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Reborn babies: the women who care for lifelike dolls

A growing number of collectors are cuddling, changing and caring for ‘reborns’ – individually crafted baby dolls that can cost up to $20,000. For some, it’s about rekindling their baby-rearing years. For others, it’s about dealing with their own inability to birth real human babies. Despite the finger-pointing from outsiders, it’s a subculture that’s thriving globally.
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most people’s lives are pretty stressful
most of the time you know your jobs and
whatever but at the end of the day
especially after I’ve had like a really
stressful work day there’s something
about holding a newborn baby in rocking
them and if you can take even just a
couple of moments to enjoy a baby then
it’s wonderful this baby is Coco she
came all the way from the UK
his name is Jakari he’s my only ethnic
baby
I plan to adopt more this baby she is my
favorite baby I know I say that about
all my babies but this baby really is my
favorite baby I have this big guy right
here this is how I would dress my real
baby all the time like if you if I had a
son this is how I would dress him when I
felt lonely I look at him a lot if I you
know just need comfort or something I
just go over to my crib and I pick him
up and I just give him a hug and I’m
just like okay okay get through the day
let’s go it doesn’t replace a child and
never will but it does help me
especially like on my sad days where I’m
just like dang like why am I not a mom
today you know and so then you know I
was like I said I just pick him up and
I’m like it’s okay you’re gonna get
through this here you’re okay
so this is what I like to call my happy
place which is my nursery so come on in
I have set it up like a traditional
nursery would be for me if I were to
have a living baby come home and so I
have my changing table area here this is
like a little bassinet area here we have
the little dock etat which I use for
posing for taking pictures they tend to
remind me of my my daughters when they
were newborns and there’s a lot of
familiar characteristics of this
particular baby I think that it’s just a
natural instinct it’s that motherly
instinct that most people have even men
have it where when you’re holding a baby
there’s just something instinctual that
just kind of comes out in you and you
want to nurture them you want to hold
them in a certain way and did you start
to sway and you move when you’re holding
a baby it’s just so natural instinct and
I just think it’s really beautiful
[Music] hey guys what’s up so look at who it is
it’s Annie
so she was born overnight guys I
literally worked my booty off for this
one we have Jackie here my lovely
assistant drew 0-0 oh yeah you’re my
wife well my wife started first she said
she could make him and I really was like
there’s no way you can make these I
didn’t know she had her artistic skills
so I watched her for about a month and
then I was like well I think I can make
him she has a nice sleeping expression
look at how big her feet are she has
nice big feet so I have customers all
over the world I’ve shipped a lot to the
UK I shipped to Canada Australia Germany
I shipped to a new one recently New
Zealand all I do is I try to achieve the
most realism I can they lay there they
don’t do much you can cuddle them and
hold them and so it’s I think that’s why
I enjoy it it does and it doesn’t make
me want to have babies at all because
you know what I like about the reborns I
can buy it a new outfit and it stays new
for forever and then it doesn’t turn
into a teenager that once an iPhone 11
you know or something like that that’s
how you mix baby I always dress my
babies before I take them out I like
them to look nice I like them to look
stylish it’s a she boy yeah it’s a boy
his name’s Joseph hi Joseph he’s so
handsome things yeah they’re expensive
oh yeah they are expensive yeah my baby
was like that when she was born now they
are Oh God not another nah see beautiful
like him growing up I always wanted to
be a mom I knew in my heart I was meant
to be
mom I baby my brothers and sister I baby
my cousin they would say all the sudden
is gonna be a mom and any time any day
now and she’s gonna have like five kids
or more and I always thought so too do
you have anything like newborns yes yeah
you have like this kind of stuff right
here they’re really convenient because
they’re like you know really comfortable
yeah oh that one’s cute oh you have the
cutest sleeper yeah those are
comfortable
I just remembered just one day just
feeling super sick my lower abdomen was
hurting so bad and I asked my husband to
take me to the hospital they found out
that I had Stage four endometriosis I
remember waking up in the hospital room
by myself and the doctor coming in and
telling me like I’m really sorry but I
don’t think you’re ever gonna have kids
and maybe like two minutes later my
husband came into the room and as soon
as I saw him I was like I’m never gonna
be a mom I’m never gonna have kids that
look like you I’m never cuz that’s what
I’ve always wanted I wanted my kids to
look just like my husband and now it’s
never gonna happen but you know it’s
okay it’s life and you know we can
always adopt later on in the future if
we choose to if not then hey it’s our
life
people that are unaware of the Hobby
assumed that there’s something mentally
wrong by collecting a huggable work of
art that there’s some tragedy in our
lives that we’re now finding dowels to
replace that with which is maybe one
percent of the community might have
experienced that but for the majority of
us it really is about the artwork it’s
it’s about seeing realism my goal was
always to set out to find the most ultra
realistic lifelike looking baby doll
that could ultimately fool somebody we
all need to realize that the child
inside of us still lives and it keeps us
younger longer if we embrace that child
I could say collecting toy cars is
creepy for a 50 year old man but they do
it I don’t judge people they’re having
fun sorry she’s a little swaddled
burrito safe ready to be put to bed
then she can look up at her little ha
her mobile could eat pasta Bjork’s I
don’t know no I don’t think so Brown
here I go brown hair is it really
helping me like is there
or am I going crazy I took a step back
and I said okay
Lucinda do you really need these rewards
or do you really want them and I came to
the conclusion that I needed them and I
wanted them I needed them because they
helped me because to go to a store and
to walk by a baby section is painful I
had no reason to be there but now I do
know now I know I can go into a baby
section and be like oh that’ll look cute
on my doll or Oh that’ll be cute on you
know Joseph that’s when I realized not
everybody’s gonna understand this hobby
and that’s okay but as long as I do that
that’s all that matters
you

About the author

CM

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