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The Best Baby Dolls for Playtime

child girl playing with her baby doll in day care center
Oksana Kuzmina/Shutterstock

Toys can play an influential part in a child’s physical and mental development. When they are ready to graduate from number blocks, look for a baby doll. These cuddly toys encourage your child to nurture and support something outside of themselves. Interacting with a baby doll can teach them emotional cues and challenge their motor skills as they feed, change, and play with the doll. Here are some fantastic baby dolls we recommend.

Choosing a Baby Doll That’s Right for Your Child

Keep these things in mind when purchasing a baby doll:

  • Features: Baby dolls that feature sounds like crying, snoring, or cooing provide your child with an opportunity to practice communication and increase their emotional intelligence. Opening eyes and mouths also create a more realistic experience.
  • Accessories: Look for baby dolls that are able to change outfits, hairstyles, or diapers so that your child can customize their look. Items such as baby bottles, blankets, and pacifiers should be provided for older children only, as they can be possible choking hazards. Strollers and cribs can be an expensive addition to your child’s toy collection, but they provide more activities for your child to act out.
  • Material: Dolls made entirely out of soft material are ideal for those that enjoy rough play or that like to sleep with their toys. If you are looking for a doll with stiff pieces, look for soft-touch vinyl for the experience of smooth skin. Baby dolls with added weight to their bottom can stand up on their own, but they can be too heavy for small children.

Best Soft Doll: Manhattan Toy Wee Baby Stella Beige

This plush baby doll is perfect for young children to cuddle, play, or nap with, as its body is made from soft materials, safe for kids 1-year-old and up. This doll is easy to play with as the pacifier is magnetic, allowing small hands to reattach it without a struggle. The dress features a fabric hook and loop for quick and safe changes into different outfits. Kids can also play as a parent with the removable diaper. And if Stell isn’t the perfect fit, Manhatten Toys produces dolls just like her with a variety of skin tones and hairstyles.

Best Soft Doll

Manhattan Toy Wee Baby Stella Beige 12" Soft Baby Doll

This huggable doll is perfect for gifting as it comes in a pastel box that kids will love to unwrap.

Most Realistic: Adora Playtime Little Prince 13-inch Baby Boy

Your child will love to nurture this hyper-realistic doll with its adorable features and abilities. The eyes open and close with movement, making it feel as though the doll is really falling asleep. The mouth holds the baby’s thumb to mimic the common baby soothing action. The skin features Gentle Touch vinyl that is soft to the touch and has a fresh baby powder scent. The weighted bean bottom keeps the baby sitting up during play and gives it a decent weight.

Most Realistic

ADORA Playtime Little Prince 13 inch Baby Boy Doll with embroidered frog sleeper, hat and bottle

With moving eyes, a fresh scent, and soft material, your kids will feel like are a real caretaker.

Best With Stroller: My First Baby Doll Stroller Soft Body Talking Baby

If your child likes to take their toys wherever they go, invest in this baby doll and stroller combo that makes it easy and fun. The stroller is designed with a seat belt to keep the baby doll safely tucked away and curved handles created specifically for small hands. It comes fully assembled but folds up for storage or travel. The accompanying doll is made with soft vinyl material and features handcrafted facial features that make the baby feel and look real. The doll also plays different noises, including calls to papa, mama, and cries.

Best With Stroller

My First Baby Doll Stroller, Soft Body 16 Inch Baby Doll Included Fun Play Combo Set for Babies Infants Toddlers Girls Kids

Encourage your kids to explore their surroundings by taking their baby doll out on a stroll with this perfectly kid-sized stroller.

Best With Accessories: Baby Magic Crib Time Fun

Playtime with this baby doll will never end with all the accessories. This doll can wear a daytime outfit where it can drink from her bottle and play, or a pajama set for when your child is ready to tuck her into the crib at night. When you press the baby’s hand, it calls for her mom and dad, snores, cries, or greets you. If that didn’t make the doll feel real enough, it also comes with a fresh lavender scent that will soothe your child.

Best With Accessories

Baby Magic 12" Crib Time Fun

Let your child nurture and love this baby doll by using the pajamas, blanket, lotion, bottle, and crib to take care of its needs.

Camryn Lang Camryn Lang
Camryn Lang is a freelance writer and copyeditor that has produced a wide variety of content, from breaking news and memorial tributes to web content and fiction novels. While working on her bachelor's degree in English at Texas A&M University, Camryn led writers and editors at the nationally recognized university newspaper, The Battalion. During her free time, she enjoys reading thrillers and fantasy novels and eating desserts. Read Full Bio »
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