Two things to know about me:
1. I love dolls.
2. I love bargains.
For quite a while, I’ve wanted a realistic baby model to use in my birth classes. My ideal model could be used both for demonstrations of fetal positioning in the pelvis and also for demo’ing newborn care and possibly breastfeeding. Most fetal models sold by CBE supply companies range from $60-150. I usually use a Bitty Baby doll to demo newborn care and breastfeeding (a third thing to know about me is that my love of bargains makes an exception when it comes to American Girl dolls. I have an embarrassing number of AG dolls and vast quantities of accessories. I’ve had this Bitty Baby for over 10 years, I didn’t buy her to use in class). In my knitted uterus, resides a cute little baby doll I bought at Target for $5. Neither of these dolls works at all for fetal positioning or with my demonstration pelvis.
So, imagine my delight when I found a nearly perfect model newborn at Kmart yesterday while my son was picking out his birthday presents. I named her Sasha AND, get this, she was $20. In a bonus twist, unlike 99.9% of the dolls in the store, she did not come with a bottle! (There is a bottle pictured with a different doll on the back of the box.) She did come with a little cloth diaper, a onesie, a band to cover her cord stump (yes, she seems to have one, but it could just be a dramatic “outie”!), a little outfit, a hat, and socks. Called La Newborn (nursery doll), she is made by Berenguer.
The only drawback is she is not very flexible and so would be hard to use comfortably for things like practicing putting on diapers. Her fairly flexed permanent body position does make her absolutely ideal for use for fetal positioning and even for swaddling or babywearing practice. I originally planned to take her arms and legs off to fill with plastic pellets to add weight, but I’d don’t think I’m going to bother. While nothing near the weight of a real baby, she is made from good quality vinyl.
After looking these dolls up various places online, I’m now thinking I should have bought the remaining one or two that they had at K-Mart. They don’t seem to be widely available for the $20 price.
This morning, my older son helped me take all kinds of pictures of my new toy—I mean, teaching aid!—today (yet another of the many benefits of having an 8 year old in the house!). So, this is a photo-heavy post!
Edited to add, Baby Sasha later experienced an unfortunate accident and had to be replaced. See Fetal Model Update post for pictures.