Please note that some posts contains affiliate links & I will be compensated if you make a purchase after clicking on my links Find out More

Thoughty Thursday: Do “Breastfeeding Baby Dolls” Suck?

by | Jul 21, 2011 | Appearance (Theater, Signing, Talks) | 8 comments

”Snuggle

Now from time to time my writing certainly scores pretty dang high on the suck-icity meter, but today’s blog may just send you into the screaming into the OH-MY-GOLLY-WOMPERS heebie jeebies. We’ve had “nursing” baby dolls for kids for years, of course. I’m old enough to remember the “Betsy Wetsie” doll Grandma wrapped up for me one Christmas.

Aside: After having two sons, Grandma was delighted to have me to dress up in frills and spoil with dolls. Sad for her, I hated playing with dolls and even as a youngster, preferred stuffed animals when the real thing wasn’t around. That said, I inherited Grandma’s taste in bling!

Back to the subject at hand–I was delighted some year’s ago to discover the Snuggle Pets when I lectured at Tufts Animal Expo and I still have the Snuggle Kittie. There’s still a Snuggle Puppy available, but at the time the company even offered Snuggle Ferrets and bunnies and parrots. These plush toys include a battery powered heartbeat, heat element, and pocket for a nurser and serve as surrogate mom-objects to very young kittens and puppies. The idea isn’t new. Orphaned critters often “adopt” stuffed toys. Heck, the Magical-Dawg still uses his “bears” as doggy pacifiers (yuck! soggy misshapen heads on the things…)

As someone who adored playing make-believe with stuffed animals as a kid–hey, I had a flying cat named Snowball and a talking dog named Fluff–I can understand the appeal for children to use their imagination. And I suppose this first video might be a nice alternative to parents wanting kids to experience the fun of newborn puppies without the mess or hassle of poopy pick up or (horrors!) death. After all, a dead puppy just ain’t a fun gift. But what do you think about having a toy dog that actually NURSES the toy puppies? Check out that first video.

It sorta kinda made me go “ewww” but then I thought–people in my field constantly preach to the choir (and wish the rest would listen!) to spay/neuter, don’t breed, too many pups and kittens are born . . . so heck. Would this be a good alternative? Or should they also create a toy doggy that gives birth or a toy kitty that brings headless mice to your pillow? Hmnn.

So what sparked this deep thinking? Well, the Twitter-verse is a wondrous place, filled with amazing flotsam and jetsam and Wednesday I happened upon a Sweet Tweet with a link from CNN about a new doll for little girls. WordPress would let me embed that video so I searched YouTube and found another covering the subject. The doll comes with a little vest that allows children to mimic breast feeding.

Does that go off the scale in the OOOOK factor? Or is it a natural thing for little girls to mimic their moms and want to play-pretend this normal function? Heck, we encourage them to diaper babydolls or fill ’em full of water until they turn into leaky faucets. Is this so different? I’m asking y’all, because I only have the 4-legged kind of kids.

Great fiction writers have the ability to put in just enough reality to tell the story and create worlds of entertainment. Too much detail gets in the way. Is that what’s happening with these kinds of kid toys? Or is a six-year-old play-nursing her dolly more healthy than the kids killing zombies with transformers (or whatever the hell it takes to nullify the undead). What do you think?

I love hearing from you, so please share comments and questions. Do you have an ASK AMY question you’d like answered? I’m nearly ready to record a bunch of new ones, so be sure to get your requests in the comments. Stay up to date on all the latest just subscribe the blog, “like” me on Facebook, listen to the weekly radio show, check out weekly PUPPY CARE must knows, and sign up for Pet Peeves newsletter with pet book give-aways!

8 Comments

  1. Karyl

    I always preferred stuffed animals too. Then again, I was also the kid who eventually wasn’t allowed to play house with the other kids because they got sick of me wanting to play the pet. LOL

    Oddly, the puppy nursing toy doesn’t bother me as much. But then, I grew up around enough animals, even without the realism I had toy puppies I would put next to the mother to let them pretend to nurse. Because I had seen it a few times, you know?

    And the diapering and bottle feeding of dolls isn’t as creepy because that’s something little girls of that age can actually HELP with, if they have a younger sibling or cousin. But nobody wants to see little Sally make the connection between the doll and the actual baby in the house, and come in the room to find her with little sib at her chest. THAT is why it gets creepy to me, because kids WILL make those connections in many cases and try to imitate.

    It’s kinda like how I was allowed to watch Wild America (which had the occasional mating scene, not that you see much of anything but still) but would never DREAM of letting a kid watch porn. I mean, yeah there was a time when kids of non-wealthy families slept in the same room as mom and dad and probably saw stuff, but that was also a time when kids didn’t get to be kids because they had to work right along witht he rest of the family. I don’t exactly consider that a shining example of an ideal time in our culture.

    But the breast feeding baby doll is one of those cases that I honestly think crosses a line. This from someone who believes kids should be protected but without being overly sheltered, who is totally for breastfeeding when there’s not a reason to go with formula (which, there are reasons… I believe there are some health conditions where it’s not recommended to breastfeed, can’t remember what they are offhand).

