Baby dolls are little kids’ first toys. There’s something calming about their pastel colors and cuteness that can entertain a baby for hours. It can also be their source of comfort especially during sleeping time, and it can also take their anxieties away. Dolls are your baby’s inanimate companion. It makes babies feel secure when parents are not around. But for a mere 12-month old, what should a good doll be like? As parents, it would be up to you to decide.
Why Babies Need Dolls
You might wonder why a baby needs a baby. Dolls can calm babies. They are easily bored and need something to entertain them on a visually and energetically. It doesn’t only let them see colors, they can also play with it. At the tender age of 1, babies can already learn how to hone their nurturing instincts. Some dolls have baby bottles, some dolls are battery operated and can cry. Babies tend to sleep with dolls and improve their creativity during playtime. In short, having a doll prepares your baby to become a socially skilled toddler. It is a great tool for early childhood learning.
You might think that dolls are just dolls and you can buy whatever is available. But what you do not understand is the importance of it being your child’s first doll or first toy for that matter. There are a lot of things you should consider and not just come over to the toy store to pick whatever’s on sale. So what are the things that you should watch out for? Here are some ideas that might help you decide.
There are a lot of things to look out for when choosing the right baby doll. A 12-month old kid still won’t be able to tell which is safe or what is right for them. But you, as a parent, already know how your child behaves with new things. Before purchasing or when choosing the right doll, ask yourself if it will be risky to leave your child with that object. Double check the packaging if it says there are removable parts that might be choking hazard.
Aside from safety, what the manufacturer’s used to produce the dolls and how they were made are also important. Materials used should have complied with the safety and quality standards. Low quality or cheaper dolls might have used resources that are dangerous. Dolls are usually made of plastic or cloth and babies usually put everything in their mouths. Imagine what your baby can ingest. Most doll packaging has manufacturing details printed on the box, so it’s important to read carefully.
Suitability to Child’s Age
Again, this is in terms of what your baby can handle. All 1-year olds are different from each other. Your child might be more mature than others and can behave well with toys. There are others who still don’t understand what dolls are for and might not work for them. It is the parent’s discretion as to what kind of doll they will let their child play, upon checking all the features and safety requirements. If you are unsure, you can always check the packaging to see if the doll is safe for a certain age. There are dolls that are only suitable for 17 months and older, which means it might not be safe for 12-month old babies. It will depend on how you know your child’s capacity and playing abilities.
Look and Feel
This entails the features of the doll in terms of looks and usability. Most babies are scared of how some dolls look like. A baby’s temperament on how they react to dolls or toys in general is unpredictable. You should be able to test this first as you don’t want to ruin your baby’s mood and waste money on something that your child does not like. Usability means how the baby can use it. Some dolls don’t have movable body parts. Some have flexible and functioning parts. Others might be battery-operated, electronic, or simply realistic such as having clothes to wear or feeding bottles. There are 100% soft dolls and others that have plastic parts in between. It’s really a matter of choosing what is best for baby.
You see? Selecting the perfect doll for your young baby is not easy as it seems. You have to consider so many factors that you might not even thought of before. Based on the criteria above, here are recommendations in choosing the best baby doll for your 1-year old child.
1. Classic So-Soft Baby Doll
When they say it is classic, it’s really classic. This doll maintains its quality even after so many years. Parents can still use if for their next babies. Some ladies remember having this as their childhood toy and still have them to this day. It has a satin peek-a-boo belly that is sure to be super soft and huggable, your baby will not let go of it. At 11 inches, it is small and perfect for 1-year olds.
2. Gloveleya Spring Baby Doll
This 16.5-inch girly doll is boasting of its quality and environment-friendly materials used for manufacturing. It’s a cloth doll made of fabric and cotton.
The arms and legs are long and perfect for cuddling especially at night. With this feature, it can also be used as a home decor too.
3. My First Baby Powder Pink - Madame Alexander
This 12-inch doll is made of soft fabric body. Hands and head are made of soft vinyl that can easily be grasped and held by a 1-year old.
