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The VBAC Baby Doll: Another Inappropriate Baby Doll?

By Lauren Jimeson |

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?

Read more from Lauren at A Mommy in the City. For more updates, follow Lauren on Facebook and Twitter !

Image via MamAmor

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About Lauren Jimeson

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Lauren Jimeson

Lauren Jimeson is the author of A Mommy in the City, which chronicles living the city life with a suburban mentality. Read bio and latest posts → Read Lauren's latest posts →

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9 thoughts on “The VBAC Baby Doll: Another Inappropriate Baby Doll?

  1. Stephanie says:

    Why is this doll controversial? Because YOU think so? And what makes YOU an expert on what age this doll is appropriate for? If you don’t think it’s suitable for your children, then that’s fine… don’t buy one for them. Other kids may ask more questions and these dolls are an excellent, simple way of explaining birth to them (going into as much or as little detail as the parent feels appropriate).

    I totally disagree that your blog is “for a new generation of parents”… your comments make you sound like you just walked out of the 1930′s. Maybe you should just tell your kids that the stork brought them.

  2. Emma says:

    I think you may be missing the point here. I think the three year mark is in regards to the safety of the item in terms of choking hazards etc. Whether or not you choose it as an appropriate toy for your own three year old is of course your own personal decision.

  3. Brandi says:

    I would buy this doll for my daughter. If she would be “traumatized” by it, then I am doing something wrong as her mother.

  4. Jodi Rives says:

    Good grief. No, no, no, no I wouldn’t give this doll to any of my children (3 of whom were VBAC). But not because of the VBAC nature, just because of the why on Earth would a three year old (or any small child of any age) need to see the actual process modeled in a doll nature. Knowing about the birds and the bees is important–the exact mechanics are unnecessary. And, let’s face it, unless they add a ton of gross blood, fluid, vernix, urine, maybe feces, and other facets of the gigantic mess that is childbirth, it’s not really giving them any realistic kind of idea about how this works anyway. And if reality is the point, this doll misses by a long shot.

  5. Stephanie says:

    Re: Jodi Rives comment

    Obviously the “exact mechanics” are unnecessary for young children – that is why these dolls are GREAT – because they can see a very simplified version of birth. I would be interested in how you would explain birth to a young child that asked…

  6. Hailey Smith says:

    I would not buy or let my children play with this doll. I respect that there are families who might want or feel the need to educate their children in these areas and this is a very personal thing that needs to be right for your family, but lets be honest it is sexual education for children. Once that flood gate is open you cannot close it, you have to be prepared for the other questions, “well this is how the baby comes out but how did it get in there?” Just the thought of dolls that would demonstrate that very “natural act” is sickening to me. You cannot say that one subject is okay and not the other.
    I have studied child development and have been working with children for over ten years and while every child is different most children grow out of playing with babies by the time that they could fully understand what this doll is demonstating.

  7. Lorijo Nerad says:

    When assisting at a home delivery that the siblings were encouraged to be present, I explained to them how the baby was to come out by using a sweater sleeve and a baby doll. I didn’t use any terms at all, just showed them that the baby would come out of mommy like this, and pushed the doll through the sleeve. They said ok, and was there with mom when their sister arrived. It was beautiful!
    Children have a “take it like it is” attitude, the truth is a good thing to tell them. However it is presented, the birth process should be explained by the parents. The doll could be a good way to educate children, if they were to ask questions before mommy gave birth. But as far as it being a toy to play with, legos might be a better option.

  8. Kates says:

    I’d 100% give one of these dolls to my child, it’s an excellent tool (and toy) to explain to them how a baby is born. Like Stephanie said, you don’t have to explain the “exact mechanics” of child-birth, but why not educate your child on how a baby is born instead dumbing it down because you don’t believe they’ll understand. Three year olds have a much higher intelligence level than some of you ladies are giving them credit for.

    Babies can understand the differences in a dogs bark, they know when someone is a jerk, and can communicate through sign language much earlier than they can speak… so why can’t a toddler understand where [not how or exact details] a baby comes from?

    As for having my first born in the room whilst birthing my second, I see nothing wrong with letting them see the process. There is nothing wrong with birth and we shouldn’t shelter our children from it. It is normal and natural, again, why not educate instead of sheltering our children? I’m having a home birth and I don’t need to keep my child away from me until I’m presentable, and the bond I will have with my child will be priceless because of my openness. (Rememer that outside of our country, children all over the world witness their siblings birth every day!)

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