I’ll admit I was a little surprised last year when I received an email from the PR company pitching me the breastfeeding baby doll. While I personally have no problem with it (and anticipate my two year old daughter will be nursing her baby dolls when the new baby arrives and she sees me doing it,) it just seemed a little shocking and unexpected.
Just when I thought I had seen it all, I stumbled across yet another controversial doll for our children to play with. Ladies and gentlemen, the image to the left is the VBAC baby doll.
The VBAC (short for vaginal birth after Cesarean) doll is complete with a velcro opening that represents the C-section scar as well as a velcro opening that allows for a vaginal birth. It even comes with a newborn doll to stuff in and out of the mommy doll as it gives birth.
MamAmor, the company that hand crafts each doll claims on their website that “MamAmor dolls are educational tools that demonstrate normal, natural birth, breastfeeding and bonding. They can also be used to help prepare children for the arrival of new siblings. They are appropriate for ages 3 and older, but with adult supervision, they can be used in play with younger children as well.”
While I would have no problem with my daughter playing with this doll, I find their minimum age requirement of 3 years old to be a bit too young. I’ll admit, if she played with this doll right now, she would have absolutely no clue of the concept behind it and wouldn’t even begin to understand if I tried to explain it to her. She would just think it’s another baby doll to add to her growing collection.
My 2 1/2 year old knows that there is a baby in my belly but she has no idea how the baby gets out. I don’t plan on having the “where do babies come from” conversation with her until she is much older. I can’t tell you exactly when she will be ready for the conversation, but I will let time take its natural course and we will approach the subject when it feels right for both of us.
The VBAC is a bit of a complicated and sometimes controversial subject among women and doctors, which I don’t think should be discussed with toddlers. Giving this doll to a child as young as 3 might just confuse them on the baby subject in general, especially if you are trying to explain to them where there baby sister or brother are coming from.
We’ve been very open with my daughter throughout this pregnancy, but not open enough to tell her exactly how her baby sister will get here. And we don’t plan on it either. There will be no doll or demonstration in our house explaining how the baby will get here. She won’t be present in the delivery room and will come and visit long after I have gotten out of my hospital gown and when I am much more presentable.
I do like the concept behind the company that they are trying to be an educational venue for parents to teach their children about birth, breastfeeding, and bonding. These dolls are a great visual for teaching the concept, but their minimum age is just a tad too young for me to agree with.
What do you think of the VBAC baby doll?