Dolls can be a child’s first friends, even as he or she has yet to learn social interactions and form friendships with others. These toys can also act as a security blanket to snuggle with, a way to imitate the parents’ way of caring, and a tool for engaging in pretend play with others. Indeed, the best baby doll for your child can become a cherished toy today and a treasured memento in the coming years!
Nowadays, the benefits of playing with dolls apply to both girls and boys. The trick is in choosing the best doll that will suit your child’s gender, age, and early interests as well as your goals in giving him or her the toy.
Dolls have numerous benefits for children. These toys encourage their physical skills, such as in manipulating buttons, zippers and ribbons in preparation for bathing and dressing themselves; their mental skills, such as in learning the parts of the body; and their social skills, particularly in role playing, caring for others, and sharing with others. Parents can also use dolls in introducing a new sibling to their older children.
Top 10 Best Baby Doll Reviews
1. The New York Doll Collection Soft Body Doll in Gift Box
This New York Doll Collection Soft Body Doll is the best baby doll for 3 year old in my opinion because it’s so easy to handle, hold and cuddle for a toddler! Plus, it’s easy to clean since it can be washed and dried in the washing machine, and it won’t come out the worse for wear, a convenient feature for parents who can’t be bothered with regular hand washing. For small and subtle stains, however, it’s best to spot-clean it since one too many cycles may promote premature wear and tear.
Your child will definitely love its soft and cushy feel akin to a teddy bear but with baby-like features. You may even be surprised that your child is carefully holding it in her arms, just as you do with her, but it’s also possible that it will be dragged about like any doll. At bedtime, your child may likely sleep with it because it’s just so cuddly.
The head, arms and legs are made of sturdy vinyl so there’s little chance of these parts becoming prematurely worn out from all the cuddling and snuggling. These parts can also be spot-cleaned with a damp cloth when these become dirty or dingy. These are designed with amazing detail, too, so the doll can become a tool for teaching your child about body parts.
This doll is available in several ethnicities aside from Caucasian, such as Asian, Hispanic, and African-American. Every doll model is dressed in a cute pink-and-white onesie and a matching hat.
- Soft and cuddly
- Machine washable
- Charming design for girls
- Encourages creative play
- May be smaller than other dolls
- May look more like a boy than a girl
2. Gund My First Dolly Stuffed Brunette Doll Plush
This Gund My First Dolly is a stuffed toy that can become your baby’s first-ever doll since her newborn days. There’s no danger of suffocation and strangulation since there are no dangling ribbons, protruding parts, and hard plastic, among other potential hazards. Place it in your baby’s crib and let her discover the joys of playing with a doll at her own pace.
The details on the doll’s face are embroidered, from the cute eyes and button nose to the smiling mouth. These are noticeable enough to attract your baby’s attention yet subtle enough not to overwhelm her, not to mention that the smiling face can elicit giggles from her.
The doll has brown hair and brown eyes, which are accented by a floppy, flower-accented pink hat – truly, it’s a girly-girl doll! The pink dress is such a feminine touch that you may even want to find a similar dress for your precious girl!
Since it can become dirty after one too many encounters with spit-ups, among other accidents babies are prone to make, it should be regularly cleaned. No problem here as it can be washed along with the rest of the laundry in the washing machine.
As your baby grows, she will appreciate the extra-soft body of her first baby doll, too. The body’s so soft with only premium materials used, and no hard materials inside it.
- Suitable for a newborn
- Safe for all ages
- Easy to clean
- Tall enough to be a cuddly toy
- Lightweight suitable for carrying around
- May be too light for toddlers
- May only be suitable for girls
3. Playskool Classic Dressy Kids Boy Plush Toy
In a way, the Playskool Classic Dressy doll is the best interactive baby doll if you’re looking for a teaching tool for your child. Plus, it’s a great toy for both boys and girls so it can be handed down in the family and borrowed by your child’s friends. It’s available in blue so boys won’t be embarrassed to bring it along to their play dates; even a toddler already has an awareness of gender preferences.
But this isn’t just a doll that your child can play with either! It’s a practical doll in that it teaches children the small tasks involved in dressing and undressing, from zipping to fastening. It has a button, zipper, and ribbon, among others, for this purpose.
