My gut reaction is that it seems a little icky. But then I’ve always thought of the dolls that eat/poop/pee as really incredibly icky too. My sense is that if siblings or young children feel the need to experience/be involved in these aspects of taking care of an infant, the best thing to do would to be come up with REAL tasks that actually help mommy out. Like if it’s time to breastfeed the baby, the older sibling could help out by getting a blanket, towel, or pillow. When it’s time to change the diaper the sibling can be involved by getting a new diaper, getting the washcloth, etc.
I'll be the first to confess that for me, the fabrics were the big draw. I absolutely adored printed calico - and I still do. I've become a quilter as an adult, and the first thing I'm still drawn to when I look at Holly Hobbies today is the fabric choice. Those pretty colors with their tiny figured florals really speak to me. When my little girlfriends and I would play with our 'hobby dolls', I always had to quell a certain enviousness of the playfellows who owned some of Holly's friends that I didn't own myself. In quilting, there are women who seem unable to stop themselves from buying yards and yards of fabrics that they know they'll never use. I believe it's that same feeling that drives them. They just love to own and touch all those pretty prints!
Maybe that’s because at its heart, YA aims to be pleasurable. It’s intended for people who are coming of age reading about characters who are doing the same. As such, these books have a way of cocooning their protagonists, navigating them—and by extension, the reader—to safety, and sometimes real happiness. There’s a moment in Rainbow Rowell’s Eleanor & Park, a book about two misfits falling in love, that captures it best. Eleanor reflects on the mix tape Park gave her: “There was something about the music on that tape,” Rowell writes. “It felt different. Like, it set her lungs and her stomach on edge. There was something exciting about it, and something nervous. It made Eleanor feel like everything, like the world, wasn’t what she’d thought it was. And that was a good thing. That was the greatest thing.”