Most children go through a baby doll phase at some point, regardless of whether they are girls or boys. Of course, for girls, that phase usually lasts a bit longer since so many people buy dolls for girls and encourage them to play with them.
This has never bothered me with my daughter, now 4. She has dozens of dolls, some she likes better than others, but there is no doubt she is a doll girl. She puts them in strollers, pushes them around, puts them to bed, rocks them, and generally loves to play "mommy." I have no problem with this. But I do have a problem with a doll that, for $74.99, takes all the imagination out of the equation and then demands that my toddler mother it.
The Little Mommy My Very Real Baby Doll uses interactive light and motion technology that, Mattel claimed at the 2011 toy fair, brings "nurturing" to the next level. The doll asks for drinks and objects that your toddler can give to her. When she "feeds" her a juice pop, her mouth turns green, her boo-boos light up, and her feet are ticklish. See a video at Gizmodo.
This is creepy as all get out, people.
When I was a little girl, my favorite doll was a baby I named "Baby Heartbeat," because, well, that was her product name. Yes, her heart beat and you could listen to it with a stethoscope and, yes, that was creepy, but I still did the majority of the imagining. I would feed her things in her high chair and rock her in my arms. I would throw her in the air and kiss her imaginary boo-boos. I was maternal, but I also used her in imaginative ways and was very, very rough with her.
This doll feels a lot more like mommy boot camp. And how is that fun? How does that help our children learn to better use their own minds? Playing "mommy" is all fine and good, but that nurturing should come from within, not from some weird doll that trains our children like dogs through simulation.
There is no way I would buy this doll.
Would you buy this doll?
Image via Mattel