Thursday, July 7, 2011

Breastfeeding Doll!

What a cute way to teach about breastfeeding!

The doll is called Bebé Glotón, which in my best Spanish means Gluttonous Baby... But maybe it has a different meaning for the toymakers in Spain? In English it is called "The Breast Milk Baby."

"the first breastfeeding doll"
"Takes the breast! A doll without a baby bottle"

This breastfeeding doll makes sucking noises as it nurses (just by bringing the doll closer to the nursing vest that the child wears).  It even cries, hiccups and burps! 

See the demonstration:

If you go to the Bebe Gloton website, there is a nice video on the home page that is similar to the one here, and it shows that they have male, female, white, black and asian versions of the doll for sale. There is also an English version of the website!

Not that you need a baby doll specifically for breastfeeding in order to mimic breastfeeding with a doll... but its still really great for children to imitate life! 

Created by the Spanish toymaker Berjuan, the doll created some controversy when it was first introduced last year. Some critics felt it was inappropriate to teach young girls how to nurse — as if it would encourage early pregnancy! Even some breastfeeding “lactivists” felt it was unnecessary.
What are your thoughts? Would you buy a breastfeeding doll?

I don't think its inappropriate or unnecessary to have a breastfeeding doll. A young child who sees their mother breastfeed a new baby will imitate the action, with or without a doll specifically designated for such a task. Growing up I had a doll that you could "feed" and then it would "pee." Was this doll "necessary"? No, but it was fun to pretend to feed my baby doll. So, breastfeeding is just another way to do it!

Did pretend bottle or spoon feeding my baby doll make me want to become pregnant? I'm pretty sure I had grown out of the baby doll phase by the time I was old enough to even want to touch a boy. Was it something I "needed" to practice? No, it was just a game! Just like playing school or pretending to cook in a play kitchen. If this doll helps emphasize the breastfeeding norm as an added bonus to child's play -  AWESOME!

THEN, the Spanish toymaker takes it one step further, with the breast pump for the young girl to practice "filling a bottle" with, then handing it to her male playmate, who can now join in and feed the baby, too!

The toymaker says:
Enseñar a los niños la importancia de la leche materna es la principal misión de bebé glotón, por eso lanzamos al mercado "el sacaleches" una forma de seguir alimentando a tu bebé con leche materna y poder así de conciliar la vida laboral social y familiar. El lanzamiento del sacaleches de bebé glotón supone una gran novedad en la forma de educar a nuestros hijos.
To teach children the importance of breast milk is the main mission of bebe gloton, for this reason we introduce to the market "the breast pump" a way to continue feeding your baby with breast milk and to be able to combine work life, social life and family life. The launch of the breast pump for baby gloton assumes a great innovation of education for our children.

The breast pump I do feel a little weird about... Maybe because of the controversial nature of breast pumps, or the fact that the child is now interacting with a piece of plastic on her non-breast instead of the baby doll... I can't really explain it.

Anyone else? 

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