As you’re probably well aware, the popular doll millions of girls have grown up with, Barbie, is infamous for having disproportionately large breasts.
Finally, they now have a purpose, thanks to an Australian mother’s invention: Breastfeeding Barbie.
The maternal doll is joining the fight against breastfeeding stigma and it is hoped she will help to encourage kids to see breastfeeding as normal from a young age.
Betty Strachan, a mum of two from Brisbane, Australia, first started making the dolls for her children.
The creative mama repaints dolls to give them a more realistic look. She first started doing this for her own children a few years ago but soon realised other parents were keen to have more realistic dolls for their own children to play with.
Writing on her product page, she said, “Growing up, it always struck me as odd that there wasn’t as much diversity in the doll world as there could or should be. Not every child is born with blonde hair and blue eyes. Some have freckles, some have gaps in their teeth.”
Breastfeeding Barbie is the latest doll added to her collection of diverse dolls. In fact, there’s a whole series of dolls to celebrate motherhood. Breastfeeding Barbie comes with a newborn doll but there’s also pregnancy Barbie who comes with a sizable bump.
Children learn through play so toys like this can have a huge impact on a child’s perceptions of the world. Not only do toys help to shape your child’s world view but they also allow your child to explore and learn through play.
Unsurprisingly, the dolls have proved popular amongst parents searching for something other than the traditional heavily made up beauty queen dolls on the market.
Betty’s dolls give dolls a new lease of life, allowing the dolls to appeal to a new generation of parents who want more for their children. The breastfeeding doll is just part of that, encouraging children to view breastfeeding as normal. Breastfeeding Barbie would make a great gift for a soon-to-be-older sibling.
Breastfeeding was once seen as the norm and children grew up surrounded by breastfeeding women. Nowadays, it’s more common for dolls to be sold with bottles of toy milk. In books and on tvs, representations of bottle-feeding are much more common than those of breastfeeding.
Toys like breastfeeding Barbie have an important role to play in helping to normalise breastfeeding not just for children but for parents, too.
You can purchase the dolls from Betty’s Etsy page here.
You may need to request a custom order to purchase one, and be prepared for a little bit of a wait, as the postive media coverage has increased demand. However, new orders are being taken for 2017.
The dolls can be made to order so you can choose what your finished doll will look like. You can see breastfeeding Barbie and all her friends on the Facebook page, here.
Recommended Reading: Take a look at these 5 Awesome Breastfeeding Ads From Around The World.