L.M. Reid is an Irish writer who has published many articles in magazines and online.
Why Reborn Baby Dolls Look Like Real Babies
It is amazing how much these reborn dolls look like real babies. The realistic baby dolls are bought for children and by doll collectors and I can understand why. They are a far cry from the dolls I played with when I was a child over 50 years ago.
The children who have been born in the last 10 years are nearly all tech savvy. I have 7 great nephews and nieces ranging in ages from 3 to 7 years old. They use their parents cell phones to access children's videos on You Tube all the time with great ease.
But they still play with non electronic toys too. One of them got a reborn doll last year and she loves it. It is great to see her and her cousins playing with it and using their imaginations. Yes the great nephews join in the play as well.
Realistic Therapeutic Dolls
The newer dolls now have a breathing mechanism fitted and they are really amazing. They have been given to people with Alzheimer's Disease. The patients believe they are real so it calms them down and gives them something good to focus on. They are also used by parents grieving after a miscarriage and in memory of a stillborn.
Children Love them
My sister bought this Reborn Doll for her grand daughter who is 7 years old. She loves it and has the newborn nappies and clothes too. She does still spend time on her electrical gadgets but it is nice to see her playing with the dolls too.
It is certainly a long way from when I was young in the 1960's. Mind you I loved my dolls and still have the one I got for my third birthday. I am 62 years old now so she has lasted a long time.
The First Reborn Doll I Saw
But the first time I saw one for real was on Christmas morning while walking on the promenade in Wales. A little girl of about seven had one and she was not holding it very well. From a short distance I really thought it was a real baby.
As I got closer and realised it was one of those realistic dolls I was relieved but was also amazed at how life like it looked. They are not like the ones that were in the shops years ago when I was a kid. Even on close inspection they look like a real baby!
Who Buys These Dolls?
There are collectors who show them to visitors and at exhibitions all over the country. There are women who buy them to fulfill a need for a real baby. They have not been able to conceive or have left it too late and find that these reborn babies fill that aching gap in their lives.
Some women have reared their children who have grown up and left home. They still want to have that feeling of being wanted and needed so create their own private world around these dolls.
Others keep their dolls secret and only allow their close family to see them. Some will bring them out on trips to the store and for walk in prams and strollers. Depending on how far they are creating this illusion for themselves they will allow other people to believe that the doll is actually real or will enjoy the amazement and surprise that the revelation brings.
There are also others who have a doll created in the image of a baby that has died belong to them. These mothers are well aware that this is only a doll but they say it helps them in the grieving process.
Health professionals are also seeing these dolls as a medical aid for patients with mental issues and Dementia. Their patients find their lives are enriched by becoming attached to the life like babies.
Making Realistic Baby Dolls
How do they make Reborn Dolls so lifelike and so realistic? None of these are made in factories, but by professional reborn doll makers. They painstakingly go through a long process of many finite steps before they are created.
The process of making one is very time consuming but the outcome is amazing. They buy ready made molds and then get to work using layers and layers of different paints and effects like skin, veins, birth marks etc.
This eventually gives the doll that so weird and wonderful look of the human skin of a new real baby. The hair and eyelashes on the baby’s heads are added one by one usually from high quality mohair. Hairs are also added to the baby’s arms and legs. The toe and finger nails are created to look so realistic.
Creation of Reborn Baby Dolls
It can take weeks of work to create one so they are expensive. But you get what you pay for and the more expensive are well worth the money if you can afford them. The even newer and more expensive ones now come with very realistic breathing actions. They are nearly impossible to tell apart from real babies.
There have been quite a few reports in the news in the UK and US about people panicking and getting the police to break into cars that they believe has a real baby that has been left alone and is in danger of dying.
I have included a very good documentary that show a woman who has bought a reborn baby doll that looks exactly like her dead baby. It is worth a look because it gives an insight on how these reborn dolls can be of help in the grieving process and can enrich others with a new interest.
L M Reid (author) from Ireland on October 23, 2018:
Hello Edna, the dolls are very life like and amazing. If the doll you have looks and feels like a real baby then it doesn't matter if it is a copy really. You can get just as much enjoyment out of it.
