Is the “Breastfeeding Doll” Tznius?

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(credit: YouTube/Berjuan Toys)

The breastfeeding doll has arrived in the US. First produced in Spain, it has become quite popular in Europe.

 

The doll is made by Berjuan Toys, a company out of Spain. It comes with a special halter top that has two flowers where nipples would be. When a little girl puts on the top and holds the baby doll up the flowers, it makes suckling sounds.

As you might imagine, some outspoken Americans are up in arms about this product. I guess they are worried that little girls might start thinking about what their breasts are designed to do instead of whether they are big or perky enough.

People who find it offensive might ask themselves why it’s okay for children to play with dolls who drink from bottles with artificial “nipples.”  How can they condone exposing children to toys designed imitate the shape of a woman’s naked anatomy? Without a modesty cover! Even worse, people take out these artificial nipples with no shame. Like, at the mall.

Seriously, I don’t know why this is such a big deal. My sons and daughters both “nursed” dolls without any special clothes or equipment. The doll is cute, although I suspect the sucking sounds would have driven me crazy.

But given a choice among Barbie, Bratz and Berjuan, there’s no question which I would choose.

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Comments

  1. So agree.

  2. Wow. What about the whole “graven images” thing? If you can have a doll, why is a doll that acts like a baby such a problem?

    My daughter never nursed dolls, but did bottle feed them (although SHE was nursed to 14 months), change their diapers, sing to them, put them to bed, and make them go down the sliding board first. All in public.

    Which of these things ought to have concerned me?

    The world is imploding six different ways. People are really worried that Spain is exporting another doll that apes nursing? Really?
    Ramon Machtesh recently posted..071211 Office of Net AssessmentMy Profile

  3. My kids have nursed along with me. I wouldn’t buy this doll simply because the imagination is powerful enough and I don’t need a toy designed to take over that vital organ.
    Orthonomics recently posted..Resist Using Tragedy to Prompt a AgendaMy Profile

  4. I’m buying one for my first granddaughter. Since none of my kids are even close to get married, I will be able to buy one of the knock off versions.

    It’s pikuach nefesh – or at least neshmartim MEOD l’nafshotehem.

  5. My girls almost all “fake” nursed while copying my wife. The girls even fake tandem nursed when watching my wife tandem nurse the twins!

  6. My children also fake nursed when I was feeding and as with Mark, the older two who saw me nursing twins did so as well. I was fine with that, but I didn’t like it so much when they started feeding two dalmatian puppies at a time!

  7. This is almost funny because it’s so ridiculous!
    Elle recently posted...My Profile

  8. p.s. I meant the argument against nursing a baby doll is stupid… all of my kids have “nursed” their dollies!
    Elle recently posted...My Profile

  9. I *never* buy dolls that require batteries. I don’t get the point.Playing with dolls is all about imagination. I remember kids putting the doll under their clothes and pretending to be pregnant and then lying down on the floor to ‘deliver’ the baby. I hope no one tries to make a battery powered ~ oh never mind…
    Risa recently posted..It’s all about perspectiveMy Profile

  10. If you want a picture of kids breastfeeding you can link to the guest post that I wrote for your blog, I wrote on working and BF and there is a picture of my nursing a new born and my 5 y/o daughter sitting next to me nursing a doll.

  11. Both my children (son and daughter) nurse their dolls without any supplementary equipment. Both of them give birth, too… should I be concerned about anything? ;)
    And about battery-operated toys: I don’t buy them myself. If the kids get one of “those”, I either don’t turn it on or the children request for the doll to have surgery in order to remove the noise. Happened more than once.
    Anima recently posted..PuppenpicknickMy Profile

  12. I don’t know about this. My kids, too, nursed their dolls and stuffed animals. And I thought it was adorable and took pictures, of course. But first, I definitely agree with those who said let them use their imagination. And also, there’s something about that flowered halter top that makes me squicky. Maybe it’s because women do not, in fact, have little flowers under their shirts. (I mean, if you’re doing the whole “this is how nature intended” thing, then go the whole way, right?) Or maybe it bothers me in the same way it bothers me when my kids stuff two socks under their shirts. Is it wrong to be pro-breastfeeding but still think there’s something private about breasts and not want kids to walk around parading something they don’t even have or fully understand?

