Reborn Dolls Are Treated Like Real Babies but (Alas) They’re Still Fake

OMG 50

Reborn dollsThere’s awkward and then there’s weird. Awkward is when you ask someone how their sweetie pie is doing and unceremoniously discover they’ve detoured in Splitsville. Awkward is going out to eat with your co-workers and having the waiter come back to the table because your card’s been declined. Awkward is when you excitedly touch another woman’s tummy only to learn—maybe through a choice set of words—that she is actually not pregnant.

Weird, on the other hand, is a grown lady carrying around a baby doll and seriously pretending that that hodge podge of plastic is a real infant. That’s when awkward graduates into straight up strange. Bonus points for toting fake baby in a carrier and (yikes) shooshing someone while fake baby takes a nap. Silly as it seems, Reborn Dolls are bypassing the quirkiness of a few oddball women to be a full-blown international movement involving thousands who find comfort in cuddling a faux newborn.

Some even have electronic devices implanted that mimic a heartbeat or simulate breathing. Now that’s freaky. 

Like the folks highlighted on “My Strange Addiction,” the gals who mother Reborns don’t see anything out of the ordinary about their little hobby. One mother of two named Becky, saddened because she couldn’t have any more children, got a Reborn as a Christmas gift and now hauls it around in an infant car seat, only admitting it’s a doll if people ask. Otherwise, the un-born child, one of 10 Becky has “adopted”—because you don’t buy them, you adopt them, like Cabbage Patch Kids minus the yarn hair and fabric bodies—is passed off as real.

At anywhere from $50 to $4,000, they’re pricey for a doll but a heck of a lot cheaper than a real kid. Plus, they never grow out of their brand new sneakers, spill grape juice on the living room carpet, or need money for college tuition.

Some women, who’ve gone so far as to build nurseries for their collections, claim having and holding the babies is therapeutic. Far be it from me to knock anyone in their process of healing, sometimes from losing a child, sometimes from not being able to have a child at all. But it’s when that period extends past a progressive course of action into a full-out alternative lifestyle that it becomes a little (or a lotta) strange.

I hadn’t even heard of it until recently, but I must confess I don’t know if I could adjust my facial expression into a socially appropriate response if some woman revealed that the “baby” she was carrying was indeed fake. In scouring pics of them, not a one made me want to cuddle, nuzzle, or hug them. Meanwhile, there are plenty of real-life, flesh-and-blood babies and children in desperate need of the kind of love and attention showered on these faux little people. I’m just saying.

Are you weirded out by Reborn dolls?


Image via purplegothicqueen/Flickr 

behavior, in the news, toys

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nonmember avatar Mommy of 2

My youngest was born sleeping because of my water breaking at 21 wks. I was able to hold him and say my goodbyes.

holding one of those dolls wouldnt bring me any comfort because, its simply not my baby, or any baby.

nonmember avatar amanda

i think its thier choice, yes there is alot of children that needs adopted but you also have to think of what it takes to qualify for that as well, they admit and know they are not real, they just feel the need to cuddle something and decorate for it, how many men have redone a garage for a new car or how many people have infactuations with non moving objects, its no weirder than the mental disorders that caused a woman to marry the eiffel tower, i say its not harming ne one so let us not judge them for ne reason that they might have for doing it, im a mom of one and one on the way, i feel sorry for the women if they cant have babies but maybe they are smart and know its difficult and expensive to raise a child so they took an alternative.

nonmember avatar Miliya13

I agree with JALAZ77, I've had miscarriages and I've had a DNC and honestly it was something I HAD to deal with and move on from. Granted I did not have late term miscarriages or a stillborn and I am so sorry to each and every woman out there who has suffered such a traumatizing loss, but I can't imagine teasing you with a doll that shows you what you could have had instead. I think it would be a cruel mindf*#k. I know a couple who suffered from a stillborn and they turned right around and replaced that loss with a vibrant, living breathing, tangible, beautiful baby girl! That I think is healthier than a doll. And I also think that if you do use it as therapy, that should be kept to a minimal time frame. It's not like we go out and get life sized dolls of our loved ones who passed because that's just morbid, right?!?! So how's this any different??? I think it's twisted but whatever people are gonna do creepy and weird stuff regardless what the world thinks. And on a side note, when people asked me if my girls were real when they were little I was semi flattered but mostly offended that people would think I'd be such a psycho!

Ruthie Haynes

Therapeutic or indulging a dilution. That is yet to be determined. Nothing will replace the loss of a baby. I lost 4. Nothing will substitute for a child when a woman can not have her own child or her babies die. Nothing fills that void except a real flesh and blood child. Someone alive. Eventually the illusion becomes the reality and the woman goes back to mourning her losses or the realization she is not a mother. I am sorry. But, that is my opinion. How about stop wasting time and look for another way that helps someone else?

Mary L Holman

Eew. Somehow, this reminds me of people who steal babies from hospitals or inattentive mothers.

Stacey. Stacey.

Natalie, no one is talking about moms of stillborns, youre taking a personal situation and applying it to something unrelated. maybe it wouldnt be weird for YOU to have had this doll, but for the people described in the article it is strange. Besides, even if you did have this baby for healing, it still would be strange to keep it FOR YEARS, even building a nursery for it. Stop taking everything so personally, you'll be a lot happier =)

Melan... Melanie420

actually I would like one that was made to look like my son when he was born, that way when hes not a baby anymore I have a special doll

nonmember avatar Tami

I have loved dolls my whole life, and when I saw my first reborn, I knew I had to have one. Not too long after that, my dad died, and as a feel better gift for myself I got one. As hokey as I know this is, four years later, I look at that doll and remember the bit of joy he brought me during the darkest days of my life. I don't pretend he's real, but I do hold him sometimes, and I occasionally change his little outfit, but I wouldn't take anything for him. These dolls, when made by a real artist, are beautiful works of art. I've never understood why some see them as creepy.

Kiabell Kiabell

Better the doll than stealing a real baby. I don't care what they do as long as they are not hurting anyone, they paid for it

Redwall Redwall

I think it is so beyond creepy!  I respect their right to be creepy though.hugs

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