Best Baby Dolls for Toddlers

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Find the perfect baby doll to help your toddler learn, grow, and unleash their creativity. Check out our list of the best baby dolls for toddlers.

Our children’s early years are incredibly different from our own. They have access to technology, screens, more toys than you can imagine, and so many types of school programs. One thing that hasn’t changed is the benefit of playing with baby dolls.

Do you remember playing with baby dolls as a kid? It’s likely your parents do, too. They have been a favorite toy for children for thousands of years. Evidence of them in ancient Egypt, Rome, and Greece show that dolls have been a staple for millennia. The ones you played with aren’t new either. Modern examples found life in 15th century Germany.

Baby dolls are more than just toys. They’re an outlet for kids to grow, learn, and play their way from toddlerhood into childhood. They unleash creativity and teach skills like compassion and empathy.

The best baby dolls for toddlers are those that match your toddler’s unique needs. Are you on the hunt for a doll your child will love? Check out our list of baby dolls geared for toddlers below.

Best Baby Dolls: Comparison Table

How We Made Our Choices

toddler playing with doll

Image by freepic_diller via Freepik

Every baby doll we chose for inclusion on our list is first and foremost safe for a toddler. None include any small pieces or easy to break parts that may cause choking hazards.

We tended to prefer soft dolls that are easy to hug and care for rather than dolls made exclusively from plastic. Our list also tends to contain dolls with features that help parents encourage new skills such as potty training, caring and empathy, and fine motor skills. 

However, we also know that sometimes the magic of a doll is in the comfort it provides, so we hunted down dolls that serve the sole purpose of being good cuddlers, too.

Best Baby Dolls for Toddlers

girl with doll looking through window

Image via Freepik

Are you looking for the perfect baby doll for your toddler? There are so many out there that it’s difficult to know where to start. Do you find the doll with the most features, or choose the cutest of the lot? 

We put together a list of what we think are the best baby dolls for toddlers that represent each section of the market so you can find the doll with all the features you want—and none of the features you don’t.

Paradise Galleries Reborn Baby Doll Lifelike Realistic Baby Doll, Tall...
  • LIFELIKE  BABY DOLL: Enjoy a realistic warm embrace, thanks to her weighted cloth body, wrinkled little fingers, hand...
  • DESIGNED BY AMERICAN MICHELLE FAGAN: Your baby is lovingly handcrafted from our unique GentleTouch vinyl for a finish...
  • GIFT READY: She comes in a collector's gift box.  She is accompanied by a 10-piece baby doll gift set including:...

The Paradise Galleries Reborn Baby Doll is a 19-inch weighted baby suitable for children ages three and up.

Paradise Galleries specializes in “reborn” dolls, which means they design the baby to be realistic or lifelike.

Created by artist Michelle Fagan, Paradise Galleries weighted the doll’s cloth body so that holding it feels more like holding a real baby. The weight also makes the toy extra huggable. The doll's features are surprisingly life-like thanks to the hand-painted details.

You can choose from a variety of facial features ranging from an awake and smiling baby to a sleeping baby. The baby also comes in different ensembles and with various accessories. The different packages include:

  • Tall Dreams (with a plush giraffe)
  • Molly and Fluffy (with a plush bunny)
  • Cable-knit Cutie (with a plush animal)
  • Fiercely Loved (with a lion)
  • Pajama Llama (with a llama)
  • Happy Teddy
  • Sweet Kisses
  • Wishes and Dreams

The dolls also come with a pacifier designed to fit perfectly in their open mouths.

The doll also meets the safety requirement standards put in place for toddlers including ASTM F963, ensuring the baby and its accessories are all safe for your little one.

If you want to buy more clothes or accessories, then newborn sizes work best.

Doll Pack N Play, Take Along Crib Toy Accessory for Dolls with Carry...
  • Dolls To Play high quality toy playpen, the perfect accessory for your child's doll, strong steel base.
  • Precious pink color with nice design, see true mesh fabric gives your daughter a better look on the doll while lying in...
  • The perfect size for smaller dolls fits up to 16" doll, your kids will play for hours with this cute doll bet, give them...

