to think that ill-looking reborn dolls are incredibly creepy?!

(67 Posts)
Kacie1985 Sat 26-Oct-13 00:13:27

I don't necesarily have a problem with the normal baby ones, but the premature ones with tubes and things on freak me out! Who on earth would want to buy those?

SPsTombRaidingWithCliff Sat 26-Oct-13 00:14:47

I haven't seen them. Dolls freak me out anyway.

Have you seen the Baby Jake one?!

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

Kacie1985 Sat 26-Oct-13 00:24:50

LunaticFringe will have to look on google. I'm not linking them on here because they might upset people.

WorraLiberty Sat 26-Oct-13 00:34:26

I think all reborn dolls (well all the ones I've seen) look like stillborn babies sad

But I had no idea they did premature ones with tubes?

1944girl Sat 26-Oct-13 00:34:54

Reborn dolls scare the shit out of me.
The worst and sickest one I saw was a Down's Syndrome one.I am a lover of vintage prams and was directed to a lady who sold these in a local market.To my horror she seemed more interested in selling me a reborn Down's doll.I just could not believe that anyone could be so swick.

Heathcliff27 Sat 26-Oct-13 00:45:44

The reborns are awful, i find them all creepy. Just had a look at the prem ones, horrific

CarpeVinum Sat 26-Oct-13 00:47:58


Just seen Zombie Reborn Baby.

Fuck me.

Could have done without that at nearly 2am. Monday nights zombie infested, post iwalking dead, unsettled sleep to be continued then.

I kind of want a Zombie Baby to wheel around now though for halloween.

Or maybe not. All the Nonni tend to dive headfirst into passing prams for a good cheek pinch.... and if they find themselves eyeball to eyeball with "Little Kick Ass after she turned" I could end up responsible for a sudden and dramatic dip in Italian longevity stats.

Ellenora5 Sat 26-Oct-13 03:16:16

They are weird, bloody weird, and creepy, another site I use was asking about them and a poster linked to her sisters website, she makes newborn dolls, creepiest things I have ever seen, and completely exploiting parents who may have lost a baby, it gives me the shivers to think that someone is making a living out of this, and what sort of a person would use their artistic skills like this confused

ForwardSheCried Sat 26-Oct-13 04:29:16

Reborn dolls freak me out completely... I think they're awful. Reborn monkeys are even more terrifying, though.

Yikes Uncle Scooby.

Morloth Sat 26-Oct-13 07:21:26

There is something deeply deeply wrong with both the people who make those and the people who want them.

They look like dead babies. No-one in their right minds wants something that replicates a dead baby.

There isn't anything anyone could say that would convince me otherwise.

ForwardSheCried Sat 26-Oct-13 07:28:30

Did anyone see that programme from years ago about women who carted reborn dolls around with them and treated them as if they were real babies?

This isn't it, but it's a report about the dolls and the people who buy them - may be distressing to some.

ForwardSheCried Sat 26-Oct-13 07:46:35

I found the programme - here's part 1 if anyone is interested. Again, parts of it may distress some people.

MalcolmTuckersMistress Sat 26-Oct-13 07:57:54

They are hideous. My best friends an I went away to one of the ILs stunning Lake District home for a weekend a few years back. What our friend forgot to tell us was MILs obsessive passion for collecting dolls. THEY WERE EVERYWHERE! <<shudder>>

Zombie ones could be hilarious though, imagine peering into a pram and seeing one of those terrifying things staring back at you!

3bunnies Sat 26-Oct-13 08:12:19

If it helped parents to cope with the loss of a premature baby then I would have sympathy for that although I wouldn't be comfortable looking at it myself. Any other reason is just weird.

Booboostoo Sat 26-Oct-13 08:15:34

Reborn dolls are freaky although I don't see why a reborn baby with Down's Syndrome would be any freakier. I;ve never seen the reborn sick babies and frankly I don't think I want to.

Is it wrong that I quite like the monkey ones though?

