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12 Adorable Dolls for Imaginative Play

Choosing a baby doll for your child can be difficult as, let’s face it, not all dolls are created equal.  Whether you’re looking for a unique softie style or a classic quality baby doll, we’ve narrowed down the choices.  Here are 12 adorable dolls your little one is sure to love.

Madame Alexander Sweet Pea 1 of 12
Another great first baby doll choice, Madame Alexander's Sweet Pea doll offers the brand's well-known fine details such as a beautiful painted face, yet at a more affordable price point than some of the other collector dolls. At 12 inches, the Sweet Pea doll is appropriately sized for little hands, and her soft cotton body makes her perfect for cuddling. The Sweet Pea doll comes with a soft pink gown, a matching hat and a tiny plush pacifier.
Kathe Kruse Puppa Plush 2 of 12
Kathe Kruse dolls are known for quality and fostering age-appropriate development. Hand-crafted in Europe and available in pink and blue, this Puppa Plush doll is perfect for both little girls and boys. With a soft body, vinyl face and hand-painted details that truly capture a baby's innocence and sweetness, this doll makes a great baby gift keepsake.
Pottery Barn Kids Gretta and Darcy 3 of 12
Perfect for baby's first doll, the Gretta and Darcy dolls from Pottery Barn Kids are classic baby dolls that feature simplicity and softness. Jersey-knit polycotton bodies and embroidered faces make these dolls age-appropriate for toddlers and soft enough to become a favorite lovie. And when they're not being played with, Gretta and Darcy make a sweet addition to a little girl's nursery.
Penelope Peapod 4 of 12
It's a purse! It's a bassinet! No, it's Penelope Peapod, the tiny baby doll that combines fashion and playtime. Each Penelope Peapod doll comes with a matching bassinet that can be easily transformed into a basket purse. The dolls are well-crafted and dressed in outfits that coordinate with their bassinet fabric. Available in a variety of colors and patterns, Penelope Peapod sets are the perfect take-along toy.
American Girl Bitty Baby 5 of 12
A favorite for many little girls, American Girl's Bitty Baby is offered in eleven different personalized looks, from skin color to eye shape. With a cloth body and vinyl head and limbs, Bitty Baby combines a real newborn look with huggable softness. While more age appropriate for toddlers than the standard American Girl dolls, Bitty Baby still offers little ones the American Girl experience--a line of accessories, outfits and baby gear that gives your child the opportunity to be a real little mama.
Land of Nod Wee Wonderful Dolls 6 of 12
If you haven't heard, softie dolls are the new black, and this Land of Nod exclusive doll collection combines old-fashioned charm with a hip edge. Designed by Hillary Lang, the Wee Wonderful collection is made of six dolls (girls and boys), each hand made with cotton flannel bodies, yarn hair and adorable accessories. If that's not cute enough, Land of Nod offers additional outfits for these sweet dolls, from pajamas to costume wear. My bet is that there are a handful of moms out there who bought two--one for their child and one for themselves. Shhh...I won't tell.
Madame Alexander Baby Huggums 7 of 12
Madame Alexander's Baby Huggums dolls are classic dolls that appeal to any generation--grandmas love them, mamas love them, babies love them. With vintage charm and delicately detailed clothing, Baby Huggums looks like she came straight from a Dick and Jane story. Although pretty enough to be displayed on a shelf, Baby Huggums is meant to be loved with her soft body and cloth hands and feet. If I had to choose a picture to go with "baby doll" in a dictionary, Baby Huggums would be it.
Nova Natural Bambino 8 of 12
Offering an impressive collection of Waldorf toys, Nova Natural works with small businesses and artisans to bring heirloom quality, non-disposable toys to families. Their Bambino doll, made in Peru with all natural materials, is proportioned like a real baby with jointed limbs, hand-stitched faces and hair made from Alpaca wool. Designed to promote hours of creative play, Bambino dolls are perfect for brothers and sisters who are awaiting a new baby sibling.
Kathe Kruse Nickibaby 9 of 12
Designed and handmade in Germany, Kathe Kruse's Nickibaby is a pint-sized doll with a unique heavy feeling due to its beanbag body. The Nickibaby's small size makes it a great choice for baby's first doll and allows it to be easily tucked into a car seat or diaper bag. Little ones will love this doll's poseable body and simple features, and moms will love that it makes a great take-along toy. Due to its size, the Nickibaby is also a perfect choice to peek out of a Christmas stocking or gift bag.
Rubens Barn Doll 10 of 12
I fell in love with the Rubens Barn dolls when one of my favorite toy companies, Magic Cabin, debuted them in their catalogue. Designed in Sweden, the Rubens Barn doll is available in six different characters (boys, girls and varied skin tones), each with a weighted, padded bottom that feels just like a real baby. Rubens Barn dolls are completely washable and have a line of clothing and accessories (baby bottle and pacifier fit in doll's mouth) available to make play more fun.
Hen and Chick 11 of 12
Another unique softie doll, these handmade creations from the Etsy shop Hen and Chick are sure to become a conversation piece in your home and one of your child's well-loved toys. Artist Rachel Lindquist highlights her love of family, vintage fabrics, literature, films and nature in her character dolls such as Frida Kahlo and Mary Poppins. Or, she can custom make a doll just to your liking. I love her big sister/little sister doll set, a great gift for a new sibling.
North American Bear Rosy Cheeks Baby 12 of 12
When North American Bear sent us their Rosy Cheeks Baby, my girls immediately fell in love. Great for many ages, this baby doll features a soft velour body with a diaper and clothes that can be removed--something little ones find quite amusing. Available in both boy and girl, the Rosy Cheeks Baby delights babies and toddlers alike. My girls' favorite? The little hospital I.D. bracelet that comes with it.
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