The eyes and hair are painted, not sewn. The doll is wearing a super soft and thick sleeper that is perfect for cuddling. It is easy to clean the surface as well.
4. Manhattan Toy Baby Stella Peach Soft First Baby Doll
There are a lot of Baby Stella dolls to choose from. The entire collection from Manhattan Toy has received awards and can assure you of quality. Like many cloth dolls, it is super soft and huggable with fillings made of pellets.
The nice thing about this 15-inch doll is that it encourages more playtime because of its removable outfit and diaper, as well as a magnetic pacifier which the baby can easily attach to its mouth.
5. Adora PlayTime Baby Boy Doll Little Prince
This 13-inch doll is made of soft scented vinyl and handmade. It has a removable onesie outfit and bonnet.
The face and body has cute features. The eyes are moving which means it can close and open its eyelids.
The mouth has a hole where the tiny doll thumb can fit to show thumb sucking. It also has a feeding bottle accessory that goes with it. Aside from that, it can also be partnered with other Adora PlayTime accessories.
6. Fisher-Price Brilliant Basics Baby's First Doll
This small cloth doll is super soft and cuddly. For small 1-year old babies, the shape is easy to grasp and hold. It is also perfect for those younger than 12 months because it makes a rattling sound when you shake it.
Since it doesn’t have other remarkable features, it goes well with other Fisher-Price doll accessories.
7. GUND My First Dolly Stuffed Brunette Doll Plush
This 13-inch cloth doll is mostly embroidered, from the facial features and the decorative outfit. Nothing is removable so it’s safe even for smaller babies. It is super soft and cuddly, perfect for hugging especially during sleeping time.
This is a good example of a first baby doll for babies.
8. Mary Meyer Taggies Developmental Baby Doll
This small doll is only 8 inches tall with a super soft body and satin feet.
The facial features are embroidered and the other body parts are made of variety of textures that will definitely encourage different sensations. This is especially great for very young children who are experiencing such things for the first time.
It has tags all over the body where the baby can learn and develop what different body parts are called, always a plus (learn as you play).
9. Kidoozie Snug and Hug Baby Doll
This 12-inch soft and cuddly baby doll has a lot of features that can attract 1-year olds and older kids.
The eyelids can close and open, the outfit and the headband can be removed, the diaper can be changed, and there is a feeding bottle also included in the set.
Babies can already do role-playing games that can expand their imagination.
10. HABA Snug-up Dolly Luisa
This is a small cloth doll at 8 inches and perfect as a first doll for younger babies. Everything is sewn onto the body and guaranteed safe. It can be positioned to sit up. Instead of embroidery, the facial features are printed on the fabric.
It’s totally soft and cuddly for babies. Good news is that it can be air-dried after washing.
There is a boy version of this doll named Luis which can be a great combo for playtime.
Not easy as it seems
These are just some of the many choices in the market today. If you would notice, prices don’t really matter that much for these items. There were no issues on money. These are dolls for 1-year olds, and what’s important are the criteria for choosing as mentioned at the start. At the end of the day, it would be your baby’s comfort and joy that is the purpose of why you want to buy a doll. It’s not enough to read the label on the packaging or just a first look at the image of the doll. There might be parts that are not removable that are harmful for your child. There might be parts that are removable but do not pose a threat to your baby.
As a responsible parent, the actual handling and seeing the doll up-close will determine whether an item is good for your child. It would really depend on how you know your child, how your baby reacts to certain features, and the overall behavior. Even the safest doll might be dangerous to your child. Since babies are really not that keen on looking at pictures and determining it’s quality, it’s up to you to decide on which doll to buy online. It’s a risky decision, quite difficult actually, especially on the pros and cons. But there’s an assurance that your baby will enjoy whatever it is that you get. After all, you’ve got that connection. It’s just a matter of picking the doll that is best for baby and best for you.