CrohnicallyTired Sat 26-Oct-13 09:11:23

I was at a pub and a lady was cuddling a sleeping baby. Her daughter (6 or 7 ish) came up, grabbed the baby's leg and pulled it out of the lady's arms and swung it into her own arms. I couldn't help but gasp in horror.

Of course, I then realised it was the daughter's reborn doll! (Yes it was definitely the daughter's, she had come to get her doll back off mum because someone else said it was creepy and made her cry. I privately agreed with them)

FeckOffCupofBatBlood Sat 26-Oct-13 09:59:57

Oh god the monkey ones are the creepiest things ever, but I find monkeys creepy to start with.

mrsjay Sat 26-Oct-13 10:03:24

I hate newborn dolls they are just creepy i have a collector friend she pays a tonne of money for them then posts the pictures on facebook <shudder> i think the thought of premmie ill ones would send me over the edge I don't get it just why ?

Morloth Sat 26-Oct-13 10:03:37

The monkey ones are OK.

Not to my tastes but they are not revolting like the baby ones.

I think it is the closed eyes.

The reborn ones dont bother me so much if their eyes are open because then they don't look dead.

Howsuper Sat 26-Oct-13 10:27:01

I think this thread is a bit cruel - I think it's fairly clear that people who buy reborn dolls have a lot of issues and those issues are largely to do with infertility or stillborn children/miscarriages.

Rational, stable mothers can call it 'creepy' but that's hurtful to those who derive pleasure and comfort from these dolls - something most of us can't understand or appreciate.

salsmum Sat 26-Oct-13 10:28:17

I worked in a residential home for the elderly as an activities leader, I was always looking for new ideas around activities with my residents, especially the lovely ladies with a Dementia...looking on Youtube one night I saw this video clip on 'doll therapy'.. we had a lady in the home who I thought might be particularly interested in reborns because sadly she had never been a Mum following countless miscarriages sad and now had a Dementia. I chose the weight, size,look of the doll very carefully to make sure it didn't have a pale/blueish complexion (esp under the tube lighting)...the resident loved the reborn and remembered fondly when their children were babies...holding the doll calmed them down and they looked forward to me bringing the dolls in (I had to expand to a girl doll and a black doll too) I was amazed when one day I brought a reborn in and a gentleman who had a real problem concentrating/standing still..etc.. held a doll and sat down happily for over half an hour (this was a first). In the summer time the doll went in an old fashioned Marmet pram and joined us for cream teas in the garden. Residents used to love pushing the pram around the garden rather than pushing their walking frames (it seemed to make them feel young again). The only YUKS/dead baby comments I had were by SOME staff but once they saw the benefits they didn't mind them too much. Personally I would not buy a reborn with tubes etc...(most collectors don't) and my interest in reborns was strictly as a work project...BUT I have met some lovely people in the reborn world who do get comfort from these dolls...many do not take them out in public. I would say live and let live it's no worse than men who play with toy trains or adults who collect Disney/cuddly toys. I saw the benefits first hand and even the families enjoyed a cuddle. please note my dear residents KNEW these dolls were dolls and they were never presented as a 'real baby' but loved still the same, they loved naming the dolls too and dressing them and putting terry nappies on them with safety pins.

mrsjay Sat 26-Oct-13 10:28:36

not all people who have these dolls have infertility how can you know that Howsuper

Howsuper Sat 26-Oct-13 10:34:40

mrsjay - a) simply from reading interviews and features with doll owners b) it's not rocket science c) why ridicule or trash others choices without thinking that something traumatic like infertility could well be behind it? I'd rather err on side of caution, wouldn't you?

JumpingJackSprat Sat 26-Oct-13 10:34:55

Salsmum that's lovely that they actually have a practical use. I don't like them but I can't believe some of the comments on this thread about people that but them. If they give people comfort What's wrong with that?

