Spanish company Berjuan Toys is eagerly anticipating the American debut of their newest toy: Breast Milk Baby while many fight to keep the toy off American shelves.
The toy features a baby doll that cries until you feed it and burps when it is full. This isn’t so different from others on the market but for one exception: Breast Milk Baby comes with a halter for the child to wear. The halter has two “breasts” (flowers) that sync with the doll to produce sucking sounds, simulating breast-feeding.
“The whole purpose behind a doll is to pretend like you’re a parent,” Dennis Lewis, the American representative for Berjuan Toys, recently told the New York Times. “The dolls are meant to just let kids play as mommies and daddies naturally.”
Although many people believe that breast-feeding is best for a newborn baby, people are questioning whether or not the doll will negatively influence girls’ views of their bodies and their sexuality. The controversy surrounding the doll has sparked debate across the nation, even inducing some to create Facebook pages for and against the Breast Milk Baby doll. According to the New York Times, Fox News Host Bill O’Reilly recently declared the doll as inappropriate saying, “I just want kids to be kids”.
Some feel differently about the doll. Joanna Koch, a lactation consultant at the Palo Alto Medical Foundation in the San Francisco Bay Area, is doubtful that playing with dolls with bottles has a long-term effect. “There’s so much more that goes into breast-feeding,” she said to the New York Times. For many, the decision to breast feed comes from knowing the benefits of it, not from playing with a doll. M. Rachel a pediatrition in Solana Beach, California recently commented, “As I see it, the great thing about this doll is its potential to help a whole generation of kids view breast feeding as the normal, healthy way to feed a baby. We’re not trying to train little girls to become nursing moms, but simply to provide an image that becomes the norm.”