Controversial Breastfeeding Doll Hitting Toy Stores
Is it natural or disgusting?
By Mary Papenfuss, Newser Staff
Posted Jul 19, 2011 2:21 AM CDT
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(Newser) – A new baby doll that little girls "breast feed" is giving parents heart palpitations. The doll, created in Spain, is now heading to US toy stores. Creators of the "Breast Milk Baby" insist the $90 toy triggers a perfectly natural pretend-play process that teaches girls the very valuable lesson that they should nurse their babies when they become moms. Some outraged parents say it's creepy and obscene watching little girls clutching the babies to their chests for a noisy suck session. The doll set comes with small vest girls wear with two breast-positioned "flowers" where the doll's lips move to "suck." The dolls also suck pacifiers, cry, and burp.

Children "have played 'parent' with dolls for centuries," one child psychologist tells ABC News. "But I'm always a little disturbed by products that have the impact of accelerating childhood identification with being a full-blown adult." The medical director of a California mothers milk bank hailed "anything that reminds young girls that their bodies are something more than sex objects. On the other hand, encouraging young girls to want to have babies at a very young age may not be so great," he adds. A representative of toy maker Berjuan calls breast-feeding "completely natural," and says the toy allows girls to imitate their moms, which is "part of growing up."

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Aug 3, 2012 4:47 AM CDT
So let me see if I understand this? It seems that it's OK, more than OK, to give children toy weapons (guns, knives, hand grenades, machine-gun wielding action figures, I could go on and on), toys which are very war/aggression specific (unlike building blocks or bicycles), but it's not OK to give a child a doll which breastfeeds? When she was small, I bought my daughter the "barbie" type doll which is pregnant, and has a small baby in her tummy, and my daughter did NOT turn into a sexually promiscuous teenager, pregnant by 16. Proper, balanced parenting is the key, no matter which toys you choose to buy for them. Here in South Africa, women breastfeed (almost) anywhere, it's part of normal day to day life. Cranky children (yes, up to about 2 years of age) are offered the breast to soothe them, and I'd rather see that than be frazzled by a screaming child at a shopping centre. Hypocrites beware, we see you with your blinkers on!
Jul 19, 2011 11:41 AM CDT
If my 12 yo daughter wants it, I'd buy it for her. She was a breastfeeding baby herself! Perfectly natural!
Jul 19, 2011 10:36 AM CDT
I think this is only controversial in the minds of the press. As a former La Leche League leader, I don't think I ever saw a little girl who DIDN'T pretend to nurse her baby dolls just like her mother nursed her younger siblings. They've had baby dolls with mobile mouths for decades, but those dolls always came with bottles. Now someone was clever enough to put "breastfeeding" on the box of the baby doll with a mobile mouth. Amazing that this bit of marketing was invented somewhere besides the US!