A new doll originating from Spain aims to teach girls how to breastfeed. The doll reacts to sensors in a halter worn by the kid, making sucking and gulping sounds when its mouth comes close to two "nipples."
Evidently this is creating controversy among parents, some of whom find it creepy or ... somehow .. just wrong.
Video on the company's website shows an actual baby sucking at an actual breast -- something usually relegated to the depths of breastfeeding education sites.
Jessica Wakeman of The Frisky said,
I don’t think there’s anything wrong with the breastfeeding doll, per se; it just may be a bit too complex of a subject for a child who still watches “Dora The Explorer” and occasionally wets her pants.
Tom Henderson of ParentDish shows just how deep the discomfort with breastfeeding can run. He snarks:
Are you one of these people who find yourself ever-so creeped out by the sight of a woman breast-feeding her baby in public?
Oh, you ain't see nothing yet.
Picture a 7-year-old girl -- or boy, for that matter -- strapping on little flowered falsies so a baby doll can suckle the imaginary breasts -- complete with slurping and gurgling sounds.
When I first read about Breast Milk Baby, I did feel a bit of disturb. I visualized a pair of plastic breasts like those hideous things they sell for Halloween costumes. When I saw the photos, I changed my mind.
The top is simple and girly, with little flowers instead of nipples.
Most of the anti-doll people quoted in news reports say it's making little girls grow up too soon -- even though pretending to do adult things, including feeding a doll with a bottle and playing dressup -- or playing soldier -- is one of the most common ways for kids to play.
I think these folks are really expressing their own over-sexualization of the breast, which is one of the biggest barriers to breastfeeding.