The latest controversy is a doll that was release in Spain in 2009, but now hitting American toy stores this spring. It is a doll that mimics breast feeding with a sucking motion and sound when the mouth is placed against a special bib worn by the child. The baby also cries and burps.
I want to preface this post by saying that I grew up in a family where circumcision is a norm, and breastfeeding past 8 months is not (etc.). These were known to me as "right" and "wrong". Why? Because that's what my Mom believed. Why? Because that's what her Mom believed. And so on. So many of us have been brainwashed with certain societal beliefs... but when we stop to think, there is not a lot of logic in these beliefs. "Because it's gross", "Because that's the way it is"... "Because".
When I became pregnant and introduced into the world of parenthood, I found myself questioning my thinking and the thinking of my parents and the parents before them. Why did they circumcise? Why is it considered "gross" to breastfeed a 14 month old infant? I found that I had to completely erase any previous notions or thoughts and come to all decisions with a clear head. I wanted my decision to be made from logical thinking, not brainwashed preconceived notions. I still have to "check" myself and back up every once in awhile. I think as a society we are terribly guilty of forming opinions and beliefs not based on any logic, because society says.
Back to the doll. We have dolls that eat, drink a bottle, pee, poop, burp, cry and dolls that are anatomically correct. Why? Because children love their dolls to be realistic. It makes the mimicry of "house" more real and engaging for them. My children are 17 months apart. I breastfed both of my children. When my son was born, my daughter breastfed all of her dolls for 2 years! She would lift up her shirt, put the baby to her chest and watch TV. Just like Mommy. Why would she give her baby a bottle? That wasn't how a baby was fed in our house. It was only natural for her to feed her baby the natural way that Mommy did!
So now we have a doll that makes this act of mimicry even more real. Just like the babies that drink from a bottle... these babies make a sucking motion and sound. So what is wrong is that?
Critics say that this will cause teen pregnancies. Really!? Please! Where is the logic there?
One comment taken from the internet is "...I don't want my daughter to go around pretending a doll is sucking on her boob." This is what is wrong - society has sexualized breasts. Last time I looked "boobs" ahem... breasts were put here to nourish our babies. They are nature's bottles. Breast is best, and I think it's actually good to advocate and encourage our daughters to perceive breastfeeding as natural and positive.
The fact is, many little girls are going to be "breastfeeding" their dollies anyway. I don't think there is anything wrong with a doll that makes it sound like the real deal - perhaps if society thinks about it, they may think it may be a better alternative than a child lifting her shirt and baring it all to breastfeed - as all these girls naturally do!
I know there is going to be a wide variety of thoughts on this. I'd love to know your thoughts... and why you feel that way. Natural or creepy? Let me know...