Controversial Breastfeeding Doll to Be Sold in US

c29cefb530a714be_breast-milk-babyThe Spanish company Berjuan, which makes a baby doll that children can pretend to breastfeed, will be selling their product in the US beginning at the end of July, news sources are reporting.

ABC News reports, “The doll, which comes with a special halter top with two flowers positioned where nipples would be, makes suckling sounds when its mouth is brought close to sensors embedded in the flowers.”

The product is controversial in some circles.  From ABC News:

“I heard people talking about it but, honestly, I thought it was a joke,” said Ilina Ewen, a writer for Deep South Moms and her own blog Dirt and Noise.

“There are just things that I think kids are too little to understand,” she said. “Let kids use their imagination and play with a doll and not deal with what it can do… There’s no need to turn it into something that’s anatomically correct. Not at this age.”

Berjuan defends its product by arguing that it allows children to explore and imitate a natural part of their parents’ connection with them:

“Breast-feeding is completely natural,” Cesar Bernabeu, director of sales and marketing for Berjuan, wrote in an e-mail to ABCNews.com.

Bernabeu said the toy allows children to imitate their moms — a natural part of growing up.

“We realized that the reaction was so positive with the girls when they were imitating their moms and saw that they react to the doll like it was a little sister,” read Bernabeu’s remarks, translated from Spanish. “Their faces of happiness said it all.”

Child development experts are torn on the toy’s value:

“My take is that anything which reminds young girls that their bodies are something other, and more, than sex objects, is a very good thing,” said Dr. Ronald Cohen, medical director of the Mothers’ Milk Bank in San Jose, Calif.

“On the other hand, encouraging young girls to want to have babies at a very young age may not be so great,” said Cohen, who is also the director of the intermediate intensive care nursery at Lucile Packard Children’s Hospital at Stanford University.

(image via: http://www.lilsugar.com/)

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  1. by Lisa

    On July 19, 2011 at 7:34 pm

    My mom tells me I breastfed my dolls while she nursed my little sister. There were no harmful longterm effects.

  2. by Maria

    On July 27, 2011 at 2:01 pm

    My daughter pretended to breastfeed her dolls after her younger sister was born. I didn’t encourage nor discourage this. She just wanted to pretend to feed her dolls as she saw me doing it. I’m sure this doll will be a hit with some parents who breastfeed their children. This doll isn’t going to encourage young children to have babies any more than other dolls on the market.

  3. by Angela

    On July 28, 2011 at 8:03 am

    Saying this doll would encourage a young child to have babies sooner is the same as saying that Barbie encourages breast implants. If a breastfeeding doll encourages a young child to have babies sooner than all dolls would also have the same effect. Maybe they should stop selling fake baby bottles with other dolls as well, since that would obviously encourage bottle feeding.

    Maybe they should make a baby doll that cries all night, has colic, won’t latch on to nurse effectively, requires 15 diaper changes each day, experiences terrible bouts of teething & diarrhea and spits up every 5 minutes to DIScourage young children from having babies… But what do I know I did it 3 times, nursed them all for 1 yr+ and would do it all over again…and I played with trucks and hot wheels when I was a girl.

  4. by Mom of 11

    On August 31, 2011 at 11:15 am

    My daughters have seen me breastfeed their younger siblings and have imitated that. My nearly 17 year old daughter does not want to be a mother yet. If imitating the natural breastfeeding is going to pervert a child, then maybe we shouldn’t allow them to change diapers either out of fear they will become pedophiles.

  5. by Tiffany

    On September 6, 2011 at 11:18 am

    The idea that a “breastfeeding” doll would encourage girls to have babies at a younger age is the most ridiculous argument against the toy.

    My BROTHER apparently mimicked breastfeeding with a toy monkey while my mom was feeding me. He turned out just fine!

    We have so many toys that encourage development and learning (among many obnoxious toys that serve no educational purpose), why not have a toy that teaches them about the natural and better way to feed/nurture a baby. If this toy were an everyday toy, it might save me from answering questions from children (even adults) regarding what/how/why my baby is eating.

    @Angela, GI Joes encourage killing…right!? ;)

    Anyone arguing against this really has nothing to better to do with their time!

  6. by Laurel

    On September 15, 2011 at 8:38 pm

    My oldest mimicked breastfeeding when her baby sister was born. I thought it was very cute! And why would a breastfeeding doll encourage having babies any more than a bottle fed doll. Neither would!!! As far as people being concerned with the flowers being where the nipples are, very very young children notice all the parts of themselves anyway. To act ashamed will just cause them to believe that those areas are shameful. There is a big difference between telling body parts matter-of-factly along with teaching discretion versus showing off body parts for negative attention.