Would you buy for your daughter or loved ones a doll that "breastfeeds"?
The doll, called "The Breast Milk Baby" and manufactured by Berjuan Toys, makes motions and sucking noises consistent with breastfeeding. And includes a special top that girls can wear while "breastfeeding" their baby. Berjuan Toys and its supporters say the goal is to encourage nurturing qualities in girls and to bring them up thinking breastfeeding is a healthy, natural way to feed one's baby.
"The truth is that we've received overwhelming support online from all over the country. However, about 20 percent of the messages have been hateful and mean," said Berjuan Toys U.S. spokesman Dennis Lewis. "Churches all over the world are filled with images of Mary nursing baby Jesus, and yet we can't imagine letting our daughters learn how important breastfeeding is for our society?"
Lewis noted that even the World Health Organization recommends exclusive breastfeeding for the first six months of life for all babies.
Melanie Notkin, founder of SavvyAuntie.com and author of Savvy Auntie (Morrow/HarperCollins), informally polled her Savvy Auntie Facebook Fans about the breastfeeding doll last week, and the majority of Savvy Aunties said they would not buy it for their nieces.
"Many responses included 'Hell to the no' and 'not in a million years.'" Notkin said. "Most aunts felt it was making little girls grow up too fast. Chloe H wondered what happened to kids using their imagination and AnneMarie G questions if it really helps with 'breastfeeding awareness,' pointing out that we played with candy cigarettes as kids but that didn't make us all smokers. Some wondered if little girls would try to breastfeed their neighbor's real baby since they 'knew what to do.'"
Notkin added: "Personally, I'd have to agree with the Auntourage on this one."
Tell us: Would you buy this doll for your daughter or niece? Click here to vote in our poll!
For more from Melanie Notkin and parenting experts on genConnect:
- 10 Steps to the Art of Being a Savvy Aunt
- Keeping Your Love Life Alive - With Kids
- Healthy Brown Bag Lunches for You and Children
- Are You a Bossy Mom? By Laurie Puhn
About the Expert Contributor:
Melanie Notkin (a.k.a Savvy Auntie) guides savvy aunties of NYC and the globe. She is the author of Savvy Auntie: The Ultimate Guide for Cool Aunts, Great-Aunts, Godmothers, and All Women Who Love Kids (Morrow/HarperCollins), the founder of SavvyAuntie.com and the creator of the popular Savvy Auntie lifestyle brand - the phenomenon heralded by fabulous kid-friendly women everywhere as a celebration of modern, cosmopolitan aunthood.
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