The Top 10 Best Baby Dolls for Girls – New 2021 Edition
A baby doll is more than a toy. For many children, a baby doll is also their first friend. There are certainly no shortage of baby dolls available, but the variety can also be confusing when buying one for your child.
The best baby dolls are safe, affordable, durable and have characteristics which the child connects with in some way. Our complete guide to the best baby dolls for 2021 starts now.
- Adora Playtime Baby Doll Little Prince
- American Girl Wellie Wishers Doll
- Cabbage Patch Kids
- Baby Alive Baby Go Bye Bye
- Breyer Spirit and Lucky Gift Set
- Melissa & Doug Mine to Love Baby Dolls
- Mary Meyer Taggies Developmental Baby Doll
- JC Toys, La Baby
- Aori Reborn Baby Doll
- Nurse Nicole Doll
- Best Baby Dolls FAQ
- What Age is the Doll Appropriate For?
- How Do I Know if the Doll is Safe?
- What Type of Hair Should the Doll Have?
- What Type of Eyes Should the Doll Have?
- Should My Child Have a Doll Which Looks Like Him or Her?
- Why Should Kids Play with Dolls?
- How Do I Clean My Baby Dolls?
- What Type of Doll is Appropriate for my 12-Month-Old?
- What Type of Doll is Appropriate for my 18-Month-Old?
- All in All
Adora Playtime Baby Doll Little Prince
Soft, cuddly and small, the Little Prince is a great first doll for young ones.
- Soft, portable baby doll
- Includes removable onesie and baby bottle
- Realistic face with closeable eyes
- Variety of playtime accessories available
- Might be a bit too basic for older kids
Soft and cuddly, the Little Prince is a great companion for young children one year or older. This 13-inch baby doll is small enough for little hands to hold onto and cuddle with. With a weighted bean bag bottom, the Little Prince can sit upright, too.
Completely washable, this doll has brown eyes which close. He even has a fresh baby powder scent. Includes a baby bottle (and he can also suck his thumb).
The Little Prince contains no harmful chemicals. Soft and safe, the Little Prince is a fun friend for younger kids.
American Girl Wellie Wishers Doll
The beautiful American Girl Dolls are always a favorite among both kids and adults.
- Gorgeous, high-quality American Girl construction
- Unique themes represent a variety of interests
- Huge selection of clothing and accessories
- Relatively expensive
Always popular, there are few different types of American Girl dolls to choose from. The WellieWishers are a group of characters who are all friends. Each doll has a theme and backstory. For instance, Camille loves the ocean which is reflected in the color of her eyes and clothing.
Custom American Girl Dolls can also be created. They can look like your child or however else you choose. Another popular option is the American Girl Doll of the Year, a series of dolls who each deal with different problems relevant to today.
Cabbage Patch Kids
Popular for over 30 years, the Cabbage Patch Kids are a classic for a reason.
- A classic favorite for decades
- Soft and durable
- Practically unlimited style options
- Only the Baby So Real line supports an app
The classic, cuddly Cabbage Patch kids you might have grown up with are still going strong today. Like the American Girl Dolls, there are a few different types of Cabbage Patch Kids. The Cabbage Patch Baby So Real has a life-like look with interactive feeding, burping and tickling. The Farm Friend Cuties are dressed like cute farm animals and pets.
All Cabbage Patch Kids include adoption papers, birthday and a name. As you might expect, a huge collection of accessories and clothing has been created over the years for these dolls. They’ve been a favorite of kids for decades.
Baby Alive Baby Go Bye Bye
Baby Alive is a highly interactive doll who crawls, speaks and even wets her diaper.
- Wide range of realistic behavior
- Rooted, brushable hair
- Speaks both English and Spanish
- Capable of crawling away if child is inattentive
Baby Alive Baby Go Bye Bye is ready for action. She crawls across the floor and will actually move towards the sound of her rattle. She’ll also talk, laugh and make other noises. If you give her a bottle, she’ll wet her diaper.
While changing diapers probably doesn’t sound like a fun activity for an adult, many kids love a doll which is this “alive.” Imitating parental roles is an important part of child development. Baby Go Bye Bye helps develop empathy and experience nurturing.
Baby Go Bye Bye includes a bottle, diaper, rattle, carrier, brush and more. Requires 4 AA batteries. A variety of different looks and themes are available from Baby Alive.
Breyer Spirit and Lucky Gift Set
Posable Lucky doll and her horse Spirit. Great for fans of the movie or just fans of horses.
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- Characters from Spirit Riding Free
- Rideable horse
- Brushable main and tail
- Spirit is more detailed than Lucky
Lucky and her horse Spirit are the stars of DreamWorks’ Spirit Riding Free. This doll is made by Breyer, a very well-known manufacturer of model horses. This set includes a 5.75 inch tall Lucky, who can ride on the eight-inch tall Spirit.
Lucky is wearing her same outfit from the movie. But the real fan-favorite here is Spirit. An included brush lets the child style Spirit’s mane and tail. Great for fans of the movie or just fans of horses.
Melissa & Doug Mine to Love Baby Dolls
Realistic doll which helps young children learn about daily needs.
