She says she considers Lexi to be her real daughter.
Warning: This post deals with miscarriage and loss and may be upsetting for some readers.
Like many parents, the waking in the night is the toughest bit, but 18-year old Natalie Harcourt does it devotedly, every two-hours waking to check on baby Lexi.
She follows a routine to ensure that Lexi has the best care – waking her at 9am before settling her in front of her favourite kids TV shows and giving her breakfast.
They then go out, mother and daughter, Natalie pushes Lexi in her black spotted pram and they walk to the local park to feed the ducks, or to or visit friends.
The only difference between this young mother and the other mums she meets on the way is that her baby, Lexi isn’t alive.
Lexi is fake – a “reborn baby” or a doll that Natalie cares for just like she was her own child.
Natalie Harcourt, from Bridgend South Wales has spoken to The Mirror about how caring for Lexi has helped her overcome a miscarriage she had when she was just 16.
The teenager, who says she suffers from depression, was given the reborn baby as a way to cope with her pain.
She told the newspaper that Lexi is her world.
“I was absolutely heartbroken when I lost my baby. I’ll never forget the baby I have lost, but Lexi is a great comfort to me.”
Now in a new relationship – and engaged Natalie’s Facebook page is filled with images of recent and happier days.
Writing: “Having that baby in our life is the vest [sic] thing ever we are a family”
For Natalie baby Lexi is just like having a newborn and she is determined to have a “real parenting experience”, even setting an alarm every two hours during the night to check on her and spending thousands on a pram, cot, bouncer, clothes and accessories.
“I know people might think it’s a bit strange that I’m just 18 and sitting indoors with my reborn doll while my mates are out clubbing on a Saturday night.
“But at least I’m not spending on drugs or alcohol. I think I’m quite sensible.
“I’m desperate to have a real baby one day – hopefully a girl so her and Lexi can share clothes. I will take them out in a double buggy together.” She told The Mirror.
Natalie and her partner, KJ even use a baby monitor to keep a close eye on Lexi when she is placed down for a sleep in her cot.