Baby dolls are perhaps the most popular toys for kids and there are many good reasons for this. Apart from the development of the child as a whole and gender identity, the basic social skills are also learned. As they pretend to be the parents, kids help each other take care of the baby by feeding the doll and put it to sleep. The kids also learn about being responsible and their imagination is also developed. In addition, their vocabulary is widened from the role play. Feelings of compassion and empathy are also acquired from playing with dolls as they learn that other people have feelings and they start to understand themselves in the process.
Our Top 3 Picks
- JC Toys La Baby
- Realistic Design
- Melissa & Doug Annie
- Comes with Accessories
- Gund My First Dolly
- Soft & Huggable
Indeed it’s amazing how helpful baby dolls can be to a child. You can try any of the 10 best baby dolls in 2018 and see for yourself how happy your little one can become. Surely you’ll be just as happy considering the benefits.
Criteria Used in Evaluation of The Top Baby Dolls
Searching for the best baby dolls for your child can be a little bit hectic, especially if you are not sure of what type of dolls are fit for your child. The happiness of a parent or guardian lies in seeing the child have fun and happy while playing either alone or with other kids and their dolls. The issue arises when trying to find the best suiting baby dolls for your child. Worry no more. This guide is here to help you understand what baby doll is perfect for your child.
The following factors were used when picking the best baby dolls.
The Safety of Your Child
On the wish list of any parent, is the safety of the kid, not only while in school or at home, but also while playing with his or her toys with friends. This makes safety a vital factor to consider always while looking for the best dolls for the child.
The baby doll material should be that which is harmless and good to be used by a child. Most kids are reckless and would do anything with the doll including beating or throwing the dolls at each other as they are playing. Signs of the doll’s material tear and wear or even the doll’s pieces getting loose could be a choking hazard as the child is playing. Secure dolls have the manufactures details on either the packaging of the doll or on the doll itself. It is hence recommended that the buyer should not pick a product that has no manufacturer’s details and sometimes the CE marking, no matter how attractive, appealing or enticing the doll might look like. It is easier to follow up on the manufactures in case anything happens.
In Europe, most of the dolls comply with the European Toy Safety Regulations and also have the CE mark that has been applied by the manufactures. The CE mark makes the doll be identified to be safe and is authorized to be sold freely within Europe.
Your Child’s Age
Every manufactured doll has a recommended age bracket that is suitable. This is because of children’s range of physical development and requirement. For instance, if you buy a doll that is for an older girl, maybe seven years of age, and you give it to a three year old, they will not understand how to enjoy the doll. The little girl will not be able to properly use the limbs of the doll and therefore she cannot dress the doll. The hair of the doll will be also be difficult to maintain as well as clothing. The doll could also be non-cuddly for the three year old and too big and heavy for her to move around with it. At the end of the day, the child will abandon the doll in her toy box and everyone else will assume that she does not like dolls rather than the doll at hand is not suitable and appropriate for her age. It is important to note that having age as a factor in choosing the best doll for your child is not just based on the advancement of your child but on his or her physical capacity and developmental stage.
The Hair Type of The Doll
For the babies, their recommended dolls have two types of hair, the rooted hair and wigged hair. Mostly, the hairstyles for these baby dolls are usually long because most of the girls in this age bracket generally start having an interest in hair styling. For them, the more and longer hair available on the doll, the more adventurous it can be.
Dolls rooted hair: this is securely and systematically attached to the head of the doll by use of a machine that knots the hair of the doll to the inside of the head and hence hair is prevented from loosening. Rooted type of hair is very tough and washing, brushing or styling it can do no harm. It is easy to notice a doll that has rooted hair because one sees small sections of hair that are arranged in a specific order, come out of small holes from the head of the doll.
