RICHMOND, VA (WWBT) - If you have a daughter under the age of six, it's a good bet that a doll of some kind is on her Santa wish list.
But there's a new doll out there that many child psychologists love - that makes some parents cringe: it's a doll that encourages breast feeding.
It's normal, healthy, and encouraged by almost every pediatrician on the planet. The benefits of breast feeding go far beyond nutrition - it's an important time of bonding between mother and child.
When young girls see mom nursing a new baby brother or sister, child psychologists say it's quite normal for them to mimic the action.
Now, to make that mimicking process easier, meet the Play and Learn Breast Milk Baby. For just $89, the child gets the doll and a special nursing smock. The baby, which runs on batteries, has a suckling-action mouth - and makes the appropriate sound.
The manufacturer makes a very "adult" video explaining the logic behind the doll - that shows actual breast feeding.
I showed the video to parents recently on my iPad, and asked if they'd buy it for their child - their expressions really tell the story:
"Oh, no! And mothers are gonna buy that for their daughters? I think that's inappropriate, I think it's very inappropriate," said Krystal Meyers.
"Probably not... it's kinda weird," said Jodie Schankey.
"Oh, that's weird!" said Lana Martinez. "Breast feeding is something that women have fought legislation to have the right for - but maybe not for a 2-year-old."
And while you may find this doll unusual, many mothers and much of the child psychology community don't.
In much of the world, nursing is more commonplace in public than it is here in the United States. Some parents are more clearly open to this type of doll than others.
The doll retails for $89 and can be bought here: http://thebreastmilkbaby.com/shop/