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How to Select the Perfect Doll

Choosing the right doll for your child should be fun. When choosing a doll consider the following criteria to select the perfect doll for your child.

Budget

Even though you would probably love to be able to say that money isn't an object when it comes to buying the perfect gift for your child, chances are good that this just isn't realistic. Some dolls can be surprisingly expensive, and many parents find themselves shocked when they see the price tags on some popular options. This is why it's smart to consider your budget before you ever start shopping for your child's doll. There are actually great dolls available at every price point, especially if you are willing to look for sales, coupons and coupon codes and other ways of getting a good deal.

Quality

As with most things, you get what you pay for. Avoid low price discount dolls. Often these are not made with quality materials and will not last. Nothing is more disappointing than seeing your child fall in love with a doll and then the doll falling apart.

Even if you aren't going to be spending a lot on your child's doll, you will want to put a focus on quality. After all, you are probably hoping that your child will be able to enjoy the doll for a long time to come, and this might not be an option if the doll isn't well-made, particularly if your child is someone who likes to play rough.

There are a few things that you can look at when determining if a doll is well-made. If the doll is made out of plastic, the plastic should feel durable and strong. The hair, if the doll has any, should be attached firmly and securely to the doll's head. Any clothing that comes with the doll should be well-made. The "limbs" should feel firmly attached, not loose.

You can also check online reviews for the dolls that you are comparing. It's a good sign if you see a lot of positive reviews about the dolls. If you see a lot of complaints, particularly if they are related to the quality of the dolls themselves (and not other potential issues, such as shipping or customer service problems), you may want to consider looking for a different doll from a different manufacturer.

Child's Age

Every doll comes with a recommended age range that is appropriate for that doll. The reason for this is that at each age, children have a different range of mental and physical abilities. You'll want to look for dolls that fit into the abilities of your own child.

Buying a doll for your 8-year old girl, that has been designed for a 2-year old girl, is only going to lead to boredom if it's a soft doll that doesn't have clothes to dress it with. Older children enjoy dolls that inspire their imagination and encourage role play.

On the other hand, children under the age of three need toys or dolls that have a simple function, such as dolls they can snuggle and sleep with.

Child's Personality

Along with looking at your child's age group, you'll also want to look at your child's personality when choosing a doll. If your child is a "nurturer," he or she might like a "baby" doll that he or she can take care of. If your child is more of an "adventurer," he or she might like a "play" doll that he or she can act out fun adventures with. Consider how your child plays with his or her other toys when making this decision.

Select the Perfect Doll

Clothing

Kids love to dress up their dolls. Even young children like to put on and take off a dollĄŻs hat. If dressing and undressing their doll is important to your child, look for brands that include at least one change of clothing.

Washable Dolls

Go for dolls that can be washed. Cloth baby dolls for toddlers can be wiped down with soap and water, and some are even machine-washable. Being able to wash these soft baby dolls ensures that it stays clean and fresh smelling, perfect if your child is taking her doll to bed with her.

Dolls that are made partially or entirely of soft vinyl can be washed with soap and water, helping to keep them clean and new-looking. This comes in handy if your child decides itĄŻs a cool thing to take crayons to their doll.

Doll's Hair

When buying a baby doll for children under the age of 3, itĄŻs best to look for dolls that have no attached hair. This way it canĄŻt pull out and little fingers wonĄŻt get tangled up in the hair while your child is sleeping. As children get older they have more interest in brushing and styling their dolls hair. Look for dolls with long hair that are tough enough to be combed and pulled into a ponytail.

There are two different types of hair to look for, rooted and meshed. Rooted hair means the doll's hair is securely attached to the doll's head, making it able to withstand brushing and washing from younger children. Meshed hair is much like a wig that is glued to the doll's head.

Rooted hair is more delicate and requires more care. Meshed hair is a good choice for children over the age of 8 as it looks and feels realistic and is easy to style. Keep in mind that dolls with meshed hair are more expensive than dolls that have hair that is rooted.

Eyes

The type of eyes a doll has will vary from brand to brand. For children under the age of 3, look for fixed eyes, where the eyes are either open or closed. For safety reasons, it's best that baby dolls for younger children don't have any small moving parts. Older children will enjoy eyes that open and close, making the doll more realistic.

Safe Materials

Only purchase dolls that are manufactured using safe materials. Also look for dolls that have been safety tested and approved for children of a specific age range.

Conclusion

As you can see, there are a few things that you'll want to look at when selecting the right doll for your child. Shopping for the perfect doll shouldn't be a chore; instead, it should be a fun activity. If you follow these tips, do your research online and shop around, you are sure to find the perfect toy doll for your little one.

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