Records Observer

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Parents grieving the loss of a child, miscarriage or stillbirth is an all too common yet devastating part of life.

It’s a pain that is incredibly difficult to stem but there are ways that the community built on suffering a loss finds things to help them through the darker days.

Reborn dolls are dolls that are completely transformed by an artist to resemble a human infant, incorporating as much realism as possible. They are even weighted to give the feel of holding a real child.

From an outsider’s perspective, cuddling up to a doll that is designed to look and feel like a real human baby might be quite strange but there is a larger following than you might at first realise.

One of the most prevalent reasons for having a reborn doll is that it brings comfort to parents who have lost a child, it can give them a focus and even numb the pain of losing their baby for a little while.

They can really help parents in their struggle to overcome the trauma of losing a child and to help get them through heart-breaking circumstances. Helping to ease the effects of depression and even PTSD.

The dolls are commonly created with silicone, creating a lifelike feeling of human skin. Artists, or reborners as they’re affectionately known, painstakingly hand paint the silicone in order to make it look like skin, even including blood vessels and topping it off with faux eyelashes.

The demand for reborn dolls isn’t something that you’ll find in a dark corner of the internet, it’s no sinister practice, simply just one of people wanting and needing to console themselves.

The industry appears to have the celebrity stamp too with the likes of Courtney Stodden taking to her social media in 2016 to show her reborn baby doll. In Courtney’s case, her therapist initially suggested a reborn doll shortly after the celebrity suffered a miscarriage.

The 21-year-old revealed incredibly life like doll in a video posted to social media for her fans. Speaking to her audience in the shared clip, Courtney said: “The baby’s here, oh my God, I’m so nervous – it’s fragile I don’t want to hurt him.”, before introducing the baby to her dog saying “Look at your brother”.

This seal of approval from a celebrity has helped to break the stigma surrounding the dolls a little more as they continue to gain traction and popularity in the worldwide market.

Mourning parents however aren’t the only audience to seek solace from the reborn dolls, there are also those who struggle or are unable to conceive that feel like they may want to fill a void in a way.

The lifelike tots also often appeal to those with dementia as the dolls can trigger positive memories and even go some way to prevent agitation and anxiety.

There is also an undercurrent of demand for the dolls to plainly be collected as a hobby. One such example is the YouTube channel ran by a 15-year-old girl named Sophia who creates videos detailing ‘a day in the life’ of each of the dolls to her 52K subscribers.

She takes the dolls out shopping for clothes, has full schedules for each individual doll including mealtimes and bath times.

It appears that there are various reasons for the worldwide popularity levels of the dolls to be incrementally growing but at the heart of it all, you’ll find thousands of grieving parents who are looking for an outlet to focus their grief and to gain some comfort.