Realistic doll

My children have had baby dolls with countless accessories, and they enjoy using their imaginations and pretending to care for them. I have found these dolls to be an educational toy that helps to show them patience and nurturing.

In fact, baby dolls are great toys for children of any age or gender. They teach your little one how to interact with others while also giving them a sense of independence and responsibility. There are many different types of baby dolls, and some of these look very realistic. These will make your child feel like they are caring for a real person, just like you take care of them. The best part is that many adult baby doll buyers started as collectors when they were young.

There are many different options for realistic baby dolls, and I will cover all sorts of them. I will also share which dolls we started with at home, what their disadvantages were, and what I should have bought for my kids instead.

Carry on reading this page or jump straight to our number #1 pick on Amazon here.

Table of Contents

What Should I Look for in a Baby Doll That Looks Real?

If you are shopping for a realistic baby doll, there are certain features that you should be looking for. Below you will find a list that I have come up with, which touches on every aspect that you can think of when it comes to baby dolls.


There are baby dolls that come with accessory sets and starter kits, while others don’t. For this list, I made sure that most of the ones that don’t come with a set or kit have options for extra clothes, a blanket, a bottle, and other things to purchase separately. It is always great to have that choice.


There are baby dolls that cry real tears, soil their diapers, and other things. Not many of them do this, but I included one that did for anyone who wanted their baby doll to have those functions. I know plenty of children that do.

Facial Features

The first thing you will look at will be the face. I only chose baby dolls that had the most realistic facial features.


Many of the realistic baby dolls are made of soft silicone or vinyl, which feel the closest to human skin. I took a look at what other people have said and found a variety of dolls to please all interests.


I believe it is very important to be inclusive. After all, we all look different, and it was important to me to find baby dolls that were available in multiple skin colors, like the Aori dolls.

Here’s How I’ve Determined the Best Realistic Baby Doll

I looked at a lot of reviews for each of the baby dolls on this list, and I chose the ones that were loved the most by other buyers and had the best features. I have owned several types of dolls throughout my life and I am still a collector today, so I had a basic idea of what I would want when looking for a realistic baby doll. Plus, I knew what would also be best for a child since that is probably who you are looking for. A sweet baby doll toy for your little one to care for all on their own.

Our Top Picks for the Best Realistic Baby Doll of 2021

#1: Aori Lifelike Realistic Reborn Baby Doll (Best Value)

Aori Lifelike Realistic Reborn Baby Doll

Aori makes some of the most realistic baby dolls overall. I found that there were the most options available for ethnicity, gender, and overall look. I really enjoyed looking through their products because of the diversity. Keep reading to find out why this particular baby doll is our top pick.

It Has the Most Realistic Features

The first thing you will notice about this baby doll is how lifelike the face is compared to the other dolls on this list. This doll was handmade with care, including the eyes and the hair. Plus, this doll is 22 inches long, which is the average size of a real newborn baby. Your child will want to treat this baby with such affection because they will forget this is is just a soft, vinyl doll.

There Are a Lot of Doll Choices

This particular baby doll at the link above is the most popular, but there are more choices for ethnicity, gender, and hair color. There’s a good chance you’ll be able to find a doll with your own child’s features. These also show your child diversity, which is important to teach at any age. I will include a link here to an African American version of this Aori baby doll just to show you one of the many examples there are.

Here are more details of this realistic baby doll that are worth mentioning.

  • It fits in newborn to 3 months baby clothes
  • Package includes bottle, mat, birth certificate, outfit, plush, and a magnetic pacifier
  • Meets ASTM safety requirements
  • Cloth body with vinyl arms, legs, and head
  • Ideal for age 3 years and up

This is a very highly rated realistic baby doll, and a lot of parents seem to agree that they love it as much as their kid does. For being just a doll, there was a lot of attention to detail and it is one of the most lifelike baby dolls that you can order. You will be very pleased when you get your baby home.

#2: Ashton-Drake Little Peanut Baby Doll (Best Premium)

Ashton-Drake Little Peanut Baby Doll

Even though this baby doll is the most expensive, it is worth the money if you want something that is made of high quality. It has the look and feels of a real baby, just like our top pick. The real difference is that this particular doll was handmade by master artist Tasha Edenholm. Ashton-Drake is a company that has been in business for over 30 years, and they pride themselves on putting in the most care to all of the baby dolls that they make. Let’s talk about my favorite details of this baby doll.

The Arms and Legs Are Posable

A significant feature of this baby doll is being able to move the arms and legs, as well as the fingers. They are made of ultra-soft vinyl, which feels the most like real skin. The reviews that I saw of this doll all mentioned that it felt exactly like a newborn baby does. You can’t get any more realistic than that!

It Is Weighted to Feel Real

One of the most notable details of this baby doll is that it is weighted to feel just like a newborn baby. When you hold this doll, you will forget that it is just that. Not only is this doll perfect for children, but it is also great for a collector or anyone else who is looking for a lifelike baby doll.

What are other things that are great about this baby doll?

  • All of the features are hand-painted
  • 17 inches long
  • Hand-rooted hair that feels real
  • Recommended for age 12 months and up

One drawback of this baby doll is that it doesn’t come with any additional clothes and accessories like some of the others. However, this baby doll will fit in 0-3 month baby clothes, and most accessories that you can purchase separately will work as long as they are suitable for a 17-inch long doll. The price is high because of the handmade quality. If you want a doll that is the most realistic and you have the budget for it, then I would choose this one over the others like the Aori if you are a real collector.

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#3: Baby Born Interactive Baby Doll (Best Gift)

Baby Born Interactive Baby Doll

Out of all of the other baby dolls on this list, this one probably looks the least lifelike. However, this may be because of the functions that it offers. You won’t see any other baby doll on this list that is quite like this one. Read on to see the reasons why I included this baby as the best gift for your child.

This Baby Acts Like a Real Baby

What is most impressive about this baby doll is that it actually performs physical functions like a real baby. It cries real tears, goes potty in the diaper or on the potty, and drinks bottles. You can also bathe this baby without damaging it. This doll will give your child the most authentic experience of what it is actually like taking care of a baby.

It Comes With Accessories and You Can Buy More

When you order this baby doll, you get several accessories, including an outfit, potty seat, bottle, and a birth certificate. The most unique accessory that comes with this doll is the interactive slice of cake. This makes it a perfect birthday gift for a child because then their new baby can celebrate with them.

Here are some more details of this doll.

  • You can pose the baby for pictures
  • When it lays down, its eyes close
  • No batteries required
  • Outfits and other accessories, like the bathtub, are sold separately
  • Best for 2 years and up

I remember Baby Born being around for a really long time. When I was a kid, I actually owned one and remember it being my favorite toy for years. I always loved taking care of this doll, and I have the best memories of putting my baby in a stroller or feeding it breakfast and then changing a diaper. My favorite thing was having a birth certificate. I enjoyed the independence and responsibility, and I bet your child will, too. Plus, it comes at a very affordable price compared to some of the other lifelike dolls on this list.

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#4: JC Toys African American La Baby Doll (Best Low Cost)

JC Toys African American La Baby Doll

If you have a low budget and prefer a realistic baby doll with a smaller price tag, this could be a great option for you. It has some lifelike qualities but since it is lower cost, it won’t feel as real as most of the other babies. However, if you want a doll that is great for imaginative play, then this will still work great. Keep reading to learn some of the reasons why I believe this is the best low-cost baby doll.

There Are Diverse Options

When you follow the link to this baby, the first thing you will notice is that there are a lot of ethnicities available. Parents sometimes want the baby they choose for their child to match them, or they want to teach their children about different skin colors and racial backgrounds. These dolls are perfect for that.

It’s Safe, Non-Toxic, and Perfect for Younger Children

This baby is safe and non-toxic, making it great for toddlers and young kids. It is 16 inches long, which is the average size for a baby doll, making it easy for small hands to hold. Plus, it also has the National Parenting Center Seal of Approval.

Here are other things that are worth mentioning about this baby doll.

