Reborn baby dolls are quite specific products; although they look like items for children, they are mainly used and bought by adults. Furthermore, unlike other dolls on the market, they primarily have a therapeutic role helping both women and men deal with a loss of a child, depression, maternal instincts, so-called “empty nest” etc.
One of the rare types of reborn dolls is preemie baby dolls. These items are very similar to reborns at least when it comes to appearance. However, they are much smaller and sometimes come with certain accessories.
In this article, we will talk more about these products and what makes them special. Read on!
What are preemies?
Preemie is a term used to describe prematurely born babies. Of course, when used for dolls, it refers to baby dolls that were "born" ahead of schedule.
They are characterized by a visibly smaller size. Furthermore, they are very similar to newborns in a sense that their eyes are usually closed, they might be clenching their fists, and/or crying. Like all other reborn babies, they are sold with numerous accessories. Diapers are probably the most common one. They also might be rolled in a blanket, they might have tubes for breathing and other items that are otherwise common for prematurely born infants.
In terms of materials, the same things are used for these products as all other reborn babies: vinyl and silicone are the most common materials for the body, infants may have hand-drawn hair or even hand-rooted hair (wigs are not used for these masterpieces). Unlike other reborns, preemies usually don’t have a cloth body. Artists usually focus on full-silicone as it gives them more realism and makes them much more similar to real babies.
With that, we come to the next point.
Importance of realism
When purchasing a preemie, it is of utmost importance to a person that a doll looks as realistic as possible. If you don’t have any experience with these items, this might seem strange to you. But, there is a very rational explanation for this.
As already mentioned, these objects are not actually toys. They are not for kids even though you can gift it to your child. Instead, the market is mostly focused on adults. Preemies and reborns, in general, are a great way to deal with trauma or maternal urges. Because of that, it is really important for these babies to look real.
Women who buy them usually have experienced a loss of a child which caused severe trauma. They want to recreate those fleeting moment with their baby and as a result, they buy these babies as a way of coping with a loss. Preemies need to be as realistic as possible so that they can resemble the lost infant. In fact, there are lots of cases where women present the artist with a picture so that she or he can recreate the doll in dead baby’s image.
Now, all of this might seem a bit dark, but according to what we’ve seen so far, preemie reborn babies might have a positive impact on people. Even if it’s for a short while, they help them deal with extreme trauma and suppress or contain feelings. During that, they can work with a therapist and improve their state. In a way, preemie baby helps you prolong dealing with an issue and taking the full brunt of trauma while working on the same trauma with a specialist.
How are these babies being used?
Like all other dolls, preemies made by world-renowned doll artists can be small miracles. They can be sold for a high price (depending on craftsmanship) making them very desirable among collectors. In some cases, they won’t leave the collector’s cabinet after purchase. But usually, they are not used this way.
Preemies don’t have as big collector value as some other antique or bisque dolls. This type of product is relatively new and doesn’t have the same reputation as some other items (even when made by a renowned artist). Instead, they are akin to toys and even learning dolls in terms of their use.
Preemie reborn babies are usually not kept in a nursery as exhibition pieces. In fact, they are more frequently used than common toy babies. People who buy these products, tend to role-play with them each day. They form a strong connection with them and it is not unusual that they would behave as if they were real kids.
Women love to take them for a walk, change their diapers, feed them, sing to them and do all other things they would otherwise do with a real baby. This is precisely why these babies are used as a part of therapy. Nevertheless, women do realize that they are not real babies; these items are not used by delusional people. Dolls are more like stress relief or can be used to “feed” maternal instincts.
You have to keep in mind that these creations are still relatively young. That being said, we are not entirely certain what is the long-term impact of role-playing them. While it seems there are lots of benefits to using them, there are also some indications they might be problematic. It is interesting that some retirement homes started using reborn babies for elderly patients as a way of reducing stress and helping with certain conditions. For now, it seems they have a positive impact. Still, there is much more to learn.
Preemies are much more than a doll or a toy; they become a part of our daily life.
If you have strong maternal instincts or you simply want to hold a baby near, why don’t you consider getting one of these products? They are quite amazing in their own right and they will help you unwind after a long hard day.
We have a great selection of preemie reborn babies in our online shop. Make sure to browse our categories and find something that suits you!