- Helps with toilet training
- Child can easily relate to doll
- Teaches empathy
- Fully poseable with closing eyes
- Entirely hard plastic
Melissa & Doug’s line of Mine to Love dolls require a lot of care and attention. They fuss, drink from a bottle and even use the toilet. Unlike many other “wet” dolls, these dolls also go #2 in a potty chair.
Dolls who go to the bathroom, eat and fuss can play an important role in child development. Young kids relate to these dolls because they go through the same daily rituals. Taking care of the doll helps the child learn what actions are expected of them regarding eating, using the potty and so on.
Each 12” doll in the Mine to Love category includes a pacifier, bottle and self-stick diaper. Dolls are also fully poseable.
Mary Meyer Taggies Developmental Baby Doll
Especially designed for the youngest to play with, the Mary Meyer Taggies Developmental Baby Doll is sure to please.
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- Machine washable
- Multiple textures
- Only available in pink
Mary Meyer Taggies Developmental Baby Doll is a sensory delight with an embroidered face, soft body, satin feet, multiple textures, and decorative tags. She is just 8 inches tall, making her so easy for your little one to carry around.
Made from 100% polyester, you can toss the entire doll into the washing machine for cleaning. It is only available in this design, so there isn’t a lot of ethnic variety for it to be appealing to everyone.
JC Toys, La Baby
La Baby from JC Toys is a soft-bodied 11-inch doll suitable for children 18 months and older. This doll is available in a variety of ethnicities, so you’ll be sure to find one your little one will love.
- Hand washable
- Removable clothing
- Not machine washable
La Baby from JC Toys is as cute as a button. It has a soft body and vinyl head and limbs. This particular model is wearing a set of white with pink roses pajamas and matching hat. It measures only 11 inches, comfortable for smaller children to carry and hold.
The body is hand washable, and the outfit can be removed and washed in the washing machine. The doll comes with a cuddly blanket and pacifier which can be inserted into the mouth. Designed in Spain, it has been safety tested and approved for children 18 months of age and older.
Aori Reborn Baby Doll
The Aori Reborn Baby Doll is a realistic-looking doll that measures 22 inches from head to toe. The doll comes with her own set of clothing but can wear 0-3 months or newborn outfits.
- Realistic features
- Can wear actual baby clothes
- Hair is hand-rooted
- Too big and heavy for smaller children
- Not machine washable
Your little one over the age of three will love to dress and undress her Aori Reborn Baby Doll. She can sit and lay down. Her body is cloth and filled with weighted cotton, so she has a certain heft when you lift her. Because the doll weighs 3.4 pounds than vinyl or plastic dolls, she may be too heavy for smaller children to carry around.
The mouth is magnetized to hold the pacifier, and her hair is hand-rooted and can be washed and combed. She meets ASTM F963 and EN71 safety requirements. Her lips, fingernails, and toenails are hand-painted, so she is not machine washable, spot cleaning only.
This particular model comes dressed in a yellow duck outfit, including a hat, socks, pants, shirt, and a zippered jacket. She also comes with a stuffed yellow duck toy and pacifier.
Nurse Nicole Doll
Nurse Nicole is 18-inches tall and can wear other clothes designed for dolls of this size. She comes dressed and ready to step into action at the hospital.
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- Fits into standard 18-inch doll clothing
- African American doll
- Eyes do not close
- Not machine washable
Nurse Nicole has a nurse ID badge, black pants, a white nurse’s cap, a red scrub top, a white lab coat, and black croc shoes. She has a soft body with vinyl head, arms, and legs so she can be spot cleaned but is not machine washable.
Nurse Nicole is also the star of two books and a DVD. The books are entitled “The Adventures of Nurse Nicole: N is for Nurse” and “The Adventures of Nurse Nicole: Wash Your Hands.” The DVD is “The Adventures of Nurse Nicole: Battle of the Germs.” The DVD and books are sold separately.
Nurse Nicole is recommended for children over the age of six. She is a dark-skinned African-American ethnic doll. She is such a lovely doll that the only drawback is her eyes do not open and close.
Best Baby Dolls FAQ
Finding the right doll for your child isn’t always easy. There are a lot of options out there, and doll shopping can quickly feel overwhelming. The best way to find the perfect doll for your kids is to narrow down your choices before you actually start shopping. Here are some common questions to ask yourself when searching for the best baby doll:
What Age is the Doll Appropriate For?
Children who are just a year or two old don’t want, or even understand, complicated features on a doll. They just want a soft doll they can easily carry. When shopping for a very young child, pay close attention to the size and feel of the doll. You’re looking for a doll your child can easily hold and snuggle.
As kids get older, they’ll want dolls which do more. By the time they’re in elementary school, kids are generally more interested in playing with dolls as a way to roleplay parenting. They’ll want a doll which acts more a real baby. This is a good age to introduce dolls which crawl, speak and otherwise move.
Dolls for kids under six will have relatively shapeless bodies filled with soft substances. However, most kids over the age of six start to show an interest in dolls made of plastic or similar materials. These dolls typically have fully poseable limbs and joints. Older kids often have fun posing their dolls.
