Why is Chrissy Teigen breastfeeding a doll? Child development, says research

By feeding the doll, she's feeding Luna's development.

Why is Chrissy Teigen breastfeeding a doll? Child development, says research

Chrissy Teigen's got her hands full. Her oldest, daughter Luna, is 2-years-old and figuring out the world as toddlers do, while her youngest, 7-week-old Miles, is still breastfeeding the way 7-week-olds do—so, pretty much constantly.

It's really no wonder that at her stage of development, Luna recently decided that Teigen shouldn't just be nursing Miles, she should be nursing Luna's baby doll, too.

Someone (we're betting it was Teigen's husband John Legend) snapped a pic of the dual nursing session and Teigen posted it to social media because that's what she does (and we love her for it). It's adorable.

It might seem like Luna is just being funny (which wouldn't be surprising, considering who's raising her) but the fact that she's seeking to feed a toy is actually an important developmental milestone, according to the CDC.

And the fact that she's playing with a baby doll while Teigen nurses her new little brother is just another bit of evidence of just how much Teigen and Legend are #parentinggoals.

The Mayo Clinic recommends parents give kids Luna's age a doll when a new baby brother or sister enters the picture "so that he or she can be a caregiver, too". Having her own baby while mama feeds Miles may be helping Luna adjust to no longer being an only child—but if the point of a doll for an older sibling is for them to play caregiver, why isn't she trying to feed her "baby" herself?

Science may be able to explain why Luna would want to be as realistic as possible in her baby doll play.

A recent study of 100 3 to 6-year-olds found 74% of kids say they would rather really feed a baby than pretend to feed a baby. In another study out of Appalachian State University, researchers observed toddlers Luna's age and found that they were "were interested in 'real-world' materials and wanted to use those materials rather than toy items," and that "2-year-olds sought opportunities for doll play and engagement with materials they were seeing infants use."

"They preferred to use real baby bottles rather than toy bottles when feeding their dolls," the study's authors noted. "They were able to distinguish between play and real materials, and they would choose the real items."

In Luna's case, because she frequently sees her mother breastfeeding Miles, Teigen's breast is the "real-world material" for baby feeding in her world. It makes sense that she would want her baby doll to get the real deal.

In another example of her awesome mom skills, Teigen took Luna's doll feeding play in stride, and let the plastic baby "nurse" with Miles.

It means that she's got her hands full, but it also means she's got a smart little toddler whose brain is developing. Luna knows what's up.

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