“To be completely honest, we were really hoping for a baby boy”.
Words you can totally say to a Baby Born PR representative, and probably not a midwife.
“No problem, we will have one with you in the post tomorrow”.
And so it was, that this Easter holidays, our family grew by not one, but two little bundles of joy. Perfectly timed for a post immunisation treat, and frankly, something to keep the girls busy during a very soggy couple of weeks off school.
Meet the latest members of the family; Trixie and Mixie. Well, he was Mixie on day one, anyway.
The Baby Born interactive sister and Baby Born Interactive Boy dolls we received to review couldn’t have been more perfect for the girls. We held them back until the right moment, and waited to see how they went down.
Tigs, age six, the adoring big sister who is forever nurturing her own sibling and who loves to play with and brush the long hair on her ponies. With so much love to give, and yet never getting a look in at the baby dolls with her sister around, the baby Born interactive big sister doll was the perfect opportunity for her to reconnect with role play with dolls, in a slightly more ‘mini mummy’ way.
The Mouse, at three years old who has ALWAYS loved imaginary play with a vast collection of dolls, but who has never had a little boy to take care of, nor one that shows all the life like interactions of a real baby. As we continue to muddle through the potty training phase, a doll which mimics the motions of eating, drinking and sitting on a potty to ‘go’ couldn’t have been better timed. Here’s hoping that role play might ignite a few sparks to nailing the toilet training thing for her too.
As well as the dolls, we received a Baby Born Baby carrier to try too. This again brought endless delight to the girls, particularly Tigs who could remember me babywearing her sister. As she carried Mixie around in it, grinning from ear to ear, her comment was that she “looked just like a real Mummy”.
I guess that is what separates the Baby Born range from any other dolls we have had before – everything about them seems so lifelike. The girls have taken to them in a way I could never have predicted and they have been on days out with the Grandparents (the actual Grandparents, not Dad Muddling Through and I), to a sleepover at a friends, and in, out and around the house with us, just like real babies.
The baby doll toys we were borderline about to ‘relocate’ have come back into full use – the car seat, pushchair and cot. Just when we thought their days were numbered. I even found myself rummaging in every toy box looking for bottles, dolls clothes and baby bags that had been in there ‘somewhere’. In fact, I even spent their first evening googling ‘Baby Born Clothes’, because the girls had wanted to dress the dolls for bed, and we all agreed poor Mixie, since renamed Mr Wiggly Jiggly, looked a bit cold in his vest.
It’s fair to say, even I have fallen a little bit for these dolls. I’ve found myself rocking them to sleep, putting a blanket over them in the cot, and showing the girls how to wind them after a feed. Don’t worry though, having four kids to dress at bedtime and each morning has also been somewhat of an eye opener, and I have been heard to holler “Girls, they’re dolls! Come on we need to leave NOW!” as I found the Mouse upstairs ‘changing a pooey nappy’ when we were supposed to have left five minutes ago.
By a twist of fate, this weekend we had to clear the loft, and as such located a sack of baby clothes for the new arrivals. I’ve found newborn and even some 0-3 (baggy fit!) work fine on the Baby Born dolls. It’s been lovely to see some of the much loved clothing reused and around our home once more. Our little boy has been in some rather fetching dresses, pink cardigans and floral numbers so it’s fair to say The Mouse is happy raising Jesse (his name yesterday) in a gender neutral approach.
It’s also meant the girls have been able to indulge in a full outfit change at the appropriate points in the day, and Trixie even has a gorgeous little Ted Baker coat which never saw the light of day on either of the girls as newborns. I knew keeping these things would come in handy…
The Baby Born dolls each came with a bundle of accessories – For Trixie a brush, hair grips and bands and a toddler bottle. For the boy a bottle, potty, nappy, dummy, food plate and bowl. Both dolls also came with a twin set of bracelets – one for the dolly and one for it’s owner. A really sweet touch which went down a storm with the girls.
Despite my concerns for messing the dolls up, I realised the whole fun of the interactive side is to use the water play features, so after a few days we set about filling the drinks bottles up and giving the girls some interactive fun. Trixie cried adorably realistic tears when you squeeze her arm, and Mixie did a wee in his potty when you press his tummy button. An impressive design feature to be able to command the wee – in my day the dolls just went when they went! There was really no mess with these dolls and I’m sure soon I’ll give in and let them into the bath.
So as I kiss all four children goodnight, peacefully tucked up in their beds, I realise Trixie and Cheesey Shapes (his current name) are very lucky siblings to have each other. I’m not sure if the girls are Mummies to them or big sisters, but they’re very lucky to have found them too.
Just when I was beginning to think Tigs was growing out of the stage of playing with dollies (and preferring a digital option), these dolls have restored an absolutely charming and endearing side to the girls. A side where they play together, and alongside each other, learning through play how to care for another little person and ultimately, be children. A side where the arguing seems to have temporarily been diverted, and the best in them being brought back to the surface. As far as I’m concerned, there couldn’t be a higher compliment to any childrens toy, and I really hope the sibling love that these dolls brought to our home, stays with us for a long time.
Disclosure: We were sent the Baby Born Dolls and Carrier for the purpose of this review. All opinions are our own.