  • BPA and phthalate-free
  • Comes with one outfit, hat, and pacifier
  • Additional clothes can be purchased
  • Textured to feel like real skin
  • Handmade in Spain
  • Recommended for ages 1-15 years old

The way that this product was made compared to the other dolls, is slightly different as it is marketed for young kids to play with it and nurture. Lots of people have bought this baby for their babies to show them how to be kind and to learn more about life. Since it is very inexpensive, you can spend the extra money on other things for it. Just remember that you get what you pay for and this baby isn’t as realistic as some other others like the Aori or the Ashton-Drake.

#5: JC Toys Anatomically Correct La Newborn Baby Doll (Best Starter Baby Doll)

JC Toys Anatomically Correct La Newborn Baby Doll

If your little one has never owned baby dolls before, this one may be a good fit. It is affordable at a mid-range cost, and you don’t just get the baby with purchase. It has intricate details, making it another baby at a good value if you don’t have a lot of money to spend. Let’s go over the reasons why I chose this as the best starter out of all of the other dolls.

She Is a “Real Girl”

Some people like to teach their kids about the differences between sexes at a young age, and this is one of the best dolls for that. As you can tell from the name, this baby is anatomically correct, so it has all of the parts that a female would have. If this doesn’t sound right for you, then you might be better suited for one of the other dolls. There is also a boy option that you can find here.

The Outfit and Blanket Are Hand Knitted

It’s details like this that make me fall in love with a product even more. The time spent making this beautiful outfit and blanket is definitely reflected in how it looks. You just know that whoever knitted them has real talent and skill.

What else does this toy baby have to offer?

  • 15 inches long
  • Made of safety tested and BPA free vinyl
  • Durable
  • Water-friendly
  • Comes with a pacifier, bottle, and birth certificate
  • Recommended for ages 2-15 years old

JC Toys is a family-owned company from Spain, and they have been operating for 30 years. I have two of their dolls on this list because they are radically different and each has standout details that not only make them unique but make them special. Any of these dolls would make great gifts, including this one. I appreciate the handmade details and effort that was put into this toy baby.

Verdict: Your Best Baby Dolls That Look Real 

Here is the takeaway for the best realistic baby dolls.

If you want the best value for your money, pick the Aori Lifelike Realistic Reborn Baby Doll. This one is very lifelike, and it provides lots of choices for styles, color, and add-ons.

For the best premium, pick the Ashton-Drake Little Peanut Baby Doll. Even though it is the most expensive, it feels like you are holding a real child.

If you are looking for the best gift, pick the Baby Born Interactive Baby Doll. This is the most interactive so if your child wants a baby that does all the things a real one does, look no further.

If you want to spend under $20, pick the JC Toys African American La Baby Doll. It cost less than the others, but it is still made of good quality and has realistic details.

For the best starter baby, pick the JC Toys Anatomically Correct La Newborn Baby Doll. The reason for choosing this one is in the name. It is a great baby for teaching your little one about anatomy and life.

I started with Melissa & Doug babies for my kids because I didn’t know that there were such realistic dolls out there that I could have chosen for them. If I had to make the decision over again, I would pick the Baby Born Interactive doll or the Aori brand because of all of the options for clothes, genders, and ethnicities. It is important to me that my kids are raised to be inclusive, and I like when companies reflect the same values in their products, as a lot of these do.

Each of these babies is a great choice on their own, depending on your preference and the preference of your little ones. I included baby dolls to accommodate any budget and interest, so there is truly something for everyone. Besides, these are great for people who collect them as well. Our babies aren’t babies forever, so it’s no secret that you will get a warm fuzzy feeling while holding these realistic babies.


'People don't get it': inside the world of hyper-realistic baby doll collecting

I’m not sure what I expected a collector of hyper-realistic baby dolls to look like, but Kellie Eldred isn’t it. On the frigid midwinter morning that I arrive at her Ithaca, New York, home, she greets me brightly in leggings and a cropped sweatshirt branded with the logo of a local Pilates studio. Her ink-black hair is pulled into a pert bun behind the most perfectly straight bangs I’ve ever seen. She just finished working out, she tells me, as she leads me past her husband and a trio of friendly spaniels into a spotless kitchen. A squeaky toy appears at my feet; its four-legged owner barks for a reaction.

“Please,” Eldred scolds the spaniel. To me, apologetically, she says: “She’s just a little crazy.”

“A little crazy” is the same way Eldred describes the vast network of doll buyers, sellers, creators and collectors she belongs to. From Sydney to Manchester, Tokyo to San Jose, its members spend upwards of $20,000 for one doll to add to their nurseries. Some of these collectors, like Eldred, have children of their own; many don’t. Most are women. They meet in web forums and on Facebook, through YouTube channels and, of course, in the niche online marketplaces of Etsy and eBay.

It was on eBay, way back in 1999, that Eldred found the doll that would change her life. Stripped of its factory-made features, this doll had been remodeled by an artist – or, in the parlance of collectors, reborn – to better resemble an actual infant. Its torso had been weighted with flour; Crayola box approximations of flesh tones were painted over in the bruised pulp palate of living human skin. In the shape of its eyes, the doll bore a striking resemblance to Eldred’s daughter Lexi as a baby.

“I’d never seen or heard of anything like it,” she recalls. Though she agonized over its $100 price tag, she couldn’t get the doll out of her head. While she’s bought and sold dozens of other rebornssince, she still has her first.

In the more than two decades since Eldred discovered these dolls, the rise of social media has expanded the number of worldwide collectors by an order of magnitude. Today, more than 30,000 people subscribe to her YouTube channel, where videos of her cuddling, changing and talking about dolls have amassed more than 14,450,000 views.

The proliferation of these lifelike dolls has led to innovations in the dolls’ creation. Many of the latest dolls are custom-shaped from proprietary silicone blends and poured into molds that, in some instances, have been sculpted in the likeness of real newborns. The current star of Eldred’s YouTube channel, a reborn named Monroe, was made by a husband and wife team of dollmakers whose unique silicone feels remarkably like skin to the touch.

“See how, if you press down on her arm, it takes a second for the skin to settle?” asks Eldred. I press, gently, to feel the skin yield beneath my fingertips. Squeezy, I think. Like a memory foam stress ball. Like a fat baby’s face.

Monroe is one of two dolls currently on display in the powder pink nursery where Eldred shoots her videos (she now has some misgivings about the color choice; “It doesn’t always film too well,” she admits). There’s a rocking chair and a crib, a changing table and a dresser. Scallop-collared ensembles by the French children’s clothier Jacadi hang on tiny hangers. When I timidly ask about a baby bottle –white with what appears to be formula – perched alongside a tube of diaper ointment and talc, I’m assured that they’re all just props. “There are collectors that love to role-play,” she says. “I’m not that collector.”

Deeply entrenched as she is in the online spaces, this is a hobby she keeps mostly to herself offline. She doesn’t take the dolls out in public, like some collectors do. And, though she says her two adult daughters aren’t fussed by her collecting – she’s been into the hobby for most of their lives – her husband will occasionally let slip a derisive remark during disagreements.

“Because of the hobby, and the misunderstanding, not really getting why we love the hobby so much, I think it’s hard for family members at times and it becomes an easy target,” says Eldred in a 2019 video. Coping with outside judgment is a recurring topic on her YouTube channel, and one that’s echoed by other doll creators and collectors online.

By and large, however, Eldred thinks that finger-pointing from outsiders may have waned in recent years. If nothing else, the community’s increased exposure on social media has made more people familiar with it. But Eldred can’t imagine a future in which her hobby is accepted by the mainstream.

“Trying to explain to a non-doll collector this emotional attachment to an inanimate object, people don’t get it,” she says in one of her YouTube videos. Its title: “Why Our Hobby Isn’t Mainstream”.

What are we to make of grown women playing mommy with these dolls?

