Controversial Toys - The Breast Milk Baby
What is it?
The Breast Milk Baby or also known as Bebé Glotón is a doll made by the Spanish company Berjuan. The breast feeding doll comes with a halter top complete with flower like nipples that kids can put on and pretend to nurse with. When the dolls mouth comes in contact with one of the flowers petals it activates a loud suckling sound.
There are six different babies in the collection. This includes different genders and babies from different ethnic backgrounds. Each baby even seems to have it's own personality.
- Savannah is very outgoing. She's a little fussy just before it's time to nurse, but then she's ready to cuddle!
- Cameron is a handful! He's always moving and loves attention. He settles right down when he gets to spend some quality time with mommy.
- Sweet Lilyang is a very quiet, loving baby. She's always ready to nurse, and then she wants to be put down for her nap.
- Tony just can't wait until he's big enough to crawl and explore on his own. Until then, he needs regular feeding, and a nice, healthy burp before his nap!
- Jessica just wants to be with her mommy all the time, riding in her sling so she doesn't miss a moment!
- Jeremiah always has a smile for his mother, and his face always brightens when it's time to nurse!
Controversy Caused Worldwide
There was worldwide controversy when the doll was released. Some people praising the innovation, and others saying it was very inappropriate.
Daily Mail UK - "The £60 doll that lets girls as young as TWO 'breastfeed' sparks outrage amongst mums as it goes on sale for Christmas"
Fox News presenter Bill O'Reilly - "I just want the kids to be kids. This kind of stuff – we don’t need this."
Spokesman for Berjuan Toys Dennis Lewis - "We’ve had a lot of support from lots of breast-feeding organisations, lots of mothers, lots of educators. There also has been a lot of blow back from people who maybe haven’t really thought why the doll is there and what its purpose is. Usually they are people that either have problems with breast-feeding in general, or they see it as something sexual."
The Guardian reporter Rebecca Schiller - "The fuss about the 'Breast Milk Baby' is misplaced – anything that breaks taboos about breastfeeding should be welcomed."
Time - "While some parents support the company's intention to educate kids about breast-feeding, most are understandably a bit grossed out by a toy that allows girls to mimic nursing before they're old enough to understand it. Opponents say the toy could even increase the risk of youth pregnancy."
New Zealand Herald columnist Dita De Boni - "There is nothing remotely sexual about The Breast Milk Baby - the top with the sensors is just a halter top with little petal appliques where nipples would be. It's not like the plastic baps worn by Robert De Niro in Meet the Fockers or anything. But young girls are routinely sold dolls that are far more sexualised than The Breast Milk Baby anyhow, with Barbie now looking altogether wholesome next to Bratz dolls, for example. The other thing is that we already have dolls that bottle-feed by the truckload; dolls that wet and dirty nappies and do all sorts of other realistic things."
Child development expert Stevanne Auerbach (Dr Toy) - "We felt that it had merit in dealing with new babies for the older child, and for the curiosity that children have in this area. Breastfeeding in Europe is acceptable and the doll has been successful there."
Author of The Complete Book of Breastfeeding Sally Wendkos Olds - "I think it's a very cute toy. I think it's just crazy what Bill O'Reilly was saying that it's sexualizing little girls. The whole point is that so many people in our society persist in sexualizing breastfeeding, where in so many other countries around the world they don't think anything of it."
NY Daily News - "We've got dolls that wet, crawl and talk. We've got dolls with perfect hourglass figures. We've got dolls with swagger. And we've got plenty that come with itty bitty baby bottles. But it's a breastfeeding doll whose suckling sounds are prompted by sensors sewn into a halter top at the nipples of little girls that caught some flak after hitting the U.S. market."
Fox News - "A controversial new doll is leaving some parents wishing for the good old Cabbage Patch days."
Mail Online User Comment - "Honestly, I think this is awful. Now let me just be clear, I think breastfeeding is wonderful and wholeheartedly encourage it, however, it is completely inappropriate to allow a young girl to mimic it."
Dr Phil Blog - "So what do you think? They have kicked women off of social networking sites like Facebook and MySpace because they posted pictures of themselves breast-feeding, saying it was not appropriate. Now there is a doll for little girls mimicking the act. Should that go the way of the pictures, or is it OK?"
Post on Patch by Chigiy Binell - "Me, well, after throwing up a little in my mouth, I thought about it a lot, and still wanted to throw up. Really? I think that kids have great imaginations, and they will generally imitate what they see their moms doing. I am a huge advocate of breast-feeding. I just think that it’s unnecessary."
MSNBC’s Dr. Nancy - "set back feminism 150 years."
POPSUGAR - "Teaching children about the birds and the bees is no longer a formal chat that happens during the tween or teen years. Many mamas choose to introduce the concept when a sibling makes her debut. What's your opinion of the product — is it any different than buying your tot a bottle-fed babe?
Eco Child’s Play writer Cate - "Setting aside creative, imaginative free play for an instructional doll is the best for kids. The silly doll is simply encouraging parents to buy more ‘stuff,’ and plastic stuff at that. Let your kid put her own favorite baby doll up her shirt and 'breastfeed.' "
Catherine from Their Bad Mother - "Marketing dolls as nursing dolls is necessary, I would argue, because it counters the dominance of dollies-with-bottles. Children can pretend to breastfeed any old doll, but they don’t, and they don’t, arguably, because pretty much all of those dolls come with what are more or less express instructions to bottle feed this baby, dammit."