Sabrina Lindbjerg, 21, from Haslev, Denmark, had always dreamed of being a mum and got her first hyper-realistic plaything when she was just 14. She was stunned by how real reborns – dolls transformed by an artist to resemble a human infant – looked.
Sabrina charts her toy baby journey on YouTube channel LoveMyRebornBaby, which has racked up more than 258,000 followers.
“Reborn dolls are not for young girls only. It’s pretty much for everyone who knows how to take care of the young girls, young boys, older women or men,” she said.
“How I treat my babies, when I make videos for YouTube, I role play, meaning I treat them like they’re real babies. I do that for fun, because I love making those kind of videos, and I know that’s what my subscribers like to watch.
“I don’t do the same things off camera, as I do when I film. I do like to change my dolls, cuddle them while I watch a movie, and take cute pictures with them for my Instagram. I still spend a lot of time with them, even though I’m not filming.”
Sabrina says reborns have become popular worldwide, and fans have set up thousands of YouTube accounts.
Sabrina started making reborns to sell in 2011. Each doll she makes can fetch anything between £150 to £300. Now, she owns 12 dolls called: Spencer, Aneska, Haylee, Novah, Marley, Leah, Gabby, Ashley, Cayden, Aiden, Ethan, Matthew.
Sabrina has lost count of how much money she’s spent on her reborns. She has a nursery and clothes for them, but the most expensive doll she’s ever bought cost her approximately £1,600.
Explaining the process of making the dolls, she said: “Reborning, is where I paint my doll kits. They come as a blank kit, head, arms and legs, and a cloth body. I then paint it, with special reborn paint, and they go in the oven, every time they have a new layer on.
“I have my very own way of painting my dolls. It takes about five to eight hours for me to paint a doll, which is not long, compared to others. I do also root them, which means, I give them hair.
“How I do that, is I use a special rooting needle, that puts one to two hairs in at a time, and rooting a doll head, takes about six to nine hours for me, depending on the size of the doll head.
“You can get them with closed or open eyes. I then put them together, and fill up their stuff bodies, and give them a cute outfit on to go home in.”
She added: “Reborn dolls, are dolls that look like real babies. They can’t do anything, like cry, eat or poop. They only look real, and feels like a real baby when holding them. You can get silicone babies, that can drink and pee though.
“Silicone babies are a full body silicone doll, that you can bathe and give a pacifier if the doll has an open mouth.”
Sabrina said reborns and silicone dolls are “very expensive”. They’re all unique and one-of-a-kind, since they’re all hand made.
She said: “Reborn and silicone dolls are not toys and shouldn’t be given to small kids, who don’t know how to take care of them. They are very fragile and should be handled with care.”
Sabrina admits she receives a lot of hateful comments online because of her unusual hobby.
She said: “I get hate daily. I just block the people and delete the comments, because I get hundreds of positive, amazing and sweet comments too every day, and they are the ones that mean the most to me, so the few people that hate on me, I couldn’t care less.
“This is something I do, because I love it, and it makes me happy. People can have their opinion, but no matter what they say, I would never change the way I am.
“I do understand, that some people think it’s a bit weird, if they’ve never heard about it before, but it’s just a hobby like any other hobbies.
“I’m not not normal because I collect reborn dolls, it’s just a different hobby. It makes me happy, and I know that I make my subscribers happy, and that’s all that matters to me.
What is a reborn doll?
A reborn doll is a manufactured skin doll that has been transformed by an artist to resemble a human infant with as much realism as possible.
“At first, I was a bit embarrassed to tell people, but I told myself, that there’s nothing to be embarrassed about. This is my hobby and my job, it’s different, and I shouldn’t be embarrassed of who I am. It’s makes me happy.”
Sabrina and her partner Robin are 23-weeks pregnant with her son who is due in May, and she has started another YouTube channel charting her pregnancy called, Sabrina and Baby.
She added: “My message to convey would just be, don’t be ashamed or embarrassed if you like reborns or just normal dolls. If you’re thinking about getting one, just go for it. They are amazing and so cute.”