It’s a question that Emilie St Hilaire, a humanities PhD student at Concordia University in Montreal, has spent the last three years looking into. Her research concerns the “queer and uncanny” aspects of reborns as a subcultural phenomenon. She’s especially interested in the questions the hobby raises around non-reproductive mothering, adult modes of play and, concurrently, relationships with non-human surrogates. This means she often bumps up against the widely held assumption that reborn collectors are substituting dolls for children. It’s a fundamental misunderstanding of the nature of the hobby that belies deep-seated beliefs about a woman’s role in society.

“If you really try to unpack why a childless woman, particularly one who has something that looks like a fake baby, is threatening, then we start to get to what we see as the role of women: a successful woman is a successful mother,” she says.

St Hilaire points out that, of the dozens of reborn collectors that she’s surveyed worldwide, none think of their dolls as “real” babies. (And, contrary to what many assume about collectors, she estimates that half of them already have children of their own.) Instead, St Hilaire has observed that the dolls tend to satisfy an imaginative itch in collectors, whether they’re making reborns from kits and online tutorials or merely choosing how to dress them. In her view, the dolls aren’t child substitutes so much as companionate props in something like a large-scale roleplaying game.

“It doesn’t make me want to have babies, at all,” says Stephanie Ortiz, a maker and collector in her mid-30s. She and her wife Jackie ship the reborns they create in their Fresno, California, kitchen – where doll arms, legs and heads of all hues hang on the walls like surrealist cabinetry – to buyers in the US, the UK, Australia, Germany, Canada and New Zealand. The YouTube channels where they show off their wares have about 400,000 subscribers altogether.


With her forthcoming manner and faux-hawk, Ortiz describes herself as a lifelong tomboy. But for as long as she can remember, she’s had a fascination with dolls. “I remember when I was a kid, I just wanted the most realistic baby [doll] I could have,” she recalls. “Even as I was beating up my cousins who were boys.” To her, the dolls are about indulging her inner child and having fun; kids are a responsibility. As she wryly points out, a doll “doesn’t turn into a teenager who wants an iPhone 11”.

St Hilaire has found that some collectors get a kick from bringing their dolls into public spaces and watching strangers mistake them for real babies. “It’s like having a secret,” she says.

Recent pop cultural depictions tell a different story. An episode of the HBO series High Maintenance chronicles a woman’s descent into quasi-maternal delusion after buying a silicone reborn she names “Baby Nico” and whose care and companionship become increasingly central to her life (to the chagrin of her baffled, yet supportive, husband). She changes the doll’s diapers, talks to it, takes it out. When the woman and her husband forget Baby Nico’s stroller outside a hardware store, its dollness gets a heartbreaking and very public reveal – and becomes a proxy for the woman’s unspoken loss and regret.

The new Apple TV+ series Servant serves up a much less oblique indictment of reborn collectors’ psychological states. In it, a couple take in a doll they name Jericho and treat as a human baby, replete with a mysterious live-in nanny. Turns out – spoiler alert – that the couple is mourning the recent death of their actual baby (also named Jericho), and the doll is the bereft mother’s only guard against a grief-induced state of catatonia.

Though the fake baby trope is wildly misleading, it’s true that reborn collectors don’t see their reborns as merely toys. Most, says St Hilaire, echo Eldred’s emotional attachment to their dolls. St Hilaire describes this dynamic as “a kind of synthetic relationship”.

Lucenda Plancarte and her husband sit with their reborn doll, Joseph. Photograph: Daniel Hollis / The Guardian

“The feeling that you get from that,” she says, “isn’t so different from a real relationship”– that is, one with a human counterpart.Across social media, collectors speak openly of the special bond one can develop with certain reborns, as well as the grieving period that sometimes follows once a doll is let go (as with many collecting hobbies, reborns are commonly bought then sold or swapped out, changing hands within the community). In reborn relationships, St Hilaire sees promising implications for the future of artificial intelligence and forms of non-human or humanoid companionship.

Then, there’s the biological response that’s triggered when handling a realistically proportioned, lifelike baby doll. Studies suggest that doll therapy can reinforce feelings of attachment and emotional wellbeing in some patients with dementia. Many reborn collectors similarly point to the therapeutic benefits of their dolls for managing mental health conditions like anxiety and depression.

“There’s comfort in cuddling and physically holding something that feels like a baby, even though it’s not a baby,” says St Hilaire. “It can release some of the same endorphins.”

For Lucenda Plancarte, who is a friend of Ortiz and a reborn collector in her early 30s, the hobby’s therapeutic benefits are twofold.

“I have polycystic ovarian syndrome and stage four endometriosis,” she explains from her home in Compton, California. “And I’ve been proven infertile. I’ve already had multiple treatments, surgeries, seen different doctors. [Having children is] just not in my cards.”

Stripped of her plans for biological motherhood, Plancarte fell into a deep depression. She couldn’t walk past the baby departments of her local Target and Walmart without being reminded of her unlucky draw. But, as fate would have it, a solution emerged in 2012. And in an unexpected place: An episode of the TLC reality series My Strange Addiction. The show had featured a reborn collector; Plancarte says she was “intrigued”. It was her husband’s idea that she buy one for herself, despite the $120 price tag.

“Then she arrived, and it was the most magical experience ever,” says Plancarte. “I was in love. It was amazing. I was like, how in the world have I never owned a reborn before? And it gave me a sense of purpose.”

Plancarte loves being able to shop for her dolls in the same baby departments that were once a reminder of the things she was missing out on. Caring for them, she says, is a “coping mechanism”.

Plancarte knows she’s risking confrontation when she takes her dolls out in public. “It comes with the territory,” she says. When people ask questions, she answers: the dolls are objects of art, and they make her feel good. They’re not replacements for children.

“Right now, fostering and adoption – it’s not the right time for me,” she says. “And when it is, then I’ll pursue that path. But right now, my path is collecting reborns, minding my own business, and sharing it with the world on Instagram and YouTube.”

  • This article was amended on 26 February 2020 to correct the name of Stephanie Ortiz’s wife.

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So Truly Real® Baby Dolls Are Uniquely Lifelike

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Real dolls became super popular in the 1990s and although that popularity has become somewhat quieted, lifelike baby dolls are still a big hit.

Today, dolls are designed using technology that makes them more realistic than ever. With that in mind, there are five essential factors to consider when weighing which dolls you should buy – price, quality, realism, cuteness, and fun rating. 

This list will reveal some of the best realistic dolls on the market and describe why they are considered the best. Of course, there’s no way that a single list could capture all of them so if I happen to miss one, feel free to let me know in the comments and ask questions – none of these are sponsored reviews, so I can tell you all about their pros and cons.

Things to Know About Reborn Dolls

Many people use the term “realistic dolls” with “reborn dolls”. While it’s technically the same thing, it can confuse some people who know the history of the reborn dolls.

The original reborn dolls are artistic dolls that are meant to be transformed to resemble a human infant. Some consumers of reborn dolls use them to cope with their grief over a lost child, miscarriage, or prepare for the adoption process.

Police have been called multiple times to a doll that’s been left in a car due to their realistic appearance (especially sleeping ones) and in many parts of the world reborn dolls are still considered very unusual.

For this reason, some people consider them pretty creepy and they appeared in various horror movies – most recently in an AppleTV series The Servant.

Best Realistic Dolls

1. Layette Baby Doll Set

(Most Affordable – $)

This 8-piece set provides a great bang for your buck. The Layette Baby Doll is a realistic doll that has a smile so sweet that it will melt your heart.

It’s no surprise that this is one of the top selling dolls on the market. This doll set is a real value!

You can expect one of the most realistic baby dolls on the market and an 8-piece set that includes diapers, clothes, and even a hat for the newborn baby.

Plus, this doll is lightweight so it’s easy for your child to carry around and snuggle. Its vinyl design also makes it a breeze to keep clean although you will have to remove the head and limbs in order to dry out the doll after bath time.

The Layette Baby Doll Set is a perfect for smaller kids who want to enjoy a lightweight doll to carry around and care for.

2. JC Toys Real Boy Doll

(Best Anatomically Correct Doll – $$)

Another great affordable option. JC Toys Real Boy Doll is one of the least expensive real looking baby dolls on the market.

