Photo by normanack, used under Creative Commons license.
My baby is about to turn one and I’ve been looking online at lists of age-appropriate toys. Simple puzzles, shape-sorter toys, stacking toys, etc, all sound great — but dolls are also on the list. I’m not sure how I feel about that. She’s so young!

The doll I was looking at is from a good toy manufacturer — one that made several of our favorite baby toys. But that doesn’t change the fact that it’s still a doll with little pink dresses. I’m afraid that it will be a stepping stone to more pink and all the dreaded princess crap. What have other Offbeat Mamas done? When did your kids get dolls? Did you find one brand to be less offensive/annoying than others? — Emily

Ariel’s favorite is the Manhattan Toy Baby Stella Boy by Manhattan Toy… do you guys have fave dolls that one-year-olds and toddlers love?

Comments on Are dolls appropriate for one-year-olds?

  1. Hi all,

    Not sure if this has been said yet (i glanced through all of the comments and didn’t see this point mentioned) however dolls help facilitate the development of empathy. Empathy can be learned by children in other ways, however the critical period for a child to learn and understand empathy is between birth and three years.

    Dolls, stuffed animals, and age-appropriate figures help children learn the act of empathy and caring for others. Of course, for this reason it is very important that both boys and girls play with dolls 🙂 To me, it is very unfortunate that playing with dolls has been deemed appropriate for girls and not for boys. Oh, western norms of socializing, how baffling you can be!

    You may want to try an age-appropriate doll or stuffed animal and encourage play. But, your child knows what they are interested in – maybe they simply won’t be interested at all! You can’t force a child to enjoy something they do not have any intrinsic desire for.
    If it makes your uncomfortable, then don’t worry – model the practice of empathy and that will be great for your child as well 🙂

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