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Baby dolls for boys?

(52 Posts)
FancyNewBeesly Sun 11-Feb-18 07:48:26

I’d say that my DH is generally pretty forward thinking but this issue has come up and I’m curious what others think.

I think that we should buy our boys a variety of toys and let them play with whatever they like. I think that includes baby dolls, as playing at taking care of a baby seems like it would be very good developmental play, and that looking after babies isn’t exclusively a woman’s job, so baby dolls shouldn’t be a girls toy.

He says that buying them baby dolls when they’ve shown no interest (not sure where he thinks they’d play with them to gain an interest?) is forcing the issue, and that we should wait and see if they ask for one (again, how?). He says that he’s a hands on parent without having to play with dolls as a child. I suspect he thinks they’d be bullied / mocked if they’re older and play with dolls.

It’s not like he would remove them if I bought them - I think it just makes him uncomfortable and I’m trying to challenge him as to why. He says he doesn’t believe that they are “for girls”, yet he’s still reluctant. I think it’s solely because he experienced bullying as a child and he doesn’t want them to, which I can understand - but I don’t think it’s that unusual these days for boys to play with dolls anyway?

BendingSpoons Sun 11-Feb-18 07:50:09

YANBU Buy him a doll so he can role play being a dad.

puglife15 Sun 11-Feb-18 07:53:43

Have you bought your son any other toys before he's shown an interest in them? Assuming yes he is v U.

We have a baby doll and buggy and my DS and his friends love playing with it.

BendingSpoons Sun 11-Feb-18 07:54:11

And no, it's not unusual for boys to play with dolls, although plenty of adults still don't like it. If bullying is an issue later on, you can address that then. Sometimes teddies can be middle ground, although I always put out dolls for boys at work, and like you say it is great pretend play.

GreyCloudsToday Sun 11-Feb-18 07:55:38

YANBU! My ILs asked what DS wanted for Christmas and we said a doll and a buggy. He plays babies with his cuddly toys all the time. Well, they went on about it so much I almost told them not to bother. Imagine, my DS might grow into [horror] a decent Dad who helps with the childcare!!

In the end, they bought the cheapest, crappest buggy and a cuddly toy "doll" with a plastic head (and 12 other presents, but that's another story). I was really annoyed as we're due a baby in the summer, and I wanted DS to have a proper doll he could bath and change. Guess I'll be buying that myself.

FenellaMaxwellsPony Sun 11-Feb-18 07:57:59

I would say YABU because I only buy DS toys he’s interested in so I know he’ll get the maximum enjoyment. If he is keen on the ones at nursery, then I will buy him a doll in a heartbeat, but I would rather spend money on stuff I know he will love. Right now that’s musical instrument toys so annoying they make me want to kill myself but that’s what he wants.

Booboostwo Sun 11-Feb-18 07:58:11

I think that if you have one child or all your DCs are the same sex you can easily end up with very gendered toys so it's worth making an explicit effort giving you DC all kinds of different toys. If a DC is old enough to express a preference, having been taught that all toys are for all children, then fair enough, I wouldn't buy a DC a toy they didn't want but otherwise I'd go for as much variety as possible.

I can see why parenting might reawaken memories of bullying for your DH. Having children makes you see your own childhood in a new light. Maybe it would help to discuss what you would do as parents to support your DCs if they were bullied, and do this separately of the toy issue.

Somersetter Sun 11-Feb-18 07:58:15

The boys at dd's nursery seemed to spend more time than the girls playing with the dolls and buggies at about age 2 or 3. I suspect it's because they didn't have their own at home. YANBU.

redcaryellowcar Sun 11-Feb-18 07:58:43

I don't think you are wrong, but my little boy looks after his cuddly rabbit as it he's his baby, he gets walks in the pushchair, and is fed, given drinks and is told all about where we are going, dressed etc. I don't think you have to have a doll, but I'm sure if we had had one he would have happily played with that.

Justanothernameonthepage Sun 11-Feb-18 07:58:51

YANBU
My DS wanted a doll when he was 2, happily played at being Daddy.
Now the doll is all forgotten and my last card from him had a drawing of a airplane fighting bad guys as DS has turned into a cliche of a little boy.