It also comes with clothing and apparel to further its value and it’s easy to clean due to its vinyl plastic design.

Of course, price alone isn’t enough to justify its presence on this list so let’s look at the other factors, such as anatomical correctness.

Unlike most dolls, this one is not flat and has actual genitals. The doll also has life-like dimples, folds, and wrinkles.

The downside is that it’s more difficult to find clothes for this doll due to its small size so if your child loves to play dress-up, then this might not be the best choice.

3. Baby Kaydora Doll

(Big Doll that Fits in Baby Clothes – $$)

Baby Kadora is like a real infant. Measuring 22 inches and weighing 3.26 lbs – more than my last baby actually.

It’s a very soft doll as the body is made with cotton and limbs of soft silicone. Your child will get countless hours of enjoyment from this realistic baby doll set.

Movable vinyl arms and legs allow you to sit her in many poses and she can wear size 0-3 clothes for any infant, so there are lots of possibilities to play dress-ups with this doll.

Due to its size it might be too big for kids under 3.

4. Paradise Galleries Reborn Doll

(Most Detailed – $$$)

This doll is so realistic that you might forget it’s not a real baby. A large part of its realism is how it feels when holding it.

It comes with a magnetic pacifier. The company also offers a bundle with bottles with disappearing milk which is quite amazing.

Its skin is developed using the latest vinyl technology, making it soft against the arms. It even has that baby-powder scent that thrills the senses.

Additionally, the llama-themed outfit adds to her adorableness but also makes this doll more expensive. Older children will love this doll because of its exquisite detail.

5. Charex Baby Lucy

(Most Accessories – $$$)

This is another real looking baby doll that is sure to put a smile on your kid’s face.

Although this doll is a bit more expensive that others on the market, it’s one of the most realistic baby dolls. This baby’s face is sculpted by top artists and given vividly detailed features.

The Baby Lucy doll is great for playing dress up and feels like a real baby so kids love her. This set also comes with a cute onesie to add to the fun.

If you want to add more clothing options, you’ll have to go out and buy baby clothes. Fortunately, clothes for babies up to 3 months old will fit this doll perfectly so it’s not too difficult to build a wardrobe for this baby doll.

One of the coolest features is the magnetic pacifier because it feels as though it’s being pulled into the baby’s mouth, creating a realistic experience for your child.

The Baby Lucy Set is a great choice for older kids who are able to take care of an expensive doll.

FAQ when Buying Realistic Baby Dolls:

Here are some of the most common questions that people ask about buying real dolls.

Why Should I Buy a Realistic Baby Doll for my Child?

One of the most important elements of a child’s development is playing make-believe. It helps them develop essential skills and express their imagination. Realistic baby dolls provide a unique opportunity for your child to learn compassion by mimicking their parent’s lives.

Some important lessons that your child learns are proper behavioral skills, emotional intelligence training, and imaginative storytelling. Finally, children have a lot of fun by playing with real-looking baby dolls.

What is the Age Range for Children Interested in Baby Dolls?

Children who are at least two-years-old will enjoy playing with these realistic baby dolls. However, you should only invest in higher quality dolls for children who are old enough to be responsible.

With that said, realistic baby dolls tend to entertain children for years due to their imaginative play, sometimes up to even 12-years-old.

Why are These Baby Dolls so Realistic?

First of all, they look quite real but their realism doesn’t stop with just their looks. They are also designed to feel real when being held and designed with materials that are soft to the touch.

Their arms and limbs feel like they are naturally part of a newborn baby. Some of the models listed in this post even have that new baby smell!

There are lots of amazing realistic baby dolls on the market – far too many to put onto a single list. Just be careful when searching because all sellers make claims but the internet is littered with baby dolls that don’t live up to their descriptions. Be sure to check for reviews and see what others have to say before buying one.

Finally, remember that the most important factor is your child’s happiness. Consider their likes and dislikes before making a final decision.


Doll realistic

Reborn doll

A hand made art doll created from a blank kit or a manufactured doll that has been completely stripped and then transformed by an artist to resemble a human infant with as much realism as possible

Before and after image of a doll sculpted out of clay, reproduced into a vinyl kit and reborned
Vinyl doll kit shown side by side (unpainted parts & painted "reborn" doll on cloth body)

A reborn doll is a hand made art doll created from a blank kit or a manufactured doll that has been completely transformed by an artist to resemble a human infant with as much realism as possible. The process of creating a reborn doll is referred to as reborning and the doll artists are referred to as reborners.[1][2] Reborn dolls are also known as lifelike dolls or reborn baby dolls.[3][4]

The hobby of creating reborn baby dolls began in the early 1990s when doll enthusiasts wanted more realistic dolls.[5] Since then, an industry and community surrounding reborn dolls has emerged.[5] Reborn dolls are primarily purchased online but are available at fairs.[1] Depending on craftsmanship, they range in price from hundreds to thousands of dollars.[6][7]

Reborning involves numerous time-consuming steps. The most basic form of the process involves taking a vinyl doll, adding multiple hand painted layers of paint, and adding other physical features to the doll.[3] Artists can pick different brands to best suit the doll they wish to create.[8] Reborn artists can also buy reborn doll kits that are sculpted by reborn sculpt artists. A kit includes the vinyl doll parts. Customers can then purchase a reborn doll by choosing a kit (name) by sculptor (name) and have it reborned by a reborn artist (name) e.g. Adam by Mary reborned by Ann. Consumers can purchase a wide range of supplies for creating their own reborn.[1][9] Making a doll from a kit allows artists to omit some steps in the fabrication process and begin with a blank canvas.[9] Many supplies are needed for both external and internal modifications of reborns to make the doll seem more realistic.[7]

Some consumers of reborn dolls use them to cope with their grief over a lost child (a memory reborn), or as a portrait doll of a grown child.[10] Others collect reborns as they would regular dolls. These dolls are sometimes played with as if they are an infant.[10] Critics debate whether reborn dolls are harmful, or whether these dolls can help in the grieving process.[5][11] Because of their realistic appearance, reborn dolls have occasionally been mistaken for real babies and "rescued" from parked cars after being reported to the police by passers-by.[4][12]


The art of making reborn dolls began in the United States in the 1990s.[5] Reborning follows a long tradition of collectors, artists, and manufacturers restoring and enhancing dolls in order to portray more realism.[2] The internet has allowed doll artists and collectors to create an online society focused on reborn dolls.[5] In 2002, the first reborn was offered on eBay.[2] This has expanded the reborn market allowing artists to open online stores which function figuratively as nurseries.[13] The niche market for the dolls began with doll collectors who admired the superior lifelike accuracy of the doll. The market quickly reached those who wanted to use the doll as an emotional outlet, either to mother or for therapeutic purposes.[2]Mass media coverage has helped to develop the phenomenon in other countries.[5][7] Reborning enjoys popularity in the USA, Canada, United Kingdom, Europe, Africa, Latin America and many other countries around the world.[5][7] Doll manufacturers have also taken advantage of the trend and sell supplies, tools, and accessories catering to reborn followers.[2] This has allowed reborners to invent new techniques causing the dolls to become increasingly realistic over time.[7] Magazines, books, organizations, and conventions dedicated to reborn dolls have been started as a result of this popularity.


Reborns are vinyl dolls, created by reborn artists. The appearance of the doll depends on the creator; however, certain reborn artists allow customers to customize their doll, usually using a photograph to replicate a particular infant.[3]


Any type of vinyl doll can be used for reborning. Dolls vary by size, shape, and materials, making some more desirable or popular than others. According to Doll Reader Magazine, Berenguer Babies, Zapf, Lee Middleton, Apple Valley, and Secrist Dolls are doll companies that make dolls which are easy to transform into reborns.[8] Kathryn Peck of Doll Reader Magazine explains that with JC Toys Berenguer Babies, it is because the dolls already resemble human babies in their expressions, body shapes, surface materials, and other lifelike attributes.[14]


A reborn can be created from a blank kit as opposed to reborning a whole manufactured doll. Manufacturers have reacted to the growing trend of artists transforming dolls by hiring reborn artists to become doll sculptors and design doll molds and kits.[2][15] There are also many independent sculptors who create their own line of kits. Realborns are a type of blank kit for reborning that are made by taking 3D digital scans of a real baby instead of an artist sculpting by hand. These are usually newborns, sometimes they produce a kit of the same baby again at 3 or 7 months.