QueenArseClangers Sat 26-Oct-13 10:39:36

Salsmum that's lovely. How lucky your work are to have you as such a caring member of staff.

sashh Sat 26-Oct-13 10:43:24

I don't like the whole pretending the doll is a baby. I can see the merits of a doll that looks as if it has downs or is ill for a child who has a sibling with a medical condition or even a child with down's syndrome.

ForwardSheCried Sat 26-Oct-13 10:47:54

@salsmum I remember reading some time ago that these dolls could help people with dementia. I can't argue with that.

@ howsuper I've had a horrible late miscarriage myself. I personally find these dolls rather morbid, but that's just me. I watched various documentaries on this subject, some of which I have posted links to in this thread, and I did feel great empathy for some of the ladies involved. However (and I know this might sound a bit off) I thought that some of these ladies could have benefited a lot from more professional help. Some of them definitely need it.

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

Viviennemary Sat 26-Oct-13 11:07:54

I saw a programme about them a while ago. And even one woman's husband was creeped out by the one she had just got. He just said I just don't like it. sorry. It was a replica of her grandson who was alive and well only older. I don't see a problem with dolls but taking these strange objects out for walks feeding them and having whole rooms in a house dedicated to them is really odd.

Viviennemary Sat 26-Oct-13 11:09:25

Cross post. Very sorry to hear this Lunaticfringe. flowers

BookFairy Sat 26-Oct-13 11:16:36

My grandma has Alzheimers and has a doll that she holds like a baby and seems to find soothing. Aside from that the idea of a house full of baby dolls gives me the jeebies.....

Annagramma Sat 26-Oct-13 11:18:04

Salsmum that's very interesting. My grandmother has dementia and is in a care home (and lost all but my mother at birth/shortly after) and I think it would benefit her a lot. I know a care home we looked at had a reborn doll, which was the reason we avoided it, but I kind of regret that now, as I think it would help.

Howsuper Sat 26-Oct-13 11:18:28

I'm so very sorry for your loss and pain, Lunaticfringe.

ForwardSheCried Sat 26-Oct-13 11:25:13

LunaticGringe - my heart goes out to you. Very well said.

ForwardSheCried Sat 26-Oct-13 11:26:03

*Fringe! Sorry for the typo - been up for 15 hours.

I had an extremely prem baby, and I can't even look at the pictures, I don't want to remember her so ill. I definitely would not want a replica doll of my child fighting for her life its just weird.

*dd is 4 now and much healthier.

Strumpetron Sat 26-Oct-13 12:08:09

I can't stand them, they're horrible in my eyes but if some women draw comfort from them I can't judge them.

salsmum Sat 26-Oct-13 23:26:13

Annagramma that is such a shame because I think having a reborn in the home indicates that the activity leader knows 'what works' for some of the residents..Last Christmas I bought a DVD which had different log fires (real flame effects) on it...near Christmas we turned some of the lights down...put the 'fireside' DVD on and played Christmas carols on the C.D. player, it was lovely and cosy and my lovely residents really enjoyed it (so did a few of the staff too)...I also bought a snooker table which flipped over to a air Hockey table..we had a lady with a Dementia who was a whizz at it and it was wonderful when she had a game with her sister and won!!. I know that Dementia can be very isolating (my Mum is in final stages of Dementia and my Mum in law had it too) so for this lady to be able to re-connect with her sister was great. I loved working with the elderly and learnt so much...wonderful people! smile.

DameDeepRedBetty Sat 26-Oct-13 23:35:45

salsmum it's lovely that you're able to use tools like this to help people.

I think what's worrying OP and rather a lot of other people on this thread is the almost casual use of reborn dolls in daily life. Especially deliberately disabled dolls. It's (jumps out of closet) really SICK!

If a reborn doll is genuinely helping a grieving mother to handle her loss, of course I don't want to interfere in that process.

But some of what we're hearing about is floating dangerously close to Obsessive/Compulsive behaviour.

