'Breast Milk Baby': Does Doll For Girls Cross Line?

A new toy that mimics breast-feeding has caused an uproar among some parents.

March 29, 2011, 9:31 PM

March 30, 2011 — -- A new doll that mimics the act of breast-feeding has some parents up in arms and the manufacturer defending itself against accusations of perversion.

Called "Breast Milk Baby," the doll sold through Berjuan Toys for $89 allows children to imitate the act of breast-feeding by using a special halter top that comes with the toy.

The top is made from a colorful material with two flowers positioned where nipples would be. When the doll's mouth is brought close to a sensor embedded in the flower, the baby makes motions and sounds consistent with suckling.

Critics say the doll is over-sexualizing young girls or forcing them to grow up too quickly, but the company and supporters have said the toys are meant to teach young girls about the nurturing skills they'll need later in life.

Dennis Lewis, U.S. spokesman for Berjuan Toys, said the toymaker has faced considerable criticism.

"There have been people who have called us pedophiles, they've called us perverts, they've said we're endangering little girls," he said.

"Breast-feeding was a normal part of life before a few greedy pharmaceutical companies tried to make it rich selling artificial milk," he said. "A girl who plays with a breast-feeding baby now will think this is the normal way to feed a baby."

Parents interviewed by "Good Morning America" were split on the issue.

Oz Naporano said she would look at other dolls before she selected the Breast Milk Baby for her little girl.

But dad J.C. Renners called the doll a "neat concept."

"We've got another baby due in June and I think it's going to be a really neat way for our daughter, Grace, to connect with mom," he said.

Doctor Says Parents Shouldn't Worry

Reaction was no less divided online.

"Now that under-age sex and pregnancies are reaching shocking proportions, let's have a doll which encourages children to … get pregnant!" wrote one poster on "GMA's" Facebook page.

But another commenter was all for it, writing: "If the breastfeeding doll does take off … just imagine the potential it has for increasing the popularity of breastfeeding, leading to happier babies with fewer illnesses."

Dr. Ned Hallowell, a child psychiatrist, says parents have absolutely nothing to worry about.

"I don't think it's sexualizing any more than a little boy standing next to his father shaving and putting on shaving cream," Hallowell said. "The only way harm can be done with this doll is if you beat this kid over the head with the doll."

In Spain, a breast-feeding doll called the Bebe Gloton, also made by Spain's Berjuan Toys, has been sold since 2009.

ABC News' Lauren Sher contributed to this story.

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