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Boy Baby Dolls

Updated on February 11, 2015
My son dressing his baby doll
My son dressing his baby doll | Source

by Amber Maccione

Is it Feminism, Sexist, or Good Parenting?

I was privileged to give birth to a son in 2011. I was also privileged to grow up in a household that didn’t label things as boy toys or girl toys. Some may call me a feminist (which I am so far from), but I don’t believe in toys being sexist. I believe in toys being playful things to use to entertain children, give them an enriching childhood, and teach them about life. So yes, for Christmas 2012 I bought my son a baby doll.

As a parent, I believe it is my job to train my son in the way he should go so that he can be successful in all areas of life. Since he is so young, it is hard to say right now what path he will take, but I feel that I should start to help him develop his interests. Some of the things that my son’s father and I have noticed about my son are: his love for music (he sings and dances to his own tune; when he hears music, he will stop and dance to that music; and he loves playing on instruments), his love for balls (he loves to throw them, bounce them, and dunk them), his love for books (he would rather read to you than you to him), his fascination with animals, and his love for babies. Therefore, for Christmas 2012, we made sure to buy toys that would enrich those interests with the later being the one I want to focus on.

When I told people I was going to buy my son a baby doll, I got laughed at; even my son’s father was a little concerned. And I guess they had validating points – ever walk down the isle with all the baby doll stuff? It is mostly pink and girly. But why?

My son sharing his water with his son
My son sharing his water with his son | Source

Why a Baby Doll for a Boy?

I got my son a Cabbage Patch Doll. A boy named Josef. My son wanted a baby doll. Every time we went down the isle with all the baby dolls, my son would get excited and shout, “Babies! Babies!” My son’s father agreed that I could purchase Josef since he had more of a masculine look rather than all pink with bows.

My son loves his Josef. My son gives him hugs and kisses. Takes off his shoes and socks and tries to put them back on (he still needs some help). And I always call Josef my son’s son. I tell my son, “What a great daddy you are!”

So why did I think it important to get my son a baby doll? A few reasons:

1) He wanted one. Plan and simple. I wanted to encourage his interests.

2) It is a great way to teach him things about caring for someone else, teaching him body parts (which he has already mastered and is not even one and a half), teaching him how to get dressed (which my son has almost already mastered and again is not even one and a half).

3) One day my son may be a father, so why not start teaching him at a young age what it means to be one?

So are dolls just for girls? I say no. I think as parents we need to stop thinking about what everyone else is doing and what the media tells us. We need to start thinking about our children and how we are going to train them so they go in the right direction of success (which is different for each child). So what if something is pink or blue? That should not dictate to us that it is only for boys or only for girls.

So if you have a son, why not get him a baby doll especially if he asks for one?

Baby Dolls for Boys

Is it ok to buy a baby doll for a boy?

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    • KatSanger profile image

      Katherine Sanger 5 years ago from Texas

      I've never actually bought a doll for my son, but he's acquired them. :)

      He had a friend come over, and he began playing with it, and so she decided to leave it with him. He loved it, and he would do things with it. It was actually helpful because he is autistic, and I think that it helped him to develop empathy.

    • ambercita04 profile image

      Amber 5 years ago from Winter Park

      When I was a child, I had toys too that were typically labeled as boy toys: army men, GI Joes, Legos, Hot Wheels, etc. I played sports - even football with the boys (of course I was the only girl who would). But I think I had a normal childhood and got to enjoy different activities (whether they were labeled boy or girl didn't matter to me or my parents). My parents were more concerned with my attitude and character than they were about whether I was playing with "boy" toys or "girl" toys. I just happened to be one of those girls that enjoyed what people have called a tomboy.

      I agree that toys or interests do not determine how a person will grow up as far as sex goes.

    • MasculistFeminist profile image

      Ryan 5 years ago from Australia

      I can really connect with your story here. When I was younger I had a baby doll. My mum got it for me because I asked for it, just like your son did. So one day she got me one rather than a gold coin from the tooth fairy. Mum and dad were perfectly fine with it. I did not feel like less of a boy for having a doll. I simply liked the idea of taking care of something and using my imagination to develop their fictional personality. I played with my Lego and guns too. Neither my mum or dad were feminists (although regard women as equals to men and vice versa). I never had gender identity problems and I always have considered myself male. Some bigots might assume I am homosexual. I am heterosexual and find nothing wrong with homosexuality.

      People are too paranoid about children and them conforming to gender stereotypes. It is as if they think children have to learn whether they are a boy or girl. Gender identity is innate (the corpus callosum has been implicated in determining a persons psychological gender identity). A boy playing with a doll won't make him a girl. A girl playing with toy guns won't make her a boy.

      Children are quite capable of determining for themselves who and what they are, without society pressuring them to be something they are not. The genders overlap considerably in most psychological attributes. Taking out societal pressure to conform to gender norms and the innate differences are even smaller. Individuality is far more important than gender when explaining differences between people.