Our sister station, CBS 11, did a story this week about a Spanish doll called Bebé Glotón. This doll mimics a breastfeeding baby. Some people suggest it “teaches” a child to breastfeed. Many experts, however, think it teaches children what all pretend play teaches; emotional and social skills. Pretend play contributes to language and overall brain development, and it helps children begin to understand the world around them and where they might fit into it. This type of play is important.
Still, some parents are upset about Bebé Glotón. Some complain the doll is inappropriate; that it somehow sexualizes little girls.
Whether you buy your child a Bebé Glotón, or not, is completely up to you, of course. Heck, I wouldn’t buy this doll ($120? Really?). Little girls who were nursed or have seen younger siblings nurse will likely put any old doll up the their shirt to imitate mommy feeding a baby. Little girls who’ve only seen babies bottle feed will likely bottle feed their dolls. My daughter alternately nursed and bottle fed her babies, just as she was alternately nursed and bottle fed.
Dr. Dreiling doesn’t believe a little girl pretending to nurse a doll is going to grow up any faster than a little girl who pretends to feed a bottle to her doll. In the end, both little girls will likely burp their dolls then change their wet diapers.
Having been through that phase with my own real, live baby doll, I can tell you, there are few things that are less sexy.