Whether your child is about to become a big sister or big brother – or you just want them to learn more practical life skills – a baby doll can make a great addition to any home! But there’s more that goes into buying a baby doll than just finding a toy that cries or can “drink” from a bottle. We've rounded up the 9 best baby dolls that look real in 2021 (and won't break the bank!) plus are sharing tips for choosing the best one for you and your family!
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9 Best Baby Dolls That Look Real
- Best Lifelike Baby Doll Overall: JustToYou Silicone Reborn Baby Doll
- Best Doll You Can Get That Looks Like Your Child: American Girl’s One of a Kind Doll
- Best Boy Baby Dolls That Looks Real: Aori Lifelike Reborn Baby Doll
- Best Realistic Baby Doll That Can Cry and Poop and Eat: Baby Alive Happy Hungry Baby Doll
- Best Lifelike Baby Doll That FEELS Real: Aori Lifelike Realistic Reborn Baby Dolls 22 Inch Weighted Reborn
- Best Reborn Baby Doll under $50: Kaydora Reborn Baby Doll
- Best Realistic Newborn Baby Doll: Jizhi Lifelike Reborn Baby Doll
- Best Walmart Baby Dolls That Look Real: Kadell Reborn Baby Girl Doll
How To Select the Best Realistic Baby Dolls
FAQs about realistic baby dolls for toddlers
- Are baby dolls good for toddlers? Benefits of playing with realistic baby dolls for children
- Do baby dolls promote learning? Benefits of baby dolls
- Ways for extending doll play
- Why do children enjoy playing with realistic baby dolls?
- What age is a baby doll for?
- Can baby dolls help toddlers prepare for a sibling?
- Are baby dolls a gender neutral toy?
Reborn Dolls FAQs
- Where can I find a reborn doll?
- You can buy legit reborn dolls…
- What makes a reborn baby doll realistic?
- Why are reborn dolls so popular?
Best Lifelike Baby Doll Overall: JustToYou Silicone Reborn Baby Doll
If you’re shopping for a realistic looking baby doll that is also durable enough that you could give to your child, the JustToYou Silicone Reborn Baby Doll is a smart choice. This 22-inch doll has posable arms that rotate 360 degrees and a huggably soft cotton body.
You’ll love the detail in her hand-applied lashes, acrylic eyes, and even hand-painted limbs. We like that this Reborn doll comes with a nine-piece set of clothing and a plush teddy bear. But you can also dress her in other clothes or change her hairstyle.
- Silicone vinyl realistic hand-painted parts
- Posable arms, legs, and head
- Designed to fit newborn size clothing
- Comes with 9 pieces (including plush bear!)
- Eyes don’t blink
- No choice for skin tone or hair color
- Doll cannot stand
Best Doll You Can Get That Looks Like Your Child: American Girl’s One of a Kind Doll
Hands down, American Girl’s One of a Kind Doll is a fan favorite with parents and children because you can customize these dolls to look exactly like your child. Each doll measures 18 inches tall and features a vinyl head and limbs with a soft cloth body.
We like that the customizations allow you to create a mind-boggling 2.4 million possible combinations that incorporate nose face and eye shape, skin tone, hair texture, color, and length, and eye color. Plus you can customize their accessory set and create your doll tee.
- Highly customizable to mirror your child
- Lets your child create a custom doll tee
- Also includes customizations for disabilities
- Custom American Girl dolls are expensive
- Some features may be back-ordered
- Can take as long as three weeks for dolls to ship
Best Boy Baby Dolls That Looks Real: Aori Lifelike Reborn Baby Doll
Whether you’re looking to buy a realistic boy baby doll for a child or just to add to a collection, this Aori Lifelike Reborn Baby Doll is a great option. Designed to look like a newborn, it measures 22 inches long and features rosy cheeks, big blue eyes, and a cuddly teddy bear.
