Reborn dolls have become extremely popular worldwide. They are known to provide comfort and a sense of relief for people who experience grief or loss. They also help women who can’t have biological children due to chronic fertility issues.
Since reborn dolls look so realistic and are sometimes true to size and weight, they can create a rush of dopamine in the brain and improve a person’s mental state. They can even alleviate depression and anxiety.
Reborn dolls have been collected by a vibrant community for quite some time. They are known as “reborns” in this community, and they have their own websites.
These dolls are considered collector’s items, not children’s toys. While some people choose to play with their reborns, most simply collect them for their artistic value and to role-play real-life baby activities such as feeding, bathing, diapering, pushing in a stroller, carrying in a carrier, and more. This can be therapeutic for those who cannot have biological babies of their own, or for those who have lost a baby.
Reborn dolls can be made from any manufactured, vinyl doll, but artists look for ones with lifelike features to make the transformation more realistic. They then add additional details such as a realistic painted-on hair, wrinkles, hand-applied eyelashes, and a magnetic pacifier to make the doll even more lifelike. This makes the doll feel more like a newborn, which is what draws many of their fans. However, this realism can also rub some people the wrong way. “Some people find them disturbing or unsettling,” Jonderko said.
Reborn dolls have gained a large following among doll collectors and enthusiasts and are viewed as a niche within the doll-making industry. They are handmade, high quality pieces of art that are considered life-like and realistic. Artists who sculpt and paint them are known as reborners. The reborn doll movement began in the late 1990s and has gained popularity around the world. Doll manufacturers have capitalized on this growing interest by selling supplies, tools and accessories catering to reborn followers. Magazines, organizations and conventions have also been started.
These dolls are typically repurposed from manufactured doll kits or a soft vinyl blank (called a kit). The artists will painstakingly remove the original factory finish and apply multiple layers of paint to create a realistic skin tone with mottling, blotching, veining, milk spots and other details of newborn infants. They will then stitch hair on the head using various methods which can take 30 hours or more to complete one doll’s head.
Although they are extremely life-like, reborn dolls should be handled gently. They are not a substitute for real children, but rather an enchanting way to satisfy a childlike desire to care for and nurture something beautiful.
For those that are going through a rough patch in their life, the therapeutic features of Reborn Dolls can help them feel connected again. This is especially helpful for those who have experienced the loss of a child or infant. Having a doll that looks similar to their own child can provide them with a way to nurture and care for their doll as if it were their own. This is also a great option for those going through infertility issues and can help them to work through their feelings of insecurity, guilt, and loss.
Although some people find these dolls disturbing, many of them have found comfort and relief in having one. They are used by women suffering from infertility, miscarriage, or even death of their children. Reborn dolls are also being used for therapeutic purposes in nursing homes to treat dementia and Alzheimer patients.