Thursday, 31 March 2011

The Breast Milk Baby: Top or flop?

A brand new toy has hit the toy market and I am not exaggerating when I'm saying that it divides mothers into two camps. It's called The Breast Milk Baby and is a doll that stimulates breastfeeding. The baby doll has an open mouth like a breast feeding baby and comes with a bib with flowers indicating the female nipple area. If the doll is held against them, it makes suckling noises as if it was feeding and if 'mummy' doesn't burb it, baby it starts crying. 

Image: The Breast Milk Baby by Berjuan Toys

The Breast Milk Baby allows children to experience the 'magic of motherhood' and is supposed to teach little girls how to breastfeed. "The Breast Milk Baby represents a revolution in design by teaching children the nurturing skills they'll need to raise their own healthy babies" say Berjuan Toys.
I think breastfeeding is great and it should be supported if a woman decides for it, but I am not entirely sure if there really is the need for a toy like that. Seeing mum's breast-feed should give children a good enough idea of how breastfeeding works and even if there mum is bottle feeding, the media gives them an idea of how breastfeeding works. So why would little girls have to physically learn how to breast-feed before they actually have developed breasts? I'm going to be a first time mum in about two weeks and I certainly wouldn't call myself a breastfeeding pro but I didn't have a Breast Milk Baby and have a pretty good idea of how the whole thing is supposed to work. So what's the point?

Would you buy your little girl a Breast Milk Baby or do you think it is out of order to put a nipple bib on your daughter?


  1. Mmmm not sure I like that. I'm definitely in favor of breastfeeding, but maybe this doll is a step too far.

  2. I agree, whilst all mine were breast fed as long as I could and I do believe its the best, but this is just a step too far (imo)

    having said then when I was feeding daughter no2, daughter no1 who was 18 months old at the time use to get her panda and lift her t-shirt and "feed" her panda without any encouragment what so ever, and said daughter went on to breast feed her son for nearly 2 yrs

    I would not buy one.

  3. I have to agree - this is just a little bit too much. I'm all for encouraging breastfeeding, and from your story, worm queen, it sounds as if some children are keen to emulate their mums and pretend feed their toys, but this doll seems a little too much. I think it's the bib that is taking it too far, imho.

  4. I agree, I'm all for pretend play and learning through imitation but the nipple bib makes what otherwise would be a normal toy slightly creepy for me...

  5. I think it is great idea! I will buy this doll for my daughter.

  6. I'm really not sure about this. I have breastfed all 3 of my children and am currently training to become a breastfeeding peer support worker so am very pro-breastfeeding but I think this doll is taking it a step too far.

  7. Oh no I definitely wouldn't buy this for my little girl, I found breastfeeding a challenge as Tillie was lactose intolerant and I wasn't comfortable doing it in public as i didn't really know what I was doing. Im not sure I would feel comfortable inviting Tillie's friends round when she is older and them all sat round "feeding their babies". Hehe. Even though it's natural I don't think it should be pushed on to children. Fab blog

  8. I have two girls, Bethany, aged 5, and Jessica, aged 3. They are both into dolls and have all the accessories... bottles, prams, high chairs, cots etc - they dress them, take them for walks, read to them, spoon feed them, bottle feed them, etc but I would hate to see them trying to breast feed them! In fact I would find it quite disturbing!

    I think it is a case of 'too much too soon' and as we have such a high number of teenage pregnancies, I think if we if we push young girls into growing up too soon, we are only going to worsen the problem! What will they bring out next! - breast pumps or silicone- stuffed wonder bras or even pretend tampax towels with wings to put in their knickers!!!???

    I dead to think what could happen if little 3, 4, 5 year old girls start going into their Nursery, Reception or Year 1 classes and and discussing how they feel 'breast is best' for their 'babies' - or they just suddenly lift their top in the home corner to breast feed a dolly!!! Imagine the boys reactions - in fact, I don't want to imagine the boys reactions!!!!

    No it is all just too much too soon - we should be trying to encourage children to hold on to and enjoy the precious/innocent years for as long as possible before they reach the hard and often harsh reality of becoming a teenager!

    I grew up with my tiny tears, had clothes to dress her, a bottle to feed her with, a cot to put her to bed in and a push chair to take her out in. I'm now a mother of 4 and I breast fed mine and not being told about the benefits of breast feeding until I was a young adult mum to be never did me any harm!

    Great article by the way and some very good comments above - thanks xxx

  9. I would have no problem seeing a little girl "breastfeed" a doll. It just means that that's something she associates with motherhood which is why she incorporates it into her play as "mother" - that can only be a positive thing. However, I think marketing a doll as a breastfeeding doll is silly - any doll would do for that kind of play. A breastfeeding one is an unnecessary marketing ploy.

  10. Hurrah! I've been umming and ahhing about whether to write this kind of post - I feel the same way. I will take the leap now x

  11. I think it's awesome. Dolls have come with bottles for a long time. That can make girls grow up to feel more comfortable with bottles. Because society over sexualise breasts and breastfeeding is rarely seen....girls can grow up having no idea about it...this doll is a fantastic idea to help re-normalise it. Breastfeeding is healthy, free and NOT SEXUAL....there is NO problem with this doll as far as I'm concerned. If girls can play with any doll...or toy stroller etc...then WHY NOT THIS DOLL???

  12. I just don't think that children need a specific doll and tabard in order to play and imagine breastfeeding! It's something that a lot of them do, I can remember doing the same, so it's totally natural, but the doll is not.
    I don't find it offensive as such, just unecessary.



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