We like that this cutie has a fringe haircut and a bear-themed outfit. He’s designed to fit newborn clothing so you can change his clothes as often as you like. He comes with a magnetic pacifier, a bottle, a birth certificate, and a teddy bear outfit. You’ll like that he’s hand-painted with a vinyl head and limbs that are posable and a soft body.
- Hand-painted body
- 22-inch length that fits Newborn and 0-3 clothing
- Posable design
- No customization available
- Not designed to stand
Best Realistic Baby Doll That Can Cry and Poop and Eat: Baby Alive Happy Hungry Baby Doll
Pretend play just got a lot more interesting with this Baby Alive Happy Hungry Baby Doll. While it’s not as realistic as a Reborn doll, it’s an interactive pick that will help you extend pretend play with your children. But we also like that this is an ideal choice for children as young as three.
Available in over 10 different styles, including both black and white skin tones and everything in between, the Happy Hungry Baby can eat, cry, talk, move, and even poop. Children can learn how to both feed and diaper a baby. She comes with a spoon, bowl, bib, doll food, a feeding tray, sippy cup, and two diapers so little ones can change her after she’s gone potty.
- Interactive which is ideal for pretend play
- Teaches caretaking life skills
- Makes more than 50 sounds and phrases
- Not as realistic as some dolls
- You’ll need to keep buying diapers for the doll
Best Lifelike Baby Doll That FEELS Real: Aori Lifelike Realistic Reborn Baby Dolls 22 Inch Weighted Reborn
Both realistic looking and feeling, the Reborn Aori Lifelike Baby Doll comes in at 22 inches and wears 0-3 month baby clothes. It comes fully clothed in the adorable duck outfit, with a plush duck, mat, magnetic pacifier, bottle, and birth certificate.
The body is cloth, the head, arms and legs are vinyl, and the baby's face is handpainted with hand set eyes and eyelashes giving it a realistic feel. This makes a great gift for both collectors and kids! I know my toddler LOVES the magnetic pacifier feature!
- Lifelike design
- Compatible with newborn clothing sizes
- Silicone head and limbs
- Posable arms and legs
- No option for customization
- Not designed to stand.
Best Reborn Baby Doll under $50: Kaydora Reborn Baby Doll
While Reborn baby dolls are adorable, they can also be expensive. But if you’re shopping on a budget, the Kaydora Reborn Baby Doll is a great option that still offers plenty of adorable features. This cute little girl measures 18 inches tall and is made with a poseable silicone head and limbs.
We love the cute giraffe theme which includes a full matching outfit, a plush giraffe toy, and a pacifier with a matching baby bottle. This Reborn doll is also designed to fit newborn clothing and weighs just 2.5 pounds.
- Lifelike design
- Compatible with newborn clothing sizes
- Silicone head and limbs
- No option for customization
- Not designed to stand.
Best Realistic Newborn Baby Doll: Jizhi Lifelike Reborn Baby Doll
Newborn babies are so adorable, but also incredibly delicate. And that’s captured in the Jizhi Lifelike Reborn Baby Doll. You’ll do a double-take when you see this sleeping beauty that measures just 17 inches tall. This doll is made with a full vinyl body and posable limbs.
What makes her so believable is the fact that she has the stereotypical wrinkles throughout her body which you usually see in newborns. She comes with a birth certificate, a set of clothes, a headband, a pacifier, and a baby bottle.
- Lifelike baby doll
- Anatomically correct design
- Hand-painted details
- Some may not like full vinyl body
- Eyes don’t open
Best Walmart Baby Dolls That Look Real: Kadell Reborn Baby Girl Doll
Although Walmart doesn’t directly sell realistic baby dolls, their online portal fulfills orders for these dolls placed with third-party retailers. The Kadell Reborn Baby Girl Doll is a cute 22-inch silicone doll that looks like you caught a little one in the middle of a nap.
