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Preschooler Breastfeeds Her Doll in a Restaurant!

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Momlogic's Momstrosity: It's a tried and true "hot button" issue: Breastfeeding in public. Every few months, a mom is chastised by authorities or bystanders for nursing her child on a bus, or at a sporting event, or, most recently, in a restaurant (the latter was called out by none other than reality-show star Kim Kardashian).

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I subscribe to the theory that a woman should be able to nurse anywhere, anytime. It's a woman's right ... and, I believe, a preschooler's right. One night when we were out to dinner, my 4-year-old daughter casually announced that she had to "milk her baby" -- and proceeded  to pull down her princess dress so her doll could "latch on." (Remarkably, my daughter simultaneously drank her juice. I must say, I was impressed by her ability to multitask!)

It certainly did get us some attention. A couple of diners giggled (some a bit uncomfortably), but a few gave me the stinkeye. What was I supposed to do?! Suggest to my faux-lactating preschooler that she hide herself with a nursing cover (or "blanket of shame," as one friend jokingly calls them)? Do they even make them in size 4T?

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142 comments so far | Post a comment now
ann. June 25, 2010, 1:16 PM

MJ- I think it’s just wrong plan and simple….there’s no other way for me to say it…it’s weird and i would not let me kids do it.i don’t agree with it.i wouldn’t like seeing a little child doing that.

MJ June 25, 2010, 2:03 PM

alright, but personally whenever i have a problem with something , and i have no reason for it, i try to figure out why, but hey, that is just me.

britt June 25, 2010, 9:15 PM

lol thats cute! i used to “nurse” my babies too when i was little

Jehefinner June 26, 2010, 12:55 AM

My daughters both do this, not long ago my eldest (aged 5 at the time) sat down in a shoe store and nursed her doll without a hint of shame or selfconsciousness, I love it!!

mannequin June 26, 2010, 6:04 AM

And is there something so terribly wrong with teaching our girls a bit of modesty?

And what about an 8 yr old that still plays with dolls and wants to “breastfeed”? At some point, is it “taboo” or is it okay for an 11 yr old to “breastfeed” her baby doll in public, if she likes?


I’m wondering how dads feel about this.
I have a feeling they may have a different viewpoint.

MJ June 26, 2010, 6:17 AM

mannequin, it all depends on how you feel about nursing n public, you see, i for on, do not think women should have to cover, therefore it is ok with me, and of course it would be ok with my daughters dad, especially since we will raise her to know that you do not have to cover while breastfeeding in public if you don’t want to and she wil have no baby bottles for her dolls at all.
it is not the biological norm, and i will not give her the idea that it is.
an 8 year old, same thing, usually at 8 they still look exactly like boys on top and if they don’t, i bet they don’t really feel so comfy with their changing bodies anymore, at least i noticed that is the trend amongst young girls who begin to develop, and no wonder with these sorts of attitudes.
as for an 11 year old, well, honestly, i don’t know very many 11 year olds who bring their baby dolls in public, let alone still play with them, except for maybe barbies or fashion dolls, they are usually a bit old for that, so i don’t think it can be compared.

Dara June 26, 2010, 7:24 AM

I don’t see what the big deal is and why it seems to be such an issue. Why don’t people spend less time worrying about what other families do and worry about themselves and there own families. The little girl is not causing anyone harm and is mimicking what mommy does…you go girl!

ann. June 26, 2010, 12:52 PM

mannequin - i like what you are saying. :)

Anne June 28, 2010, 10:39 AM

Grandma Linda - yikes you think it’s okay for a toddler to pretend to breastfeed but NOT for parents to makeout in front of their kids? You truly must have some messed up youngsters!!

Anonymous June 28, 2010, 10:41 AM

It’s nasty - just like I think it’s nasty to watch a grown woman bf in public. I bf but didn’t turn it into a show

ann. June 28, 2010, 6:59 PM

ANNE lol to your comment.

like i have said to me sit just isn’t right or ok.