When reborning from a kit, the first several steps of the process are completed by reborn sculpt artists and doll manufacturers. The kits come as a disassembled blank baby ready to be reborned. Supplies can be purchased separately. [1]


Starter kits are equipped with basic reborning necessities such as limbs, faces, heads, paint brushes, eyelashes, acrylic/glass eyes, weighting pellets, 'heat set' or air dry paints, cloth bodies, cable ties, nose drill bits, fake tears, thinning shears, cosmetic foam wedges, cotton dipped applicators, and glue.[7][16] These supplies may be purchased separately from a variety of retailers.[1] The nose drill bits are used for creating and perfecting the nostrils of the doll. Acetone or a paint thinner medium is needed for removing the factory paint from the doll.[17] Hair is an optional choice to add to a doll. Fine mohair, human hair, or wigs are usually used, but it is found in a variety of types. Rooting tools are utilized for this process and are available in numerous sizes 20, 36, 38, 40, and 42. The smaller the number the thicker the needle which will grab more hair and leave a bigger hole in the head of the doll.[18] Eyes for a reborn doll are offered in a variety of brands and sizes.[6]


Before and after image of a doll sculpted out of clay, reproduced into a vinyl kit and reborned
Vinyl doll kit shown side by side (unpainted parts & painted "reborn" doll). The doll has a "chest/belly plate".

The technique of reborning a play doll typically involves a number of steps. To begin the doll is taken apart and factory paint is removed.[1] Then a blue color wash may be applied to give the appearance of realistic baby skin undertones.[1][6] For dolls with an awake appearance eyes must be replaced.[1][6] The outer layer of the vinyl doll is given its skin tone by adding dozens of layers of different paint tones to build up and achieve a realistic human skin effect. If heat set paints are used, the doll parts must be heat set by baking them inside an oven or by using a heatgun after each layer of paint is applied.[3] Lighter skin tone dolls can take 15 to 30 layers.[7] The effects of the blue color wash combined with the outside layers of paint creates the appearance of veins, and layers of paint done with special sponges give the doll its newborn mottled look.[1][3] Manicured nails and opening of the nose holes are other details that are added during this process.[6][7]

There are air dry paints now available to reborn artists, sold under several brand names. Many feel that repeated baking of vinyl can cause it to break down over time. In addition, there are fumes and chemicals released during the heating process.[19]

The next step is to apply hair. The hair can either be done in one of three ways; painting, wiggling or rooting/microrooting.[6][10] when rooting, hair is added 1–4 hair strands per plug. When microrooting, hair is added individually strand by strand.[10] This can take up to 30 or more hours per head. Once the hair is finished, the original vinyl body is weighted with a soft stuffed body filled with pellets/fine glass beads/fiberfill.The weight corresponds with its age to achieve a real effect.[1] Various additions also can be added to give the doll an even more life like appearance. Reborns heads are often weighted, so that owners have to support the head like one would a real newborn. Purchasers can have magnets attached inside the mouth or head for attaching a pacifier or hair bows. Electronic devices that mimic a heart beat, or make the chest rise and fall to simulate breathing are common.[7] Reborns can come with an umbilical cord, baby fat, heat packs to make the reborn warm to the touch, or voice boxes that mimic infant sounds.[20][21] For preemie dolls, they may come in incubators with a breathing apparatus attached to their nose.[7]


Institutions have developed to aid reborn hobbyists with collecting by providing information, products, and social networking. These institutions include magazines, and associations and organizations which sponsor conferences and conventions. Collectors and artists have described their reasons for purchasing and/or creating reborn dolls as varying from a love of dolls to a passion for art.[22]


Reborn dolls are handmade art made by artists and can not be factory produced. They are usually found online and can be purchased through the artists' online stores (often termed nurseries), through artists' personal or doll/nursery pages on facebook where you can see all their previous work for assurity or through many Facebook groups and pages and at numerous doll conventions/fairs. Incomplete crafting "kits" to create original reborns can also be purchased from various online stores.[1][7] There is a large price range depending on the quality of the doll, the sculpt used and the experience of the artist; they can sell anywhere from hundreds to thousands of dollars.[7]

There are many factors to look for when purchasing a reborn.[6] If the complexion is too dark this is called a blue baby, and indicates it was dyed excessively or uses colored sand for weight that could have seeped into the vinyl. The type of material used to weight the reborn should be considered because some materials do not react well with vinyl and will cause it to deteriorate. The doll should not be shiny. This indicates the doll was washed with acetone before painting, which prevents the color from correctly sticking to the doll's surface. It may also be caused by the type of paint used to color the doll. This is corrected with a special matte varnish. The parts used are important, as original parts may be replaced. The replacement parts must be appropriately proportioned with the doll and made of quality material. At times having the original body retains the doll's value either because it was made to fit that specific doll, or the artist left a signature mark. Eye brand, size, fitting, and alignment should be closely examined as well. Another feature to observe is the type of paint used for coloring and whether the doll is realistic in its details such as veins and newborn imperfections. The type of hair and technique used in applying the hair may determine the quality. Some artists open the nose, the holes should be correctly shaped, and the nails should be properly manicured.[6]

Associations and organizations[edit]

The International Reborn Doll Artists (IRDA) originated at the first conference for reborn doll artists on January 21, 2005. The IRDA group was assembled in order to offer education for improved skills in the art of reborn doll creation. They offer skill building tutorials and instruction so reborners can remain up to date on the newest techniques and meet others who share a common interest in reborn doll fabrication. A reborn artist can join the organization at any skill level, but members are asked to uphold a list of standards that were created by the IRDA's executive board. This ethical code stipulates the guidelines members are to follow in advertising, listing, and describing their dolls in order to divide credit fairly between manufacturers, sculptors, and artists.[20]

Conferences and conventions[edit]

The First Annual International Reborn Doll Artists Conference was held in Orlando, Florida on January 21–23, 2005 in conjunction with IDEX The Annual Debut of the World's Finest Collectibles.[20] In January 2006 in Las Vegas, Nevada, Doll Reader Magazine sponsored the IDEX Reborn Competition at the First International IDEX Reborn Convention.[23]Doll Reader Magazine started publishing over twenty-five years ago.[24] It is now published nine times a year, keeps collectors informed on trends of modern-day doll collecting, and continues to sponsor the IDEX trade shows that feature reborn competitions and conventions.[23][25] In the summer of 2008, ABC News followed a reborn convention in Illinois.[10] ABC News was also in St. Louis, Missouri to attend the first annual Tiny Treasures Show held in 2008. The show features exhibitors, collectors, retailers, manufacturers, workshops, and contests for reborners.[26] Reborn dolls can be found at doll fairs as well.[1]

Social issues and reactions[edit]

A typical reborn doll. Note the added cloth body on the limbs, and the "rear plate" to make it more realistic.