Your child can learn the basics of zipping a zipper, opening and closing buttons and button holes, and fastening clothes, as well as buckling belts and tying shoelaces. These are all life skills that require hand-eye coordination, fine motor skills, and patience, perhaps with precision thrown in. Your child will also have fun dressing and undressing his dapper-looking doll, a process that will strengthen his imagination and pretend play skills.
Your toddler will love bringing it along, too, on your trips, perhaps to preschool to show off to his friends. Don’t worry as it’s so easy to carry, thanks to its built-in clip. You can easily wash it in the washing machine, too, when it becomes dirty from all that playing, showing off, and dragging around.
- Modern design and look
- Allows your child to practice dressing
- Soft plush body
- Easy to clean and wash
- Suitable for boys
- Large button can be hard for small hands to manipulate
- Vest doesn’t actually come off
4. Baby Starters Plush Snuggle Buddy , Sugar N Spice Doll
Made of 100% polyester, the Baby Starters Plush Snuggle Buddy should last for years with regular washings, among other proper care measures. It can be washed either by hand or in the washing machine; read the label for the instructions (e.g., no bleach). It’s such an easy material to handle that spot-cleaning small stains with a damp cloth is possible.
The doll is so soft that it feels like cotton candy or clouds. There are no small pieces in and out of the doll’s body, too, so there are no choking hazards, a cause for concern among parents. Babies can choke on even from the smallest objects, and toys are among the most common causes for choking.
There are also no rough edges that can irritate your baby’s soft and sensitive skin. With its super squishy and cushiony feel, your baby will love squeezing, hugging and cuddling it, too. Unlike many cheap soft dolls, however, it quickly reverts to its original size and shape so there’s no issue about it being too flat too soon.
The seams appear to be finely stitched, too, so the doll should withstand years of relatively rough play from a rambunctious toddler. It’s a cute character, too, which will attract and sustain your child’s attention for several years.
- Soft, cushy and plush toy
- Durable construction
- Machine washable
- Encourages creativity and imagination
- Safe to play for all ages
- May be too light for older children
- Colors can fade over time
5. Paradise Galleries Reborn Baby Doll
If you’re looking for the best baby doll for 5 year old girl, then this Paradise Galleries Reborn Baby Doll is likely your best choice! For one thing, it comes as a complete ensemble, the perfect gift for a toddler with a more active imagination and who needs more accessories for her doll. The doll comes with a matching jacket, bib and hat, a blanket, a pacifier and bottle, and even a giraffe plush friend, aside from being dressed in the cutest jersey knit pink floral printed onesie and matching booties.
It’s the type of doll that can be part of your collection of your child’s best toys because it’s just so beautiful! When your child outgrows it, it will likely still look realistic because it’s made of sturdy materials and built with durability in mind.
Your toddler can play with the doll and its accessories for hours on end. There are so many play possibilities with it that your toddler can think of – feeding it milk, soothing it to sleep, and dressing it up for outdoor excursions, for example. The doll looks so realistic, too, so much so that it feels and looks like a real baby, thanks to its hand-set eyes, hair and eyelashes as well as its weighted feel.
And I love that face! The doll has a delicate face framing a sweet mouth, innocent eyes, and button nose. The arms and legs are made mostly of vinyl so these are durable, too.
- Realistic appearance
- Conforms to ASTM safety requirements
- Complete accessories
- Beautiful design
- Easy to clean
- Weight may be slightly heavy for younger children
- Small parts unsuitable for younger children
6. Manhattan Toy Baby Stella Peach Soft First Baby Doll
The Manhattan Toy Baby Stella is the best baby doll for 1 year old in my opinion because of its engaging features. First, it has such a warm smile, a cute appearance, and a cuddly design that your one-year old child will be unable to resist it. You may even find her mimicking the open arms stance of the doll!
Second, this doll is made of ultra-soft fabric and other materials so it’s extra-soft, cushy and cuddly, the perfect security blanket for your little one. Plus, it’s designed to mimic a newborn’s cuddly appearance, from its plump tummy and belly button to its equally chubby fingers, toes and face. No wonder that your child will love cuddling, snuggling and hugging it every chance she gets, whether she’s awake or sleeping.
The doll also features removable outfits and diapers, a feature that allows for more play and learning opportunities for your child. The doll clothes can be swapped, too, with the clothes on other Baby Stella models; the collection features 10 ensembles. Your child can then learn how to dress and undress a doll, skills that she can transfer to her own efforts at dressing and undressing herself.
