* Author : J.J. Roth
* Narrators : Khaalidah Muhammad-Ali, Jen R. Albert, Dagny Paul, Graeme Dunlop, Setsu Uzume, Matt Dovey, Alasdair Stuart, Marguerite Kenner, Eleanor Wood and Steven Capps
* Host : Graeme Dunlop
* Audio Producer : Peter Wood
PodCastle 480: All of the Cuddles With None of the Pain is a PodCastle original.
All of the Cuddles With None of the Pain
By J. J. Roth
What is a Reborn?
A Reborn is an artist-enhanced baby doll that looks and feels lifelike. Artists create Reborns as one-of-a-kind collectibles, often from ordinary play dolls transformed into art suitable for hands-off display—or hands-on cuddling.
While reasonably durable, Reborns are not children’s toys. Rough play may damage them.
How do the dolls become “reborn”?
An artist re-paints each doll with more lifelike skin-toned paints, mixed to achieve the actual skin tones of real babies across the racial spectrum. Delicate veins and blue wash undertones give the newborn baby a more realistic appearance. Hair is sewn strand by strand into plastic bald or molded hair-grooved heads through a process called micro-rooting. Glass beads weight the baby’s body, head, and limbs for the authentic feel of holding a living infant.
Electronic devices can be added that mimic a heartbeat and respiration. Other devices can make the baby warm to the touch, or make it emit infant sounds. Magnets can be inserted in the mouth and glued onto on an actual baby pacifier (Nuk, Avent, Gerber, etc.). When the magnetized pacifier sticks to the magnet in the mouth, the baby appears to be sucking on a binkie, just like a real baby.
*WARNING*: Strong magnets! Can be harmful to pacemaker wearers and others with medical implants.
Why are Reborns so expensive?
BabyMakerTM uses only real glass eyes imported from Germany, the best mohair available, aquamarine glass beads from the Czech Republic for weighting, and rare earth magnets for each baby. Art, packing, and shipping supplies also contribute to the cost.
Each baby takes a minimum of three weeks to create, and goes home with its own layette, which includes a three-piece outfit, sleeper, hat, diapers, and receiving blanket, as well as birth and adoption certificates.
Where can I buy a Reborn? What sort of person buys a Reborn? How lifelike are they?
Most Reborns are sold through online nurseries, such as BabyMakerTM, or at art conventions and fairs.
Almost all purchasers of Reborns are women, though we do have customers of other sexes and genders. Some customers collect Reborns as they would regular dolls. Often, older, single women treat Reborns as substitutes for the children they cannot have. Some customers who have lost a child, or have become empty-nesters, find adding a Reborn to the family comforting. Cuddling a Reborn, like cuddling any baby, causes a release of the hormone oxytocin, which produces a sense of emotional well-being.
Reborns are so lifelike they are sometimes mistaken for real babies. A few have even been “rescued” from parked cars after passers-by c...