The Breast Milk Baby??

There’s a new doll on the market, and she doesn’t pee or cry or sneeze or spit-up like other dolls that have made their way on the market. Nope, this baby suckles. Like a real baby!

And little kids  around the world can buy this doll, the Breast Milk Baby, and experience what their own mothers experienced when they were babies.

The baby comes with a little smock (reminiscent of a nursing cover except in this case the baby latches to the outside) and the baby sucks away.

While this doll is shocking in America where breastfeeding is still taboo (stupidly so, if you ask me), it’s being embraced in other parts of the world for its real replication of a very natural human act … an act for women of child-bearing age, that is.

So I’m mixed about this doll.

While I don’t think I would go out and spend $100 on a doll for my daughter (obvi, we haven’t hit the American Girl stage yet!), I also don’t think that this doll would harm her, either. It’s not like she is actually breastfeeding; the doll just stimulates the act. No different than the pooping/peeing/spitting-up dolls you see out there … or giving a baby doll a bottle …

I guess the difference here is breastfeeding is such a personal choice and a private, intimate thing … so while I’d probably be fine with her playing with this at home if she were old enough and curious enough to want the doll, I don’t know that I’d feel comfortable with her at a restaurant playing with it … so I dunno. Maybe I’m a hypocrite?

[I should note: though I always felt uncomfortable with the idea of myself nursing in public (I have never cared either way about what others do — it’s their choice) this past trip to El Salvador, I ended up nursing Maya on the plane when her need to eat arose on a a long delay on the tarmac. I was on the window seat with my husband next to me in our two-person row; I covered her up and we did what we needed to do and it was FINE. I can check that off my bucket-list now … !].

The thing about breastfeeding is, all the reading and classes in the world cannot teach you and your little one how to successfully breastfeed.  Only real-life practice — at  birth — can. And even if you have it down, one of you might struggle– like the case of me and Maya, she has a great latch and I struggle with production. We aren’t a match made in heaven, but we try.

So although this dolll won’t help a future mother learn how to latch a baby, it could destigmitize an otherwise natural human act for her when she gets older. And I DO see a positive in that. In fact, some mothers have said their daughters end up mimicking nursing their dolls when they see their moms nursing their infant siblings anyway! Plus they can do this without the sore, cracked nipples new moms most often deal with — amen!

The only weird thing I see — and I hope this doesn’t come off as sexist — is that it’s also marketed to boys … and boys cannot nurse, period, no matter what they might wish to be the case. Future daddies can change diapers and get spit-up on … but they cannot nurse. So while I don’t think it matters if other dolls are marketed to boys … this one seems oddly mis-marketed.

Again, I don’t think I’d buy this doll for Maya but I don’t think it super-creepy, either.

How about you? Would you buy your child this doll? Does it matter if you have a son or daughter?


9 thoughts on “The Breast Milk Baby??

  1. I was actually thinking about posting about this today. I think that in the US, breasts are too sexualized. I saw “experts” on a morning show this morning talking about the doll, and saying that maybe this doll wasn’t “appropriate” for this society. But I think it might be a great way to CHANGE society and eliminate some of the stigma of breast feeding. We can’t change the breast culture in the US if we continue to hide and pretend that breasts are only to be seen in Playboy magazines, and that their only purpose is to attract mates.

    1. That is a great point, that breasts are too sexualized. And interesting point, too, about being OK with giving it to your son. I wouldn’t have thought of it that way. That’s some progressive thinking for sure!

  2. oh, and I’d have TOTALLY gotten this doll for my boy if he wanted it. First off, it gives boys exposure to the idea that breasts ARE for something other than sex, second, it gives them a chance to play at a role they’ll later need to be able to empathize with, at a time where it’s more socially acceptable to explore gender roles and relationships.

  3. First, congrats on BF’ing on the plane. I know that had to be a crazy moment at first but I’m glad to hear it was nothing in the end 🙂

    I think the doll is great. It will definitely help destigmatize bf’ing. When I first starting thinking about bf’ing, it was a weird moment to realize that all baby dolls come with bottles. It completely normalizes that single experience, so there definitely should be something to normalize what was historically the norm.

    1. Thanks, Candice! It was weird for all of 2 seconds. Then I realized 1) Luis was next to me covering me (til he got up to help the stewardess who had requested a native Spanish speaker to translate for a passenger) and 2) I was fully covered by my jacket. It was totally fine. I wouldn’t feel comfortable doing it at a restaurant or anything (that’s just me) but when duty calls … it worked!

      Isn’t it weird that they ALL come with bottles?!

  4. I kinda want to get one…I think in a few years it’ll be long forgotten and maybe worth something, LOL!

  5. Wow, Im a midwife here in NZ and I think it sounds fantastic and would gladly have one in my antenatal clinics where most mums bring their children. We are very so much a country that is pro b/f, infact last week was international b/f week.
    However in saying that we are pro b/f there is always the other angle where some mothers cant b/f but in our hospitals some midwives/nurses refuse to give advice on bottle feeding/formula. I was wondering Melissa if it was ok to copy this post onto my facebook page so all my colleagues can see it?
    much love

  6. These are awesome Nicole. Just wtnaed to let you know I’m still promoting for you school picts are coming up in town and trying to get people to switch to you way more fun than the boring school shots! So you might be hearing from some people.

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