February 15, 2012 by staff
Berjuan Toys, A version of the breast-feeding doll called the Bebe Gloton, made by Spain’s Berjuan Toys. (Berjuan Toys)
A controversial doll that allows children to imitate the act of breast-feeding is coming to America. Berjuan, the Spanish company that makes the toy, last week announced plans to bring “Breast Milk Baby” to the U.S. market, starting with the ASD trade show in Las Vegas July 31.
The doll, which comes with a special halter top with two flowers positioned where nipples would be, makes suckling sounds when its mouth is brought close to sensors embedded in the flowers. But breast-feeding experts and moms are torn on whether the toy is natural, useful or disgusting.
Critics say the doll can over-sexualize young girls or force them to grow up too quickly.
“I heard people talking about it but, honestly, I thought it was a joke,” said Ilina Ewen, a writer for Deep South Moms and her own blog Dirt and Noise.
“There are just things that I think kids are too little to understand,” she said. “Let kids use their imagination and play with a doll and not deal with what it can do There’s no need to turn it into something that’s anatomically correct. Not at this age.”
But the company and supporters say the toys can help teach young girls about the nurturing skills they’ll need later in life.
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