  13. Very good point about what role modeling children *are* exposed (um…) to.

    Nursing our own baby nowadays I’m somewhat conflicted about the tznius issue – on the one hand I don’t agree with someone who thinks her sons should be in a different room (!) so they don’t get the mechanics at all, I don’t feel 100% when the blanket slips too much too often etc.

  14. Nathalie says:

    My daughter has given birth and nursed many many times. No special equipment required. I personally don’t like battery operated toys, so I wouldn’t buy it.
    Also, I don’t like the idea of the halter top and the “nipples” being on the open. my daughter (and most kids I know) always “nursed” by slightly lifting her shirt- just like their mommy does…
    While I very strongly believe about nursing and nursed everywhere (inc. at a shabbat table with guests), I also believe in doing it in a discrete way, using a large shirt, blanket or nursing cover I made myself for this purpose. So a doll you’d “nurse” in an unstznius way would fly too high in my scale of value.

  15. It’s certainly better than those over-sexed baby/kiddy clothes and Barbie dolls.

  16. I think it says a lot about our society that people are so up in arms over this toy. Why aren’t they upset about bottle-feeding, hmmm? Or, more so, about the clothing lines for little girls which are wildly inappropriate?

    Anyways, I think that little girls are going to pretend to nurse anyways, if they see their mother nursing and all. I’m in favor of the idea of this toy, definitely. The only reason I wouldn’t get the doll is because of the noise.
    Rivki recently posted..Menu Plan, week of July 17thMy Profile

  17. My mom was a staunch La Leche League lady back in the day (American activist breastfeeding group), so I think this is decidedly cute. I don’t really like the idea of the special top, or the ‘sucking noise’ effect, as it seems hokey, but I do recall nursing my dolls and teddy bears when I was a little kid.

    This doesn’t seem like a problem to me. Children play mommy and daddy because it’s an important adult role they practice for. Toys should reflect that.
    Balabusta in Blue Jeans recently posted..The Right To Make And Eat FelafelMy Profile

  18. Thanks for posting! I didn’t know what to think, but I agree with what you said. My daughter used to lift her shirt and latch her lamb doll onto her belly button. I wish this would be the default instead of bottles. Maybe if girls play with these toys it will seem more natural when they grow up. Nursing should be the default and if little girls play like that now, maybe they will have more confidence in their natural ability to meet their baby’s needs when they have real babies, even if they don’t have giant perky boobs! I love what you said about whipping silicon nipples out in public. I have actually been a little embarrassed about this in the past for a different reason. I’m such a nursing advocate, but I did occasionally pump when I knew nursing would be very inconvenient. I wanted to shout to tell everyone, “It’s my milk, not artificial powder!”
    Yosefa recently posted..Rigatoni a la Vodka – Non-dairyMy Profile

  19. Hehe, there are pictures of me– topless!– breastfeeding an old sock doll when I was about 2-3 years old. Hope it goes so smoothly for me when I start breastfeeding a real baby in October!
    Maya recently posted..Signs you may be becoming more Israeli than you realized…My Profile

  20. My girl (7.5 year old girl)

    her eyes got wide and she said “COOL, CAN I HAVE ONE???” when I told her about it. I’m not sure; she already nursed her babies when younger, and sometimes still; why would she need a special doll to be reminded to nurse? Anyway she’s almost onto Barbie type dolls.

    Do they make a Nursing Halter With Suckling teeny baby for Barbie type dolls??? Those such and such on the barbies should be put to good and accurate use…even if they have no nipples…

    haha!!!!!!!!

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