Preemies and Preemie Dolls – Cute or Creepy?

My sons were born premature.  29 weeks.  They weighed 2 lbs 8oz and 2 lbs 12 oz.  It was a challenging time, but I felt like I got a mini nursing degree and brought into the secret NICU Mom’s club.  The group of moms who understand the traumatic births, stress of practically living in the hospital, gavage feeding your baby, teaching them how to suck, swallow, and breathe, etc.  The list goes on.  The things you don’t really want to learn about.

A Nicu nurse told me I should keep some of the boys’ preemie clothes and get a preemie doll.  I am not quite sure if she meant a play doll.  I assumed, I mean why else would you buy a doll?  But as I googled “preemie dolls” I came across a whole new world.

At you can order a doll (NOT A TOY) that is made to the exact size of your child.  You can customize skin colors, face types (blank, sewn, drawn), hair, bald, or if their weight is an actual weight or ‘feels right’ weight.

Apparently, while not a toy, they are meant to show people how little your baby was and to compare sizes against as they grow.

I can see how these would be interesting to have, even kind of cute.  If they weren’t over $100 I might just get one.  Maybe?

But then I stumbled onto something just a bit more creepy.  Its called a Reborn.

These dolls look JUST like newborn babies.  Apparently ‘moms’ are thrilled when they push them in a stroller and give them a pacifier that strangers confuse them for real babies.  UMMM.  Why?  Why would you carry this doll around in a car seat and push it in a stroller.  Trust me, its work.  A car seat does not a cute accessory make.  Then what do you do with them when you are not getting them dressed into their cute outfits and accessories?  Do you buy them real cribs and see how creeped out people get?  The even more insane fact is that these baby dolls sell around $800 on ebay and etsy.  CRAAAAZY.

These twins are a steal at $336 for the pair.

So as a preemie mom, I am curious, and slightly creeped out that people are doing this.  I want a $20 doll the size of a preemie to dress up in my preemie clothes and let my kids PLAY with.  If it ends up thrown in a toy heap later on instead of my $800 crib for a fake baby, I will be okay with that!