The Breast Milk Baby has gotten a lot of scrutiny from the media and the public. Some think it is a great product to encourage kids to respect the natural way to feed babies, others feel it is disgusting and forces girls to "grow up" before their time. Americans in particular seem to have a streak of puritanism when it comes to breastfeeding (though many of the same people are totally fine with breasts used to sell cars or beer). Because of this, The Breast Milk Baby's attempt to enter the U.S. market hasn't gone that well.
In order to etch out a niche in the market for this product, the manufacturer has offered unique 50% off promo codes to various blogs, websites, and companies and in addition to they, they have offered to donate $5 per doll sold to the breastfeeding related charity or advocacy of our choice. For our unique promo code I asked followers on facebook which group they recommended, and the most popular choice seemed to be La Leche League. In order to get 50% off of your purchase of the Breast Milk Baby Doll and have $5 per purchase donated to LLL simply shop for the doll here and enter this promo code at checkout: BFBABIES
I've been fortunate enough to have a chance to try out the doll and review it.
About the Doll
The Breast Milk Baby comes in several different models representing both genders and multiple races. From what is currently on their website they seem to have Caucasian, Asian, and African dolls. They have several different outfits ranging from Cameron's boyish blue to Savannah's holiday outfit. When I first unboxed my doll the first thing I noticed was how soft its body was and how lifelike the face was. Also of note was that the clothes were better quality than standard doll clothes, made of thick fleece and terrycloth. They were closer to real baby clothes. I chose Cameron because I love it when dolls are available in blue/boy models instead of the usual pink. The dolls take AA batteries and there is an on/off switch inside of their body on the battery compartment.
It also comes with a halter top for the child who is playing with the doll to wear. These halter tops also vary in style. The girlier dolls come with pink floral top with flowers where nipples would be, Cameron came with a blue top with star nipples. These nipples contain the sensor that activates the doll's "suckling." When the doll's mouth is brought close to the "nipple" it begins to make drinking sounds and its entire face moves in a rhythmic sucking motion which represents newborn suckling quite accurately. If you pull away before he is finished he cries and mutters an adorable "Mamamama...." If you nurse until he is satisfied and then begin burping him he will get the hiccups and eventually let out a huge burp. The only thing that would make it more realistic was if he spit up all over you too.
There are only two criticisms I can give the doll. One is that the halter top, despite being adjustable, barely fit my daughter and she is only 5 years old. I must admit though that my family seems to have abnormally large rib cages so her bust is probably more similar in size to the average 7 year old. If you are buying this for a young child or a skinny child then it shouldn't be a problem. For us, the problem was simple to remedy. I just attached a few strips of velcro and extended the bust by a couple inches.
The other criticism is the more obvious one: The price. Because The Breast Milk Doll is not a mainstream product and because its made with better quality than average dolls the price is quite high. That's why I think the best time to buy it is now while they have the 50% off promo going on. That's makes it no more expensive than many of the other dolls in stores right now that drink from bottles and eat baby food. I have heard some people say "Well my kids just pretended to nurse the dolls they already have, why should I buy a special nursing doll?" to which I answer "Why buy a doll that talks, eats, drinks, walks, wets, or does any of the other things that we pay more money for toys to do?" Its fun and kids like the realism. Is it absolutely necessary? Well no, not really. But I bet most of your kids' toys have unnecessary features. As far as battery powered toys in our house go, we don't have many, but this is one I don't mind one bit.
THE BOTTOM LINE
- Exceptional Quality
- Reinforces natural baby feeding instead of bottle feeding
- Realistic suckling motions and noises, hiccuping, and responds to being burped
- Soft body with soft and flexible head
- Full price is quite expensive (best time to buy is during a promotion)
- Halter top may not fit older/larger kids well