Booboostoo Sun 27-Oct-13 07:24:51

salsmum your experiences are really interesting and I am glad the dolls are helping. Out of interest what happens if you use ordinary dolls? Are they rejected by the residents?

While I appreciate these dolls do help some people and have no problem with anyone who wants one getting one, personally I still find them freaky because they look like still, unmoving and frankly dead babies.

HotDogSlaughter Sun 27-Oct-13 07:34:30

Salsmum your posts are lovely.

Howsuper Sun 27-Oct-13 07:39:39

People will try to cope with infertility or the death of a child in different ways...but even if you don't understand the use of reborn dolls I think it's so gratuitous and hurtful to come on here and say they are 'creepy' and wrong, whatever your own experiences.

I have my own opinions too but who the hell am I to judge or make people feel that little bit more alienated, that little bit more sad?

I am so deeply sorry for everyone on here who's gone through the devastation of losing dc - now I'm hiding the thread as I think it is horrible.

londonrach Sun 27-Oct-13 08:00:42

I tend to think any doll is scary. Its the eyes...

Sals - what a lovely post. Ive seen what happens when an actress comes into a home dressed in 1940s clothes and using music and common items from the time talks as if the past is today. Everyone comes alive and its so lovely hearing these lovely people stories and seeing the comfort this gives. Wii also is an amazing invention with the bowling game being the most popular in one home i visit. I can see the reborn dolls helping as alot residents have friend(soft toy,doll) that sits with them and gives comfort. Thank you x

mynameisnotmichaelcaine Sun 27-Oct-13 08:08:48

Salsmum, that's lovely.

spanky2 Sun 27-Oct-13 08:21:04

At a friend's house I nearly screamed when Baby Annabel turned her head towards me. All dolls are creepy !grin Those life like babies that women buy for themselves are terrifying .

Booboostoo Sun 27-Oct-13 18:53:20

Howsuper I think you are exaggerating a bit. No one is saying that the people who like these dolls are creepy or that having them is morally wrong. Clearly they are liked by many people and actually give comfort and help to others...the dolls themselves can still appear creepy to some of us. I also find snakes and spiders creepy and can't see why anyone would have them as pets, but that still doesn't mean that there is anything wrong in having them as pets or that it is horrible of me to call their pets creepy.

CarpeVinum Sun 27-Oct-13 18:57:29

the dolls themselves can still appear creepy to some of us.

Apparently there's a reason for that. I was reading an article about why heavey handed Hollywood facial plastic surgury can freak people put. Apparently humans are programmed to be repulsed by anything "not quite human". Ie we tend to pull back from something of orgins unknown trying to pass itself off as one of us. Or something like that anyway.

NewtRipley Sun 27-Oct-13 19:00:29

Yikes! Why is the baby monkey wearing a pink baby-grow? That's strange


Really interesting what you say about people with dementia and these dolls. People with dementia are denied so much physical comfort in some cases and the ability to "care" for others. I can think of several people I used to work with who would have responded to these dolls.

CrispyFB Sun 27-Oct-13 19:39:31

I was genuinely surprised when my mother told me a few weeks ago that my grandmother (recently diagnosed with dementia) is very happy indeed in the home she's not been in long, with one of these dolls. It does indeed work. Apparently she feeds him/her (it changes!) biscuits although obviously without much success..!

She had a stillbirth and one of her three other DCs took her own life nearly 30 years ago so once I'd thought about it I realised how something like this could give her comfort. I haven't seen her myself as we live six hours away since July (she was still at her own home then, very interested in my DCs too!) so I don't know if she knows it's really a doll or not, but I am very glad something is making her happy. She needs it.

Although I am a bit more hmm over the (not very old) woman I saw in Bluewater a few years back with one in a VERY expensive pram, buying baby clothes for it in one of those expensive boutiques. She was seemingly a regular as well from the way she was chatting to the sales assistant! Still, I have to wonder what she has gone through for her to be that way.

"Uncanny Valley" is the term I think you're looking for over things not looking quite human and creeping us out!

