All babies need a baby doll!
Yes, even your baby!
Let me tell you why.
There are countless reasons why dolls are excellent toys for babies. From building empathy skills to teaching responsibility, there are few toys that are as versatile as a doll.
In this post, I’ve teamed up with the Madame Alexander Doll Company to tell you why your a doll should be in your toy bin.
Why Your Child Needs a Doll
Dolls are a powerful tool for teaching kindness and compassion.
Thank you to Madame Alexander for partnering with me on this post! #Sponsored #MadameAlexander
Teaching values like empathy and warmheartedness is paramount in our house. My husband and I have discussed how we would much rather have our daughter be kind and compassionate than grow up to become president.
We know that these principles must be taught! They are not automatic. Kindness is a practice, an action word, not a genetic trait.
Our daughter shows kindness when she eats! She always offers mama and dada a bite of whatever she’s eating – even if it’s one of her favorite foods, like blueberries. She loves doing silly things to make us laugh, which warms my heart.
“Evidence shows that doll play activates brain regions which are associated with social information processing and empathy, indicating that doll play enables children to rehearse, use and perform these skills even when playing on their own.” – Frontiers Science News
It’s also important for us to offer imaginative play and to stay away from screen time. A doll offers countless hours of entertainment and can be brought pretty much anywhere! We love the versatility of our Madame Alexander doll.
Why Choose Madame Alexander?
Something I love about Madame Alexander dolls is they are not over-accessorized. This is an intentional choice that stimulates the imagination by not having every little item already available to the kid playing with it.
As someone with a background in early childhood education, I can’t stress enough how important it is to allow children room to imagine. Madame Alexander dolls recognize the significance of imaginative play. They share the belief that dolls are meant to be loved and played with!
Madame Alexander has been making dolls for over 95 years and their products are made to last.
You can view their wide array of lifelike dolls for all ages on their online store!
When does my child need a doll?
You can introduce a doll at any age! Children are never too young to start imaginative play. Obviously, make sure there are no small pieces for your little one to swallow and keep toys out of the crib until age one.
Madame Alexander‘s website has a “sort by age” feature, so you can choose the right doll for any age – newborn to age 14+!
How we’re using our doll
Madame Alexander gifted us a beautiful Adoption Day Doll – she is 14″, soft, and her eyes open and close when she’s moved. She comes with a removable outfit, blanket, convertible crib/changing table, pacifier, certificate of adoption, disposable diaper, and hospital name bracelets.
We are using our doll to teach empathy, responsibility, patience, and so much more!
Since we are preparing for pregnancy #2, we are using our doll as a placeholder for that baby. We’ve even taken to calling it “Baby <insert secret baby #2 name>”. We want the transition from only child to big sister to be as easy as possible for our daughter, so having a doll to show her how to be gentle with another baby is game changer!
I know once that baby is born, my daughter will love to mimic what I’m doing with the new baby. A doll is perfect way to help her act out what she sees.
Children need to act out what they see adults doing – that’s why you see so many play kitchens and tool benches and toy grocery stores. It helps them process the world around them.
When I was a preschool teacher, our classroom had several dolls for the children to play with. You could tell a lot about a kid’s bedtime routine based on how they put the dolls “to sleep”. I could hear their parents cadence and catchphrases being replicated through these little kids!
Another way we’ve been using our Adoption Day Doll is to emphasize routines, like bed time and hygiene. The doll gets read a bed time story and is put to bed in their crib, just like our daughter. They both get their hair and “teeth” brushed.
We use the doll to practice manners, like saying please and thank you and being gentle with touch.
Head over to Madame Alexander’s website to check out the dozens of dolls they have to choose from. They have some adorable stocking stuffer dolls which are perfect for the holidays!
Does your child play with dolls? Did you know all of these benefits? Do you have a Madame Alexander doll?
Let me know below!
Frontiers in Human Neuroscience: Exploring the Benefits of Doll Play Through Neuroscience
Verywell: What Kids Learn by Playing With Dolls and Figures
Frontiers Science News: New study shows that playing with dolls allows children to develop empathy and social processing skills