Posted by: Admin | May 14, 2011

The Week-End Post – Breastfeeding and Toys

Did you ever walk around a toy store and look at the toys portraying babies or baby care? The babies are always portrayed as being bottle-fed. They come with a bottle or a pacifier. What are children to understand? That babies need to be bottle-fed and that this is the normal way to feed babies? We do know that breastmilk is the best nourishment for babies, and elders do not believe in giving babies artificial milk baby formula!

Recently, there was outrage at a new doll on the market: a doll that needs to be breastfed! Some people are concerned that having such a doll will cause the little girls to become interested in sex or that it will make them want to have more developed breasts, etc. See what the fuss is all about at the following link:

And see the doll for yourselves:

The doll in itself is not a toy I am recommending. We always try to let women know that no accessories are needed to breastfeed. This doll’s cry and slurping sounds are triggered by a special apron that the little girl must wear. Also, the doll makes a really loud sound when she breastfeeds, and most real babies do not make such a sound while sucking. The little girl (or others around her) might find this sound embarrassing, and she may end up not wanting to breastfeed if she believes it will be this noisy. A little girl can mimic breastfeeding with any doll. There is no need for gimmicks – although I have to admit the intention behind the doll is great!

If your child is only exposed to bottle-feeding, in real life and in playing with dolls and bottles, bottle-feeding will seem to be the only option available for feeding a baby. Children grow up with this image in their heads. If the Cree tradition is to breastfeed our babies, and I know for a fact that this is the case, why do we accept that our little girls learn how to bottle-feed their dolls? This is not tradition. This is not part of the Cree culture.

In some cases, a mother might feel uncomfortable promoting or encouraging breastfeeding because she did not breastfeed her own children. In some instances, some of us might feel threatened by the act of breastfeeding because it makes us feel guilty that we did not breastfeed. It is difficult to live with decisions we once took, but we have to remember that we made the best decisions according to our degree of knowledge and our way of life at that time. We should not feel guilty for doing what we once thought was best! However, we do need to teach our children the best way to feed babies, regardless of what we did and why we did it!

Whether or not you breastfed your children, take a stand for the natural way to feed a baby:  If you see a woman breastfeeding her baby, explain to your child how good it is for the baby. When you buy your child a doll, find one that does not come with a bottle. If you see your child role playing by feeding her doll with a bottle, let her know that the real way to feed her baby is by breastfeeding.

If you see a little girl breastfeeding her doll, praise her!

Have a nice week-end!



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