Reborn dolls. Scary? or a comfort?
After a loss some Angel parents will consider buying a reborn doll to attempt to find some comfort. A reborn doll is a manufactured vinyl doll which is made to look similar to the child who has died. Some reborn artists will make a reborn of children who were born too early.
A good reborn artist will ask for photos and other information such as length and weight and will send you pictures of hair and eye colour for you to match. There are some excellent reborn artists who will take time and care to ensure that your reborn is as near to looking like your child as they possibly can. Sadly, there are some who will rush, use poor kits and provide you with something that looks nothing like your child. So, if you do decide to buy a reborn doll take your time, look around, ask for references, and check out examples of their work
I would consider this a bad example of a reborn doll.
I would consider this a good example of a reborn doll.
There are several chains of thought about reborn dolls. Some find them spooky and scary, some will use them in the short term to help them in the early stages of loss, and some people collect them because each one is unique.
Whatever category you may fall into you should always remember that it is a doll and nothing can replace your child. Some will wash and dress their reborn and some will even take them out in a pushchair/buggy. Some critics will debate whether reborns are harmful or they help with the grieving process. My personal view is that so along as you are clear that it is a reborn and it is used in the short term (so you have something to hold and take care of) then it is fine. If you continue to care for the reborn for a long term and treat it as a child and it begins to affect the life of you and your family then it has become harmful.
We bought a reborn when our son died and it was a striking resemblance of him. (I’m not going to share any photos as we used it for something personal within our home) and it did bring my wife and children some comfort. It wasn't something that I found any comfort in, but I took some comfort knowing that it had bought my family some comfort.
As I mentioned above, some people collect reborn dolls as a ‘hobby’ and they can be found on many social media sites and places like ebay. For those who do not really mind about it having any resemblance to a child they know they can be purchased for around £30/$50 upwards. For those wishing to buy a reborn with a resemblance to their child expect to pay (for a good one) upwards of £250/$400 and some a lot more, where you can pay £/$1000’s. Some reborn doll have been mistaken for real babies and police have been called to cars which they have been left in.
If you do choose to buy a reborn doll after loss it is something that you should discuss with your family first. I wouldn't suggest that you just go out and buy one as this can have a negative and damaging effect if your family are not expecting it, or indeed find them scary.
Having a reborn doll CAN help individuals and families after loss, in the right circumstances. It isn't a replacement for your child and you should always seek other intervention to help you in your loss. http://www.daddyswithangels.org/
For more information and history on reborn dolls click on this