The Dolls to Play baby doll is a traditional doll with a sweet face and somewhat lifelike features. Both the construction of the doll and the accessories make it suitable for children 24 months and up, but children at 18 months can still play and cuddle the doll safely.

Although Dolls to Play emphasizes the lifelike qualities of the doll’s face, it isn’t a reborn doll, so her face is less realistic and expressive than other dolls.

The baby doll is 14 inches, which makes her bigger than a newborn. She also comes with only a few accessories including an outfit with matching hat and bib, baby bag, and milk bottle. She’s perfect for packing up and taking out shopping or on a car trip because there are few pieces to lose on your travels.

We love that it fits neatly into most stroller carriages for easy transport.

Dolls to Play gave the doll a soft body that encourages hugs and affection. It isn’t weighted, and it’s primary component is a soft plastic material. However, it’s still a good doll to learn with and practice fine motor skills.

Cabbage Patch Kids Official, Newborn Baby Doll Girl - Comes with...
  • 9 Inch Newborn Baby Doll with removable cute purple stripe swaddle blanket
  • Comes with Cabbage Patch certified one of a kind adoption birth announcement (on hang tag)
  • The doll can suck her thumb and has the signature Cabbage Patch Scent

Introduce your kids to the toys of your childhood with the Cabbage Patch Kids Official Newborn Baby Doll Girl.

At nine inches, the baby doll is the perfect size for little ones 12 months and older. It falls in the my-first-doll territory and has a soft body with no small parts.

Because it’s a Cabbage Patch doll, it carries the distinctive, sweet Cabbage Patch face and doesn’t mimic the face of a newborn. The doll also carries the Cabbage Patch scent and comes with a Cabbage Certified adoption tag.

Its size also makes it easy to gift. You can easily fit it in an Easter basket or Christmas stocking.

We recommend Cabbage Patch dolls for young children under or around one-year-old who are developing their motor skills. Because the doll doesn’t mimic a real baby, it gives them the freedom to practice their skills without dropping a baby that “looks like them.” 

Cabbage Patch dolls also take a beating better than some of the more detailed “reborn” dolls, so they better withstand children dragging them around the house, yard, neighborhood as they explore.

Baby Alive Potty Dance Baby: Talking Baby Doll with Blonde Hair,...
  • 50+ FUN PHRASES IN MOMMY AND DADDY MODES: Baby speaks to Mommy or Daddy in two unique modes at the flip of switch.
  • TALKS IN ENGLISH OR SPANISH: Baby talks in English or Spanish and says cute phrases like “Time to go potty!” and...
  • TIME TO GO & CELEBRATE: Give baby her bottle and she’ll “pee” on her potty. Mark baby’s progress with stickers...

The Baby Alive Potty Dance Baby is a doll age for children ages three and up, and Baby Alive emphasize that she’s perfect for boys and girls.

The Baby Alive Potty Dance Baby is one of the most complex dolls on our list because it’s very interactive. When children given the Baby Alive doll a bottle, she “pees” on her stool or “potty.” The baby also talks and speaks over 50 cute, potty training-related phrases like “Time to go potty!” She also sings a song.

We like that the baby speaks in English or Spanish, and there’s no need to program it. All you need to do is flip the right switch.

She also dances when you press her left hand.

We think the Baby Alive doll is a helpful toilet training tool. The baby not only models good behavior by merely using her “baby potty,” but she also comes with a rewards chart and stickers to kids can track her good behavior. The doll also comes without diapers, which is a helpful way to reinforce the transition out of diapers. 

Disney Frozen Deluxe Elsa Baby Doll
  • There's magic and love in every hug from princess Elsa
  • This adorable baby Princess has rooted hair for you to style
  • Pretend to feed Elsa when she is hungry, and be sure to give her lots of hugs

Calling all Frozen fans” There’s an age-appropriate Elsa baby doll for your little one.

The Disney doll looks like Elsa with her characteristic long, blonde hair and a blue and purple outfit as well as a tiara. However, the doll is also the perfect cuddle toy. Disney added a soft torso for lots of hugs and kept the arms and legs plastic. 

Disney’s doll is 12 inches tall, so it grows with children. All in all, it’s one of the few dolls geared towards Frozen’s youngest fans, and we’re glad that the littlest ones are no longer left out.

