12 Best Baby Dolls in 2017
Baby dolls play an important role in a child’s life. Not only do they teach nurturing skills to little ones, but they also develop fine motor skills, cognitive skills, self-help skills and can help little ones prepare for a new sibling.
Will all of the benefits that a little doll offers, adding one to the toy collection is always a great idea. So, which one should you choose?
There are quite a few things you need to take into consideration as you shop for one, so in our guide, we provide a list of best baby dolls and show you how to choose one.
Table of Contents
- Top 12 Baby Dolls Comparison Chart
- Doll Materials
- Extra Features and Accessories
- Top 5 Best Baby Dolls Reviews
- Final Words about Baby Dolls
Top 12 Baby Dolls Comparison Chart
The material(s) used on the doll have a lot to do with the selection process. Based on our experience and research skills, the age of the child who will be playing with the doll has a lot to do with the materials that the doll is made of, which is why we listed both of these details in our table.
- Fabric – These are the softest and gentlest dolls and the best baby dolls for younger recipients.
The two options in our table that are recommended for newborns are soft dolls that have no removable clothing. When everything is attached, there is no risk that baby can work it off by accident and create a safety hazard.
A few other soft, fabric-only dolls like the Manhattan Toy Baby Stella are recommended for babies 12 months and older because the clothes are removable. Little ones can interact more with dolls like this but only when they’re old enough.
There are many benefits to fabric dolls: most are machine-washable, they usually have thread eyes rather than plastic eyes (there is no risk of them falling off and becoming a safety hazard) and they are much lighter.
- Plastic – Many manufacturers use molded vinyl to create baby doll bodies and faces. All-plastic models, such as numbers 11 and 12 in our table, are recommended for older users because they weigh more, and they have smaller parts that would otherwise create a choking hazard for younger users.
They can easily be wiped down and clean to remove germs and bacteria, and many have more advanced features (number 11 can go “potty, ” and number 12 has accessories).
- Mix – Many baby dolls are made from a mixture of both fabric and plastic. The face, arms, and feet (or legs) are some type of plastic while the main body is fabric. Manufacturers usually use bean bag filling or polyester filling to make the middle of the body soft and squishy, which also makes the doll lighter and easier for little ones to carry around and hold.
Extra Features and Accessories
Many manufacturer’s offer accessories (sold separately) that make interaction and play time much more interesting.
You’ll notice that dolls for younger users don’t have as many accessories simply because they create a safety hazard, but for older users, more accessories are appreciated.
If you’re looking for a doll that can move, then we really liked the Baby Alive Baby Go Bye Bye. She comes in different colors and versions and comes with plenty of accessories that make her so much fun for older kids.
We also like that the JC Toys La Baby comes in many different ethnicities, so check it out if you’re looking for something specific.
Top 5 Best Baby Dolls Reviews
Gund’s My First Dolly is definitely one of the best baby dolls out there in terms of quality.
Toys are expensive, but when you find a simple, useful one like this that you can give to a newborn without spending 50 dollars, it’s a great present for both giver and recipient.
This little doll measures 13 inches high and doesn’t have any loose pieces. Everything is sewn together, and the eyes are embroidered on, which means that it is completely safe to offer a newborn or baby under 12 months.
She comes in either a blonde or a brunette version, and if you like, you can even have a customized name embroidered at the bottom of her skirt.
The material is very soft and machine-washable, so if baby gets a bit too much drool on it or some food falls on her, just throw dolly in the washing machine and clean her on the delicate cycle.
Gund is known for making quality toys, and they have been doing so for over 100 years. You can’t go wrong with an affordable doll like this.
Our next fabric-only doll suggestion is Stella from Manhattan Toy. She is appropriate for older babies since she has removable clothing and an accessory.
She comes with a pacifier, a removable diaper, and removable dress, but on her body, she also has a second diaper that is sewn onto her body.
You have a few more options with her because Manhattan Toy sells a feeding set and a pajama set separately if you want to offer your little ones more variety. We recommend getting the little Stella Stroller in addition to the doll herself because it is always fun for toddlers who can walk to push their dollies around.
She is a bit larger than Gund’s doll at 15 inches high, and Gund recommends surface washing her only. Don’t throw her in the washing machine.
You can find plenty of other dolls in different colors and genders, so if Stella isn’t the right one, see what other cute choices Manhattan Toy has to offer.
Melissa & Doug’s Jenna doll is another well-made option for older toddlers and kids. She is 12 inches high and is made from a mixture of plastic and fabric.
The legs, arms, and head are made from plastic, and the torso is filled with a soft stuffing. She doesn’t have any hair (just bald with nothing painted on). Little ones can move the thumb up to her mouth or insert the pacifier that comes with it when they want to sooth her (she doesn’t make noises, though).
Kids like that her eyes open and close and that they can remove her romper. The life-like face and ability to change the clothing make it a little more realistic for older children, and parents love that the arms, legs, and face are easy to wipe down.
Remember that as a plastic and fabric mixture, this isn’t a doll you can machine-wash. We recommend adding on the cute little 8-piece Love Time to Eat set so your little one can interact with her more.
The Gund doll was great, but we preferred the face of the Baby Starters Plush Snuggle Buddy since she just seems so happy!
Both are in the same price range and suitable for newborns and up, so consider it a good alternative to the Gund if you didn’t care for it. They are also the same height – 13 inches.
We definitely noticed a difference in quality when it came to the seams between the two dolls. This doll looked a bit more like she hurried through the assembly line while Gund’s had even seams and was very well constructed. The fabric doesn’t seem to be as high in quality, either, but overall it is still a doll worth purchasing.
She comes in six different versions, too, so if you don’t like the pink polka dots, check out the other dolls. Each one is quite different from the other, so have a look to see if there’s one you prefer.
She is also machine-washable, which is always nice when you’re dealing with a toy that gets loved and touched as much as a doll!
Corolle is a French company, and their little Calin Grenadine Doll is our final suggestion in the top 5.
One of the unique things about the vinyl used for the face, hands, and feet is that they scented it with vanilla, so it has a sweet smell that little ones love. They eyes can open and close, and she can be posed in different positions, which allows little ones more ways to interact with her; this also helps nurture fine motor skills for younger users.
The cap and the pajamas are both removable, and the middle of the body is filled with a soft material that makes it huggable and lighter to carry.
A stroller is available for purchase separately – designed specifically for this doll – but since she is only 12 inches high, you can probably find a less expensive one from another brand. Try the one we suggested earlier from Melissa and Doug!
Remember that she is not machine washable.
Final Words about Baby Dolls
We’ve gone over some of the most important things to look at when shopping for a baby doll and provided you with a list of the top ones based on our experience and what other adults like.
Remember that if you don’t like any of the particular dolls that we’ve featured, most of them come in different colors and the opposite gender.
The appropriate age is the most important thing to take into consideration as you shop, and in the newborn category, our top pick is the Gund doll.
For older kids, number 8 is a good choice and looks very lifelike.