The overwhelming majority of reborn customers are older women.[5] The process of buying a reborn can be done to simulate an adoption process, rather than a prosaic sale of a product. As part of this, the dolls often come with fake birth certificates or adoption certificates.[7] Many women collect reborns as they would a non-reborn doll, whilst others purchase them to fill a void of a lost child and may treat reborns as living babies.[10] Media features and public receptions have used such adjectives as "creepy" to describe the reborns. This can be explained by the uncanny valley hypothesis. This states that as objects become more lifelike they gain an increasing empathetic response, until a certain point at which the response changes to repulsion. Department stores have refused to stock the dolls because of this reaction, claiming they are too lifelike.[5][27]

Emotional bond[edit]

Many reborn owners are simply doll collectors, while others have experienced miscarriage, stillbirth or neonatal death, have no means for adoption, or suffer from empty nest syndrome. They may utilize the dolls as a substitute for a child. Some owners dress the dolls, wash their hair, and may even take them for walks in strollers and take them shopping.[10] Reborn hobbyists refer to the emotional response to holding their dolls as cuddle therapy.[5] Studies suggest cuddling a baby releases hormones which produce a sense of emotional well-being, and some psychologists believe that this may happen with realistic dolls as well. Consultant psychiatristRaj Persaud explains that mothering a real newborn baby releases the hormone oxytocin in the mother, and hypothesizes that this may explain why "reborn mothers" become emotionally attached to the reborn baby doll.[10][28]

For grieving parents who form emotional bonds with reborn dolls, some child bereavement counselors advise against parents substituting their deceased child with the dolls. Reborn mothers contend that they are not replacing children but remembering them.[21] Psychiatrist Sue Varma, teacher at the NYU school of medicine, says mothering reborn dolls rather than just collecting them can become a problem when it is used as prop and becomes the person's only form of socializing.[10] Psychiatrist Gail Saltz with New York Presbyterian Hospital supports the use of reborns for people who do not want to make the commitment of having a real child, and also to comfort bereaved parents. She offers that in this case the reborn may symbolize a step in the grieving process. Concern should only come if someone who lost a baby grows too attached to their reborn because it could indicate their grief is not getting resolved. In this case, the likeness of the doll to the deceased child risks being harmful as a permanent replacement for the grieving parents.[11] Ian James, a doctor at the Centre for the Health of the Elderly at Newcastle General Hospital in the U.K., said that holding the dolls helps calm elderly residents, helping them feel peaceful and quiet. [5]

Law enforcement incidents[edit]

Reborn dolls look so real they have been mistaken for real babies. In July 2008, police in Queensland, Australia, smashed a car window to rescue what seemed like an unconscious baby only to find it was a reborn doll. The police stated that the doll was "incredibly lifelike" and that bystanders who thought a baby was dying were frightened by the incident.[29] A similar incident was reported in the United States, in which police broke the window of a Hummer to save a baby that turned out to be a reborn doll.[12] On June 18, 2019, NYC Police confirmed the death of an infant found in a park in Queens who was identified, more than 1 hour later, to actually be a doll.[30]

In 2009, reborners uncovered a blogginghoax in which a woman – described by ABC News as an "anti-abortion blogger" – claimed she was pregnant with a terminally ill child. She opened a P.O. box in order to receive gifts, money, and prayers. The hoax was uncovered when reborners reading the blog realized that the pictures of the baby posted on the blog were actually a reborn doll they recognized through the familiar reborn sculpture.[31]

Media appearances[edit]

Reborn dolls have been featured in a number of movies, series and television shows. A December 10, 2008, episode of Dr. Phil entitled "Obsessions" discussed the topic of reborning.[32] In January 2008, a Channel 4 series, My Fake Baby, explored the lives of women who collect the lifelike baby dolls.[4] Featuring this documentary the British television magazine show on Channel 4, Richard & Judy, held an interview with the reborn artist in the documentary, Jaime Eaton, collector Mary Flint and psychiatrist Raj Persuad.[28] On January 2, 2009, an ABC News article described both the manufacturing and the emotional interaction of reborn dolls,[10] while a January 2 20/20 episode talked about the mothering process and attachment to reborns.[33] On January 31, 2008, Inside Edition aired a segment showing artist Eve Newsom and her reborn dolls. In July 2014, an episode of Perception, an American fictional series about a neuropsychiatrist who helps solve murders, called "Inconceivable" was all about a real baby and a reborn. In December 2015, Shaylen Maxwell, owner and artist of Reborn, Sweet was featured in The Globe and Mail in a LIFE feature on the therapeutic value of reborn dolls in treating anxiety and grief.[35] In April 2019, a reborn doll is featured in the Netflix produced horror show Chambers. A reborn doll also plays a significant part in the 2019 M. Night Shyamalan psychological horror television series Servant. An episode of High Maintenance (season 3, episode 8, "Proxy") features a couple caring for a reborn doll.

See also[edit]


  1. ^ abcdefghijklWalker, Rob (20 February 2005). "The Way We Live Now: Consumed: Hyperreality Hobbying". New York Times Company. Retrieved 2009-07-22.
  2. ^ abcdefMontcombroux, Vieve. "Simply Irresistible: What is that elusive quality that makes reborns so hard to resist?". Doll Reader Magazine. June/July 2008. Retrieved 2009-07-17
  3. ^ abcdeCelizic, Mike (1 October 2008). "Unliving Dolls: Women Collect Fake Babies". MSNBC News. Archived from the original on 3 October 2008. Retrieved 2009-07-07.
  4. ^ abc"Living Doll:My Fake Baby". Channel 4. 2009. Archived from the original on April 27, 2008. Retrieved 2009-07-20.
  5. ^ abcdefghijkTaylor, Sophie (17 July 2008). "Attract, repel: lifelike dolls are collector cult". Reuters. Retrieved 2009-07-04.
  6. ^ abcdefghKohlscheen, Cindy. "10 Questions to Ask when Purchasing a Reborn Doll". Doll Reader Magazine. June/July 2006. Retrieved 2009-07-14
  7. ^ abcdefghijklmShimo, Alexandra."It's not a doll. It's a baby". Maclean's. 7 April 2008. Vol. 121 Issue 13, pp. 48–49. Retrieved 2009-07-16
  8. ^ abTitterton, Kevin."Baby Reborn". Doll Reader Magazine. Nov2005, Vol. 33 Issue 9, p48-51. Retrieved 2009-07-25
  9. ^ abKinsey, Mindy. "A Reborning Rookie". Doll Reader Magazine. Jun/Jul2009, Vol. 37 Issue 5, p66-66. Retrieved 2009-07-25
  10. ^ abcdefghijRoberts, Gowen, Furuya (2 January 2009). "Not Child's Play: 'I Feel Like I Have a Real Baby'". ABC News.CS1 maint: multiple names: authors list (link)
  11. ^ abSaltz, Gail (3 October 2008). "Fake babies ease women's anxiety, sadness: Dr. Gail Saltz looks at the psychology of adults who "play" with reborn doll". interactive. Retrieved 2009-07-11.
  12. ^ abJohnson, Linda (16 July 2008). "Scary Photos: Reborn Baby Dolls Bring Rescue Effort, Fool Police". The National Ledger. Archived from the original on 2016-08-07. Retrieved 2009-07-13.
  13. ^Nakamura, Lisa (2008). Digitizing race: Visual Cultures of the Internet. The University of Minnesota Press. ISBN .
  14. ^Peck, Kathryn. "Something for Everyone". Doll Reader Magazine. Jun/Jul2008, Vol. 36 Issue 5, p44-48.
  15. ^"Ashton Drake Galleries: Realism Rules". Doll Reader Magazine. Feb 2007.Vol. 35 Issue 2, p38-41. Retrieved 2009-07-22
  16. ^"Secrist Doll Company:Fulfilling a Dream". Doll Reader Magazine. Feb2008, Vol. 36 Issue 2, p112-113. Retrieved 2009-07-26
  17. ^Holper, Jeanine M."Hair Rooting Basics: Repairing a Vinyl Reborn Head". Doll Reader Magazine. Mar/Apr2008, Vol. 36 Issue 3, p20-20. Retrieved 2009-07-22
  18. ^Holper, Jeanine M. "Reborn Hair Rootig Basics: Let's Talk Needles". Doll Reader Magazine. Nov2007, Vol. 35 Issue 9, p19-19. Retrieved 2009-07-24
  19. ^"Are We Poisoning Ourselves?". 2010-09-21.
  20. ^ abc"Out and About People and Places: International Reborn Doll Artists". Doll Reader Magazine. June/July 2005. Vol. 33 Issue 5, p18-19. Retrieved 2009-07-22
  21. ^ ab"Grieving parents turning to `super-realistic' dolls". Northern Territory News. 4 March 2007. Section: News, pg. 008. Retrieved 2009-07-05
  22. ^April 2008 and May/June 2008 issues of Lifelike Dolls Magazine
  23. ^ abLynch, Joan. "Idex Reborn Convention and Competition: The bar has been raised". Doll Reader Magazine. September 2006. Retrieved 2009-07-02
  24. ^Collier, Marsha and Summers, Bill (2007). Starting an EBay Business for Canadians for Dummies. John Wiley Sons Canada ltd. ISBN .CS1 maint: uses authors parameter (link)
  25. ^Robertson, A.F. (2004). Life Like Dolls: The Collector Doll Phenomenon and the Lives of the Women Who Love Them. Routledge. ISBN .CS1 maint: uses authors parameter (link)
  26. ^Jackson, Jill. "Out and About: Tiny Treasure Conference". Doll Reader Magazine. Oct2008, Vol. 36 Issue 8, p16-18. Retrieved 2009-07-25
  27. ^Nancy J. White (November 25, 2008). "Are these baby dolls cute or creepy?". Toronto Star.
  28. ^ abRichard and Judy (hosts), Raj Persaud (guest) (2008-01-06). 6 January 2008 Richard & Judy segment on My Fake Baby (Television Program). United Kingdom: Channel 4.
  29. ^Green, Glenis (15 July 2008). "Frantic rescue effort saves doll, not baby". News Limited. Retrieved 2009-07-13.
  30. ^Kilgannon, Corey; Southall, Ashley (18 June 2019). "A Horrific Discovery in a Park Turns Bizarre: It Was a Doll, Not a Baby". The New York Times.
  31. ^Goldman, Russel (13 June 2009). "Anti-Abortion Blogger Admits Hoax: Blogger Claiming Pregnancy With Sick Child Caught in Web of Lies by Readers". ABC News. Retrieved 2009-07-13.
  32. ^McGraw, Dr. Phil (2009). "Dr. Phil Obsessions?". Peteski Productions, Inc. Retrieved January 29, 2009.
  33. ^"When Those Cute Babies Aren't Real". ABC 20/20. 2 January 2009. Retrieved 2009-01-03.
  34. ^Life Feature (host), Shaylen Maxwell (guest). The therapeutic value of reborn dolls in treating anxiety and grief (Web Newspaper segment). Canada: The Globe and Mail. Retrieved 2015-12-23.

