If you’ve ever spent time with a little nurturer, you know how much they love to cling to baby dolls. They become to attached to them that they almost an extra limb for some kids. Baby dolls are pretty basic, but there are a few things to think about when you’re looking to buy your baby their own baby.
WHAT TO CONSIDER
Buying a baby doll isn’t a big undertaking, but there are a few things you should think about before making your purchase, such as your child’s age, your budget, and if you want it to be a low-tech or high-tech toy. Baby dolls can surprisingly get a bit expensive — and since the big-dollar baby dolls are heirloom-quality, the sticker shock can be quite high, especially considering there are likely cheaper dupes on the market.
- Age: Young babies need soft toys without things like sewn-on eyes or small parts that can become choking hazards, while older preschoolers tend to like more detailed baby dolls with lots of bells and whistles. Older kids may want more sophisticated, pretend play dolls that focus on accessories and style.
- Cost: Hold onto your hats, parents, and caregivers — because these dolls can go from under $10 to hundreds of dollars (yes, you read that right!).
- Tech Type: Baby dolls range from soft, squishy toys to toys with movable arms and legs. Some high-tech baby dolls even wet themselves and cry until you change them — an interactive feature that kids oddly go bananas over. There are dolls in all of these categories at every price point on our list.
Got a little nurturer who loves to hug and care for their dolls? Check out our picks for the best dolls you can get your petite parent.
Age Range: 3 to 6 years
Created by mimes and puppeteers, this baby doll does more than babies do IRL. Your little one can play peek-a-boo or cuddle with their Baby Alive grow-up doll — and that’s not all! These dolls will respond to being fed, kissed, played with, and spoken to.
Over time, the doll’s language can grow to over 75 words and phrases, and she’ll even respond to your kiddo’s cues. It’s a unique baby doll that has three growth stages and features lots of interactivity.
More: The Best Toys for Kids to Cure Their Perpetual Boredom
Age Range: 2 to 5 years
If your little one is itching to take care of a baby doll (we know he can’t even take care of himself!), give him a doll from the New York Doll Collection to start with. The soft build of the doll makes it easy to learn how to hug, hold, and nurture someone tiny.
One excellent thing about this doll collection is that it comes in so many different skin colors. Kids need both windows and mirrors during play. They should see themselves, and see the world around them. This collection does just that.
Age Range: 3 to 7 years
This isn’t the highest-tech baby doll, but it’s plenty to keep preschoolers engaged. This baby doll makes 10 sound effects, including crying, laughing, and cute little pacifier gurgles. The dress cleans easily, as does the doll itself. It’s one of the most-popular dolls available, and for good reason.
Age Range: 6 to 10 years
This Cutesies doll is one of the most adorable baby dolls we’ve ever seen — did you see those bright green eyes?! Her limbs and head are movable and easy to wash. Plus, that miniature cupcake onesie will make your kid feel like they’re holding onto the sweetest thing.
This doll is slightly delicate, and the materials that the doll are made from are a bit heavier than other dolls on this list. So while it’s stunning and fun to have, the under-3 set should steer clear.
Age Range: 6 months to 2 years
This rag doll is cool, dude. Seriously, he’s low-maintenance and comes with a magnetic binky that your little man will love to nurture him with. He’ll end up going everywhere with your kid!
It comes in tons of different hair and skin colors, and thanks to the soft body and lack of beaded eyes or batteries, it’s great for even he youngest babies.
Age Range: 18 months to 6 years
Snatch a cute Cabbage Patch baby for your little one, just like the one you had in your childhood. This baby doll comes with a blanket, pacifier, a personalized birth certificate, and authentic adoption papers — making each and every one unique. It’s a classic for a reason — and babies still love this brand.
Plus, we can’t get enough of the sweet kitten onesie and ears!
Age Range: 2 to 5 years
This Baby Alive doll can suck on her thumb just like a real baby — a feature your little one will be very amused by. She can also be fed with the bottle accessory that’s included. Her body is softly stuffed, and the limbs are similarly soft, but made of a malleable polymer.
It comes with the bottle, and every doll will also get a blanket and pacifier. I love that your baby can suck her thumb like a real baby does as well. It’s a bit reminiscent of the Baby Alive dolls from when millennials were babies, and that’s pretty fun.
Age Range: 3 to 7 years
This baby dolls’ cheeks actually blush! She also makes 15 realistic baby sounds, and my goodness, they’re all so sweet — but her accessories are where my daughter thinks Sydney really shines.
Her soft cardigan, flexible wings, and the cup she drinks from are all color coordinated and work to interact with the doll. She also comes with a pair of shoes and a matching pacifier — plus, her shimmery outfits and shoes are changeable.