There’s even a magnetic pacifier that your child can also play with. The magnet is securely fastened to an inner pouch so it doesn’t become a choking hazard.
- Perfect toy for toddlers and preschoolers
- Changeable outfits and diapers
- Stimulates social skills, as well as physical and mental development
- Easy to wash and clean
- Other doll clothes will not fit
- Quite expensive
7. Manhattan Toy Wee Baby Stella Beige Sleepy Times Scent
Yet another best baby doll for toddler is the Manhattan Toy Wee Baby Stella doll for many reasons. First, it’s smaller than the Baby Stella Peach so it’s easier to hold for younger babies with smaller hands. But it’s still large enough for a one-year old child to cuddle in her arms.
Second, it comes with several accessories that expand the playtime opportunities for your child. Aside from the doll itself, it comes with a magnetic doll bottle and pacifier that will allow your little one to practice caring for a wee one. It also has a soft teddy bear, an extra toy to play with for your child, as well as a paper storybook that allows for pretend reading.
With these features, your little one will not only be able to play to her heart’s content but also learn about caring and nurturing. You can also point out to your child the doll’s removable clothes, which can also be swapped with the clothes from the other Baby Stella doll collection.
Third, it’s so soft and cushy that your little one will love cuddling, holding and hugging it. You don’t have to worry about rough edges and hard objects either when she’s doing so since the doll doesn’t have them. The facial features are also embroidered so there are no hazards in this regard.
And of course, it has a soothing lavender scent that will comfort your baby!
- Great gift for toddlers and preschoolers
- Cuddly and cute design
- Provides plenty of creative play
- Soothing scent
- Only the surface can be cleaned
8. Melissa & Doug Mine to Love Mariana
The Melissa & Doug Mine to Love Mariana is arguably the best baby alive doll for budget-conscious parents. But don’t dismiss it as an inferior doll because it’s beautifully crafted from head to toe! Every part of it appears to have been carefully considered, from the choice in premium materials to the construction of its clothes and moveable parts.
Aside from being a beautiful doll with fine facial features, it also has several interactive features that provide immediate feedback for children playing with it. When it’s tilted up and down, its pretty eyes open and close accordingly, and it’s such an engaging sight, too! Even its mouth can suck on its pacifier and thumb, an extra feature that mimics what your child can do, too.
At 12 inches, it’s a tall doll suitable for a toddler who wants a baby doll that can be carried in her arms like a real-life baby. It’s also quite heavy so it feels like a real baby, too, where your little one is concerned. It can be your little one’s baby, if you will, a way to let her learn about mimicking your own way of caring for her.
There are also several other great features. These include arms that can be wiped clean, a matching cap, and a removable smocked romper. Let your child get creative with it.
- Perfect size for toddlers
- Plenty of interactive features
- Cute and cuddly look
- Fosters nurturing skills
- Surface-only cleaning
- Other doll clothes will not fit
9. JC Toys Lots to Cuddle Babies Soft Body Twins
The JC Toys Lots to Cuddle dolls are a great option for parents with twins or with children who are close in age, especially when there’s sibling rivalry. Both dolls weigh two pounds each and measure about 13 inches in height but their eye colors are different – brown and blue. This way, your children can tell which one is theirs so there’s less tension and more feeling of ownership.
Both dolls are also made of soft material, a must for baby dolls that will be used by toddlers over the age of two. These are soft, cushy and cuddly so your children will have a great time caring for them, as well as playing with them in imaginative ways. The soft material also allows children to cuddle with them as if these were actual babies or human friends.
The dolls’ clothes can be removed and washed in the washing machine, a convenient feature when your children likes to play rough, so to speak. The doll itself can also be washed by hand using mild soap and tap water. Be careful when washing the dolls, however, as these seem less durable than the other dolls on my list.
Plus, these dolls have a realistic facial expression that complements their sweet features. The vinyl head features an innocent face with chubby cheeks, cute lips, and charming noses – cuddly doesn’t even begin to describe them!
- Made with safe materials
- Easy to clean and care for
- Soft, cuddly and plush body with vinyl head and limbs
- Encourages interactive play with others
- Stimulates self-soothing
- Pacifier doesn’t stay in the mouth
- May become dirty quickly
10. JC Toys Berenguer Boutique Soft Body Baby Doll
With its realistic details, the JC Toys Berenguer Boutique doll definitely allows children to become more imaginative with their pretend play, usually them as parents and the doll as the baby. Everything about it from its vinyl head to its vinyl arms and legs has been made with top quality in mind, from the lifelike details to the premium materials used.
