Lifelike baby dolls have become popular with grieving widows seeking comfort after losing an infant
Complete with real hair, veins, cut nails and long eyelashes, lifelike baby dolls have become increasingly popular with grieving women who desire to replicate an infant they’ve tragically lost.
In the past, real-care babies have been used for educational purposes to teach teenage girls and boys about the realities of becoming parents.
To help curb the dramatic rise in teenage pregnancies, business leader Studica provides virtual baby simulators to schools across the UK to help provide a hands-on experience of infant care, including feeding, rocking, burping and changeing.
But now it seems there’s a growing trend for some women who’ve suffered the irreplaceable loss of a child to find solace in a lifelike baby doll.
Eve Hasty, a 57-year-old American who bought ‘Abby’ in Britain for £180, says the doll reminds her of her seven-year-old daughter who died of leukaemia.
‘I know she will not be ill and that she will not die. I don’t have that pressure any more,’ she explains.
Psychologist Sandra Wheatley, who specialises in family problems, argues that the dolls could be a ‘tool’ to help parents mourn the loss of their child and that it can be healthy as long as it isn’t used for a prolonged period of time.
Consultant psychologist Ingrid Collins at the London Medical Centre is not so sure. ‘Mourning is a normal process of life and as painful as it is, it is through mourning that we can heal and move on.
‘Putting our emotions into a doll that’s made to look and feel like a real baby might not be the best solution.’
At least one UK nursing home was known to make dolls available to women who became calmer and less disruptive when looking after them.