On the other hand, wigged hair is made of a mesh and the hair is knitted by hand in particular rows to the mesh. The made wigs are then securely glued to the head of the doll. Differently from the rooted hair, wigged hair is noticeable by seeing a mesh holding the rows of hair on the head of the doll. There are instances where short strands of hair are visible. These are the end of the strands that are knotted on the wig lace. Wigged hair is more expensive as compared to the rooted hair option. Wigged hair gives allowance to the manufacturers to design hairstyles that are realistic in the appearance of the doll and can stay longer that the rooted hair. Partings and fringes are muddled able giving the baby a lot of hair styling options. These hairs are brushed and styled too. It is, however delicate since it requires the child to take much care of it so that the hair does not get wet. It is preferable not washed.
Careful babies are best with playing with wigged hair since they will take good care of it. While the rooted hair can suit any baby since no special attention is required.
The Eye Type of the Doll
Dolls for babies in this age group have different types of eyes. Some of them have closing eyes, sometimes referred to sleepy eyes, while some have fixed (inset) eyes. The fixed eyes are constantly opening and always have a natural appearance because of that. The eyelashes are designed to be bushier than the closing eyes. Closing eyes tend to have real eyelashes, placed on the top area of the eyelid, just like normal human beings. In most cases, the closing eyes are the most expensive options as compared to the fixed eyes dolls.
The quality of the eyes defines the general beauty of the doll. The more sparkly they can be, the more appealing, realistic and attractive the appearance of the doll. Despite that, different babies prefer different doll eyes. Some prefer closing eyes while other prefer fixed. It then narrows down to liking different colors of the doll’s pupil. Before choosing the best doll for your baby, it is good to have his or her preference.
The Doll’s Body Type
All dolls have articulation of joints so as to allow them to pose. Some of the articulated joints are better than others depending on the material quality. The articulated limbs have joints that give allowance to the limbs to move in all the expected directions while limbs with swivel joints are only able to move back and forth within the joints circle.
Most of the advanced dolls have an extra joint in their knees, elbows and wrists. These features make the doll look more natural in appearance. Multi jointed dolls, however, they are complex for a less than a six year old girl to pose. They are therefore not recommended to them since they can get injured while trying hard to make the doll pose.
Soft fabric bodied dolls are tactile and comfortable for young girls to play with and even carry around or cuddle with in bed.
What Determined the Top Baby Dolls in Our List
Among the different kinds of toys known to man, dolls remain one of the most sought after and the most valuable especially in terms of helping young children find more meaning in the world they live in. That’s why we had to keep this in mind when we chose the best dolls for this list. First, they must be soft enough for younger children to find comfort in playing with these toys. Second, they should have movable features to allow children to manipulate these easily to conform to what kids have in mind. Third, they must also be made of safe materials while their construction must also not bring harm to kids, especially the little ones. Fourth, these infants’ and older children’s toy figures must have obtained a considerable acceptance among parents and their children as evidenced by the number of positive reviews as well as the average customer satisfaction score of each product which we pegged at a minimum of 4.2 stars. Lastly, in cases where there is a tie between two or more products, we considered the reputation and credibility of the toy manufacturer. These were essentially the steps that we had to take in coming up with a list of the 12 best baby dolls in 2018.
Reasons Why Kids Should Play with Dolls
Whether we care to admit it or not there are just so many benefits of playing with dolls. These can include remarkable improvements or enhancements in a child’s psychological and emotional well-being to complement developments in his or her physical and social aspects. Now, we said “his or her” because experts strongly recommend that “ALL” kids should play with baby dolls. And here are the reasons why.
- Develops nurturing and caring skills – The traditional view of men as un-caring and unfit for showing caring and nurturing attributes is now slowly being dissolved. In its stead are daddies who are more hands-on when caring for their babies. They are not ashamed to be seen in public carrying their little ones, hugging them, feeding them, and even changing their diapers. Children today need to appreciate this changing norm and that young boys will be better prepared for the future if they play with dolls today so they will develop essential caring skills and nurturing techniques that will make them better dads in the future.
- Enhances motor skills – Young children will learn to button and unbutton their shirts a lot better if they train using dolls. This provides them with the needed motor skills to accomplish other things.
