Your gorgeous little daughter has reached a milestone. She’s learning and growing, and it’s time to introduce her to her very first doll. But which one should you choose? There are so many, and it can be overwhelming.
The Best Type Of Dolls For A One-Year-Old
There are a few things to keep in mind for the perfect doll. You may want to go all out, but before you do that, check to see if these characteristics are present.
One-year-olds don’t have excellent motor skills yet. Dolls should be simple enough to handle without making your child frustrated. It should have enough features that your child can manipulate it simply, such as moving arms or head, or maybe have a few accessories that your one-year-old can use. Make sure the accessories are large enough to avoid choking and to be easy to handle.
One-year-olds are still putting things in their mouths. The doll should be safe enough for your child to have without risking choking. The pieces shouldn’t come off easily, and things like joints or accessories should be thoroughly secured. Nothing should be smaller than something your child can easily put in her mouth.
Make sure the materials are safe for your child to play with. Some toys can have elements such as paints that can be unsafe for your child to play with. Materials made from organic sources could be a better fit for your one-year-old since you know she will try to put pieces of the doll in her mouth and they should be safer.
The Best Dolls For A One-Year-Old: The List
Here are our top picks for your one-year-old’s first doll. They have a range of features that could be the best option for your one-year-old depending on the situation.
|Product Image||Product Name||Features||Body||Price|
|JC Toys, La Baby||a soft blanket soother||Soft body with vinyl head||Check Price|
|Melissa & Doug Mine to Love Jenn||opening and closing eyes||Soft body with vinyl head||Check Price|
|Adora PlayTime Baby Boy Doll||has an outfit and a bottle||Soft body with vinyl head||Check Price|
|My First Baby Powder Pink||thumb is molded to simulate thumb sucking||Soft body with vinyl head||Check Price|
|Cabbage Patch Kids Official||molded mouth and thumb that mimics thumb sucking||Soft body with vinyl head||Check Price|
|Mary Meyer Taggies Developmental||different colored and textured tags||soft||Check Price|
|Baby Starters Brunette Olivia Doll||no small pieces||soft||Check Price|
|Fisher-Price Laugh & Learn My Learning Doll||has sound effects||soft||Check Price|
|GUND My First Dolly Stuffed Plush Blonde Doll 12"||no small pieces||soft||Check Price|
|Manhattan Toy Baby Stella Peach||A removable outfit with a magnetic pacifier||soft||Check Price|
Manhattan Toy Baby Stella Peach
Our first doll is a soft, simple doll designed for comfort and soothing. It features a soft bit of hair on the head and a removable outfit with a magnetic pacifier.
It’s best for children who need a loving doll to play mommy. Your one-year-old may be beginning to pretend play, and this doll is a safe way to pretend without risking choking. The outfit is removable and is useful practice for fine motor skills by manipulating the outfit.
It’s surface washable to handle any spills and is made of soft material with durable seaming. It’s also great for kids who may have younger siblings coming along or who need a true beginner doll for pretend play.
- soft for comfort
- magnetic pacifier included
- the pink bow could come out of the hair
GUND My First Dolly Stuffed Plush Blonde Doll
The second doll is another soft, comfort doll with a pink outfit and a hat. It’s a soft-bodied option that has embroidered features so there are no pieces that could come apart and pose a choking problem.
It’s entirely machine washable. It could keep down allergens and bacteria that could cause your child sickness. It’s also really convenient for when your one-year-old inevitably spills something. It could keep things a lot cleaner for your child.
- machine washable
- no small pieces
- no accessories included
Fisher-Price Laugh & Learn My Learning Doll
This soft-bodied option has sound effects to introduce your child to things like the alphabet and shapes. This one does double duty for your child. It can soothe when your child needs to soothe, and it can entertain when it needs to.
She has a happy face, and although your one-year-old isn’t quite ready to go to school, the doll can help introduce these early concepts to your child to prepare for later. The toy has no small pieces and has embroidered features for safety.
- introduces early concepts (shapes, numbers)
- soothing, soft-bodied doll
- button could be difficult for your one-year-old to push
Baby Starters Brunette Olivia Doll
The Brunette Olivia doll is another soft, soothing option with no small pieces. It’s excellent for one-year-olds who are just getting into dolls and needs something for the beginnings of real make-believe. It’s just big enough to offer comfort, but it’s also light enough that your child can carry it easily.
It’s ten inches tall and can be spot cleaned easily. The face is embroidered, and there are no pieces that can come off the doll to pose a choking hazard.
- light enough to carry
- embroidered face
- no accessories available
Mary Meyer Taggies Developmental Baby Doll
Babies and tiny children love the tactile sensation of tags, and this developmental doll encourages the same type of exploration. The soft-bodied doll offers comfort while different colored and textured tags encourage your one-year-old to explore.
The tags are safely secured to the doll with double seaming that won’t come undone, so there’s no chance of choking. It’s comforting and can be easily spot cleaned. The face is embroidered for safety as well, and it’s a bit smaller than some of the other dolls on the list.
