Blessed Memories Baby Boutique
7600 El Camino Real  Atascadero, CA. 93422         Call Us at (805) 610-2577
 

 

Art is a beautiful gift.

Reborn Babies give Joy for Generations to Come.

I thank God every day for the Gifts & Talents He gave me.

My Daughter Missy with her first baby girl, Kyla. This picture was taken five weeks before Missy passed away from Bone Cancer, at eighteen, the day before her nineteenth birthday. My Granddaughter Kyla, was only 10mo. old. We were blessed to raise her as our own, per my daughter's wishes.

I made a Reborn Baby of "Baby Kyla" to capture her innocence as an infant before the cares of life intertwine with reality.

Capturing the Memories of yesterday, the Hope of tomorrow and Knowing that Eternity holds Forever.

God, Jesus and all of my Family and Friends will be waiting for us in Glory. 

 

 

 

 

 

History of Doll Collecting and the Reborn Baby Fad
Article from info barrel


Doll collecting as a hobby took off in the mid 1800s when French and German doll makers began making high-end limited edition dolls for the children of wealthy patrons. Collectors took an interest in these finely crafted dolls, and by the 1900s, many manufacturers were marketing dolls with adult collectors in mind as well. Today, there are bustling collectors' markets for china dolls, French bisque dolls, as well as American Girl and Barbie dolls, though these latter two were originally intended as toys for young girls. 

Though dolls representing adults have been used as toys since antiquity, dolls representing semi-realistic babies were not mainstream until the mid 1800s. But even generations later, these baby dolls were not highly sought after by collectors. 

It wasn't until the late 1900s when baby doll craftsmanship was revitalized. A then obscure practice called "reborning" became more and more popular. Reborn artists started using doll parts with true to life features, and pioneered painting techniques that resulted in dolls with the look and feel of real newborns. Along with this new niche in doll making came a new kind of doll collector as well.


Today, most women who collect, or "adopt" reborn babies are older women who view them as surrogates for children missing in their lives. Additionally, some owners use the dolls as part of "cuddle therapy" to help grieving women cope with a lost child. Women who collect reborn dolls do not typically maintain vast collections of other types of dolls. Though reborn dolls are cherished by their doll mothers, many people outside this collecting phenomenon view the dolls as creepy and macabre. 

Reborn Doll Kits

Reborn dolls often start from a kit that includes a vinyl head, two arms, and two legs. Expert sculptors create the vinyl molds to look like real newborns. They have scrunched up faces, balled fists and feet, and real baby-like wrinkles. The material is made to feel like soft baby, skin, and yet withstand temperatures high enough for the special heat-set paints used to color the babies. Some kits may also come with a cloth body or clothes, but many reborn artists make these pieces themselves to match custom orders.

Painting the Reborn Babies

The painting techniques used in reborning are what set it apart from other styles of doll making. Since the insides of the heat and limb pieces are hollow, the inside is coated with light blue paint to mimic realistic skin undertones of light skinned babies. For darker skinned dolls, a darker paint may be used. Then the reborn artist adds flesh colored paints are added one layer at a time, (approx. ten layers) baking between each layer. Since the vinyl pieces are somewhat translucent, the blue undertone can give the effect of fine veins if the painting is done right. A well-made reborn baby will have skin that is velvety and somewhat mottled like a real newborn's. Since many reborn dolls are custom ordered, an artist can even add birthmarks and imperfections upon request. If the mouth is open, the inside will also be painted pink as well.

Hair, Eyes, and Nails

Real human hair or mohair is used to create eyelashes and wispy locks on the scalp. A very thin needle is used to poke it into the soft vinyl. This way, the hair actually looks like it is growing out of the skin. 

For reborn babies with awake expressions, specially made eyes are set behind the eyelids. These eyes are much more realistic than regular toy doll eyes. They are very shiny with dark irises and faint blood vessels. 

Finally, the reborn doll makers paint realistic nails at the fingertips. Nontoxic paints and polishes can be used upon request of the buyer.


Giving the Babies Weight

Before the head and limbs are sewn into the body, they are filled with sand or lighter material to give the baby weight.

A reborn baby's head is heavy enough so that it must be supported when the doll is cradled.

In creating the effect of realism, no detail is overlooked!


 

 

 

 

"Adopting" a Reborn Baby

A reborn doll collector is often attached to her baby doll as though it were a real baby. Because there is this important emotional aspect to ordering and purchasing a doll, the process is treated as an adoption. The baby is often picked up from a "nursery" and the doll is handed over to the mother with a birth certificate. Purchasing is largely done online, and the price tag for an expertly crafted doll can be several thousand dollars. Women who "adopt" reborn babies often spend much more money on other baby items, such as strollers, cribs, and clothes. 

Unlike with other types of doll collecting, most reborn babies rarely change owners. The dolls are not viewed as an investment, as many other collectibles are. 

 

Reactions

Many people outside of the world of reborning and reborn doll collecting are turned off by the dolls. When photographed, they are often indistinguishable from a real baby, and if a sleeping reborn doll is taken out in a stroller, most passersby will not know it is a fake baby. But when it is revealed to be merely a doll, the realism can be creepy, especially if the doll has an awake expression. 

