse and have it be normal in our home and out in public. Other homes, however, may have different needs, I'm not going to say that they are weird for it.

I don't want a doll which poops real poop either! That would be super ick. This doll doesn't actually breast feed, it just pretends to. Like my kids toy drill pretends to drill, or his toy kitchen pretends to cook meals, or her pretend princess costume lets them pretend that they are princesses. While it isn't for us, I don't see any harm coming from it.

ClairesMommy's picture
Joined: 08/15/06
Posts: 2299

"JorgieGirl" wrote:

My DD1 has a doll that pees in its diaper. There's no alarm over those kinds of dolls.

I agree entirely with Miss Potter.

Is it the Baby Alive and does it say (or practically YELL) "Mommy I gotta go potty!" and if you don't get it on the actual teeny tiny potty that came with the doll it yells even louder "HURRY! HURRY!"?????:ROFL: FIL got that for DD a couple years ago and after just a week or two we had to decommission that dolly. It was driving us around the bend and DD didn't care much for it. It weighed a freaking ton.

Joined: 01/18/06
Posts: 1626

Thankfully, Lisa, it must be a newer version. Definitely a Baby Alive, but she has no vocal chords! You put water in her mouth and it comes out down below into the tiniest diaper I've ever seen. It's cute, but I never filled her sippy with water, so the kids don't even know she has that function. lol.

Yeah, I don't care to buy that breastfeeding specific doll. My girls and even many of the little boys I know who are accustomed to seeing a real baby breastfeed will nurse anything they care about. Including trucks, Spiderman or Little People.

mom3girls's picture
Joined: 01/09/07
Posts: 1535

If my child asked for that doll specifically I may buy it. Wouldnt say there is no way because my kids like to prove me wrong. I do not believe I would go out and buy it because they all nursed their dolls without needing a special dolly for it.
I dont think the doll is weird, but I think that the little pasties are weird.

RebeccaA'07's picture
Joined: 11/19/07
Posts: 1628

"Potter75" wrote:

Maybe, but I don't think of breast feeding like I think of tampon changing or pooping.

I would not change a tampon or take a dump in public, but I feed my baby in public all the time.

This made me laugh. Hard. Is that bad?

I agree with everything you've said. While I wouldn't go out and buy this doll for my daughter, I see no issue with children knowing that breastfeeding is a natural part of life that shouldn't be hidden.

culturedmom's picture
Joined: 09/30/06
Posts: 1131

"Potter75" wrote:

Ah, I think that that is the total difference. I don't see this as some agenda toy. I don't see this as a toy with some subliminal societal shifting political agenda of "normalizing" anything. Just like toy guns or irons or play workbenches don't "normalize" anything....they are just toys! I don't think that Jordan's DD's peeing doll "normalizes" peeing in a diaper, it is just a fun toy for little children who love make believe.

REally? Because this is from an article about the toy and the company...

Bebé Glotón is a infant doll made by Berjuan, a toy maker in Spain, for the express purpose of promoting breastfeeding. The idea is to impress upon kids that breastfeeding is natural.

I could link youto the website and articles on it, but they are in Spanish and that probably wouldn't be very helpful. However from Bejuan, the makers of the toy specifically say that the toy is to impress the importance of breastfeeding. I think it is absolutely political whether you see it that way or not.

Joined: 05/31/06
Posts: 4780

I think that the company wants to make money, and saw a niche, and is going for it Smile

Then again, I admit to living in a place (or maybe just being friends with a certain group of people) who see breast feeding as the norm, as a given, so I do admit to not understand this idea of "normalizing" it. It is the norm, amongst my peers.

I think that the only reason that the toy has any controversy is because clearly nursing ISN'T the norm in some segments of society (as stats bear witness to), and because unfortunately some people still must view breast feeding as some sort of "agenda" or whatever. (I'm not saying you, I know that you nursed, I'm just speaking generically). Like I said, no one seems to be up in arms (pun intended) at little 5 year old guerillas running around the pool armed with water bazookas or worried that this may "normalize" guerilla warfare or teen murderers, so I admit to simply not understanding why some people worry that a little girl playing nursing mother may intend to normalize something that is somehow unchildlike.

So, if the makers literally made this toy with a political agenda (not a financial one) in mind, I would hope that they are donating all of their proceeds to the WBF or LLL or something like that. Otherwise, I think that they are doing the same thing that companies like WS are doing when they put out organic baby food makers....not endorsing a concept as a political or social agenda, but capitalizing on a relatively untapped market.

