Have you been wondering what to get that little girl who has graduated from her baby bikini or (faux) high heels? And maybe she’s just too young—like maybe she’s 6— for a padded bra or virgin bikini wax? Well, don’t sweat: The makers of the Breast Milk Baby Doll are committed to making sure as many people as possible can buy their doll, which offers kids the experience of breastfeeding with the help of a doll and a “special flowered halter top which activates the dolls suckling mechanism.”
The Breast Milk Baby doll, made by Spanish company Berjuan Toys, has been available on its website and from other online retailers, but last week, the company announced it is meeting with various chains and speciality stores at a Las Vegas trade show later this month. Company spokesman Dennis Lewis said, “The Breast Milk Baby (MSRP $69.99) has sold millions throughout Europe. It is a wonderful, high quality product that mimics one of the world’s most natural mothering abilities. We’ve been asked by millions of U.S. women to offer the doll here and we’ve been graciously embraced by dozens of advocacy groups that endorse the doll.”
Lewis added, “The Breast Milk Baby lets young girls imitate mothers in a natural, caring way. Acting just like ‘mommy,‘ girls can learn another natural nurturing skill about taking care of a baby. Just like changing, bathing, swaddling, singing, rocking to sleep, and cuddling for a healthy baby.”
One Manhattan mother told WCBS 2, “I think that it’s totally bizarre to teach a prepubescent child how to breastfeed. Quite strange,” while another said, “I don’t approve of it at all. I think it’s ridiculous for a child. Let her learn it when she’s older.” But with breastfeeding being recommended by many, including pediatricians and high-profile moms, and the fact that it’s totally allowed in public places (and is even on menus or becomes art!)—your puritannical instincts be damned—the fact of the matter is that many children are seeing their mothers breastfeed and might indeed be encouraged to emulate them, the way they do giving a bottle to a baby doll.
In fact, a child psychiatrist, Dr. Ned Hallowell, says parents shouldn’t freak out, telling ABC News, “I don’t think it’s sexualizing any more than a little boy standing next to his father shaving and putting on shaving cream. The only way harm can be done with this doll is if you beat this kid over the head with the doll.” Yeah, the only lingering question is what to tell little boys who want to breastfeed like their mommies… then again, Robert De Niro did it.
*Thanks to Justine for sending this article