Gift for your baby girl: a breastfeeding doll

Yesterday, a friend forwarded a Huffington Post slideshow of the seven most inappropriate toys for children.

I was appalled, needless to say, but one that had me going “No way!” at the top of my lungs was this particular product: The Bebé Glotón breastfeeding doll.

Who in their right minds would buy a four-year-old girl a toy that teaches her to breastfeed??????? It’s absolutely atrocious!

And wait till you hear the tagline: “Because you shouldn’t have to wait until you have breasts before you start breastfeeding your baby!”

Really?

And just as soon as you develop those mammary glands, go ahead — have a baby. So what if you’re a teenager? You already know how to breastfeed if nothing else!

Is that what we want to teach our little girls? Have babies, breastfeed them and fulfill your mission on earth!!!??!!

I don’t understand how or why the manufacturers can get away with something like this.

Growing up, I never played with utensils or Barbie dolls — instead I got board games and Lego building blocks, but I saw the gender stereotyping where other girls my age would play a nurse or housewife and the boys would play doctors or engineers.

But this takes it to whole new level of ridiculous!

I don’t know if it’s advertised to be an “educational” toy but even if it is, isn’t four years a bit too young to be focusing on having kids and what your yet-to-be-developed breasts can biologically do? And it assumes that the little girl will grow up and want kids! And then breastfeed them!

What kind of education is that?

According to the comments in this San Francisco Chronicle report, these dolls were a huge success with sales hitting the roof and the supplies going out-of-stock within a month.

I really don’t see how this is appropriate, especially for this target age group. Do you?

Thoughts? Comments? Reactions? Outrage?

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11 Comments

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11 responses to “Gift for your baby girl: a breastfeeding doll

  1. I agree. We do not need any more stereotypical gender role reinforcement… All girls grow up to be mothers and all boys grow up to be soldiers.

  2. It was a cool breezy morning when I got up. And then my mobile beeped ‘who can message me in the morning’? I thought

    The message said “Many many happy returns of the day”. I ran towards the calendar to see the date. It was 8th march but then I wondered that I was never born on 8th march. Might be some confusion! Again a message beeped, the same message came from my husband too. I was red with anger. I thought how come my husband also forgot the date of my birthday. Has he got so busy abroad that he has forgotten my birthday too? Anyhow I was about to ask him, again I got a message from him “Thanks for being a woman; you are too special in every sense “Oh my god! Its 8th march the international women’s day.

    Read more
    http://literary.privymoments.com/2010/03/be-yourself-be-woman.html

  3. Thanx for sharing this
    I was not aware of this
    no wonder the cases of teen pregnancies, abortions, teen mothers are so very common

  4. Hard to digest. For us who hail from India, it always sounds ridiculous! But the fact is, innovation has no limits and it could be culturally conflicting too. Just going by your notes that the product was out sold out in no time, we can understand how different we are ‘Culturally’.

  5. I’m not sure I would be ready to buy this doll for any little girl I know, but if a girl pretends to feed a doll with a bottle, why isnt’ there the same amount of alarm that she will have a baby because she knows how to feed it? Breastfeeding is not for everybody but it’s not appalling. Is it not ok to teach girls what the biological purpose of their breasts are? Just a thought; interesting post.

    • It’s ok, but at the age they’re still learning how to spell breasts? They have many, many years ahead of them to learn about the biological purposes of various body parts — I don’t think they need a toy for all those things. They are going to be grown ups soon enough, why ruin their age of innocence?

      Thanks for visiting 🙂

  6. I did have my share of laughs on the first read. Thanks to you, good writing.

    Your thinking of this toy being inappropriate is as legitimate and personal as thinking of makers and buyers of this being appropriate for children. Manufacturers have right to make products as long as it is not violating others existence and not creating a social problem (I think this is the key basis, and I also think, this toy is not creating any social problem here). A parent has rights to think and choose for their babies as long as they are not abusing them. I have seen this toy ad in the link you provided, and it cannot be branded as offensive or abusive. Kids play mommy and daddy, that does not make them start making babies when they are 10. Maybe I am few light years away from your point, throw me some light.

    I am not at all shocked or appalled. I do not care much of what others think appropriate or not as long as they are not forcing it on my face. As of now, all I know is I will think ten times before buying such toys (and most probably will not buy it) for a kid.

    I do now why but I get a feeling that I failed to get the import of this post of yours.

  7. I need my puffer! My first reaction was incredulous laughter. I am in tears. Oh my gosh. Then, like you, I became totally appalled. Is it not bad enough that marketing celebrates a female body that does not exist causing women to hate themselves, denigrate themselves and feel unworthy, and now we have to associate breastfeeding as the end all? Ok, I will not rant on. No more coffee until I settle down. Thank you for posting this. Of all the lessons and wisdom we need to pass on to our children and the power of the media/marketing to help us, this is what they chose. Ouch.

  8. safoora

    absolutely appalling..!!!

  9. Good Site! I wondered if I could quote a portion of your web page and use a couple of items for a term paper. Please drop me an email whether its ok or not. Thanks

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