Reborn babies: Rocking the cradle of love
by WILLIAM WRIGHT, Lifestyles Editor
Nov 28, 2010 | 4103 views | 0 0 comments | 36 36 recommendations | email to a friend | print
LIVING DOLLS — Reborn babies have surpassed being considered superior dolls captivating doll owners and doll collectors. Since the time they invaded the mainstream and the doll industry, these exceptional replicas of human babies exploded in popularity. Jeanette Neaton of Cleveland has opened Jeanette’s Little Blessings Nursery, where orders can be made for her lifelike dolls. In recent times, reborn babies are prized, not only as collectibles, but as an effective treatment medium for patients with Alzheimer’s and dementia. For more information call 479-5586.
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Forget whatever you think you know about dolls and be prepared for a realism in replicas of human babies so lifelike your dropped jaw might need a bib.

Reborn babies have emerged as a whole new look and feel to baby dolls that is as close to the real thing as one can get without visiting an actual baby ward.

Jeanette Neaton, owner of Jeanette’s Little Blessings Nursery, specializes in creating custom made reborn babies and is the first in Cleveland to do so. Neaton said the popularity of these exceptional replicas is sweeping the nation.

“I feel that reborn babies have such an appeal because they are so lifelike and everyone loves babies,” said Neaton. “When you see a beautiful newborn baby your heart just melts. They are just so sweet. You just want to hold them. My reborn babies make you feel the same way because they are so real looking.”

Neaton said she names each baby she “brings to life,” giving them an ID bracelet, hospital ID band and a reborn “birth certificate.”

“If her new mom wants to change her name, that is fine with me,” she said. “It would make me so happy if everyone who bought one of my babies loved them, were very happy with them and thought they were very real looking.”

Neaton admits it can be difficult parting with her labors of love but providing such lifelike creations is also designed to bring joy to others.

“Giving one of my babies to her adoptive mom after spending so much time bringing him or her to life is like giving up a part of myself,” Neaton said. “But I think of the joy my baby will bring to her new mom and it makes me happy.”

Explaining how she became involved with the creation of her reborn babies, the wife and mother said she has always been a doll lover and collected a few over the years.

“I started making dolls about 25 years ago,” said Neaton. “I started with the Cabbage Patch doll then moved on to the soft sculptured doll. When I heard about reborn babies I wanted one for myself. I searched the Internet and found one I liked. It cost $2,500. I was not willing to pay that much for a doll so I decided to try my hand in making the doll myself.”

According to Neaton, the result has been one of the most exciting things that ever happened to her. By practicing her craft with reborn dolls she eventually made perfect likenesses of the real thing. Her hobby suddenly became a lucrative labor of love that is as rewarding as anything she could imagine after being retired.

“I feel you can be good at anything you enjoy doing and I really enjoy making these dolls and sewing,” said Neaton, who started her business earlier this year.

“I really enjoyed bringing these dolls to life so I decided to start making them for others. With ‘Baby Faith’ I used real human hair for her eyelashes and the hair on her head. Each hair is inserted by hand. I add blush and you can even see their veins.”

These exceptional replicas of human babies have surpassed being considered as superior types of dolls for collectors and doll aficionados. They are even considered effective treatment for patients with Alzeheimer’s and dementia.

According to, there are a few accounts and experiences when reborn dolls produced positive effects in dementia and Alzheimer’s patients.

“Primarily, reborn doll therapy success in patients is credited to the reduction of patients’ dependency on psychotropic medications,” the article said.

“Female dementia patients respond positive to reborns as these dolls help them reminisce the times when they were still housewives and very productive.

“As they adopt the reborn doll in their therapy, the patients’ memories as parents are recollected. As they consider the doll their child, it will revive the moments in their lives when they were useful, productive, being loved, and being able to love.”

Some say a reborn doll is a way for women to enjoy the advantages of looking after a baby without having to deal with any disadvantages.

Minute attention to detail is given to each vinyl baby to make sure each doll looks exactly like a live baby. Each one can be created to look as individual as real babies or very similar to the picture of someone in the family, including a doll made in your very own image, according to Neaton.

“I could probably get very, very close to what a baby looks like in a photo even though it may not look exactly like them,” said Neaton. “We’d use the same skin tones, hair color, dimples, birthmark — things like that.”

These three dimensional dolls will never get older and, if made in the image of a family member, can be a constant reminder of how beautiful an infant was in all his childhood glory.

Reborn baby dolls also gives some females the opportunity to role play and experience a few aspects of being a mother on a temporary basis. Neaton said it takes 12 hours from start to finish to complete a brand new baby, adding, “They even weigh the same as real babies.”

“My husband likes that I have hobbies that keep me busy and my daughters love my babies,” said Neaton. “They think they are so real looking I have gotten a lot of compliments on my babies because people can see it is a labor of love. I love the work that I do.”

For further information, email Jeanette Neaton at or call 423-479-5586.