Huffpost Parents

Alice Winstone Spent $19,000 To Grow Fake-Baby Family To 50 In Reborn Doll Craze

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Alice Winstone said she generally doesn't take her dolls on outings because
Alice Winstone said she generally doesn't take her dolls on outings because "people think I'm nuts."

The Reborn Doll craze just got a little more intense. Alice Winstone has reportedly spent nearly $19,000 to buy fifty of the babies dolls. They fill the rooms of her Cardigan, Mid Wales, home and take up lots of her time as well. Winstone said in a "This Morning" chat on YouTube (watch below) that it took her three days to change all of the babies' clothes, and none of them wear the same outfits.

"I began looking after the dolls like I would my own babies - they are so life-like and I feel such a close bond to them," she told the Daily Mail.

Winstone, a 39-year-old mother of five flesh-and-blood children, has made the media rounds recently as the Reborn trend has gained steam. Grown women and other artisans make and buy real-looking baby dolls. Often painstakingly crafted out of vinyl or even silicone, they can be outfitted with breathing simulators and heartbeats, too. One of the fabricated newborns cost her around $2200.

She admitted that the hobby ruined her marriage. Her husband left, and of the dolls, she explained to Closer, "I prefer having them to having sex with [him]!"

Becky Lombard of Texas told the "Today" show she owns 10 of the dolls. Featured placing one of her Reborns in the car seat and then going to the gym to show off her faux little one, Lombard said she began collecting when she could no longer have children. She found the first one on eBay.

Winstone, too, can no longer have children due to a blood condition, leaving reporters to surmise that the hobby satisfies her maternal instinct. They might not be far off.

Winstone, who does not work, said on YouTube that she took in foster children for a while, then cared for up to 3,000 kittens. Yet she couldn't pinpoint the source of her, well, obsession.

"I haven't got a clue what it's about," she said in a video accompanying the Mail story. "All I know is when you pick one up and you start put clothes on it, you just want more. They make you feel happy." She added that she could "cuddle without the crap."

Psychologist Jane McCartney told Winstone on "This Morning," that it was encouraging to hear Winstone differentiate between what is real and what is not. "I don't think you harm anybody by collecting these," McCartney said.

Winstone said her children, three of whom still live at home, have mixed feelings about the dolls. She has been known to take one of her favorite dolls to the zoo and outfit him in pricey UGG baby boots, the Telegraph wrote.

But overall she's cautious about taking her bogus babies on outside trips. Asked why, she replied to "This Morning," "Cause people think I'm nuts."