Her vinyl head and limbs are hand-painted and paired with a soft cloth body. She arrives at your home with a change of clothes, a mat, a magnetic pacifier, and a feeding bottle. While her eyes don’t open, we do like the hand-applied soft eyelashes.
- Hair can be styled
- Silicone vinyl composition
- Hand-painted detailing
- Eyes cannot open
- Baby can’t be put into a standing position
How To Select the Best Realistic Baby Dolls
First, you’ll need to think about your child’s age, motor skills, and interests.
You'll want a durable baby doll that can stand up to whatever your child throws its way. Baby dolls can be a great way to teach life skills such as caring for others or even sharing with friends.
And if you’re focused on representation, a doll that can be customized is important.
Cost/Price for Quality
Budget is a major factor for many people. Baby dolls can range from a few bucks to several thousand dollars depending on the type of doll you select and the materials used to make them.
But you can’t rely solely on price to determine whether or not a realistic baby doll is a good investment. Think about who you’re buying the doll for and whether or not your preferred choice is durable enough for your child.
For example, buying one of the more expensive reborn baby dolls for a young toddler who’s rough with their toys could be a bad investment. But if you’re a collector, this purchase would make sense.
Realistic baby dolls come in a variety of designs and materials. While some are created for daily play, others might be better suited as a collectible. More wallet-friendly baby dolls feature a standard configuration where the arms, legs, and head are made from some type of hard material, and attached to a plush body.
This style is ideal for daily use and tends to be more durable — especially if your child wants to take their doll with them everywhere they go. We recommend this design if you’re shopping for a younger child who’s still a little rough on their toys.
However, you can also find lifelike baby dolls made from porcelain and more premium materials. But these usually aren’t intended for younger children.
Also note that you can find fully plush baby dolls, which might be ideal for babies who don’t have the dexterity and motor skills to manage a plastic or heavier doll.
But for people interested in reborn baby dolls, you’re more likely to find materials that allow for designers to make the dolls look even more realistic. For this type, you should prioritize vinyl or silicone since they’ll feel and look more realistic. Just note that these tend to be more expensive as compared to traditional baby dolls.
Do you want a more interactive doll or are you okay with a traditional baby doll? It’s not uncommon to find dolls that offer fun functions like being able to cry, make noises or talk, or eat and drink. You can also find dolls that come with themed sets, multiple outfits, and fun accessories.
On the other hand, depending on who you’re buying the doll for, you might not want an interactive doll. In this scenario, a simple baby doll that your child can play with, or change its clothes and brush its hair, might be more than sufficient.
Overall Realistic Look:
Of course, if you’re shopping for a realistic baby doll, then a doll that looks believable is a priority. But a realistic look is about more than ensuring that your baby doll could be mistaken for a real living baby.
For many people, they want a baby doll that looks like their child or them. So, finding a doll or a brand that offers a range of skin tones will be important. And in some cases, you can have a doll custom made, ensuring that you’ll get exactly what you want.
FAQs about realistic baby dolls for toddlers:
Are baby dolls good for toddlers? Benefits of playing with realistic baby dolls for children
Children learn about the world around them through playing — especially when they’re younger. So, letting your toddler play with dolls helps them learn “soft skills” such as nurturing. But it also allows them to understand key life skills like getting dressed, feeding themselves, and how to play well with others.
Some parents like to introduce a realistic baby doll before a sibling arrives too. They reported it helped their child get used to taking care of another.
One reason we love them in our house is they make transitions so much easier! When my toddler vocally declines her nap, I’ll ask her to put her baby doll down for a nap and find it 1000x easier to get her to go to her room afterwards. I’ll usually say something like, “It’s nap time, can you put baby doll down for a nap? Then you’ll go down for a nap. Then mommy.”
Do baby dolls promote learning? Benefits of baby dolls:
Yes, baby dolls do promote learning. And since toddlers learn through play, toddlers learn from playing with dolls too! Baby dolls provide an opportunity to share and care for something. Taking responsibility through role-playing as a caretaker for a baby doll can be a great way to teach life lessons, practical life skills, and social skills for interacting with others.