    Reply
    • amyshojai

      Wow, terrific thoughty response, thanks Karyl. Not having kids myself I’m never sure if my knee-jerk (or gag reflex) reactions reflect the parental norm. *s* I thought it interesting that on the videos and other discussions I’ve read, some kids actually do hold their dollies to their chests to mimic nursing because they’ve seen their own mom nurse baby brother…but still…ooks me out.

      Reply
      • Karyl

        Hm, guess being the youngest I wouldn’t know about the kids who mimic nursing. Never experienced that one thus far.

        Reply
  2. ExclusivelyCats

    Sounds to me like a Republican plot to keep women barefoot and pregnant.
    However, it could be a dose of reality, showing girls that having a baby isn’t all sweetness and light.
    The mind wobbles at society today.

    Reply
    • amyshojai

      Sally, you can’t trust them-thar politicians, LOL!

      Reply
  3. Piper Bayard

    Wow. I don’t mind the puppies, but I probably wouldn’t buy it for my kids.

    The doll is another matter. I object for two reasons. First, it seems it was born as a propaganda tool in the breastfeeding controversy. I always object to drawing children into either propaganda or controversy. Second, childhood is the one precious time girls have when they don’t have breasts. Breasts in our society are sexual in nature. From the time we wake up from puberty with them until the time we die, a substantial portion of the population judges us on our breasts. So much effort and angst is put into their size, shape, and function, and so many women base their self-image on them. Why on earth would we want to destroy the few years these little girls have to simply be people and not sexual beings by making them overly aware of the breasts they don’t even have yet? That will happen entirely soon enough. I would NEVER buy this doll. Let the children be children.

    Reply
  4. Sonia G Medeiros

    I don’t like dolls with bottles. Bottles have their place, but they shouldn’t be the primary symbol of a baby. Our breastfeeding rates in the US are pretty abysmal, though I think they’ve gotten better. That being said, I don’t think there needs to be anything beyond a baby doll is needed. No fake strap on breasts or nipples on dogs (couldn’t watch the videos b/c it said youtube embedding was not working or something)! My kiddos pretened to nurse their baby dolls (even my son). It was very cute. I made slings out of receiving blankets so my daughter could “be like mama” when her brother was a baby. Kids have plenty of imagination. It’s not necessary to get too realistic, but I would rather bottles were sold separately with baby toys.

    Especially funny to me was a duckling toy with a bottle. My daughter (then 6 or 7) pointed it out and asked why a duck would need a bottle even if separated from its mother because birds don’t drink milk…only mammals. ROFLOL.

    Reply
  5. amyshojai

    Weird, the YouTube worked before. *shrug* You can still click the link and go to the direct video.

    Reply

Trackbacks/Pingbacks

  1. The End is Near (and we deserve it). . . . World’s First Tickle Spa Opens in Spain « Author Piper Bayard - [...] From Amy Shojai come the question, Do Breastfeeding Baby Dolls Suck? [...]

Leave a Reply

Categories:

Recent Posts

Safe Hot Weather Games for Pets: Keep Cats & Dogs Cool in Hot Weather

Yikes! It’s hot-hot-hot here in Texas. We’ve hit triple digits already. Shadow-Pup is NOT happy. He misses his ZOOMIES in the back garden, but I’m afraid to let him overdo too much. It’s time for hot weather games for pets and keeping cats and dogs cool in hot weather. This year, I’ve invested in more indoor fun for Karma-Kat and Shadow-pup, some with the help of pet products companies sharing neato-torpedo products. Here are some of my favorite pet hot weather games, including Tearribles, Purrini, and LifePro Dog Treatmill (giving some schtuff away!).

What kind of cat toys float your kitty’s boat?  Do your pets enjoy water fountains? Would your hot dog relish a cooling bed, or a wading pool? I offer some more hot weather games and tips in the ASK AMY video, below.

And for a flash from the past, enjoy the Magical-Dawg video of some water fun. I need to get that doggy tub out this year and see if Shadow might indulge.

How do your dogs deal with the weather? Please share your tips for keeping hot dogs cool customers!

Fearful Fido? Know the Signs of Dog Fear, Anxiety, and Stress (FAS)

June is Pet Anxiety Awareness Month. Do you have a fearful Fido? Do you need help with the fireworks and loud thunderstorms happening this time of year that makes dogs scared? It seems silly, but some dogs feel stress when their human wears a hat! I wanted to share some resources for recognizing and understanding signs of canine fear, anxiety, and stress.

While it’s normal for dogs to be cautious and not run head on into traffic, too much stress and anxiety isn’t healthy. Fear, anxiety, and stress (FAS) also affect the immune system, impacting both physical and emotional health.

Up to 20 percent of dogs will be born prone to introversion and fear. Proper socialization improves puppy confidence, but abuse or poor socialization can result in anxiety-ridden adults. Pain or illness also can cause anxiety so these dogs associate certain kinds of handling with discomfort. Ongoing anxiety, stress or fear may lead to fear aggression.

