Is it just me?

by Jennifer on October 2, 2008

Looks like a real baby, doesn’t it? Well, it’s not.

Take a look at these photos and this article, and then tell me what you think of these dolls, called “reborns,” and if you think they are cute or a little bit disturbing. (There’s also a video clip from The Today Show.)

Maybe you can sense that I’m completely creeped out by them, but don’t let that sway your opinion.

Yes, the artistry is unbelievable.

And yes, of course, everyone is entitled to a hobby or a collection (this is an expensive one – the dolls can cost anywhere from $500 to upwards of $4000). But it’s not just the dolls that give me the creeps, or the price tag, it’s the way that some owners interact with them. The dolls are  weighted so that they feel like real babies, and you can even order one with a heartbeat. Some owners talk to and care for the dolls as though they are real. (I suppose I can understand their use as a comfort after the loss of a child, but that’s not the way the women featured in the article were using the dolls.)

All opinions are welcome. I’ll ask the question the article does: Cuddly…or creepy?


Now, on to something I found that’s pure genius…and also a bit pricy, unfortunately

I would order these in multiple styles and colors, if could afford it. I might not be able to pass up ordering one, though. But it has to be our little secret. Shhhh…

Yummie Tummie


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{ 45 comments… read them below or add one }

Manic Mommy October 2, 2008 at 1:21 pm

I saw a few seconds of these people on Today and it. was. totally. creepy. I agree that holding a sleeping newborn provides a sense of peace.

Holding a doll that looks very much like a baby is on a par with those people who have their animals freeze dried and keep them in the living room.

Manic Mommys last blog post..DaVinci Has His Last Supper, I Have This


Jenn @ Juggling Life October 2, 2008 at 1:34 pm


The Yummie Tummies are a great idea. If only 5 lbs. was all I needed shaved off!

Jenn @ Juggling Lifes last blog post..Not A Political Post Per Se


ingrid October 2, 2008 at 1:41 pm

Yep. Creepy. Dangerous for the childless and wishful.

ingrids last blog post..what i did on my sabbatical: part 1 of x


melissa October 2, 2008 at 1:58 pm

Skeevy and creepy and just plain wrong.
But the Yummy Tummy? I could totally do with one of those–that’s my only figure flaw worth wasting money on correcting!

melissas last blog post..Self-inflicted panic attacks


Crazycath October 2, 2008 at 2:53 pm

Creeps me out. Saw the documentary on the BBC a while ago. Very scary.
Yummie Tummies sounds brill. Wonder if you can get it in UK?

Crazycaths last blog post..Sky Watch Friday


Ree October 2, 2008 at 2:58 pm

Excuse me while I go off and shudder in the corner.

But those Yummy Tummies? Hmmmmm. Now, there’s a thought.

Rees last blog post..Perfect Post – September


Reluctantfarmchik October 2, 2008 at 3:05 pm

Good golly ned. Completely, utterly and severely creepy. I need a push-up type of yummy tummy butt-sucking, thigh-slimming brain-growing, weird-hair-growth stunting suit. D’ya think they’ll come up with that next?

Reluctantfarmchiks last blog post..I laugh at Despair


dragonfly October 2, 2008 at 3:07 pm

I have to go with CREEPY. Very creepy.

But I could use a Yummy Tummy! If only the price tag weren’t so big..

dragonflys last blog post..I shed some "Mommy Tears" today.


Hilary October 2, 2008 at 3:15 pm

Not at all creepy if it’s just a collectible. They’re an incredible work of art and I can see it as a very beautiful toy for a child in a well-to-do family. On those two counts, I can appreciate them. Creepy arrives when adults “play” with them for any extended period of time past the initial wow stage. Most disturbing to me, are the women who gravitate to them after losing a child. That can’t be a healthy way to deal with the grief process, and probably prolongs their healing. Overall, as demonstrated on the video.. creepy!

Now if only they’d make a Yummy Bummy.. wait.. that would be a girdle.. never mind!

Hilarys last blog post..Edging Into October


Milena October 2, 2008 at 3:40 pm

I won’t beat around the bush. They are just plain creepy. I cannot imagine spending this amount of money on a doll rather than donating it to a children’s charity for example, where you can then help a real baby or child with a real heartbeat.

The yummy tummy? I shall vouch for it. Bought a strappy tank in black and it is miraculous. And I mean miraculous, miraculous.

Milenas last blog post..Snippets for this Leaping Thought Wednesday


Lisa@verybusymomwith4 October 2, 2008 at 3:43 pm

I worry for the woman who buy those dolls to replace or add a child.
Yummy tummy looks good but where I need help is the booty but when they create the jean that shaves 5 pounds off THAT, I am there with all the money I can grab 🙂

Lisa@verybusymomwith4s last blog post..Tag Anyone 😉


Heather October 2, 2008 at 4:05 pm

Definitely creepy.

