Doting on Dolls

   By drodriguez  Jan 04, 2009

Playing with baby dolls is not just for children anymore.  Thousands of women are taking home lifelike newborn baby dolls and calling them their own.  The dolls, called “reborns”, are meticulously designed by artists to look and feel just like a real newborn baby and can sell for over $1,000. 

Many of the women who buy the dolls could not have children of their own or have grown children out of the house and miss having a baby around.  The “reborns” are often taken for walks in strollers, clothed in real baby clothes, and doted over as if they were the real thing

A recent ABC News article reported on the baby doll phenomenon from a convention for reborn fans in Illinois.  ABC spoke with Lachelle Moore, who has both children and grandchildren of her own, about her love of reborns.  Moore said, “What’s so wonderful about reborns is that they’re forever babies.  They don’t give you any trouble.  There’s no college tuition, no dirty diapers...just the good part of motherhood.”  Moore added a $1,400 reborn to her collection of 36 dolls during the convention.

Women at the convention often referred to holding the dolls as providing “cuddle therapy” and there may be some truth to the phrase.  Studies have proven that women experience a chemical emotional rush when holding a newborn babySue Varma, a psychiatrist from the NYU School of Medicine, said “I would not be surprised to learn that if a women is holding a fake baby, that she would have the same chemical, hormonal reactions as if she was holding a real baby.”

It is not surprising that some people might find the idea of collecting these pricey fake newborns to be a little odd and possibly unhealthy.  Linda Moore describes it as a hobby she has chosen that does no harm to anyone.

What do you think of the recent report about women collecting these fake babies?

Do you think this is just a harmless hobby that helps fill a void in some women?

Make a Comment

kokonut1966 by kokonut1966 | Tarpon Springs, FL
Aug 17, 2009

What the hell?? Are you serious about this? Dolls for adults? Go take a happy pill and call it a night! This is WWAAYY too creepy!

kokonut1966 by kokonut1966 | Tarpon Springs, FL
Aug 17, 2009

What the hell?? Are you serious about this? Dolls for adults? Go take a happy pill and call it a night! This is WWAAYY too creepy!

mitanari by mitanari | Mountain View, CA
May 25, 2009

Interesting article, I knew about doll collecting, but I've never heard of "reborn" dolls before. It isn't a hobby for me, way too expensive and I've never liked baby dolls, not even when I was a little girl. I think many of these comments are a bit harsh though. Doll collectors aren't hurting anyone, even if the hobby is a bit rare, and people should be able to do what they like with their money. I expect to be able to spend money on frivolous things that make me happy, like video games and make up, with out people badmouthing me for it so I don't think it is very fair to badmouth fans of dolls.

kristi3374 by kristi3374 | Stanford, KY
Apr 16, 2009

WOW thats farrrrr out there i love to put a shirt on my chiuaua but baby dolls what gives

Jargon by Jargon | Bakersfield, CA
Mar 20, 2009

I think they are beautiful from an artistic standpoint. I have a dear friend who had one made when her own daughter died from complications of prematurity. It gave her something real to hold onto when the grief got too bad.

harlyputnam by harlyputnam | Presque Isle, ME
Mar 13, 2009

As someone who has tried for 4 years to have a child with nothing to show for it, I understand wanting one of these babies, but only to hold in the privacy of one's home while waiting for fertility treatments to work, or an adoption to go through. Those who have not gone through the pain of infertility have NO IDEA - ZERO!!! of what it is like to feel like we feel. And while I'm on this soapbox, I would just like to say if anyone here is thinking of saying "just adopt," or "just do IVF" think first. IVF costs between $15-30K PER CYCLE and is not covered by insurance unless you live in one of the few states that mandate that coverage. Adoption is just as costly unless you foster an older child or teen for a few years before adopting. Adoptions also fall through many times, losing the adoptive family thousands of non-refundable dollars in the birth mom's medical bills as is required by law.

candy_apple1990 by candy_apple1990 | Caro, MI
Feb 24, 2009

I think that the diaper changing and the comforting and the feeding is what having a baby is all about. I saw the picture of the reborn at the beginning of the article and said, "Awe, it looks like a real baby." As much as it looks like a baby, it isn't a baby. Playing with it at home is ok I guess, but taking it for walks is just to much! If you want a baby so bad, adopt one. If that isn't an option, get a puppy or something.

twinner by twinner | Saint Charles, MO
Feb 12, 2009

How can a doll give you "just the good part of motherhood"? Can you really get that from a doll?

jswank by jswank | New Hope, PA
Feb 10, 2009

Creepy, strange, and odd all come to mind. I want children, but I'm not sure I would turn to a doll to comfort by necessity for mothering. There are so many ways to volunteer with organziations where REAL kids need the nurturing. Why give it to a doll who can't appreciate you? Go volunteer at a hospital, a library, or a school. These kids need people to make them feel special. I have no problem with people who collect dolls, or those who dress them up for holidays, but I do have a problem with people who carry these dolls around as if they were real.

rusty2rusty by rusty2rusty | DEFIANCE, OH
Feb 06, 2009

I think this hobby is crazy. Its one thing to play with dolls at home or have a collection. But to actually walk out in public like it is a real baby, that's another. I think these woman need to go see a shrink. I would hate to hear one day they end up with a real baby because they stole it from someone else.

laguna_dreamz by laguna_dreamz | Waldoboro, ME
Feb 05, 2009

Wow. I saw an documentary on the BBC a month or two ago. Creeepy. I mean, yes the dolls are beautiful amazing works of art. But why are these people taking them as their own children?!?! and walking them in strollers? I just dont get it! Its weird. If your going to pay upwards of $1000 on a doll, why not adopt a child or foster?!

chrissybee by chrissybee | Marietta, GA
Feb 05, 2009

I think collecting dolls is fine, but pretending a doll is a real baby is clinically disturbing. Those people need help. What about the "What would you do?" episode that used a Reborn to fake a baby being left in the car? That's a good use of a real looking doll

Jen7145 by Jen7145 | CONNEAUT, OH
Feb 05, 2009

Everyone is focusing on the $1000. People, these are grown adults treating a plastic baby doll as it they were real children. Spend you money where ever you want, just step back and take a look at why you are treating a PLASTIC BABY DOLL as a human person. I say it again, how would you feel about Joe Schmo spending $1000 on a anatomically correct blow-up doll for his personal use and companionship. The majority would cry "perv" and condemn him. This is no different, minus the sex, these people are finding companionship with a doll. Don't get me wrong, I think "Joe Schmo" needs some counseling too.

funnygirl28 by funnygirl28 | Bohemia, NY
Feb 03, 2009

Instead of spending $1000.00 on a reborn why not adopt or be forster parents!! There are plenty of children in this world and I mean USA ! that would love you back! and bring you real love and joy.

megankc1000 by megankc1000 | Columbus, OH
Feb 03, 2009

salome says: This is ridiculous. The $1000 these women use to buy the fake babies can go to starving people in third world countries who have too many children to take care fo. So Why should this money go to a third world country??? I make these beautiful dolls and sell them so my kids have something to eat and so that my bills get paid. So you are saying that I don't deserve this money to feed my kids. It should go to someone else in some other part of the world because they are poor? My family wouldn't be able to get by without my dolls...