Extreme fear interferes with learning, making it even more difficult to help dogs overcome the angst. Fearful dogs quickly recognize that escape behaviors or fear aggression makes the scary situation go away, so they learn to repeat these behaviors…

Chewy Once a Year Blue Box Event: Pet Products Savings for Your Special Pets

Y’all may notice something different about my blog–yes, it’s been spiffed up, thanks to a fantastic web designer! Seems the perfect time to celebrate with some great opportunities for your pets. Once a year, Chewy price drops all kinds of pet goodies in their Blue Box Event–good from June 21 through June 24, so don’t wait. Stock up on all the must-have dog products and cat essentials, as well as pocket pet supplies. Oh, you’ll find way too many bargains for me to list simply by going to this Blue Box Event link. But here are some of my favorites. Shadow-Pup and Karma-Kat put in their orders. Shhh, keep it a secret or your fur buddies may swipe the credit cards and have a fun time!

Get a $25 eCard Gift Card when you purchase $75 worth of select pet products favorites.

Up to 50% Off Select Toys During Chewy’s Blue Box Event.

Up to 50% Off Select Disney During Chewy’s Blue Box Event

Up to 30% Off Once-a-Year Pet Parent Deals During Chewy’s Blue Box Event

Learn about more savings…

Small In Show: Calling All Pocket (and other ) Pets!

Why do dogs and cats get all the love? Well… they deserve it, but so do the #SmallInShow contenders, as Rainn Wilson says. “Small pets are truly overlooked. Everyone goes straight to dogs and cats. But Kaytee is out to show that these little creatures have big personalities and are just as worthy to be part of your family. That’s something that was easy to get behind,” said Rainn Wilson.

No, I’m not compensated to share this. It just tickled me, and we all need some giggles these days. Back in the day, I loved my hamsters Whiskers, Snowball, and Cinnamon, and the first pet article I ever sold (for real live dollar$$$) detailed the story of my rescue parrot, Venus, a spectacle Amazon. Pocket pets deserve the love, too.

Besides, I miss attending Westminster, and certainly understand where Rainn comes from in his disappointment. Enjoy this fun MOCK-umentary from Kaytee. The company is launching its inaugural #SmallinShow Award Show, inviting pet parents of hamsters, bunnies, mice, birds and other small companions to share images and stories of their mini heroes across social media. The #SmallinShow Award Show will culminate with the crowning of three winners who will each receive a one-year supply of Kaytee products….

Work Goes To the Dogs & Cats: PSI’s Take Your Pet To Work Week!

Today, it’s PSI’s TAKE YOUR CAT TO WORK DAY! At my house, every week is Take Your Pet to Work Week. This year, it falls on June 20-24, with the CATS’ day on Monday, and the DOGS’ day on Friday. For many folks who continue to work at home, they experience the joy–and challenges–of work with furry companions 24/7.

Created by Pet Sitters International in 1999 to help promote pet adoptions, this week celebrates the 24th anniversary of the event. I’ve written about this nearly every year, so you’ll recognize some of the pictures in the blog.

This year, of course, we have a new dog, Shadow, helping us celebrate. And we’re still navigating a new “normal” after losing our beloved Bravo following his cancer diagnosis. You’ll see some pictures of Bravo with Karma and Shadow, below, as I can’t bear to remove them just yet…after all, he’s still one of my Furry Muses…

Heatstroke Dangers: Pet First Aid for Hot Weather Play & Travel

These hot summer days, Shadow loves to run and play outside, but the hot weather can lead to heatstroke dangers in dogs as well as people. This week, we topped the thermostat at 101 degrees, and it will continue to hover near three digits all week long. Fun in the sun can quickly turn to tragedy if pet owners don’t take precautions to prevent cat and dog heatstroke dangers. Pet heatstroke is common because cats and dogs can’t effectively keep cool in hot summer weather. It becomes especially dangerous during summer travel in cars. Here’s how to save your pets’ lives if they overheat…

How to Prepare for a Disaster: Pet Preparedness & Tips

With the latest hurricane on the way, it's time to revisit your pet disaster plan. You do have one, right? After Katrina and Harvey, everyone should understand the importance of disaster preparation. June is National Pet Preparedness Month, and in the fall, September...

Check the Chip: All About Pet Microchips

It's Check Your Pet Microchip Day on August 15! It's early to check but everyone needs a reminder. Your cats and dogs are microchipped, right? When he was (ahem) neutered, Shadow-Pup got his microchip. Both Bravo-Dawg and Karma-Kat already had microchips so that if...

Our Pet Memory Garden: Honoring Furry Muses

Those who follow this blog know about our rose garden tribulations. We live on 13 acres, with lots of area to landscape. It remains a work in progress, and I had several ideas for pet remembrance and plants to honor pets like my Bravo, Magic, Seren and others....

Visit Amy’s Website

Amy Shojai CACB is an award winning author.  You can find all her publications and book her to speak via her website. 

On Demand Writer Coaching

AmyShojai.com is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to amazon.com http://amazon.com/.

Awards

Memberships

Pin It on Pinterest

Share This