A friend of mine shared a link to this article on facebook. After reading the article and then taking a surf around the website that makes this product, I find my self more and more appalled. Is this for real? A breast feeding doll?
Now, many of you know my thoughts on the boob feeding situation. I am all for it. I look forward to giving it a try with Critter2, but I am not a bad mom for allowing formula supplements in, or if Critter2 is not a boob gal switching altogether. I know the debate is long going that "breast is best", but in reality just providing your child with the proper nutrition is really what is best. Boob or bottle.
So back to this doll. I have no problem with an older sibling picking up a baby doll and mimicking mommy. And who cares if the older sibling is male or female, its a learning process for our tots. I, do however, think this doll is ridiculous on a number of levels.
The website boasts information about why this doll is a must have. One particular section frustrates me to no end. The section entitled "Why little girls NEED to learn to breastfeed." It leads with "little girls need to learn to breastfeed". No, they don't. They need to learn from young adulthood proper nutrition and the proper way to get it for themselves and to provide it for their child. However at 3 and 4 years old all I want my child to do is eat the peas off her plate and play pretend diaper changes with her doll, i expect no more and no less. She is a CHILD. Mimicking my behavior is one thing. Allowing a baby doll to suckle her 4 year old undeveloped woman areas is a little un-called for.
Allowing little girls to grow up their entire life with the knowledge that ONLY breast is best is horrific. What if the little girl grows up and her milk does not come in post birth? What if she is sick and can not breastfeed? What if, God forbid, her child is ill and breast milk, or bottle milk for that matter, is just not an option at the beginning?
I know from personal experience as well as watching my personal friends go through torture that not being able to breastfeed your child because of situations out of your control, with the constant demand of society to do so, it only leads to feelings of inadequacy. Instead of feeling glorious about this new life your are holding, loving and nurturing with the nutrients it needs to grow into a thriving adult via formula, a woman is then forced to sob and feel like a failure because she is unable to provide "breast is best" to her new baby. When really she is providing what is best to her child, nutrition is the best way possible! She is a fabulous mom, but not by society standards.
Instead of teaching our children that only one way is best, let us teach them the overall goal and show them various options to reach that goal. Let us allow them to use their minds and imaginations and pick up their own baby dolls and mimic mommy breast feeding or bottle feeding. Let them build these concepts on their own and learn and ask questions and investigate childhood through the eyes of a child. Then as their parent is is our duty to provide them with ALL the information they need to be better informed individuals as they grow into adults. Let us allow them to be children and not thrust more and more adult centered behaviors upon them, no matter how natural it may or may not be.