Should Little Girls Play With Breastfeeding Dolls?

Little girls play with baby dolls, change their diapers, and feed them milk from bottles. So why not learn to breastfeed through playing, too? Last night on the 11 PM news there was a story about The Breast Milk Baby, a doll that allows little girls to pretend that they're nursing a baby. It's been popular in Europe for awhile and the manufacturers are trying to expand here in the USA.

I recall a little dustup over this doll last year. Folks said it was sexualizing little girls and that the last thing we need is 6-year-olds sticking a doll up under their shirts to give it a pretend snack. I didn't pay attention too much because I have two sons--not exactly the target demographic.

However, I did breastfeed both of my boys--when you're making $1,800 a month as a teacher in Compton, like I was when my eldest was born, you choose the FREE food option over the one that comes in a can. I started reading more about the health benefits and stuck with it for my youngest son, so I'm strongly in favor of breastfeeding.

Still, I'm trying to put myself in the shoes of the folks who are up in arms. Is it cos the doll involves boobs the girls don't have yet? Bodily functions? Are we all prudes? Is it that the doll makes sucking noises and the mouth moves too? Is it the fact that the doll is a ridiculously priced $89?

I decided to poll the ultimate real talk test case, my husband. Would he would get one of these dolls for our daughter if we'd had one?

"Wait, are you pregnant?" he asked, his face lighting up like it was Christmas morning.

"Nooooope," I replied. "Hypothetically, would you get one of these dolls for a daughter if you had had one?

"Oh, you're not pregnant. Okay..." (Note to self: start discussing him getting snipped.) "Well, yeah, of course I would," he continued. "I mean, I kept my kids on a leash. Why not a breastfeeding doll so she's socialized that doing that is normal and doesn't feel like she has to retreat in a cave to do it?"

Yes, because breastfeeding dolls are the equivalent of kid leashes. But it gets better: He went and asked my sons what they thought about this doll and 11-year-old Mr. O's reaction was, "What kind of sick doll is that?" That's disgusting. Just stop talking. LALALALA. I can't hear you talking!"

Clearly, I don't have to think about whether or not, in the pursuit of gender equity, I should go buy my sons a breastfeeding doll. They're not having it.

If we're cool with little girls pretend feeding a baby doll from a bottle, why not pretend breastfeeding? What do you think--yay or nay on the breastfeeding doll? If you had a little girl, would you buy her one?

I'm tempted to say no solely on the basis of the cheesy video for the doll. Watch this and you'll see what I mean--warning, there are BEWBS in this video so if you're at work, watch at your own risk.


Daniel said…
Los Angelista,
Did that toy baby burp in the video? LOL! If it can now throw up, projectile vomit or generally make a real mess, I'm down wit it!

And does watching the real boobies do their job at the beginning ... did I just do porn?

Better yet, remember Conan on his show doing the "booooobiiieeesss" thing? My oldest died at that, kept repeating it for weeks.

Since the ad shows a black version (can't say A/A, 'cause "she" could be from Rwanda)maybe it wouldn't be a racial issue too.
Daniel said…
Los Angelista,
Hold up! I know what this is! It's a …
socialist conspiracy propagated by the La Leche League!
Looking to infiltrate the minds of our precious young!
And steal our precious bodily fluids! (Hope ya get that ...)
nick said…
I can't see what's wrong with a pretend breastfeeding doll, when breastfeeding is a totally natural function with no sexual implications whatever except to those with a strange way of looking at things.
Liz Dwyer said…
LOL, three cheers for La Leche League's secret mission! That's funny. I never went to their meetings much simply because I didn't have time, but I know so many ladies found them helpful. Imagine if the launched an Occupy BOOBS campaign? ;)

I don't think it's porn, but I'm sure some folks do. I also am realizing I never ever wanted a doll that pooped or did any bodily functions. I was fine with giving them baths or doing their hair, but that was my limit.

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