- tags encourage fine motor skill development and exploration
- secure seaming
- spot clean only
Cabbage Patch Kids Official, Newborn Baby Doll Girl
Cabbage Patch has been offering well made, unique dolls for generations, and this newborn is the perfect first doll for your one-year-old. She comes with a swaddle, birth announcement and a molded mouth and thumb that mimics thumb sucking.
This doll is lovely for your child as she grows up. As a one-year-old, she’ll get comfort from the soft body and safe features. When she gets older, she’ll appreciate the realistic baby features that allow her to pretend to care for her just like mommy.
The eyes are painted, and the majority of the body is cloth. You can spot clean both the fabric and the safe plastic features. Put the birth announcement aside until your child is older, however.
- the soft body can be cleaned
- grows with your child
- birth announcement feature isn’t suitable for small children
My First Baby Powder Pink – Madame Alexander
Madame Alexander’s My First Baby is a beautiful addition to your child’s toy collection because as your child gets older, the baby won’t go out of style. It features a soft body with molded plastic face and hands. Both materials are suitable for small children but offer realistic details as your child gets older.
The eyes are painted, and the thumb is molded to simulate thumb sucking. The soft clothing offers comfort and soothing, and the baby is light enough for your one-year-old to carry around with her. It’s washable and measures 12 inches tall. The natural sitting position is excellent for carrying.
- grows with your child
- realistic facial details
- plastic pieces may not be acceptable for some parents
Adora PlayTime Baby Boy Doll, Little Prince, 13-inches
This is another realistic doll that grows with your child. It’s 13 inches tall and is slightly weighted for a more realistic feeling. It may be harder for your one-year-old to carry this one around at first, but if you’re looking for something to invest in the long term, this could be the perfect doll.
It uses “gentle touch” vinyl, a realistic skin option with the faint smell of baby powder. The body is cloth and gently weighted. It comes in a sitting position and has an outfit and a bottle that is big enough for small fingers to carry around. Chances are, your child will carry this doll around for a long time.
- more realism than some first dolls
- weighted body plus accessories
- may be heavy for your child at first
Melissa & Doug Mine to Love Jenna 12-Inch Soft Body Baby Doll
Jenna is a more realistic doll that can also grow with your one-year-old. She has realistic skin features and a painted face for safety. She’s twelve inches long and has a realistic opening and closing eyes.
She’s really easy to spot clean, and her thumb fits into her mouth. Although the company offers accessories, they aren’t included with this doll. However, she’s realistic enough that as your child gets older, she won’t grow out of this doll. All of Melissa and Doug’s toys are made from safe materials that aren’t toxic or dangerous.
- non-toxic materials
- opening and closing eyes for realism
- no accessories included
JC Toys, La Baby 11-inch Washable Soft Body Play Doll
Our final doll is an 11 inch, fully washable doll with a comforting soft body and realistic facial features. If your child is about to be a big sister, this may be an excellent way to introduce a baby. It has painted eyes and hair and comes with a removable outfit. It’s available in multiple ethnicities.
The doll can be hand washed or washed on the gentle cycle for a full clean that helps cut down on bacteria and other allergens. It comes with a soft blanket soother and can be easily carried even by your small children. As your child grows, the realistic features keep will keep her interested in the doll for a long time.
- fully hand washable
- painted, realistic features
- some of the ethnicity options may not be accurate
How To Choose A Doll For Your One-year-old
Here are a few things to consider when you decide on a doll for your one-year-old. Let’s break down what to look for and why.
Should I Look For Accessories?
Many dolls do come with accessories, but your one-year-old may not have developed the motor skills to manipulate them. You need to consider accessories that aren’t choking hazards and are simple enough to encourage fine motor development without being frustrating.
It may be better to choose a soothing, cloth doll with only a bottle at first so that your one-year-old can develop a little more control before getting a full accessory pack.
Should I Get A Doll With Sound?
One-year-olds do love songs and sounds, but it isn’t entirely necessary to get a full learning doll just yet. Simple, soft toys give your one-year-old the chance to begin to pretend to play mommy without loud sounds that can disturb them during naptime for example.
We recommend simpler toys in general because the act of pretending and touching can be a great way to begin the learning process. If you choose sound, make sure the battery box is well hidden and that you can replace the sound box easily if necessary.
What Materials Should I Look For?
Non-toxic materials are a must because your one-year-old is still exploring with her mouth, most likely. If you get a doll with painted features, make sure the paints are safe and non-toxic. Embroidered faces are great for a first doll because there are no toxic materials that could flake off in your child’s mouth until they’re out of that stage.
How Much Should I Pay?
While we certainly understand that your budget is essential, we also know that spending a little more for quality can be an excellent way to get toys that last. Fortunately, most of our dolls are highly affordable without sacrificing quality and craftsmanship. It’s not necessary to spend a great deal of money for the most realistic dolls yet because your one-year-old is mostly concerned with feeling and color. A good, soft body can be just as useful as hyper-realistic skin texture. Balance your budget with quality, and you should be fine.
Dolls are an excellent way to introduce your one-year-old to caregiving and allow her to pretend to be a mommy. She’ll most likely want to explore the doll with touch and may benefit most from the soft comfort most beginning dolls have. Keep in mind that your one-year-old only needs simple dolls at this point, and you should be able to find a doll that is her favorite for years.