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Raising Little Girls: Discussion.

I saw a picture of this on my facebook breast-feeding group, and started to think about how I was raised.

Image Source

I specifically remember having baby bottles. I had one of milk, and one with an orange liquid in it (pretend orange juice?) that I would feed to my baby dolls when they were hungry. That was normal, and that was how babies ate.

This one time I was nursing Vivien (she was under a cover) in my gym’s daycare facility. They had a rocking chair set up in the corner, so I went on to feed her. A little girl approached me and asked me, “What are you doing with that baby?” I answered, “I’m feeding her.” She looked very confused, and continued to ask questions of “how” and “why” and I felt sketchy going into details because it wasn’t my child, so I changed the subject and asked her if she would bring me her favorite book and I would read it to her if she flipped the pages. It worked. But that day has stuck in my head. (Additional info, she was appx. 5-6 years old.)

I would love to raise Vivien with the thought that breast feeding is the normal way to feed your child. But seeing reactions of people on facebook that the above picture is “too mature for little girls to do” or “making the child aware of her sexual (chest) parts” cannot go un-noticed. If you were a childcare worker, and saw a little girl pretending to breast feed her doll, how would you react? 

On the flip side, do you want to raise your daughter knowing what breast feeding is, and accepting it as simply a way that Mommies feed their babies?

I’d love to have you give me your thoughts/views in the comment section. Please know that everyone’s opinion is valued, and is their own. :)  


Sidenote: My BBF Heather is having her very first ever give-away on A Complete Waste of Makeup. Check it out, the necklace she is giving away is GORG!

A Complete Waste of Makeup

9 comments to Raising Little Girls: Discussion.

  • Wow. What a good blog today. At first seeing the picture, I was bothered by it. I won’t lie. I think I’m more bothered by someone actually taking a picture like this and posting it. I think it has a lot to do with all my child abuse training at the Y. I think perverts are going to look at that and do their perver things. lol

    As a child, I knew exactly what breastfeeding (especially growing up with animals) was but to me that was an “adult” thing and when I played mommy, I use bottles. I can’t think of a time I questioned that. My mother is a HUGE advocate of breastfeeding (don’t even get her started on the topic) so it’s not like she forced a “bottle” thing on me. I just still feel it’s an adult thing.

  • Michelle Robles

    I want my daughter to be raised knowing what breastfeeding is. I had no idea what it was til I was older. More kids should be exposed to it. It would make breastfeeding in public a whole lot easier. I wouldn’t even think anything if I saw a little girl breastfeeding her doll.

  • The biggest problem is the fact that people ARE shocked by the image, whether it be a mom feeding her baby or a child pretending to feed her baby doll. Breastfeeding is still taboo to a lot of people. Remember, our grandmothers’ generation used formula with their children because it was the new, “great” thing, so our parents grew up thinking it was best and the norm. Now that more women are breastfeeding and not ashamed of it, it will slowly NOT be a shocking thing. Dude, I breastfeed in the Costco food court, boob pretty much in full view because no one wants to eat with a blanket over their head. Plus, unless you’re totally checking me out, you wouldn’t even know I’m nursing, so if you’re bugged out at the sight of a baby eating, stop staring at me. Weirdo.

    Anyway, sorry. This topic gets my gears a-grindin’.

    I’m mot a mom to girls. I’m a mom to three boys and they all know what babies eat. They see my boobs all day long. It doesn’t phase them one bit. To them, it’s as normal as seeing a bottle. Because from day one, of course they asked what I was doing, and I simply replied “feeding your baby brother”. I told them that mama makes milk specially for the baby, that I made it special for them, too. So David (at age 3) dubbed it mama milk. So that’s what they’d tell you it is, if you asked. Michael has even pretended to nurse his stuffed dinosaur. I just smiled and said “nice job”. It’s not a big deal. It’d be like him pretending to cook or pretending to build. Kids mimic their parents.

    Some people think I should cover up in front of my children, since they are 3 and 7. I think the total opposite. I want it to be normal in their eyes, so if one day they have a girlfriend or wife who needs support, my boys will be that supportive man. Because breastfeeding IS normal. It doesn’t have to be celebrated and sometimes it isn’t pretty, but it IS NORMAL.

    And I love you for being such a good mom. You question things, you ask, you decide. Vivien is a lucky little duck to have you as a mama.

    • cookiesforbfast

      LOVE this response – very timely, since I just wrote about some of these topics in my comment! I’ve been wondering a lot about what it will be like when my son is older, and sees me bfing our other babies (whenever we have them!), so this is so crazy helpful – I love your logic. Now I’m all empowered and sh**. So THANK YOU! :)

  • Leila sees me breastfeed Landon all the time, so it just isn’t a big deal to her. Right after he was born, she was very intrigued by it and would pretend to breastfeed her baby dolls. I just thought it was cute. Now, she could care less and would much rather use her fake bottles. Personally, I don’t see what the big deal is with little ones pretending to breast feed, but that’s just me. Breastfeeding is totally natural and normal. The end.

  • I had 5 boys before I ever had a girl and they used to nurse their babies too!

  • i definitely want my girls (& son) to know its a normal and good way to feed your baby…pretty much from my standpoint, that is THEE way to feed a baby…(not that has to go for anyone else)…but i teach my kids that if the conversation arises..

  • cookiesforbfast

    Ah finally I have a minute to comment on this! First, thanks muchly for the shout out, my BBF!! :)

    I freaking love this post. Such a great discussion, and something I think about a lot. Obvi, when we have #2, Ben will be around, and I’m sure asking questions, and then *hopefully* when we have #3, he’ll be even older, and understand even more. Granted, he’s a boy, but I still think it’s important for him to understand what breastfeeding is, and the importance of it.

    I totally hear ya on not wanting to go into too much detail with someone else’s kid too. I’ve never b’fed in public (minus my car and in a dark movie theater), and one of the reasons for that is becauseI’m worried I’ll irritate someone with children, if the kids see and start asking questions. Yes, I realize this is ridiculous, I should live my life doing what I do, but anyway…

    That’s so funny – I had the same bottles, and it’s such a commentary on society. Do they make those still? Back when we were kids, breastfeeding was totally not the norm, so that makes sense, but now that it’s “back in style” (ha!), I wonder if doll bottles are as prevalent.

    If I was a childcare worker and saw a little girl doing that, my heart would jump with happiness (god I sound like a moron…), and I’d probably congratulate the girl’s mother.

    I think my biggest worry about this in the future for my kids is keeping my mouth closed on my kids’ parenting decisions. Like if they (or their wives, in this specific case) don’t do things the way I did, ughhhh I’m going to have a hard time handling that. Breastfeed my grandkids, people! Hahaha. I hope that society is different then and more accepting of natural living, and moms aren’t harassed for feeding their babies in public.

    Oh, I could go on for days…

    And lastly – facebook breastfeeding group?! INVITE ME!! :)

  • The group is because I “liked” Motherlove herbal company. :)
    I also realize that this post may be very gender specific, because if I had a son, I would also treat this issue no differently. I hope that if I do have a son, he encourages and is supportive of his future wife because of how he was raised. Because breastfeeding takes the support of the husband too, 100%.
    Thanks for all the responses. I do continue to BF in public, I do not use a cover, however I am modest and always layer my shirts because of this. I would love to teach my daughter that breastfeeding is how you feed a baby, and sometimes bottles are too. But maybe it’s also because I have always lived in very pro-breastfeeding communities since I had V, that I never feel ashamed to feed her in public. (Northern California and now Colorado)