Well this is… different
The past decade had brought some fabulous new inventions. Gone are the days of clunky Easy-Bake ovens that didn’t even light up when something is cooking. Gone are the Puppy Surprises where the surprise was only ever that you got ripped off and received the minimum number of puppies. As for hula hoops and elastics, come on, what century are you living in? Jacks!
2012 is all about the Breast Milk Baby. That’s right. Why have a dolly that only wees and poos and burps when you can have one that attaches its little mouth to the nipple-flowers on your daughter’s (or son’s?) bib and suckles away? (Admittedly the baby then burps afterwards, WIN!)
Community reactions to the doll have been mixed. The general consensus seems to be “well that’s a little odd but whatever floats your boat”. There has been the odd cry of ‘that’s sexualising young girls’ to which we say, have you ever breastfed? There is nothing that makes you feel LESS sexy. Breastfeeding is about giving your baby what it needs: food. Not about getting down and dirty.
But now there is a new argument being laid out on the toy changing table: Is the doll insulting to mothers who either cannot breastfeed their children or choose not to?
Bottle-feeding mother Kitty Dimblebly in the Daily Mail claims that the pro-breastfeeding movement is so strong that bottle feeders are made to feel like neglectful parents. She claims that a breastfeeding doll is just another tool for the ‘Breastapo’ to brainwash children with a ‘breast is best’ message.
This is repulsive and disquieting on many levels. Not only is it abhorrent that little girls are being asked to emulate breastfeeding mothers when they are barely toddlers themselves, it also represents an unsettling form of indoctrination.
Toys such as the Breast Milk Baby are only enforcing the pernicious and widespread prejudice against mums like me who are bottle-feeding our offspring. And, believe me, there is quite enough of that already.
I chose not to breastfeed for a multitude of reasons — most of them, I would argue, selfless — yet I have been made to feel like a pariah.
I am not an irresponsible parent who has recklessly opted to bottle-feed because it gives me the freedom to drink, smoke and abandon my newborn to a succession of carers while I go night-clubbing.