How Do I Know if the Doll is Safe?
Safety is obviously a huge priority when selecting a doll. Be aware that just because a doll is soft and clean doesn’t necessarily means its safe. You’ll want to carefully check out any doll for potential safety problems.
Only buy a doll when you know what it’s made of. This is especially important for any filling materials used inside the doll. Kids, especially young ones, have a tendency to throws dolls around and otherwise bang them up a bit. Any material inside the doll has a potential to wind up on the outside. Make sure those materials are non-toxic and safe.
You also want to consider how the doll can potentially fall apart. For example, if the doll’s arm becomes disconnected, is it small enough to be a choking hazard? Don’t just consider the doll as a whole unit. Instead picture the size of any pieces it could be broken down into.
What Type of Hair Should the Doll Have?
Many kids, especially girls, focus on their doll’s hair. Dolls are a fun way for kids to learn about hair styling. There are two different types of doll hair: Rooted and wigged.
Rooted hair is secured to the inside of the doll’s hair. Tufts of hair emerge from small holes in the scalp. This type of doll hair is rugged and washable. The child can brush it roughly, wash it with shampoo and pretty much do whatever else they like without worrying about damage. Rooted hair does have style limitations and doesn’t look very natural.
Wigged hair allows for a variety of style options such as parts, fringe and more. The hair is knitted by hand to a mesh weave, which is then glued to the doll’s head. Wigged hair shouldn’t be washed. This type of hair often looks very beautiful but is best for older kids who know how to properly care for it.
What Type of Eyes Should the Doll Have?
Eyes add a lot of personality to a doll. There are two different types of doll eyes. They can either be fixed, where they are always open, or they can open and close at times, either by hand or by tipping the doll. Closing eyes tend to look more realistic, but dolls with closing eyes are usually more expensive.
Should My Child Have a Doll Which Looks Like Him or Her?
Absolutely. Great strides in diversity have been made in the doll industry over the years. No matter what your child looks like, you’ll likely be able to find a doll which resembles her or him. There’s no harm in buying a doll which looks like your child. In fact, it can often promote self-esteem and self-acceptance.
Of course, your child isn’t required to have a doll which looks like him or her. Many kids will choose a doll which looks nothing like them. There’s no harm with this, either. Kids can learn empathy and how to embrace differences.
Why Should Kids Play with Dolls?
Playing with dolls can have many benefits for both boys and girls. Dolls help kids develop their creativity and imaginations. The child can create make-believe worlds and imaginary stores for their dolls to be involved in. Dolls also helps kids understand the roles of other people such as mommy and daddy.
Also, dolls help kids develop communication skills. Children feel comfortable talking to their dolls, which is great practice for real-world interactions. Plus, dolls which speak help kids learn new words.
Dolls also help improve fine motor skills. Dressing the dolls and combing their hair helps tiny fingers learn to perform intricate movements. Many skills, such as buttoning clothing, are easier to first learn on a doll.
Finally, dolls help children develop empathy. Caring for a doll, especially one of the more interactive types, helps kids understand how others can feel hungry, uncomfortable or upset. Dolls helps kids learn to consider the feelings of other people.
How Do I Clean My Baby Dolls?
Cleaning and disinfecting your baby dolls depends on what type of material the toy is made of. The doll’s clothing can often be removed and thrown in the washing machine or hand washed. Ragdolls are also usually machine washable.
Vinyl dolls can be spot cleaned with baby wipes. Plastic toys can be washed with soap and water. If there is an extensive build-up of grime in painted areas, such as the face and nails, use a wet cotton swab. Use the swab to go over these areas without putting any pressure on the painted areas. Use the opposite end of the swab to dry.
If the doll is still grimy, try an orange-based natural cleaning soap. Use a cotton ball to apply very lightly, avoiding painted features as much as possible.
What Type of Doll is Appropriate for my 12-Month-Old?
Children that are 12 months old or younger do not yet have finely developed motor skills. Therefore, a doll that has an outfit that can not be removed will reduce some of the frustration during playtime.
The facial features should be embroidered rather than sewn on to avoid choking hazards. Ideally, the doll has a soft body with limbs that will not fall off. Ragdolls are excellent choices for children this age. Since young children often put things into their mouths, try to choose a doll made from organic materials for safety reasons.
What Type of Doll is Appropriate for my 18-Month-Old?
Children that are 18 months old are a little more refined in their motor skills. They may enjoy dressing their dolls as long as the process is frustration-free. Choose babies that have slip-on or velcro closure clothing rather than snaps or buttons.
The doll also should not be too heavy for your child to carry around. Try to find a baby about 30 centimeters long. Soft-bodied babes are lighter than plastic or vinyl dolls.
Children at this age will enjoy dolls that have eyes that open and close to mimic sleep. Make sure the eyes are constructed securely so that no pieces become a choking hazard.
All in All
A doll is often a beloved toy which a child will cherish for many years, even while other interests come and go. Selecting a doll can be a big responsibility. The best dolls are age-appropriate, safe and connect with the child on a deep level. Dolls helps kids learn communication skills, empathy and much more. Using the guide above, you can find the perfect doll for any age and interest.