27/08/2012 14:41 BST | Updated 22/05/2015 06:12 BST

Mum-Of-Five's Obsession With 50 Fake Babies Causes Marriage Split

Mother-of-five's obsession with fake babies Caters

A mum of five who can't have more children has spent thousands of pounds filling her home with 50 fake babies.

Baby obsessive Alice Winstone, 39, spends her days washing, changing nappies, caring for and buying clothes for her spooky brood of Reborn Dolls. She even takes her babies out for day trips in the car and for 'fresh air' in their prams.

Unable to cope with her obsession, her husband Chris moved out of their home five years ago.

Alice explained: "Chris didn't understand why I treated my dolls like real babies - he just didn't get it.

"I tried telling him how happy they make me but he just thought it was a stupid obsession.


They soon started to affect our sex life as I would want some of them to come to bed with us, but Chris refused. We were arguing about other things in our relationship, but the dolls really didn't help - he said they freaked him out because they looked so real.


"I wouldn't have given up my dolls for Chris - we come as a package.

"I like them close to me, and I'm never far away from them for long.

Mother-of-five's obsession with fake babies Caters

"After Chris left, I down-sized my double bed to a single and turned our room into a nursery. I didn't need the extra space and it meant there was more room for my dolls and their stuff."

Three of her five children still share their home in Cardigan, Mid Wales with Alice's fake babies and their expensive baby paraphenalia.

Mother-of-five's obsession with fake babies Caters

Alice had been told after her becoming pregnant with youngest daughter Jessica, now 12, that she had a blood disorder which would make another pregnancy unsafe.

Desperate for an outlet for her maternal intinct, Alice said: "I tried taking in kittens, and even fostering children but I couldn't bear the part where I had to say goodbye.

"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.


It's the best of both worlds as well - I get to dress them up, do their hair and wash their clothes without the endless dirty nappies and sleepless nights!


She bought her first fake baby, a £180 doll called Emily, after seeing her on the back of a magazine and 'falling head over heels in love with her'.

She went on to buy 13 more in quick succession, and admitted that soon after she 'couldn't stop.'

She said that despite the misgivings of husband Chris, she was 'astonished to feel such a close bond to a doll'.

Since then she has spent seven years and over £12,000 filling her home with the scarily lifelike Reborn Dolls. The dolls can cost up to £1,200 each and can even have fake heartbeats.

Alice's medical issue means she does not work, instead dedicating her days to caring for the babies who never grow up. She even sleeps with her realistic looking babies, which are made out of vinyl.

Alice's three youngest children, Kyle, 17, Charlie, 15, and Jessica, 12, still live at home, sharing what little space is not taken over with fake babies. Her oldest two, Jade, 22 and Ben, 21, have left home.

She insisted: "Of course, I love my kids more – I know these babies aren't real. I'm not mental."

But she then added: "No relationship will ever come between me and my babies, and I wouldn't give them up for my children. It's me and the babies - they're everywhere."

Despite her assurances that her own flesh and blood children are more important, the mother of five has admitted to dressing her favourite doll Rhys (who cost £1,200) up in Ugg boots and taking him on day trips to the zoo.

She said: "Rhys is my favourite, I like him to sleep with me every night.

Mother-of-five's obsession with fake babies Caters

"I recently took him to Chester Zoo - loads of people came up to me and told me how cute he is, and they couldn't believe it when I told them he was a reborn doll and not a baby.

'I buy him Next clothes and UGG boots as I want him to look nice.'

Alice's reborns are so realistic, she was once stopped by police when she had four of them on the back seat.

She said: "The police officer told me I needed to get car seats for my children as it was dangerous for them to travel without them.

"When I told him they were dolls, he wouldn't believe me - I think he thought I was crazy!

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