When your little one rocks the baby doll to sleep, she will love that it opens and closes its eyes. Such an interactive feature not only provides instant feedback on cause-and-effect relationships but it also fascinates your child and holds her attention. Your child can then copy your own way of putting her to sleep and soothing her when she’s distressed, too.
Since this is a gift set, it comes with nearly everything that your daughter will love in a doll. It has a two-piece adorable embroidered outfit that will make her feel that she’s a fashion designer, as well as an extra outfit for when she likes to change her doll’s clothes. It also comes with a pair of trendy shoes, feeding accessories, a baby bottle and pacifier, and a rattle. What more can your daughter ask for in a doll set at her age?
At nearly 15 inches in height, this doll is the perfect size for cuddling, hugging and carrying for your little one, too! You may just find it among her favorite stuffed toys that should always be on her bed when she sleeps.
- Soft body that makes for great cuddling and hugging times
- Durable construction
- Premium materials
- Realistic details
- Stimulates the imagination as well as caring skills
- May be too large for some children
- Accessories may not be as durable as the doll
When choosing the best baby doll for your son or daughter, you should carefully consider all the possible factors. You should take your time instead of making your choice based exclusively on price, appearance, or size. You have to remember, too, that the doll can be your child’s first friend, so to speak, and it’s important to choose the right one for him or her.
How Old Is Your Child?
Each doll has a recommended age range appropriate for it; check it in the package label or product description. There’s a good reason for the age range – children undergo distinct developmental stages with each stage characterized by distinctive physical, mental and social skills. You should then buy a doll that fits into your child’s current abilities and, thus, encourage him or her to make full use of its features and benefit from them.
For example, if you’re going to buy a doll designed for a 6-month old child for your 2-year old girl, she will likely become bored with its basic features. In general, toddlers under the age of three appreciate dolls with simple functions and snuggling features, such as a soft body, while older children like dolls with more complicated features that inspire their imagination and role playing abilities.
Toddlers and older children also like dolls that they can curl up with and carry around easily while younger children (i.e., under two years old) like dolls that they can care for. Older children also like movable arms, legs and heads since these allow them to dress and undress their dolls.
What Are the Features that Will Attract Your Child?
As a parent, you may have to put yourself in your child’s shoes when choosing from among dozens of baby dolls. You have to assess his or her personality, his likes and dislikes, and his interests, if you can, as is the case for older babies and toddlers. You don’t have to buy the fanciest doll in the store since a basic doll with a few interactive features that will attract and sustain your child’s attention will suffice.
A few features to consider:
Your child may like the act of dressing and undressing his or her doll, as well as changing its outfits. Many of the best dolls, however, don’t come with changeable clothes but that’s alright since these are designed for a younger audience.
Hair, legs and arms
Your child’s age should be considered when choosing a doll based on its hair, legs and arms. Children under the age of three shouldn’t be playing with a doll with attached hair as they can easily pull up the hair (yarn, usually) and get their fingers tangled. But as they get older, they will have more interest in playing with the dolls’ hair, from combing to braiding it, so attached hair is a good idea.
As for the legs and arms, younger children will be safer with soft and cushy limbs on their dolls. Older children, in contrast, will appreciate the plastic movable arms and legs.
Obviously, the best dolls for children should have cute and charming faces, usually with smiles. The facial features can either be embroidered, as is the case with dolls for younger children, or made with other materials like vinyl or plastic for the movable eyes.
Older children will also appreciate movable facial parts, such as eyes that open and close and a mouth with a hole for the pacifier, while younger ones will be satisfied with fixed features. In all dolls for children, nonetheless, the expressions are always friendly, smiling, and non-threatening for obvious reasons.
Last but not least, you have to consider the dolls’ safety and wash-ability. There should be no loose and small parts that can become a strangulation and choking hazard for your baby. The materials should have been tested safe for your baby’s fragile skin and body –no lead, no heavy metals, and no formaldehyde, among others. The overall construction should also be sturdy.
The best baby doll for your little one will bring hours of fun, entertainment and education for him or her. He or she may not know that he or she is learning while playing but you have the assurance that, indeed, it’s happening. You should then carefully choose it according to his or her age.
Choose from among my top ten best dolls and be assured that you’re making the right choice!