Heathers last blog post..Beautiful


Andi October 2, 2008 at 4:35 pm

I think they look like the babies are dead, frankly, and that creeps me out completely. I can’t imagine that they would be helpful if you lost an infant… wouldn’t it just remind you over and over again of your tremendous loss? Or maybe I don’t have a clue because I’ve never lost a child…

Andis last blog post..To vote or not to vote…


Mrs. G. October 2, 2008 at 4:51 pm

frickin frackin freaky

Mrs. G.s last blog post..Slow Cook Thursday


Csquaredplus3 October 2, 2008 at 5:24 pm

I saw this today also. I hate to call the dolls “creepy”, but I personally feel uncomfortable and slightly disturbed when I look at them. But if it provides someone else some comfort or “something”…

Reminds me of the “Real Dolls” that are available for men. I saw a show on PBS or Discovery – can’t remember and it was VERY uncomfortable to watch these men literally love their dolls. I couldn’t pull myself away though.


Kellie C. October 2, 2008 at 5:45 pm

Bizzare! You must be a “few” cards short…if you think that this price tag or the doll will do anything for you. Heck a $20 Target doll works nicely! How about a cabbage patch newborn doll!

Like the tops. Now If I could look skinny when the shirt is off!


RiverPoet October 2, 2008 at 5:45 pm

I don’t know if you’ve met my friend Michelle over at Burgh Baby, but she will occasionally post pictures of these creepy little dolls just to freak us all out! (Other than that, she has a really good blog 😉

Wasn’t that Today Show segment creepy? I wondered why they didn’t file it under “mental illness.”


RiverPoets last blog post..The State I’m In


Coco October 2, 2008 at 5:49 pm

Uh…yeah. Creepy.

Sorry, I just don’t get the whole “collectible art” part of this deal when the women featured in the article are posing next to full-size bassinets with the eerie little dolls, talk about taking them out in strollers, etc.

Dolls are fine. Toys are fine.

This is…oddly disturbing.


texasholly @ June Cleaver Nirvana October 2, 2008 at 6:37 pm

I just got uncontrollable shivers…ugh.

texasholly @ June Cleaver Nirvanas last blog post..Click. Crap.


Suzanne October 2, 2008 at 6:43 pm

I’ve seen pictures of those newborn dolls and they concern me. I wonder who buys them and for what purpose? I think it would be very interesting to figure out who buys them and what their thinking is on owning them? And what do they do with them once they get them home?


boliath October 2, 2008 at 7:39 pm

I feel kind of nauseous and frightened looking at them, they’re too real. A baby that never grows up to laugh talk walk discover? Seems like a lot of responsibility for very little payback. The new born stage was necessary and wonderful as is this age and that age, I enjoy the progression and slight steps towards conciousness, it’s an adventure – this never do anything but makes you feel you need to nurture it doll? Phew, not for me thanks.


catnip October 2, 2008 at 8:12 pm

Way creepy.

catnips last blog post..Bossy on Blog Nosh


JCK October 2, 2008 at 9:37 pm

Beyond creep-out. I don’t get it. At. All.


flutter October 2, 2008 at 10:59 pm

oh my god. OH MY GOD!!!! MAKE IT STOP!!!!!!!!

flutters last blog post..I suck


dysfunctional mom October 3, 2008 at 12:26 am

Wow, leave it to me to be the lone commentor who doesn’t see the babies as creepy. I think the craftsmanship is amazing, the dolls are beautiful, and if somebody wants to play with them…..more power to them.

dysfunctional moms last blog post..Wordful Wednesday – Walking for Baby JW


Hatchet October 3, 2008 at 12:28 am

Creeeeeeeepy! Very like Real Dolls, as was mentioned above. Bleah!

Hatchets last blog post..Veep Debate


Midlife Slices October 3, 2008 at 6:39 am

I watched this segment too and i think it’s actually sad. The baby is so real looking!

Midlife Slicess last blog post..If I Appear To Be Listening, It’s Only An Illusion


Tara Wermuth October 3, 2008 at 7:18 am

Hello Jennifer,
Your new hair color looks great in the picture, if I may say so. I hopw you are enjoying it. Now to the issue on hand,OMG! I happened to catch this segment the other day as well. Actually, we had a client come in awhile back with her “(un)living doll”. We were all obviously freaked out, and I thought then and there I had seen it all….until I watched the Today show. What the heck? Crazy cabbage patch lady wasn’t alone? She wouldn’t even let her baby sit in the car seat alone while she got her hair washed, and she talked to the baby the whole time, never mentioning it wasn’t real. I try not to judge others, but this is plain weird. To each his own, I guess.


Treasia/TruckersWife October 3, 2008 at 9:00 am

I’ll say first off that they are beautiful “dolls” and are very lifelike to see. Almost eerily creepy by looks alone. I can see where collectors would truly love them and want to collect. The creepy part comes in when you have grown women playing with them. and treating them like a real live baby. As for replacing a baby in their life, I don’t think this is a natural part of the grieving process. I believe it would only prolong it and not be a good way to grieve.

Treasia/TruckersWifes last blog post..Nip In The Air


Daryl October 3, 2008 at 10:52 am

I am not sure why anyone would want one … I am pretty sure substituting this toy for a lost infant would be just wrong .. but who knows …anyone? Beuhler?

