POSTED: Wednesday, August 10, 2011 - 4:13pm
UPDATED: Monday, September 12, 2011 - 11:24pm
EL PASO - A new doll may hit toy store shelves soon that teaches young girls how to breast feed. We asked local health experts and parents how they feel about this new toy.
The website for the doll tells girls to put the baby's mouth next to the flowers on the magic top, and she'll start to suckle and swallow, just like a real baby. And it burps.
The El Paso Department of Public Health, which just rolled out its own breastfeeding campaign this month, says at least this doll promotes something natural, not an unhealthy body image like so many other dolls.
"With this doll, what better example?" asked WIC Services Manager Joel Olivas. "You're teaching kid that breastfeeding is normal, we are already doing that by giving bottles to dolls."
"We should be better educated about its value and as a society much more accepting," said family psychologist Richard Patterson. He says while it's never too early to talk to children about their bodies, this doll may take it a step too far.
"I just don't know that giving little 8 year old girls breast feeding baby dolls is the best way to do it," he said.
Moms we talked to aren't sold on it either.
"You're not letting the child be a child, you're teaching them too young what to expect in the future," said Julissa Navarette.
The company says on its website that the doll is meant to teach nurturing skills and that they don't understand why it has created such controversy. Dr. Patterson says the responsibility lies with the parents, and that toys should not be an impulse buy.
"We need to think about what we're doing, if we buy a child a toy, what do we want them to learn from it?"