Wednesday, December 7

Reborn babies: what they are and what they are used for


They look like real babies, flesh and blood. But they are not. Reborn babies are hyper-realistic dolls that are usually made of silicone or vinyl, they seem as real as a human and they are usually given the same care that a real baby would have: dressing, feeding, walking, bathing, combing, etc.

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At the same time that fascinating and disturbing, these babies are above all artistic works that seek the humanization of the object. They are dolls whose origin is believed to date back to World War II Germany, when mothers, faced with a shortage of means, saw the need to remake and redecorate their daughters’ dolls to make them look like new.

Its presence has become more widespread over the years, especially thanks to the Internet, which introduced this trend in other European countries, where it has spread to the United Kingdom, Germany and France. Just over a decade ago they arrived in Spain, where they have also become one more whim of collectors and, in some cases, something else.

Most popular among the female sector, Some questions arise about its true role of certain uses. What are reborn babies really? What is behind these hyper-realistic dolls and some of the reasons why they are usually used?

The reborn baby, much more than a toy

These babies have characteristics of a living being. Designed with special silicone or vinylrecreate the soft and pleasant skin of a baby of flesh and blood, with carefully grafted hair on the head, glass eyes with false eyelashes and tears, well-drawn nose and mouth and stuffed limbs so that they weigh the same as a baby real.

There is something for everyone, some are more real than others, some look more like toys than babies and others, more babies than toys. And depending on this degree of similarity, the price also varies, which can go from 400 to 3,000 euros.

As for tastes, we can find many versions depending on the budget we have or our personal taste. Beyond its similarity to real babies, a reborn baby does not usually do anything else.

They do not emit sounds and do not move by themselves, except in those cases in which the artists (the majority of people who make this type of doll are women) install electronic systems to simulate the heartbeat or small eye movements.

The creation of these babies is intended above all to artistic purposes. Although in some cases they are used for certain therapies. And this is where much of the controversy lies.

Therapeutic and controversial use of reborn babies

Although reborn babies were initially owned mainly by collectors and artists, over the years they have also been used for therapeutic purposes for people in different situations.

in one of the few research about this phenomenon, and after asking a total of 500 owners of this type of baby, the experts examined the reasons why people chose to get one of them. The main reasons described are for collect and to fill a void.

The most common therapeutic uses for this type of object are: the most common are:

  • Coping with grief over the loss of a child: There are some cases where reborn babies help parents cope with the loss of their child because it seems to help ease the pain they feel. However, and although the studies show that hugging a real baby brings health benefits to both the baby and the mother, it is not known if this also happens with reborn babies.
  • therapy for people with Alzheimer’s: doll therapy in people with dementia is a treatment aimed at relieving suffering while promoting social interactions between patients and helping them to recover certain daily practices such as dressing.

Negative implications of reborn baby therapy

The problem, in many cases, is when these babies are used not only as a collector’s item but as the only form of social interaction and a way to replace the void with a doll. Because this can lead to a dangerous dependency.

These dolls can help in some cases, as long as it is done under the supervision of a specialist and as part of a psychological therapy that is clear that it is a temporary tool intended to solve a specific objective.

In the case of a duel, for example, in which it is normal to go through several stages, such as acceptance and overcoming, the use of this type of therapy can be harmful because it can block this natural process that person has to pass.

Hence, it is recommended that the use of these babies in any type of therapy be done always under the supervision of a health professional.

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