CarpeVinum Sun 27-Oct-13 20:16:40

Uncanny Valley

That's it !

Tis also the cause of my shuddering when people use make up, and eye glue to turn themselves into Anime characters.

The wiki on reborn dolls mentions it too

"Media features and public receptions use adjectives such as "creepy" to describe the reborns. This can be explained by the uncanny valley hypothesis. This states that as objects become more lifelike they gain an increasing empathetic response, until a certain point in which the response changes to repulsion. Department stores have refused to stock the dolls because of this reaction, claiming they are too lifelike.[5][29]"

Mummyoftheyear Sun 27-Oct-13 22:19:17

I think YABU. I once saw a group of women with these 'babies'. It was like an NCT meet up. All had Silver Cross prams, too. I found them really creepy once I realised what they were. But it was blatantly obvious that each woman had her reasons for needing such a realistic 'creation'. I felt sad to see such pain necessitating these strange babies. If they help them, why not!

JumpingJackSprat Sun 27-Oct-13 22:45:39

I may be just being really naive here but I also can't see why a downs syndrome doll would be so abhorrent.

Morloth Mon 28-Oct-13 00:15:25

I would say people with dementia fit into 'not in their right minds' actually.

They freak me out on a level I can't quite explain.

As LunaticFringe says, when you lose your baby, you don't want a baby, you want your baby.

lisad123everybodydancenow Mon 28-Oct-13 00:28:01

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

1944girl Mon 28-Oct-13 00:40:11

I was the poster who saw one of these dolls made to look like a Down's Syndrome baby.
I apologise for any upset I may have caused.The reason I found it upsetting was that I thought the owner who also sculpted the doll was exploiting Down's babies.She was trying to sell this doll.
That was my opinion.I find all of these reborn babies creepy no matter what they look like.

GoshAnneGorilla Mon 28-Oct-13 00:49:22

Salsmum - what a lovely post. Your work are indeed very lucky to have you and I wonder if it is something more nursing homes could do, I think it could add a very lovely dimension to reminiscence therapy.

I will have to sit on the fence with regards to reborn dolls. They are certainly not to my taste, but we do tend to be more judgmental and sneering about women's hobbies in society then we are about men's.

I mean, what on earth are model train sets about? Why? But they are an accepted hobby, even though they can be hugely expensive.

Morloth Mon 28-Oct-13 01:36:04

Train sets don't actually remind me of dead children though. I don't get why anyone would want to play with them, but they are not actually disturbing to me.

Lots of things people do are creepy and weird, whilst being harmless that's fine.

But I think actually I will say so on an internet forum discussing them.

CarpeVinum Mon 28-Oct-13 09:29:42


It's not that I wholly disagree with ypu, things enjoyed by females do by and large attract more derision and dismissal in terms of value.

however ai think there is a point where there is a such a chasm of comprehension between the motivations of hobbiests and the gen. pub. that gender becomes less relevant that an "understanding motivations" gap. Trainspotting is a mainly male hobby. In terms of sneering it hasn't exactly been offered immunity due to the maleness of the hobby. As far as hobbies goes that one probaly enjoys number 1 status for wide spread derision.

I don't think the strong reaction towards reborn dolls is in the main down to the "mainly female" nature of those who buy them. I think the uncanny valley effect is potentially the most pertinent factor in why this particular hobby incurrs such a strong negative reaction. There is a wide spread instinctive revultion for the dolls, and that might be what creates a comprehension chasm between those who are repulsed and those who are attracted.

Booboostoo Mon 28-Oct-13 10:38:58

What CarpeVinum said!

Horse riding is a pretty compulsive hobby, financially taxing, involving hard manual labout and a high risk of serious injury, as well as being all consuming in terms of time and devotion. It is also overwhelmingly taken up by women but no one thinks it's creepy. Incomprehensible maybe to those who do not ride, but not creepy. The dolls are not just incomprehensible as a hobby, they are creepy. Petting lizards/snakes/spides is both incomprehensible for me and creepy because I find the animals creepy. I still don't have any problems with horse riders, tarantula owners or doll collectors.

