Parents all over the world are clamoring for the Lulla Doll, developed by researchers in Iceland to help newborns sleep better. Hypoallergenic and machine-washable, this doll pretty much has it all. With the exception of taste, the Lulla Doll utilizes a baby’s four other senses to help comfort and drift off to sleep, something new parents are desperate for.
By pressing on the chest, the doll can mimic a mother’s breathing and heartbeat. The face was designed to be gender and race neutral and apparently is supposed to be more visually appealing for a baby rather than a stuffed animal. It absorbs scent easily, so parents can hold it against their skin and then pass on the doll to their baby, who can then snuggle up to it, and feel as if they were actually sleeping next to Mom or Dad.
What an amazing product, right? There’s just one catch: The doll retails for around $70. Due to the insane popularity however, the manufacturer cannot keep up with demand and parents are heading to third-party sites like Ebay and paying more than $300 for this doll. Yes, $300.
When I first heard of the Lulla Doll, besides recoiling in horror at the sheer creepiness of this doll's face, my mind went back to when my daughter was a newborn and had difficulty sleeping without me. I won’t lie, I think the premise behind this doll is pretty cool. Would it have helped my baby sleep better at night? Possibly. If she was any worse, I'd be chasing delivery trucks of them like they did with Beanie Babies back in the day. But besides the exorbitant price tag , I have one major problem with this doll: it preys off of parents’ sleep deprivation.
I get it, babies are little jerks when it comes to sleep. And a lack of sleep makes for cranky babies and exhausted parents.
For the parents with gobs of money, sure, by all means pre-order the Lulla Doll. Bid to your heart’s content. But for the rest of us, spending this much on a doll instead of diapers and food is just impractical. I get it, babies are little jerks when it comes to sleep. And a lack of sleep makes for cranky babies and exhausted parents. But there are other ways to soothe a baby and mimic the closeness of a parent for a fraction of the cost.
A white noise machine can be purchased for around $20. My daughter has used this since the day she came home from the hospital. It simulated the noises she heard in the womb and there's even a mode that mimics a heartbeat.
You can hold a little security blanket against your skin for awhile and then place it next to your baby. It’s soft and comforting and it may not have a human face but let’s be honest, does a baby really pay attention to that?
And whatever happened to a little old-fashioned rocking? I get it—we can’t be there all night to sit up in a rocker, but some of my most calming moments in those early days occurred while rhythmically swaying back and forth in the darkness, holding my sleepy baby in my arms.
Whether you co-sleep with your baby or sleep train on a schedule, eventually your child will sleep, with or without said creepy doll. Contrary to what this doll claims to do, there is no magical cure to get a baby to sleep. But desperate parents will try anything and I guess if it doesn't work, you could always sell it on Ebay, right?