It's just a toy. Making a big deal of it is more likely to make it either more attractive or cause anxiety.

IAmMumWho Sun 11-Feb-18 07:58:54

My son has a doll and a pram. He loves it

FancyNewBeesly Sun 11-Feb-18 07:59:19

They don’t go to nursery so they don’t really have much chance to discover new toys that way - we go to a couple of groups but I don’t think any of them have any dolls

NovemberWitch Sun 11-Feb-18 08:01:37

When I had reception, the boys liked the dolls and the dressing up box. One pointed out that he liked his daddy playing with him, and so did his baby sister, and baby dolls were for boys too, because daddies looked after babies as well as mummies.
Point out to your OH that his childhood experiences were a couple of decades ago.

overmydeadbody Sun 11-Feb-18 08:04:09

Your shoes is being unreasonable.

Just but your DS a doll. You can get boy dolls too, my ds has a bit dull and a girl doll.

Sometimes you don't know what toys they will like until you buy them. And they go through phases too.

Just buy one.

deptfordgirl Sun 11-Feb-18 08:04:46

I kind of agree with him to wait until your ds shows an interest. My ds's two favourite things at the moment are dolls and cars. I haven't encouraged either of those interests, they are just the things he always plays with at playgroups, so he got lots of both for Christmas, and his first words hve included 'baby' and 'car'.

GrannyGrissle Sun 11-Feb-18 08:04:50

Tell DH not to fret the gay isn't catching. Chi chi dolls among others have willies if that helps? I find your DH attitude really yuk.

thecatsarecrazy Sun 11-Feb-18 08:05:15

Yanbu. I didn't get my eldest sons a doll but when they were small my eldest was given one by my bil and I got rid. Not because i didn't approve but because it was one that cried when the dummy popped out and it was annoying grin. There was a little boy I would see near my old house regularly pushing a pushchair with a doll in and it was a lovely sight. I like the idea of getting my youngest one.

FancyNewBeesly Sun 11-Feb-18 08:05:45

Thanks everyone - in fact his early school experiences were nearly 35 years ago so it’s not unreasonable to think things have changed.

I definitely don’t want to force anything on to my sons, I just balk at the implication that boys don’t need to engage with these skills and emotions just as much as girls do.

Copper1122 Sun 11-Feb-18 08:08:05

Why so much angst over a bloody toy? Of course a wide variety of toys is good.
Buy one chuck it in with everything else.
Really not worth agonising over.

Nquartz Sun 11-Feb-18 08:08:52

I've known a few boys that have played with dolls, pushchairs etc. One friend of DD's has one & they always play mums & dads together. He plays with it with his male friends too.
DD loves playing with her tool set & trains, but that's ok because it's not a boy playing with 'girls' toys hmm

FancyNewBeesly Sun 11-Feb-18 08:09:11

Granny he absolutely does not think having dolls would make them gay, and wouldn’t have any issue whatsoever if they are gay. He’s a very involved father so he doesn’t think looking after babies is for women either.

I think his ideas of what kids play with is very much based on his own childhood, where boys were bullied for showing any feminine traits whatsoever and fears them experiencing the same - I can understand this, but I think things have changed significantly since we were children.

tomhazard Sun 11-Feb-18 08:11:03

I have a girl and a boy and they both enjoy playing with baby dolls and accessories at home. It's important that all children learn how to be caring and kind and baby dolls are a great way to practise. Yanbu

puglife15 Sun 11-Feb-18 08:12:50

I bought a buggy for £2 from a FB selling group and just got a really cheap doll. Why not do that and see if they get played with without pushing them onto your DC, just leave them with their other toys. If not, sell them on / donate to charity.

FancyNewBeesly Sun 11-Feb-18 08:14:55

I wasn’t planning to push them on to them - I just think a baby doll chucked in their toy box with everything else would be a good thing.

QuilliamCakespeare Sun 11-Feb-18 08:17:20

They don't need a doll to role play. My son is mostly into vehicles but every now and again a teddy bear gets shoved up my jumper so I can give birth to it before we play Mummy and Daddy.

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