- Boosts cognitive skills – Doll play is not all about having fun as it also involves thinking in the form of imagination. Kids can conjure of images of a caring mom or a nurturing dad. These provide the necessary ingredients for optimum cognitive development.
- Helps build social skills – Dolls don’t talk back yet they provide the medium upon which young tots will learn how to communicate and build relationships with others. This helps prepare them in interacting with other people.
The Bottom Line
Doll play is important for all children. Both boys and girls can benefit immensely from role playing caring and nurturing attributes of mom and dad. With the 12 best baby dolls in 2018, you can give them the right tools to learn these important life skills.
Frequently Asked Questions
Q: Will buying my little girl a doll that looks like her affect her negatively?
A: No, buying your girl child a doll that looks like does not affect her negatively. Instead, it is a very good way to positively reinforce the child’s self-image. Most manufactures have embraced not creating dolls with a range of skin colors and hair. To reflect on the modern society, they produce a mix of dolls with varying looks.
Q: Is the doll’s price a factor to consider while choosing the best doll for my girl?
A: The price of the doll is definitely a good factor to look upon when selecting the perfect doll for your child. You should always stick around your approximated budget to ensure that you do not spend more than you should have on a just a doll. But at the same time, one should keep in mind that most of the economical units are most times not trustworthy.
There are different price ranges for different categories of baby dolls. Doll models manufactured from famous brands are considered to be on the higher price point and having good quality. You can also find not well known brands that have good quality dolls at a fair price. The bottom line should be one should consider other factors in selecting the best doll for the child alongside the price.
Q: What are the general safety tips while using the baby dolls?
A: It is important to make sure safety measures are put in place when you have a baby doll for your child for her, especially if she is younger than six years. The following are some of the tips.
- Always be on the check, monitor and supervise your child while playing
- After buying the baby doll, make sure you read and understand the instructions. You can also keep the packaging and the manual for future reference
- It is equally important to read the major instructions to the child and help her understand
- The toy should only be used for its intended manufactured purpose
- Do not take safety tips and warnings lightly
- Make regular checks on the dolls in case of damage
- Have a good storage for the doll, different from the other toys and to their intended age groups
- Give clear instruction to the children to play with appropriate toys for their age
- Be more attentive to the kid as she plays with new dolls or toys
Q: Is it recommended for my girl to change the baby doll’s clothing on a daily basis?
A: Change of the doll’s cloth on a daily basis is not advisable because they lead to the paint and/or the seal to wear thin and can lead to damage of the baby doll. Washing of the doll frequently is not advisable either or brushing/combing the hair regularly can lead to the hair strands of the baby doll to break, damaged or pulled out. More care instructions of the baby doll are explained in the user manual from the manufactures that comes in the packaging of the baby doll.
Q: What is used in making the insides of the dolls?
A: There are different materials that are used when making the inside of baby dolls. Most top baby doll companies, though use the recommended best quality materials. The best weighing and stuffing materials are premium poly-fill and premium glass beads. Most baby dolls though are supposed to be light enough for the targeted age range child. Some baby dolls, especially for younger kids are rather not filled with anything or just a little premium poly-fill. For the hair bows and pacifiers, strong earth magnets are used.
Q: Do real baby clothes fit baby dolls?
A: Most manufactured baby dolls are designed to approximate the size of a real baby and hence, often the clothes of a small baby can fit a baby doll. Just like there is no exact size of a real baby, different dolls are also sized differently depending on the age bracket it is designed to fit. Baby clothes also come in different sizes, it is hence best to try the clothes on your baby doll when you get it home.
Q: What are the materials used in composing most baby doll products?
A: For purposes of safety assurance to the customers, most baby dolls manufacturers comply their materials to the international toy testing standards and also the individual state standards within the region the manufacturers are situated. This will guarantee the safety of your child when she is playing with the doll. Mostly, vinyl and ABS plastic are used to make the body of the baby doll. This is because the PVC used in the products does not have Phthalates and are lead-free.