Critics Dump on Potty-Training Baby Dolls

By Katherine Thompson,  Newser Staff
Posted Dec 22, 2008 10:54 AM CST
Baby Alive Wets N' Wiggles has been elbowed out of the market by her younger sister, Baby Alive Learns to Potty.   (AP Photo/Mark Lennihan, file)
camera-icon View 2 more images

(Newser) – This year's hot toy is as chatty as Tickle Me Elmo but much, much more realistic. Little girls are crazy for new baby dolls that eat and excrete, but psychologists and some parents aren't thrilled with Hasbro's Baby Alive Learns to Potty and Mattel's Little Mommy Real Loving Baby Gotta Go Doll. "That is just so wrong," one shopper tells the Washington Post.

The manufacturers tout the dolls' realism and young children's fascination with bodily functions; after a flood of advertising, kids' interest seems to bolster the claims. But child psychologists recommend toys that foster imagination, rather than creepy animatronic dolls that come with fake bananas. "It makes a real mess," one mom says. "I'm not looking forward to it."