A Woman Spends $7.5K on 13 Fake Babies, Says It’s Totally Worth It
Jess Ellis, the proud mom of 13 toy babies, shares her day-to-day life, as well as her doll creation hobby, with her TikTok followers. While some people believe her hobby of collecting and taking care of reborn dolls is obsessive, Ellis and her partner think it prepares them for actual parenthood. Ellis’s hyperrealistic doll collection cost her a whooping $7.5K, but according to the reborn mom, her pastime has several positives.
Jess Ellis purchased her first toy baby back in 2020.
In May 2020, Jess Ellis began her collection of reborn dolls, lifelike toy replicas of infants, during a period of feeling lonely. Ellis, hailing from East London, shared that her deep affection for babies and the soothing feeling of cradling one led her to this hobby. Her journey into this unique pastime commenced with the purchase of her initial doll, Rebecca, a one-month-old girl, for approximately $300. This marked the beginning of her growing fascination with reborn dolls.
Ellis’s most expensive doll cost her more than $2K.
After Rebecca, Ellis expanded her collection with the addition of Sam, a ’newborn,’ which she acquired in November 2020. Subsequently, she welcomed June, another 1-month-old; Brooklyn, an 8-month-old; Manuela, Zain, Lilly, Annalese, Aria, all in newborn forms; and Cookie, who was crafted to resemble a ’premature’ baby. Charlie, a 1-year-old, and Pippa, also 1-year-old, joined the collection. Furthermore, she introduced another doll, also named June, but this one aged 4.
In total, Jess Ellis invested approximately $7.5K in her distinctive assortment of 13 dolls. Her most costly acquisition was Cookie, a doll designed to imitate a premature baby girl, which came at a price exceeding $2K.
As of now, Jess Ellis and her partner are the proud parents of 13 reborn dolls.
Jess Ellis’s fiancé, Avery Raassen, a 33-year-old pastry chef, is known to be exceptionally supportive of her unique hobby. He actively participates in caring for the 13 ’babies’ they both cherish, assisting in dressing them up and tending to their diapers. Ellis mentioned that despite Raassen’s initial lack of experience in changing diapers or handling infants, his confidence grew as he interacted with these lifelike dolls.
However, Ellis emphasizes her clear understanding of the distinction between these dolls and real infants. She acknowledges, “I also recognize that these are not real babies and I often leave them in places you definitely should not leave a real baby — like a table or sofa.”
Recently, Ellis started creating and selling realistic dolls as well.
More recently, Jess Ellis has transformed her passion into a part-time venture aimed at contributing to the reborn doll community. She began crafting and selling reborn dolls online around four months ago, inspired by her long-standing interest in the field. Jess shared that the process typically takes about three weeks, with intermittent work, and she has generated a few thousand in earnings during this time.
Recalling her journey, Ellis mentioned, “I started making them four months ago, I have been thinking about it for a while. I wanted to see if I could create quite lifelike ones — I got a kit where they send everything you need to make one doll.” Initially, the experience proved challenging, but she discovered immense satisfaction in the process, even taking the initiative to strip and repaint the first doll she created.
The couple believes taking care of the reborns helps prepare them for parenthood.
While Jess Ellis and her partner openly discuss their aspiration to have a baby in the future, they are well aware of the significant responsibilities that parenthood entails and admit that they are not fully prepared for it at the moment. The reborn mom shared her perspective on the dolls, admitting that in a sense, the reborn dolls serve as a sort of placeholder to alleviate her longing for a baby. She takes care of them and changes their outfits frequently, which she finds to be a bonding experience. Both Ellis and her fiancé also believe that taking care of the doll babies helps them prepare for the time in the future when they’ll become parents.
Jess Ellis and her boyfriend also often take one of their doll children for a walk, to go on a date, or to the local supermarket. They usually use a pram or a carrier just like with a real baby. The doll mom has also recounted her encounters while strolling with her lifelike dolls. On several occasions, passersby have mistaken them for real babies. Sometimes, she takes the opportunity to clarify that they are indeed dolls and has found that people are often quite curious and engaged in conversation when she provides this explanation.
According to researchers, the reborn dolls can actually have a therapeutic effect.
While Jess Ellis found that taking her life-like dolls for walks helped with her anxiety, scientists think that taking care of reborn dolls can actually have additional therapeutic effects. Research indicates that cuddling a real baby can trigger the release of hormones that promote emotional well-being, and some psychologists posit that a similar phenomenon might occur with lifelike dolls. Dr. Raj Persaud, a consultant psychiatrist, suggests that the act of nurturing a real newborn baby stimulates the release of oxytocin in the mother, and he postulates that this might elucidate why “reborn mothers” develop strong emotional bonds with their reborn baby dolls.
Psychiatrist Gail Saltz, affiliated with New York Presbyterian Hospital, advocates for the use of reborn dolls as a valuable option for individuals who are not ready to commit to parenthood or as a source of solace for grieving parents. In the latter scenario, the reborn dolls may symbolize a meaningful step in the process of grieving. Meanwhile, Dr. Ian James, a medical professional at the Centre for the Health of the Elderly at Newcastle General Hospital in the United Kingdom, highlights the therapeutic benefits of elderly residents holding these dolls. He notes that doing so has a calming effect, promoting a sense of tranquility and serenity among the elderly.
Preparing for and experiencing motherhood can be an arduous journey with many ups and downs. Ashley Graham, who never shies away from showing it just how it is, decided to share her candid experiences of parenthood and gained the appreciation of her fans.