Edna Bartlett on September 08, 2018:
I have one and found our it was a copy. Not the real thing. I would love to have one.
L M Reid (author) from Ireland on November 21, 2016:
Yes these dolls really do look very life like
L M Reid (author) from Ireland on November 29, 2015:
Yes the dolls look great and well worth the money. I am amazed at how realistic they look
L M Reid from Ireland on November 14, 2015:
The dolls do look very realistic it must take a lot of time and patience to make them
L M Reid (author) from Ireland on April 11, 2015:
Yes the dolls are very life like alright. They take a long time to make them like that. I would imagine the movie industry will use them a lot more as they really do look very real
Ingenira on April 08, 2015:
They looked so real !! Good to use in making movies.
L M Reid (author) from Ireland on April 05, 2015:
Yes Peggy some people do use these baby dolls as a substitute for the real thing as the videos I have posted show. They allow the dolls to dictate their day.
Others buy them to collect as a hobby in a more healthy way of using their time. they are made very realistically and look great though
Peggy Woods from Houston, Texas on February 13, 2015:
This is the first that I have heard of these types of dolls. I can imagine them filling some type of need in certain people but not sure just how healthy that is instead of dealing with reality. They would be very useful in reducing costs for the producers of films who would no longer need the services of a real baby. Will share with others who can weigh in with their comments. Interesting!
L M Reid (author) from Ireland on March 27, 2014:
Hello BK4author, Yes people buy the reborn baby dolls for many reasons. I hope you are enjoying your dog
Brenda Thornlow from New York on February 24, 2014:
I saw another documentary a couple of years ago about these. I'll admit when my husband and I were going through fertility treatments it crossed my mind for just a second to get one! Happy to say I went with a dog instead.
L M Reid (author) from Ireland on April 10, 2013:
These dolls can be very cute but also a bit creepy I must admit. They do look so real and now they are being made with a breathing machine inside them to make them look like they are breathing too.
Thank you Elita, someonewhoknows and Shelby for taking the time to leave a comment
shelby on December 27, 2012:
i have a real life doll with hair and it looks like a real babby and you hold its head
someonewhoknows from south and west of canada,north of ohio on November 18, 2012:
Don't they use dolls like this in schools to teach young people what having to take care of a baby is like? Of course the baby dolls they use are even more realistic when it comes to real life situations such as dealing with crying etc...
elita on September 07, 2012:
i love them
L M Reid (author) from Ireland on May 06, 2012:
MPG Narratives, the documentary gave a great insight into who buys these reborn dolls and their reasons. They do look so life like it is unbelievable.
daisydayz, yes using these type of dolls for TV and movies would be so much better than years ago when the so called real baby was as stiff as a board lol
Thank you both for taking the time to leave a comment
Chantele Cross-Jones from Cardiff on May 05, 2012:
I actually saw the documentary a while ago on them and just think it's a bit weird. They are incredibly life like and would be great for things like tv and film instead of using a real baby, but for people to treat them like real babies for any reason is just a little odd and a bit disturbing.
Maria Giunta from Sydney, Australia on May 03, 2012:
I saw a documentary on these 'reborn babies' a few months ago and was amazed at how realistic they look. Certainly creepy but I guess each to their own.
L M Reid (author) from Ireland on May 02, 2012:
Yes these baby dolls are very realistic I agree Jeff lol
Jeff Gamble from Denton, Texas on May 02, 2012:
Very interesting hub, but man, what creepy dolls. And the adults who treat them like real babies...
L M Reid (author) from Ireland on May 01, 2012:
Georgie. The dolls do look so life like that they are creepy especially the ones that give the impression they are breathing lol.
Levertis, They are an unusual doll I agree and it depends why people buy them I suppose.
But I do like them. That child that I saw on Christmas morning must have been thrilled when she got hers.
Levertis Steele from Southern Clime on May 01, 2012:
I have mixed feelings about these dolls. "To each his own."
I voted, up, awesome, and interesting.
Georgie Lowery from North Florida on May 01, 2012:
Those things are really creepy! Good hub, I'd never heard of them.