ETA: I Just googled the maker and found this blog....I feel a lot like this lady Smile
http://themotherloadhome.blogspot.com/2010/01/stupid-product-bebe-gloton.html

Again, I'm not going to buy this product, it isn't for us, and I completely disagree that it "normalizes" breast feeding, as I have stated from the get go that what normalizes it for us is doing it (flower pastie less).....I just don't find anything necessarily wrong with it, you know?

fuchsiasky's picture
Joined: 11/16/07
Posts: 955

I don't find it creepy at all. Little girls will play act what they see and many have younger siblings who are bfing. I remember pretending to nurse my dolls as a little girl. All of our moms bfed so our dolls did too. We didn't have baby bottles for them. I don't see a need to make a doll for it though. If a girl wants to nurse a dolly she probably has several already.

zefroim's picture
Joined: 05/18/06
Posts: 126

I don't think it's creepy, but definitely dumb. I wouldn't buy one for my DD. She learned all she needs to know about bf'ing at her age by watching me nurse her brother.

Joined: 03/08/03
Posts: 3189

"fuchsiasky" wrote:

I don't find it creepy at all. Little girls will play act what they see and many have younger siblings who are bfing. I remember pretending to nurse my dolls as a little girl. All of our moms bfed so our dolls did too. We didn't have baby bottles for them. I don't see a need to make a doll for it though. If a girl wants to nurse a dolly she probably has several already.

But that's exactly why I think it's ridiculous. Kids already play pretend, and that's awesome....my son did it with Elmo when I was nursing my daughter. No problem. Cute and funny. But I think it's odd to have an agenda to teach your infant daughter to nurse. Also, honestly, any parent who would buy this doll is already stigma-free about nursing, so the kids who get it wouldn't be the ones that "need" it...if anyone "needs" it.

culturedmom's picture
Joined: 09/30/06
Posts: 1131

"Potter75" wrote:

I think that the company wants to make money, and saw a niche, and is going for it Smile

Then again, I admit to living in a place (or maybe just being friends with a certain group of people) who see breast feeding as the norm, as a given, so I do admit to not understand this idea of "normalizing" it. It is the norm, amongst my peers.

I think that the only reason that the toy has any controversy is because clearly nursing ISN'T the norm in some segments of society (as stats bear witness to), and because unfortunately some people still must view breast feeding as some sort of "agenda" or whatever. (I'm not saying you, I know that you nursed, I'm just speaking generically). Like I said, no one seems to be up in arms (pun intended) at little 5 year old guerillas running around the pool armed with water bazookas or worried that this may "normalize" guerilla warfare or teen murderers, so I admit to simply not understanding why some people worry that a little girl playing nursing mother may intend to normalize something that is somehow unchildlike.

So, if the makers literally made this toy with a political agenda (not a financial one) in mind, I would hope that they are donating all of their proceeds to the WBF or LLL or something like that. Otherwise, I think that they are doing the same thing that companies like WS are doing when they put out organic baby food makers....not endorsing a concept as a political or social agenda, but capitalizing on a relatively untapped market.

ETA: I Just googled the maker and found this blog....I feel a lot like this lady Smile
http://themotherloadhome.blogspot.com/2010/01/stupid-product-bebe-gloton.html

Again, I'm not going to buy this product, it isn't for us, and I completely disagree that it "normalizes" breast feeding, as I have stated from the get go that what normalizes it for us is doing it (flower pastie less).....I just don't find anything necessarily wrong with it, you know?

Why does it have to be one or the other? of course they have a financial motive as well. They are a company. But that deosn't mean there isn;t a political message and purpose behind it or that they are capitalizing on a political situation.

You said you don't see this toy as some subliminal societal norm shifting agenda toy to normalize BFing. I am just pionting out that that is exactly what the makers had in mind, regardless of the profits they make off it. And I think just in this conversation it is clear how political it is. Even before I mentioned the intent of the company people have turned it into a BF'ing debate of sorts. For example, a pp mentioned with annoyance the fact that every baby doll comes with a bottle. That shows that just the idea of the doll conjures up a societal commentary.

Besides BFing is a contraversial topic. We ahve a debate board simply for that topic alone. So unlike toy hammers, kitchens, cars, etc., those thigns are not contraversial political topics. So of course this doll is different then a doll that sings. Singing is not a hot topic. BFin, unfortunately is. So by default this doll is going to be a political messsage just in it's creation.

