The other day my 15-month-old son tugged at my shirt and said, "Mummies," the word he uses when he wants mama's milk. He associates breasts with breast milk. Victory in the making. Breasts aren't (only) for sexual pleasure; they are a food source. Sure someday he will be excited when he's 37 years old and getting to first base, but learning about breastfeeding at a young age is healthy. Which is why I love Breast Milk Baby.
NYC's local Fox 5 News' segment on Breast Milk Baby showed that most felt that it's too soon for kids to have a doll like this. Too soon? So it's not okay to have a doll that educates kids that this is how babies eat? We should instead give them plastic dolls with massive breasts, wearing tight and provocative clothing, or makeup kits so they can learn that they should alter their natural appearance to look good. Oh yes, that makes total sense. Breast Milk Baby seems so taboo in comparison!
But the worst offense during this news broadcast came from a child psychologist, a woman with a Ph.D. Her name is Nava Silton and she said this:
A bottle -- a boy can use and a girl can use and later on fathers can use a bottle to feed and so do mothers -- both genders can appreciate the product. Whereas here it is focused on -- much more catered to women and can serve as a confusing mechanism for boys.
Why is this child psychologist saying something like this? Why did Fox 5 news use a damaging quote like that? (Don't answer that if you hate Fox.) Is Silton saying that bottles trump breasts? What does she mean by "later on fathers can use a bottle to feed ...." And of course the doll caters to women, well girls really. Because women are the ones who give birth and lactate. Meaning, Silton, in case you didn't know, mama's milk is called that because it is something that women produce. And guess what? There is a role for fathers in breastfeeding, too. It's called support. And if a parent (or Silton) wants a doll for a boy to learn how to be helpful, there's Baby Alive Changing Time Baby -- a doll that needs a diaper change.
When kids are exposed to breastfeeding, it helps them learn it's something moms do to feed their baby. Some even see their moms nursing their younger sibling. Breastfeeding is natural. We shouldn't get all uptight about a doll that mimics the natural way a baby eats.
What do you think of the Breast Milk Baby? Would you get one for your child?