Friday, August 7, 2009

Bebe Gloton

You may have caught this tidbit in yesterday's news--a new toy available in Spain, "Bebe Gloton", is a breastfeeding babydoll sparking controversy over whether or not toymakers have gone too far in replicating real life. Little girls wear a breastfeeding halter with flowers where nipples would normally be. When the doll's mouth is brought close to the flowers, sensors initiate a sucking sound and motion for the baby's lips. Wow.

My initial reaction to seeing the doll yesterday was a feeling of awkwardness--not due to the doll or the breastfeeding, but due to the flowers! Once I got over my initial response, I thought through the beauty of allowing a little girl the chance to breastfeed a babydoll. If I am truly an advocate of breastfeeding, shouldn't I want to encourage young girls toward caring for their future children in such a way? My answer is a resounding "Yes!" However, I still think old-fashioned pretend play is best. How adorable it is to watch children (even my boys!) imitate the beautiful act of nursing with plain baby dolls. Leave more to the imagination!

On a related note, yesterday my sweet little one, J, and I ended our year-long nursing relationship. What a dear little nurser he was, never biting, always cuddling. With my other boys, we quickly moved on to the next phase. This time around, I feel like crying! Now I know what other mothers are talking about when they share of weeping during the final nursing session.


JesusThroughMary said...

It could have been given a more civilized name than "Baby Glutton", but I think the idea is not a bad one.

Melanie B said...

On the one hand I kind of like the idea of a baby doll that nurses rather than coming with a bottle. My kids have no idea what a baby bottle is because we don't use them in our house. I can't help but remember the odd look Bella once gave a stranger who asked if her dolly was hungry and needed a bottle.

On the other hand it seems so forced and perhaps too uncomfortably realistic. Why must toys always strive after more and more verisimilitude? My girls have lifted up their shirts and pretended to nurse their dollies with no prompting from anyone else, just imitating what they see.

It strikes me that both the "need" for this doll and people's outrage over it reflect our society's continued discomfort and frankly disordered attitude toward breasts and nursing. If everyone was doing it and it was socially acceptable to nurse in public, kids wouldn't need a doll to encourage pretend breastfeeding but neither would adults be upset by it.

Right Said Red said...

I very much agree with your sentiments B-Mama and Melanie.

Juris Mater said...

Great thoughts... interesting concept, and I think you all hit it right on.

Jennifer Frey said...

There is a post about this on American Papist; you might be interested to check it out.

PhD Mama said...

I was curious if any of the Builders has practiced extended nursing (past one year) and/or child-led weaning? Any tandem nursing? Thanks!