It’s (Baby) Alive!

Well my friends- the turkey has been carved; the gifts unwrapped; and sadly, the once magically whirring little flecks of gold have all but fallen to the bottom of my champagne flute..

Christmas is over for yet another season- and now all that remains is  a food hangover, a feeling of anti-climax, and if you (like me) are currently cohabiting with a 7 year old- lots and lots of really annoying toys.

A laser operated race car;  an Ipod Touch (I KNOW); a Nintendo DS with exceptionally powerful speakers- it’s all enough to make you go a little crazy.

But by far the worst offender of all is a seemingly innocuous little doll known as  Baby Alive.

Now, I’m not much of a doll person in general (I always preferred Barbie and her self-esteem destroying unrealistic body proportions) and most of my niece Lola’s many dolls freak the hell out of me… but this one takes the cake.  On a scale from 1 to Creepy, I give this thing a “really f**king creepy”.  Not only does it look like the exponentially more terrifying lovechild of  Chucky and his Bride and have the voice of a demon-possessed Care Bear,  it also eats, drinks, and (wait for it) goes #2 in its diaper.

Jigga whaaaat??

Yep. You heard me correctly.You feed it this disgusting green concoction, followed by several bottles of water (is this starting to sound like “Baby Eating Disorder” to anyone else??) and then watch as the miracle of digestion unfolds. I took pictures…but because I like you guys, I’m not gonna show them to you. Instead, I’ll just give you the official description from Hasbro’s website:

For real mommy moments, MY BABY ALIVE gives girls the experience of taking care of their very own baby. She says more than 30 phrases, including “I love you Mommy!” When she says, “I’m hungry,” your little girl will know it’s time to mix up a bowl of her special doll food and spoon-feed her. After she drinks a bottle of water to wash it all down, it’s time for a new diaper! She’ll even let your little girl know when she’s sleepy, and close her eyes when she goes down for a nap. Just sit her upright and she’ll open her eyes to play all over again!

My first thought on seeing this doll in action (besides, someone better short circuit that motherf**kers wiring before I lose my shit up in here) was… how is this an acceptable toy for children??  My mind went back to all of the controversy this summer surrounding that Breastfeeding Doll that simulates the act of nursing. Critics said that doll went too far- how is this is any different?  Isn’t this a pretty open and shut case of TMI?

I did some research, and as it turns out, I’m not the only one who feels this way. Both the Breastfeeding Doll and Baby Alive  have been criticized for `giving kids more details than they are ready for`, and focusing on `too much information, and not enough imagination`.  The Campaign for a Commercial Free Childhood has also boycotted the doll on the grounds that it ruins children’s creativity` and makes the child the prop, rather than the toy.

Hmm. this was an angle I hadn`t really considered before…and as I looked over at Alyssa (Baby Alive`s name.. duh), who is currently wearing Lola`s Skull Candy headphones and listening to St. Jude`s Bear Hospital on a portable DVD player while Lola scrolls through music on her iPod touch and plays her Nintendo DS, I can’t really decide whether I agree or disagree with this hypothesis.

The counter-argument here is that more information may not be such a bad thing. Take MTV’s 16 and Pregnant, for example. Initially criticized for “glamourizing teenage pregnancy”,  since the show debuted in 2009, it has been credited with the largest decline in teen pregnancy rates  in the United States in 10 years. Apparently seeing Macy have to quit the dance squad and Jenelle get into brawls with other bitches on her front lawn turned teens off the idea of having babies.  (Guess they didn’t stay tuned long enough to see the boob job Farrah’s stint on Teen Mom paid for… oops better keep my mouth shut lest she diss me on twitter)

Anyway-it`s true that since getting Alyssa, I`ve already heard Lola utter such phrases as `”wow- she`s a lot of work” and “ewwwwww”  a number of times… but where do we draw the line? Don’t get me wrong- I’m all for giving kids a healthy dose of reality (which is why my future child will exclusively watch E! and Bravo based programming) but is birth control really necessary for 7 years olds?  and if it is, then we`ve got a much bigger problem on our hands, here. (Call me a conspiracy theorist, but I have a sneaking suspicion that Baby Alive is actually sponsored by Orthotricyclin…. or the underlord of my own, personal hell. Definitely one of the two).

I guess as with everything there is a fine line- and I should probably just suck it up and spend my time focusing on what lipstick I`m going to wear on New Years Eve  (I’m thinking Mac’s “Lady Danger” .. but it’s early days yet) rather than the pros and cons of the Baby Alive doll. Hey- after all, at least is not a Reborn.

Sweet dreams, bloggies. Muhahahaha

Question of the Day: What do YOU think of the Baby Alive doll?


11 thoughts on “It’s (Baby) Alive!

Add yours

  1. Hey breezy k,
    Good blog. Good topic. Good arguments both for and against true-to-life toys.

    Maybe for some kids, these dolls would replace imagination, but Lola’s is still going strong. Today, for instance, when you were off galavanting and scouring the county for boxing day deals, there was a crisis with Alyssa. I was in charge of looking after her and she slipped off the couch and fell on her head. Faster than a diaper fills with diarrhea, Lola was over triageing the event. Within moments, she had wet a facecloth to put over the “bump” and had Alyssa laying on the couch with a heating pad plugged in to put over her tummy because Alyssa told her that hurt almost as much as the head wound.

    This went on for an hour or so (complete with written updates delivered to me regarding the status of the patient) until it was determined that Alyssa was ok
    to be up and about again. It was touch and go for awhile.

    I guess the point of this story is to illustrate that Lola is definitely not the prop in alyssa’s world. Lola is running the show- whether it’s the mundane feeding and cleaning of diapers or the handling of unforeseen circumstances which could befall a baby. I think kids either have the imagination or not and in most cases, they do.

    Just think of those blow- up clOwn- like wobbly toys we got when we were kids that you could punch and they’d pop back up again… Do you remember who you thought you were beating up??
    They’re no longer on the market, so perhaps it was determined they caused some kind of psychological harm.

    The people who played with them are now the ones designing toys such as the baby alive….is it so bad that nurturing replaced aggression?


    1. Great comment Sherene- I’m sorry I missed this whole fiasco… but I’m seeing a bit of imagination right now (if you can call it that) as your child gives me the stink eye on the couch next to me…. she best be watching the example she’s setting for Alyssa! (And yes- toys designed for punching- not so much)


  2. Waaaaiiiit. There’s a Breastfeeding Doll?! Obviously I’m way super out of touch with the toys that kids have going on these days. Whatever happened with playing with mud pies and a stick. I’m so glad I got all the kids on my list gift cards this X’mas.

    Oh, the things I learn from your blogs! *shudder*


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