Tammy Scott June 28, 2010, 7:00 PM

my son doesn’t try to BF things himself but he will put his Teddy Bear, car, train or whatever at my breast for me to nurse.

Amanda June 28, 2010, 7:05 PM

I think it’s wonderful that this little girl has been raised to think that breastfeeding (in public or otherwise!) is a natural thing to do. I had the good fortune to be breastfed myself, along with my 6 siblings, so I grew up thinking the same thing. So much depends on what we are exposed to as children, to set our attitudes for the rest of our lives. Children learn what they live, but that also doesn’t mean there isn’t a chance to learn as we grow, and choose a different path than we walked ourselves. It can take a lot of courage, but what worthwhile thing in life doesn’t?

I have breastfed my own child in public, with no cover up since she wouldn’t accept it, and honestly, I just ignore everyone else and focus on her. That’s who it’s about, anyways! It’s not about what anyone else thinks, and I firmly believe that if someone doesn’t want to see women breastfeeding in public, they shouldn’t look. Simple as that.

As for boy breastfeeding their dolls, that’s awesome!!! Just think how supportive they will be of their wives when they are breastfeeding their children! Way to go, moms!


Heather June 28, 2010, 7:07 PM

This my heart smile and smile and smile!! Good for you too, showing her the way. She will grow up to support breastfeeding and do it herself (if she chooses to have children, of course).

My five year old niece tried to breastfeed her doll at a family picnic and her mother slapped the doll from her chest. I think most of us close enough to see what had happened were stunned and her daughter was terribly confused about why her mom was so embarrassed. This all happened WHILE I was breastfeeding my son….so sad.

Anyway, keep up the good work!

Dreamom June 28, 2010, 7:21 PM

Okay. People are REALLY going to flip out. Me three yr old boy breastfeeds his TRUCKS! LOL. I don’t tell him not to, and I am confident that he will stop before he tries to breastfeed a real truck. :)

thoughts June 28, 2010, 7:25 PM

Not sure if anyone else thought of this and not sure if anyone really cares, but I’ll share anyway. I don’t think this is really about whether or not it’s okay for a child to pretend to breastfeed, but a case of considering what might be a consequence of public actions. I try not to allow my daughter to do anything in public that might entice a pedophile. Pulling down her top might be one of those things, depending on the shirt and how far she’s pulling it, thus what she might be exposing to some perv. It’s unfortunate, but I think these things have to be considered.

In the situation of this blog, it doesn’t look like much was exposed, however, we all know that it doesn’t take much to entice in normal, healthy situations, so this could still be an issue regarding perverts. All parents can decide such things for themselves, but this is what *we* consider. Same regarding short shorts/skirts and so on.

I didn’t have an issue breastfeeding, but when it came to anything public, since I happen to know some men who are turned on by it (a woman exposing herself in public in the name of breastfeeding), the possibility of being ogled creeped me out, so I was discreet about it.

Mom of 3 June 28, 2010, 7:48 PM

I think breastfeeding is great, and a young child imitating mom should be allowed to do that without scolding. She’s just a child and we wouldn’t think twice about her displaying any other motherly imitations. Grown women on the other hand need to be discreet when breastfeeding in public - not because it is anything to be ashamed of - but because they need to behave modestly in mixed company. Breastfeeding doesn’t give them a free pass to expose themselves.

Jenn June 28, 2010, 7:49 PM

@Dreamom - I love it!

My 3yo has a Waldorf doll which he breastfeeds. Yes, of course our boys will grow and figure out that they can’t do this, but what a wonderful support they may become if they’re lucky enough to have wives and children of their own! He’ll never grow up to be a dinosaur or a fire breathing dragon either, but I’d never stop him from pretending to be one now. Why then would I stop him from breastfeeding his babies?

KarliofEncinitas June 28, 2010, 7:54 PM

I LOVE IT!!! Talk about a great peek into our future. Encourage her to keep on nursing, whenever and wherever her and her baby want to.

ann. June 28, 2010, 7:58 PM

@ MOMOF3-i do agree with you about grown women breast feeding.

@THOUGHTS——- i understand what you are saying.


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