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Baby Mama: Do Children Need a Doll That Gives Birth?

Baby Mama: Do Children Need a Doll That Gives Birth?

When it comes to toys, children don’t crave authenticity and veracity, as much as they just require a vehicle that allows them to suspend disbelief long enough to simply lose themselves in play. While products like the hugely popular American Girl Doll provides a remarkably singular experience, with a doll that holds more of a resume and history than most of the parents cajoled into buying the $100 ticket item, most pretend play toys don’t require as much exactitude to inspire a child’s imagination.

Last year I reported on a breast-feeding baby doll called Bebe Gloton (rough translation being “baby glutton”) who allowed children (not quite gender discriminatory, but girls would more likely be drawn to such a doll) to pretend to nurse the doll. Many readers, and critics, cried foul and said this was “too much, too soon” and girls (and boys, I guess) don’t need this level of explicitness to play “mommy.”

This year, the game (or the doll) has been taken to the next level with MamAmor Birthing and Breastfeeding Dolls. Hand crafted and created by a mother and doula living in Canada, Adriana Guerra. The dolls, when shipped, come already pregnant (no word on how they got that way, or who the father might be) and ready to “pop.” These soft cloth dolls let the recipient decide when the birthday should arrive, and when the mothering should commence. Along with holding a baby doll within, each MamAmor doll comes with an elastic vagina (for birthing the baby – no c-sections necessary) and a woven umbilical cord and a placenta. The baby doll, once gingerly removed from the mama doll, has a little button snap where its mouth should be so it could easily connect with the button nipple on the chest of the mama doll.

The website promotes the dolls as “educational tools” that demonstrate “normal, natural birth, breastfeeding, and bonding” along with the added bonus of being tools for “play therapy.” The dolls themselves are very natural and organic in nature, and not unlike something you would expect to find in a Waldorf village (although this level of specificity would probably be frowned upon in Waldorf circles). Like the American Girl dolls, these dolls come with a hefty price tag ($130 for the basic, and $145 for custom dolls), but unlike American Girl dolls, these dolls have not so much history to teach, as physiology and maternal attachment.

So I, one who finds little objection to these sorts of ambitious products, predictably have little to object to when considering MamAmor dolls (except for the steep price tag). That said, I am sure some readers will be up in arms about this newfangled version of a nesting doll. One that reveals a bit more anatomy than most parents may be comfortable with. Does this doll provide too much information, and thus prematurely expose children to more detail than necessary? Or is this a great leap forward, promoting the natural, and physical, bond between mother and child? Do children really need all of this verisimilitude to really get into the game?

Read more: Babies, Blogs, Children, Family, Love, Parenting at the Crossroads, Pregnancy, Sex, Women's Health, , , , , , , ,

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Eric Steinman

Eric Steinman is a freelance writer based in Rhinebeck, NY. He regularly writes about food, music, art, architecture, and culture and is a regular contributor to Bon Appétit among other publications.

104 comments

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12:47AM PDT on Oct 16, 2012

Good idea. My child had a pig that had little piglets inside as a toy. The mysteries of life need to be understood and what better way than through play.

9:12PM PDT on Oct 15, 2012

Sounds cool. Would answer the question of where babies come from.

8:09AM PST on Nov 20, 2011

i'm sure, as a child, i would have loved this doll

3:34AM PDT on Aug 6, 2011

They've exaggerated this time.

6:54AM PST on Mar 8, 2011

i DONT THINK CHILDREN NEED THIS BUT i THINK THEY WOULD LIKE IT. i KNOW I WOULD HAVE LIKED THIS AS A CHILD.

12:18PM PST on Jan 30, 2011

On one hand I think this is a good idea, but on the other most little girls are looking at their dolls as babies....and in real life babies don't give birth. I think that rather than using a toy to do the job for you there should never be any gray area about what our genitals are for. My children will be told the whole truth as soon as it comes up and as they grow up it will never be awkward or taboo to talk about their natural sexuality.

9:04AM PST on Jan 28, 2011

Wow. I'll have to look at these dolls for myself.

7:11AM PST on Jan 13, 2011

I think it is a good idea to teach your children about life as they get older but, personally for a girl at the age where she is still playing with dolls seems a little to young. Especially to be acting it out. Then parents wonder why their younger girls are havong babies when this type of behavior is encouraged from such a young age.

11:11PM PST on Jan 7, 2011

I think they are wonderful, a great thing for parents who choose to teach their children the truth.
My DD loves birth, she thinks its the most amazing thing ever

10:19AM PST on Jan 6, 2011

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Disclaimer: The views expressed above are solely those of the author and may not reflect those of
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