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Should Children Pretend to Breastfeed?

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Who knew a child’s baby doll could be so controversial?

And yes, I’m going there. Just a little.

You see, Rissa is almost a year old. She’s starting to imitate us more and (I think) is starting some pretend play. She’ll tip and tap an empty water bottle like shes pouring it. She’ll “munch” on her fake carrots. Oh, and she’ll open a book and babble while pointing at the pictures. This doll is for ages 2+ and frankly, this first year went fast enough that I need to start thinking about what’s going to happen when she’s 2!

I know I did a lot of pretend play when I was younger. I even remember pretending to breastfeed a couple dolls. I’m not sure why I mimicked that, in all honesty, because I wasn’t around anyone nursing when I was 4 years old… that I remember anyway.

I was a combo feeding mama to my dolls. They were given bottles and brought to the breast. I didn’t just put them in the nursing position across my chest, I lifted my shirt, stuck my doll under it and would hold it there for a bit. (I was asked not to go under my shirt.)

Given my own pretend play as a child (and not having my own child until I was nearly 30!), I was confused when I first heard about people being upset over a breastfeeding doll, I admit.

Why were they so up in arms?

Well, it seems the majority for those who are offended by it think it is sexualizing young children.

Hmm, but breastfeeding isn’t sexual. And bottle feeding isn’t seen as making little girls want to have babies early. It’s just a different feeding method.

Personally, I take more issue with things like young girls looking like adults in pageants with make up, teased hair, and sexy dance moves. And some of their pop idols… and what’s with those Bratz dolls? You know those dolls won’t be having a white wedding… oh and violent toys like guns. Toy guns raise criminals right? (I’m being sarcastic.)

But I still wouldn’t buy it!

  • It’s too fricken expensive
  • Let my daughter decide how she wants to feed her doll – pretend away
  • It’s not helping the effort to re-normalize breastfeeding and bring it back into social acceptance.

Huh? Yes, it’s true. I wouldn’t get it. I support breastfeeding. I like the concept behind the doll, but I don’t much care for it itself. But, I’m not going to say some other child shouldn’t play with it either.


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