CrispyFB Tue 29-Oct-13 16:24:18

On the subject of the Uncanny Valley: (the lady doing the PhD is a friend of mine grin) - those creeped out by the dolls may find this article published today interesting!

salsmum Sun 03-Nov-13 10:49:17

Sorry just caught up with this post..thank you for the compliments ladies thanks I started off doll therapy in my home completely by accident. I saw while browsing youtube 'Doll Therapy' and was intrigued. There was a lady visiting a residential home with a rather heavy looking,ugly doll with sticky up hair, open staring eyes and a plain blue baby grow on. The doll was shoved into the residents arms and the dolls owner said in a loud voice as if everyone was stone deaf as you do 'what shall we call the 'baby'? confused This I found really patronizing and annoyed me because both my Mum and MIL have/had Dementia and I'd wanna bitch slap reprimand anyone who spoke to them in such a way. BUT that video got me thinking when I saw each of the residents wanting to hug chucky the could I create the same feel good reaction but with a much nicer/realer looking doll?? That's when I discovered Reborns I would take the first one in ( a small little sleeping chap called 'Archie') after my favourite tipple wink and the reaction was amazing 90% of the residents wanted a cuddle (men included) ..this lead on to a reminiscence session talking about Cow & Gate/SMA how much their children weighed, how they used to have glass bottles in the shape of bananas with a teat either end, terry towelling nappies,safety pins etc..etc.. a sleeping 'baby' naturally calms the residents too. I would never say 'would you like to hold the doll' although they knew it was a doll, I would present him wrapped in a knitted shawl and of course ask which side they prefer to hold and some days it was hard to get some of the ladies to 'pass him around' if they asked 'is it a doll?' of course I'd tell them yes..some of the ladies would knit clothes (who doesn't like knitting baby clothes???) and it seemed to satisfy a 'need' which made my lovely residents happy. Not ALL of my residents had a Dementia but still loved a cuddle (we were not a strictly Dementia home). I also used to dress as a panto dame every Christmas which the residents loved because a lot were not mobile enough to attend a real panto (the costume I'd hire out of my own pocket). Friday night was footy nite and we'd play football to music with a massive inflatable ball! much better than telling them at aged 80-90 that they would have to do exercises --plus
I don't look good in Lycra--..oh and occasionally we'd play Bingo too wink x

2tiredtoScare Sun 03-Nov-13 10:52:36

I'm interested to know why the Down syndrome dolls are the sickest thing confused

salsmum Sun 03-Nov-13 14:53:35

Oh sorry forgot to daughter has the Downs Syndrome doll ...unless you look VERY closely (certain colouring, few extra creases) you wouldn't know...but then my daughter does have Cerebral Palsy so maybe she can 'relate' to a doll who is unique smile she is 24 and mentally is just like any of her able bodied peers (who love Forever Friends bears, and eeyore etc..) but she occasionally loves to 'hug' the doll. She does NOT take it out in public and is not on an ASBO or take drugs so if that's the worse she can do....I'm fine with that. I spo's just like a boy would like an action man and a black child may lean towards a black/dark skinned doll to identify with maybe some disabled children/young people can identify with a doll with certain disabilities and can maybe teach them some 'life skills' for when they have children of their own..although obviously their children may not have disabilities. x

Sorry if I derail the thread, (I don't like the premature baby linked to tubes etc, but can see positives for certain people in having one of the dolls) but reading the post about the Mil with a "house full of dolls" did anyone watch the tv series "Maelstrom" (? or something like that) in the 80's? That was freaky!

Booboostoo Sun 03-Nov-13 22:18:07

If selling a doll with Downs Syndrome features exploits babies who have this condition, then selling any doll exploits all babies which is a bizarre conclusion. I actually think that the portrayal of people with disabilities in toys helps teach children to be accepting and inclusive.

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