Playing at being a mother


GirlFeedsDoll (credit to

A friend is expecting her first baby. She’s just started taking a breastfeeding class. She reported that she’s learning a lot but she felt a little silly pretending to breastfeed a doll.

My 8-year-old daughter is happy to pretend to mother her dolls. She nurses her doll — along with rocking, changing, and dressing him. After she and I watched a babywearing video, she spent hours figuring out how to wear her baby doll in different carriers. She sits in on La Leche League meetings. I’m guessing that if she ever does have her own babies that breastfeeding will feel pretty natural to her.

I think learning to mother a breastfed baby must be a little like learning a language: it’s easier and more natural when you’re a child.


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