Further reading[edit]

  • Barrow-Belisle, Michelle (2006). Beautiful Babies: The Art of Reborn Doll Making. ISBN .
  • Holper, Jeanine M. (2006). Excellence in Reborn Artistry: Learn the Reborning Art: Create Reborn Dolls Instructions & Tutorial. ISBN .
  • Nakamura, Lisa (2008). Digitizing race: Visual Cultures of the Internet. The University of Minnesota Press. ISBN .
  • Giaever, Bianca (1 June 2019). "A Natural Mother". Believer Magazine. Retrieved 2019-06-10. Story of a woman with intellectual disability and her reborn dolls.

11 Best Toddler Baby Dolls That Look Real (2021 Reviews)

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Updated on by Lyric Fergusson

Taking care of baby dolls is such a timeless way for our children to play. Watching your toddler feed, rock, and carry around another baby is the cutest thing. Every kid needs a baby doll, but they are especially helpful when your toddler is going to become a big brother or big sister. Another great reason for any child to have a baby doll is that nurturing play encourages life skills, like taking care of others; and we can model what that should look like with baby dolls. When you’re ready for a baby doll that looks real it can be hard to find the best options, so we’ve created this list to help you out!

The Best Toddler Baby Dolls That Look Real for All Ages

1. Aori Lifelike Realistic Reborn Baby Doll

(Most realistic — $$$)

Aori Lifelike Realistic Reborn Baby DollWhy it’s great: His soft baby skin and realistic hair will make people do a double-take when they see this adorable baby doll. He looks incredibly real. His weighted body adds to his lifelike characteristics. He comes with a super cute ducky outfit, but he also fits real preemie diapers and real size newborn baby clothes. One of his coolest features is his magnetic pacifier, yet another thing that makes him seem almost real. He also comes with his own blanket and plush ducky, as well as a bottle. Any baby that looks this real also needs their own birth certificate, so of course, he has one of those too.

He weighs nearly 4 pounds, so he is better suited for older toddlers. He is a doll your child will play with for years to come.

Keep in mind: Like many of the super-realistic baby dolls, his cotton body makes him a bit more sensitive to water. He can’t be submerged, instead, spot cleaning with a damp cloth is recommended. He can also be a bit hard to pose.

Good for: Older tots who are interested in an uber authentic looking baby doll.

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2. Silicone Reborn baby Doll

(Best newborn — $$)

Silicone Reborn baby DollWhy it’s great: This cute little girl is completely handmade. She is the perfect newborn, weighing about 2.5 lbs, so she’s easy for your toddler to carry around. She comes with an adorable pink themed outfit with a bear on the front and a bear hat. She also comes with a magnetic pacifier and a bottle, so your child can take care of her baby. She is very realistic and can fit in regular newborn size clothes. Her facial features are adorable and detailed and her closed eyes make her seem like a real newborn baby. You’ll also get a birth certificate, so your child can name their baby.

Keep in mind: The body on this one isn’t as pliable as some others, but she’s super soft.

Good for: Toddlers ages 3 and up that want a newborn baby doll.

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3. Justtoyou Reborn Baby Doll

(Most detailed — $$$)

Justtoyou Reborn Baby DollWhy it’s great: Bringing this baby doll home feels like bringing home a real baby, just without all the sleepless nights and dirty diapers. She smells amazing, she has a light, fresh baby powder scent. Hyper-realistic, hand-painted facial features, a weighted body, and moveable arms and legs make this baby doll feel real. Your little one will love dressing her in the adorable pink outfit she comes with, or she can wear real size 0-3 month baby clothes. A bonus is she comes with her own diaper. Her collector’s gift box makes her the perfect gift for a hard to buy for toddler.

Compared to other realistic baby dolls in her price range, perhaps her best feature is that she is poseable. She also has a magnetic pacifier that your little one will love playing with. This baby doll was designed to look and feel just like a real baby, and she doesn’t disappoint.

Keep in mind: This baby doll’s hair isn’t quite as realistic as some of the others on the list. Luckily she still looks great in hats.

Good for: Toddlers who like to pose their baby dolls in different positions.

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4. Kaydora Reborn Baby Doll

(Most accessories — $$$)

Kaydora Reborn Baby DollWhy it’s great: This sweet little girl is very lifelike and comes with lots of accessories that will let your toddler pretend to be a mother. She has a cute, pink theme and all her clothes and accessories match. She comes with a onesie, pants, socks, hat, pacifier, diaper, and bottle. Your child will receive everything she needs to be able to completely take care of and nurture her baby. She also comes with a birth certificate, but she already has a name. Her name is Lucy. Unlike most baby dolls, this one has a full set of hair and it is higher quality than the usual mohair. It feels realistic and can even be styled to your child’s delight.

Keep in mind: This doll can’t sit up on her own, but neither can a real newborn. She does sit up with something propped up behind her.

Good for: Kids ages 2 and up that want to have everything they need to take care of a newborn baby.

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5. Charex Lifelike Sleeping baby Doll

(Most options — $$$)

Charex Lifelike Sleeping baby Doll Why it’s great: This baby doll is unique because she is sleeping, just like a real newborn. Her weighted body makes her feel just like a real baby. Her silicone limbs and face are soft and can move, so she’s easy to change her clothes and take care of. She comes with a super cute cow themed outfit with bows and ruffles, making her extra adorable. If you don’t like the cow theme, there’s also a rabbit or weather themed option. They all come with a complete outfit, plus a bottle and a magnetic pacifier. Your child will love to feed and take care of her baby.

Keep in mind: This one is a little heavier at 3.4 lbs and may be better suited for a slightly older toddler.

Good for: Older toddlers ages 3 and up that want to pick their baby’s outfit.