Psychologists are seeing the therapeutic benefit of reborn dolls.

Article from info barrel.

 

 

 

 

 Reborn Babies have a positive affect on Alzheimer & Dementia patients. 

Columbus, OH - May 20, 2004

- Caregivers of the estimated 4.5 million Americans living with Alzheimer's disease often deal with patients who are uncooperative and combative because of the disease's main symptom, dementia. However, coordinators of the Central Ohio Alzheimer's Association Sunday Adult Day Care Program and Reborn Doll Makers are working together to show caregivers and Alzheimer's patients how to use dolls as a form of therapy to curb communication and emotional problems. Ohio based Reborn Baby Doll Maker has received hundreds of letters in recent years from Alzheimer's caregivers who say their patients stopped wandering, arguing, and putting things in their mouths when introduced to the company's lifelike dolls. Each doll is sculpted and weighted to look and feel like a real baby. Central Ohio Alzheimer's Association Sunday Adult Day Care Program coordinators started testing the doll in April 2004 and saw immediate results. "The lower functioning group held on to the baby and enjoyed cuddling it. The higher functioning group really took notice of the doll's realistic features," said Lisa Brosnahan, Sunday Adult Day Care program coordinator. "One woman became very calm and didn't pace as much." Coordinators also found patients' hands remained busy with the dolls, discouraging them from taking and hiding items that don't belong to them. "The Reborn Baby dolls definitely received a stronger reaction from the group than other dolls we've used," said Brosnahan. A study performed at Florida Gulf Coast University funded by the National Alzheimer's Association tested the response of 20 subjects to the Reborn Baby doll. The research team found the doll to be "very superior to any other dolls or stuffed animals currently being used in long-term care sites." Research associate, Suzanne Fitzsimmons also said, "this product is a 'must have' for any residential facility that cares for older adults with dementia.

Ohio based Reborn Baby Doll Maker was used in place of the original company due to conflict of interest.  

 

Alzheimer Patients and Reborn Dolls
By Nicola Baume Co-Author: Fran Smith


Placing a reborn doll in the arms of an Alzheimer's patient can calm them to the point of being able to communicate and take instruction. It is a really positive niche for the reborn artist.


At Ashcroft Care Home based in Chesterfield, Derbyshire, UK, they have reported that reborn doll therapy has cut the number of patients using psychotropic drugs from 92 per cent at the start of 2008 to 28 percent. 


Reborn dolls in particular seem to have the best effect with these patients, as they are so much more lifelike than traditional dolls. The dementia area is a large market that is reasonably untapped for reborn doll artists.

In my research I visited a website that showed the most touching photographs of Alzheimer's patients holding their dolls. They appeared happy and calm.


Many dementia patients suffer from agitation and distress, doll therapy can alleviate this. Dementia patients can be withdrawn and communication between patients and carers difficult, reborn dolls have been shown to vastly help in these areas. The British Psychological Society Conference presented this research into reborn doll therapy.
Reborn doll therapy seems to work extremely well with female patients as it takes them back to a time when they were housewives and highly productive.

Due to effects of dementia many of these patients still believe they are young, so when they adopt a reborn doll, it brings back happy memories of parenthood. Having a doll can reawaken positive memories of being useful and needed; being loved and of loving.

Doll Therapy is best introduced in the early to middle stages of Alzheimer's. In the early stages the patient may know the reborn doll is not real but will enjoy the pleasures of naming it and constantly changing its clothes. Women in the middle stages of the disease are likely to communicate with the doll; The Alzheimer patient may communicate with the doll through singing, talking and cuddling. They start to become extremely attached to their doll and keep it with them for many hours of the day.

Introducing a doll in the late stages of Alzheimer's is not quite as effective as in the early stages. Introducing a doll in the early stages will allow the owner to become used to it and as the disease progresses the bond is set and the patient will be able to get comfort from the doll well into the later stages.

Reborn dolls however, are not a cure and the sufferer will not suddenly transform back to their former self because of a reborn doll but it is the comfort the patient feels that is the real benefit of reborn doll therapy.
"I have worked with people with Alzheimer's disease for 12 years and if you ever witnessed one of my residents singing, cooing, interacting with the lifelike doll, you would know that it does work.

Many of our ladies were homemakers and their number one priorities were family. It was a time in their life when they were useful and had a sense of purpose. A reborn doll can bring a patient back to a time in their life where they felt secure and in control. We must join them on their journey, not ours!" (A quote from a discussion forum for Alzheimer's patients).

If you are touched by the above story and feel this may be your niche for making reborn dolls, we suggest you first visit your local nursing homes to get a better idea of what is needed. Nursing homes do not always have the finances to buy full priced reborn dolls so you may need to get in touch with the family members of patients. The positive effects of dolls needs to be demonstrated to the nursing home for them to get behind doll therapy.

Take some evidence to the homes with you about the positive effects of reborn dolls on Alzheimer's and Dementia patients.

This is a very rewarding market to be in. To help the elderly live out their years feeling more comfortable and in control is a great gift that your reborn dolls can give to society.