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$12,000 Fake Babies Are the Newest Mom Craze

Fear not, grown-ups, you are not too old to play with baby dolls. Forget snagging your daughter’s Cabbage Patch Kid from its tea party; you can have a lifelike “reborn doll” instead, reports, available for anywhere from hundreds to thousands of dollars. Yep, you read that right—they can sell for more than $12,000. “Reborns” are realistic-looking baby dolls—weighted and stuffed to feel cuddly and baby-like, available with rooted head and eyelash hair (the rooting—or application of hair—can take days), manicured and varnished baby nails, open nostrils, and even a simulated heartbeat, magnetic paci and magnetic hair ribbon. You can even order a preemie doll that comes delivered with an incubator and IVs.

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Younger women are apparently buying the dolls to satisfy untapped maternal instincts, whether they’ve lost a pregnancy or they’re not ready for real-life mamahood, while older women may invest in them when their children leave for college. (For the latter, custom-made dolls can be made to look like a woman’s own baby, born 20 years earlier.) Regardless of the purchaser’s age, these dolls aren’t collector items; most of these women treat reborn dolls like real babies, taking them on walks and strapping them into high chairs and car seats.

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This might seem a bit kooky (especially the $12,000 price tag part) but I'm hesitant to judge reborn doll owners. If it helps someone who is distraught after a miscarriage or is unable to conceive, then I'd say it serves a very unique purpose for women who want a very expensive hobby. I'd just hope the fake diaper changes and feedings wouldn't get in the way of the real world.

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Do you think these dolls are out-of-control ridiculous? Or do you see why some women might want one?