That said, I never said there was anything wrong with it. I even said it was not really all that contraversial. I just think it is weird and stupid and pointless and I don't need a doll to "normalize" BFing in a 10 yo child. Which, according to the comapny, is exactly what it is for.

I also will say that the only thing really to me that makes it contraversial is people who get up in arms over people who think it's stupid. It's almost like they take it personally as if by sayign thsi doll is stupid, in some way I am saying BFing is stupid. Just because I am proBFing doesn't mean I have to be pro-creepy BFing doll.

momW's picture
Joined: 09/29/09
Posts: 5634

Not to get in the middle of the ongoing debate here, but I just came across this "blog" I guess. The comments are fantastic or scary, depending on how you look at it. It's worth the read to see what people are saying about this doll. Holy batsh!t, some people are C.R.A.Z.Y.

My favorite quote...

This is a pedophiles dream! And they can afford it!. Natural or not, children don't need this 'experience'

Really just the first sentence there is my favorite Wink

Oh no, wait, I just found my new favorite, WAY better...

The Breast Feeding Doll is not a good idea and I believe the people who think up this kind of thing for money making purposes only should be ashamed. What kind of pervert would want to see a young child breast feeding. This doll would cause girls to attempt to put their own little chests in the doll mouths and it is not a healthy thing to show children. Little girls are being snatched from everywhere, raped, assualted, and killed already. This would just make things worse. Little children should be given a chance to grow up normally and not be exposed to adult things so early in life.

ETA: the link didn't go in where I thought I put it (operator error, I'm sure). Here it is

Spacers's picture
Joined: 12/29/03
Posts: 4100

"JorgieGirl" wrote:

Yeah, I don't care to buy that breastfeeding specific doll. My girls and even many of the little boys I know who are accustomed to seeing a real baby breastfeed will nurse anything they care about. Including trucks, Spiderman or Little People.

Same here. Both of my kids nurse their toys, although Tiven has now stopped nursing anything but a baby doll. Sometimes Weston when he's nursing will pop off & have me nurse his Elmo or Kimochi Bug or even *shudders* his stuffed snake.

Joined: 12/10/05
Posts: 1681

"culturedmom" wrote:

You said you don't see this toy as some subliminal societal norm shifting agenda toy to normalize BFing. I am just pionting out that that is exactly what the makers had in mind, regardless of the profits they make off it. And I think just in this conversation it is clear how political it is. Even before I mentioned the intent of the company people have turned it into a BF'ing debate of sorts. For example, a pp mentioned with annoyance the fact that every baby doll comes with a bottle. That shows that just the idea of the doll conjures up a societal commentary.

I mentioned doll bottles (not sure if you were referring to me).

I don't find it annoying that they all come with bottles. It is a fact though. My kids all happily took a bottle if I was away and later when my milk inexplicably dries up at 8-9 months, they all took formula. Bottles are great.

My point only was that there are two methods of feeding babies, one is socially acceptable for little girls to play with their babies and, apparently, the other isn't.

I completely agree the doll is silly, but the concept is not. Any doll/stuffy/toy-in-general gets breast-fed around here. No need for drop $50 for a special sucking-noise doll and fake flower nipples. Kids are creative enough to breast-feed without those props.

fuchsiasky's picture
Joined: 11/16/07
Posts: 955

"momW" wrote:

Not to get in the middle of the ongoing debate here, but I just came across this "blog" I guess. The comments are fantastic or scary, depending on how you look at it. It's worth the read to see what people are saying about this doll. Holy batsh!t, some people are C.R.A.Z.Y.

My favorite quote...

Really just the first sentence there is my favorite Wink

Oh no, wait, I just found my new favorite, WAY better...

ETA: the link didn't go in where I thought I put it (operator error, I'm sure). Here it is

This is my favorite so far:

"There is a right time for all things. Girls who are age appropriate for this doll are not yet age appropriate for the concept of breast feeding. Why is everyone (including parents judging from previous comments) in such a hurry to have their children grow up? First it's makeup for children, then sexy cloths for children, now breastfeeding dolls for children. What's next, birth control for children?"

Apparently breastfeeding isn't age appropriate for young children. What?

Starryblue702's picture
Joined: 04/06/11
Posts: 5454

I think it's a little creepy. I wouldn't say that they shouldn't be allowed to sell the doll, but it's not anything that I would buy for my daughter.