And thank you so much for posting that link … I bought the strappy one in black …


Daryls last blog sky


liv October 3, 2008 at 11:39 am

i think it’s the sort of thing that i’d enjoy looking at and picking up in a store for about 1 minute. real babies are just so much cooler—and cooler still is handing them back.


Smart Mouth Broad October 3, 2008 at 11:50 am

I saw this on the Today show too. I agree, it’s creepy but I am impressed by how life-like they are.

Smart Mouth Broads last blog post..ROADTRIP: PART III (Moonlight, Moonshine & Mooning)


Candy October 3, 2008 at 12:12 pm

Those babies are just plain freaky. Some of them look like little baby Golem’s from Lord of the Rings. That’s not something the world needs.

Candys last blog post..“Say it Ain’t So, Joe???” Oh No She Din’t


San October 3, 2008 at 4:46 pm

The creep factor is high with these dolls. Psychologically unhealthy it seems.

Yummy tummy. YUMMY.

Sans last blog post..Return of the Prodigal Blogger


jenrantsraves October 3, 2008 at 5:40 pm

Oh my gosh! So weird that you wrote this, because I was in Babies R Us just a few weeks ago, and these 2 women were pushing this baby in their cart, buying stuff for her, and talking baby talk to her. When I looked at her adorable outfit from the back, I suddenly stopped in my tracks. That baby wasn’t moving. It was a doll! At first I wanted to laugh, but then I was struck with how completely sad it was. The whole thing is creepy, and sad.


Madge October 4, 2008 at 7:07 am

creepy. creepy, creepy, creepy.

is it just me or have we not talked in forever?

Madges last blog post..Am I back yet?


Dharmamama October 4, 2008 at 11:44 am

Oh – that hurt my heart! Especially this comment:

“she wanted a real baby, but was too busy to commit to caring for a real one. A reborn doll satisfies her maternal instincts, she said, without all the carrying on and mess.

Reborns, she said, “never grow out of their clothes, never soil them. It’s just fabulous. The only difference, of course, is these guys don’t move.”

Um – what?! How disconnected does that person have to be, to think the *only* difference is in not moving? Oy. Sad. Sad.

Of course, I was cracking up at the mom who plays with dolls, saying about her daughter, “I think she’s going to love the fact that I play with dolls. How much fun is it going to be for her?” Yeaaahhh.. fun. Check back when the daughter’s about 13, and she doesn’t want to invite her friends over.

It reminded me of that viral e-mail with the marzipan babies, which, thankfully, ended up not being edible marzipan, but clay, made by this artist: Now, *that* creeped me out, before I found out they were clay.

Dharmamamas last blog post..I Thought Tropic Thunder was Hilarious


San Diego Momma October 4, 2008 at 6:03 pm

Extremely creepy. They’re like inflatable dolls for females.
I think you’d have to be a particular brand of freakozoid to actually think those replace real babies.

San Diego Mommas last blog post..In the Hopper


Gwen October 5, 2008 at 10:12 am

Oh, totally creepy. But I just might think that because I don’t especially like babies in the first place.


the mama bird diaries October 5, 2008 at 10:19 am

Completely, utterly creepy.

And creepy should at least be cheap. That’s some price tag.

the mama bird diariess last blog post..lather on the sunscreen… in the shower


anymommy October 5, 2008 at 4:28 pm

For me, creepy. Although, I’m not going to judge what brings someone else comfort or joy. I guess it’s not hurting anyone if people are really attached to these dolls. That said, they are creepy to me.

anymommys last blog post..Choked Up


apathy lounge October 5, 2008 at 8:38 pm

The women who play with these say it’s no different than a man playing with model trains. I beg to differ. Model trains can’t carry people. Train enthusiasts build the sets and run the tracks and that’s that. They don’t every pretend that they’re real. They KNOW these are toys. The women with the dolls? Are pretending something that isn’t real. They change the diapers and feed them. It’s okay with you’re five and have never had children (because you’re a kid yourself), but it’s creepy as hell when you’re an adult doing this.

apathy lounges last blog post.."Nice to meet you. Hey, can I call you Adolf?"


Denise October 7, 2008 at 6:02 am

Definitely creepy. I saw these a few years ago on eBay by the same artist. I just don’t get it!

Denises last blog post..Movie Meme Revisted


Sugarplum's Mom October 10, 2008 at 10:54 am

Hmm… I’m on the fence. I think they can be good therapy tools… being held by a grieving mother during a therapy session who maybe just lost a child or pregnancy. Having a calming affect on agitated seniors.. my great grandmother used to hold a little teddy bear.. I don’t see much difference there.
My creepy factor is toward the women who buy them and take them out in stollers and car seats as though they are living children. I wonder when they are going to have they psychotic break.

Sugarplum’s Moms last blog post..A Mother’s Soul


Suzanne October 13, 2008 at 2:34 pm

Very creepy. I can’t begin to list all the things that disturb me about them. (the least of which-600 to 1000 bucks for a DOLL?)

Suzannes last blog post..Arrrrrggggghhhhhhhh


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