Ways for extending doll play:
One of the best ways to extend doll play is to engage in pretend real-life scenarios with your child and their dolls. For example, you can pretend to feed the doll with a spoon or bottle. Likewise, you can encourage your child to read to their doll, change their clothes, or brush their hair.
In addition, when I’ve been in a pinch with my toddler during tricky transitions (why won’t she put on her pajamas before bedtime?!) I’ll use her doll to help her get dressed when she doesn’t want mommy’s help.
Why do children enjoy playing with realistic baby dolls?
Children aren’t the only ones who love realistic baby dolls! But the biggest reason children enjoy playing with realistic baby dolls is that they look believable. In many ways, playing with realistic baby dolls helps children learn about the world through role-playing and helps them gain life skills such as caring for others.
Parents can love them too since they are loosely rooted in the montessori concept of grounding the child in practical life skills AND real life. The Montessori Method uses mixed-aged classrooms so that as the child gets older they can solidify their learnings by teaching it to younger children. A realistic baby doll works similarly in the home if younger children aren’t around.
What age is a baby doll for?
Honestly, baby dolls are for anyone who likes them. Because you can find a variety of options from soft-bodied to porcelain, lifelike, and even customized versions that are made to look like you, there’s no age limit for when you can introduce a baby doll to a child.
Of course, keep in mind any features (does the doll require batteries? Or have any choking hazards) and your child’s age.
Can baby dolls help toddlers prepare for a sibling?
Baby dolls are a great way to help toddlers mentally prepare for being an older brother or sister. Depending on the doll you pick, children can learn in real-time how to properly hold an infant, or how to do other tasks such as feeding or diapering a baby.
Are baby dolls a gender neutral toy?
Anyone can play with dolls. And the life skills gained such as learning how to responsibly care for babies, or how to tap into nurturing modes are beneficial for both boys and girls.
Reborn Dolls FAQs:
Where can I find a reborn doll?
There are a variety of brands that make reborn dolls. Many brands have proprietary online stores while others also sell through major online and physical retailers such as Amazon and Walmart.
You can buy legit reborn dolls…
Many brands offer reborn dolls such as Lisa Olson, Jannie de Lange, Sherri Williams, and Ping Lau. But you can also search for reborn dolls through Reborns.com. This site serves as a reliable and trusted source to connect directly with artists to either purchase a premade doll or have one custom made.
What makes a reborn baby doll realistic?
The unique production process used to make reborn dolls adds to their realistic look. Often an artist must apply multiple hand-painted layers to the vinyl baby doll pieces to make them look more believable. Additionally, multiple internal modifications may be required to help make the baby doll look more lifelike.
Why are reborn dolls so popular?
Along with being lifelike and the benefits for children, reborn dolls are often a popular choice for parents working through grief after losing a child. But in other cases, people simply like to collect them because, with the process used to create them, they are works of art.
If your goal is to find a realistic baby doll for your toddler or young child, then we love the JustToYou Silicone Reborn Baby Doll because of how durable it is, while still being huggably soft and coming with 9 accessories.
With a close runner up being the Baby Alive Happy Hungry Baby Dolls. While they are the least lifelike dolls on this list, they do provide the most durability and foster the most responsibility by providing the most practical life skills like caring for a baby that cries, poops, and eats!
If you’re looking for the most realistic baby doll that looks like your child or it could be a member of your family, the American Girl Doll or finding a custom artist are probably your best bet.
Of course, the best lifelike baby doll is going to ultimately depend on who you’re shopping for, budget, and the other factors mentioned earlier.
Whichever you choose, always make sure that you pick a doll that’s compatible when taking age and dexterity into account. While younger children probably shouldn’t receive a Reborn doll, they can make fantastic gifts for older children or adults that want something more realistic for their collection.
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