It also does not come with many accessories, which is ideal when you want to find a doll for a young baby. You can even remove the crown by removing the rubber band if you worry about it.

Click N' Play Set of 6 Mini 5" Baby Girl Dolls with Accessories,...
  • Set of 6 adorably dressed 5” mini baby girl dolls with accessories.
  • Made of durable high quality material and safe tested for kids! Recommended for ages 3 and up.
  • Includes; 6 mini dolls with assorted outfits, bathtub, stroller, high chair, infant's seat, swing, Walker.

Are you looking for a doll that comes with all the accessories you could ever need?

The Click n’ Play set includes eight tiny dolls (only 5 inches) with eight different accessories including:

  • Crib
  • Bathtub
  • High chair
  • Swing
  • Potty
  • Infant’s seat
  • Stroller
  • Walker
  • Bottle

Many of the accessories mimic real-life furniture. The cradle rocks and the stroller’s wheels really work.

The doll also comes with different outfits in various colors including bibs and hats.

Click n’ Play recommends the set for ages three and up, largely because of the accessories. The dolls are hollow, so they don’t carry any weight, and their features aren’t life-like. However, you can move their heads, hands, and feet as you place them into their accessories or dress them.

We think the dolls offer excellent value in a field that can become very expensive. Some of the facial features might seem strange to you, and the outfits don’t fit neatly on the dolls, but your child will love playing with them. More importantly, you’ll get all the accessories you ever wanted within the same set, and everything is roughly the same size, so you’ll have a uniform set.

Baby Alive Ready For School Baby (Blonde) (Amazon Exclusive)
  • Style her hair: this baby doll has beautiful hair that's perfect for brushing and styling. Comes with her own brush that...
  • Don't forget baby’s school book: help baby get ready for school. Accessories include a pretend notebook
  • Dressed for school: baby is wearing a cute dress with a printed pattern of pencils, chalkboards, and books. It's the...

Our final baby doll is another model from Baby Alive—the Ready for School Baby.

The Ready for School Baby has a dark complexion and black curly hair that kids can style with the dedicated hairbrush. The doll also comes with a pretend notebook for learning. Even her dress is school-appropriate: she’s wearing a smock with a school-house pattern featuring pencils, books, chalkboards, and owls.

Baby Alive recommends the doll for kids ages three and up, and we think it’s a great way to encourage kids who have anxiety about going to school.

Unlike other Baby Alive dolls, the doll doesn’t perform any functions. She doesn’t talk, eat, or “pee.” However, the doll is very cute, and it’s a great tool for encouraging young ones to go to pre-school without allowing the extra features to distract them.

Why Baby Dolls Are So Great for Kids

little girl at the park holding a doll

Image by prostooleh via Freepik

With so many toys available on the market, you might wonder why baby dolls still make a great choice for kids. After all, there are toys out there that teach your four-year-old how to code.

Even with the increase in the type of toys available, baby dolls are perfect for children age one and up because their person-like status helps children of all genders grow and develop into tiny humans ready to go out into the world to play, learn, and grow with other tiny humans.

Baby dolls are the perfect type of toy for early social skill development. When toddlers play with their doll, they learn to be nice and kind to others as well as how to cooperate. They also learn how to nurture others, which is important as they make friends and enter classrooms and if they find themselves with new siblings. In the same vein, dolls also make excellent tools for developing skills like empathy and compassion.

Toys as Training Tools

little girl happy to see a doll

Image source: Pixabay

The baby dolls with features also make excellent training tools for general living skills. Products like “potty training” dolls teach children responsibility and model good behavior through play. Experts agree that drink-and-wet dolls model the proper way to use a toilet and motivate kids to do it themselves. The dolls that come without diapers are particularly helpful because they teach kids not to rely on diapers and use the toilet all the time.

Dolls as training tools can be invaluable assets for parents because skill development through play is fun and helps them understand how to care for themselves as well as their siblings and pets. Imagination is another benefit of play generally, and dolls are a great subject for imagination. 

Finally, there’s no limit to what children can come up with when playing with their dolls, and their dolls don’t come with the same constraints that other learning toys do because there’s no prompt to digest or directions to follow. With a doll, children can play freely and reach peak creativity.

Featured image via Pixabay

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