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6. LA Newborn Doll

(Best for bathtime — $$)

LA Newborn DollWhy it’s great: Most baby dolls that look real include a soft cotton body, but this baby doll is 100% vinyl, making it ideal for bathtime fun. The soft yet durable vinyl is also easy to clean. This dolly comes with a 10 piece gift set that includes a diaper bag (that plays double duty and also folds into a changing mat), 2 diapers, a hat, sippy cup, baby plate, spoon/fork, a rattle, and pretend wipes. The included hospital bracelet and birth certificate make it so much fun for your little one to pretend they are bringing their new baby home from the hospital.

Keep in mind: This baby doll includes lots of accessories, but she does not come with an outfit or a pacifier.

Good for: Toddlers who like to get their baby dolls wet.

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7. Anatomically correct baby doll

(Best anatomical doll — $$)

Anatomically correct baby dollWhy it’s great: This cutie is completely anatomically correct. His arms, legs, and head will move and rotate, so your child will be able to easily dress and undress their baby. He has beautiful blue eyes and a soft, happy smile. He comes with a hospital bracelet and a birth certificate, just as if your child was really bringing him home from the hospital. You’ll also get a cloth diaper that your child will be able to change. He’s made of soft vinyl and is water friendly, so your toddler can play with him in the bath and he can be easily washed if need be. There’s also african american version or a girl if you’d prefer those options.

Keep in mind: This one doesn’t come with a pacifier or bottle, but you can purchase those separately.

Good for: Toddlers that want an anatomically correct doll.

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8. JC Toys La Baby

(Most affordable — $)

JC Toys La BabyWhy it’s great: You can’t beat the quality you receive at this price point. This baby doll is sure to delight your child, no matter their age. The small size and weight of this baby doll make it a great choice for younger toddlers. It can easily be carried by toddlers who are just starting to walk. This baby doll has the cutest facial expression, with a slightly open mouth that holds the included pacifier. She comes with a removable outfit that is machine washable, which makes cleaning her a breeze. This baby doll also comes in multiple ethnicities.

Durability factors in when you’re buying a baby doll for younger toddlers, and this baby doll delivers. Sculpted hair and fixed open eyes (ie less moving parts) make this one tough toy.

Keep in mind: You aren’t going to get a lot of extras with this baby doll. Also, this doll isn’t weighted, which can make it feel less realistic, but is also good for little ones who want their own baby doll.

Good for: Younger toddlers getting their first baby doll.

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9. Kaydora Reborn Baby Doll

(Most giftable — $$$)

Kaydora Reborn Baby DollWhy it’s great: Designed by a New York artist, baby Nana looks so cute you will just want to squeeze her. Her realistic facial features and life-like hair make her an obvious choice for hours of playtime fun. She makes a great gift because she comes in a nice gift box, and she has her own bottle, pacifier, plush giraffe, and even a birth certificate.

She is weighted to feel real, making her a better fit for toddlers 3 and up. Baby Nana can wear real newborn diapers and size 0-3 baby clothes, so her wardrobe possibilities are endless.

Keep in mind: Baby Nana has a soft cotton body, so she can’t go in the bathtub or washing machine. However, she’s easily spot cleaned with a damp rag. Another bummer is her pacifier doesn’t fit in her mouth, so this hurdle requires a bit of imaginative play.

Good for: Older toddlers that want a baby doll that can wear real diapers and real baby clothes.

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10. Madame Alexander Baby Doll

(Best non-toxic option — $$$)

Madame Alexander Baby DollWhy it’s great: Madame Alexander is a brand that’s been around for a long time and always makes quality products. This doll is made with completely safe and non-toxic materials and will last for years. She has a soft body with fixed, blue eyes. Her eyelashes are super soft and feel real. She feels like a real baby and comes with a pretty lavender outfit. She also comes with a blanket and pillow, so your toddler can lay them down and put them to sleep. She also comes with a birth certificate, which allows your child to name her and claim her as their own.

Keep in mind: The eyes don’t blink, they’re fixed open, so your child will have to pretend when they lay their baby down for bed.

Good for: Toddlers ages 2 and up that want a doll that will last and parents that want a non-toxic option.

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11. American Girl Wellie Wishers Doll

(Most educational — $$$)

American Girl Wellie Wishers DollWhy it’s great: For those who find the classic American Girl dolls a bit too cumbersome for toddler hands, meet Emerson. She’s smaller than the original American Girl dolls but has the quality we’ve grown to expect from the brand. Her hard body makes it easy to dress and clean. She can also join in bathtime fun with your toddler. She comes with a cute, ballerina outfit, including boots that look like ballerina slippers.

Keep in mind: Because she is smaller than the original American Girl dolls, many of their accessories won’t fit her.

Good for: Little ones who enjoy dolls that are also characters in books or shows.

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FAQs about baby dolls for toddlers

1. What makes a baby doll a good toy for toddlers?

Many children innately want to care for something, the same way they have been cared for as babies. Toddlers will often even treat various plush animals like they are baby dolls. So why not get them a baby doll that looks real?

2. At what age are children interested in baby dolls?

Kids are all different and show interest in things at different times, but most toddlers start to enjoy playing with dolls around 18 months. The great thing about investing in dolls is that they are toys your child will still find relevant as they get older.

3. Do baby dolls promote learning?

Baby dolls help promote life skills for toddlers. They are also great to use when teaching toddlers what their body parts are called (like nose, mouth, eyes, etc).

4. Are baby dolls a gender neutral toy?

It’s archaic to think that baby dolls are only meant for girls. In the same way that young girls grow up to be mothers, young boys grow up to be fathers. Having a baby doll establishes that caretaker role very early in life. Empathy and awareness are ideas we hope to foster in all of our children, regardless of gender.

5. Can baby dolls help toddlers prepare for a sibling?

A baby doll can be an excellent way to prepare your toddler to welcome a new sibling. You can use the baby doll to show your toddler how you have to be gentle with the new baby that is coming. If you get a doll with lots of accessories for diaper changes and feeding, you will find your toddler mimicking what they see you doing with their new baby brother or sister, which is a wonderful way to forge a connection with the toddler.


There are a multitude of reasons that baby dolls have been around since ancient civilization. This timeless toy teaches children compassion and establishes the idea that we are all a part of something bigger than ourselves. Watching your toddler cuddle, feed, and clothe a baby doll gives you a warm fuzzy feeling for a reason. Our babies won’t be babies forever, and taking care of a baby doll is a part of childhood every kid should get to experience.

When choosing which doll works best for your kiddo there are several things you should ask yourself. How old is your child? Are they hard on their other toys (throwing them, getting them dirty, etc)? Do they want a doll that looks like a real baby? Do they want a doll that can take baths with them? There are lots of things to consider. Some of the hyper-realistic baby dolls are weighted to feel like real babies, so your toddler must be strong enough to carry the weight of the doll you choose.

Baby dolls make excellent birthday and Christmas gifts, but don’t forget how helpful they can be when you are 0welcoming a new sibling to the family. No matter what doll you choose, your toddler will spend hours playing house with it. You can’t go wrong with a baby doll that looks real for your toddler.

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So Truly Real® Baby Dolls Steal Hearts with Lifelike Charm

The perfect baby doll is a joy, and at Ashton-Drake there's a lot of joy that goes into creating every perfect baby doll. Renowned for our collectible dolls, we take great pride in bringing you the very finest artistry and quality, brought to life in each doll's unique character and personality, and our So Truly Real® dolls are unmatched in their remarkably lifelike features. World-acclaimed Master Doll Artists capture the tiniest details, from a crinkle in the corner of a sparkling eye and the sweetest of baby grins, to the delicate creases of every precious finger and toe, and it is all perfectly captured in our exclusive, irresistibly soft RealTouch® vinyl. Painstakingly hand-rooted hair, poseable and proportionally weighted bodies, even custom-designed outfits; it all comes together to deliver baby dolls that feel just like real babies in your arms. Whether you long for So Truly Real® baby girl dolls or baby boy dolls, you can rest assured your heart will be completely captivated. Don't wait to find your perfect baby dolls. Shop Now!

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