Are you just about ready for Christmas? There is so much to organise and arrange, but I think I am nearly there, with just a few more things to sort. One thing that I do get a little stuck on, is what to get for my daughter, aged 5 ¾, to be precise. I have found that there are a lot of things out there that I know that she would love, but there is a lot of stuff out there that I don’t love. I don’t want to just fill the Christmas stockings with a lot of plastic tat that will break really quickly. I also like to look for things that are going to offer some real value and be a more meaningful gift and something that helps her to learn and grow.
Having an older brother, we gave my daughter a lot of his old toys, naturally. As much as she loves trains and dinosaurs, she is a little one that loves to play with dolls. We don’t have a huge range at home, so we were thrilled to be able to try out the new Baby Annabell (43cm) doll, to see what it is like and experience the life-like features that it has. Chloe doesn’t have any dolls like this already, so I was looking forward to seeing what she thought.
Baby Annabell has some really life-like features, with a little face like a real baby, and eyes that close, rather than just staying open. She has a soft body, but isn’t super light, so it does make it more of a real feel. Chloe decided to take her with her over a weekend, to see what Baby Annabell was all about, and get used to having a baby with her. She was so thrilled at the idea, and luckily, was still happy about it, so it seems like it’s a thumbs up from us!
A day in the life
After Annabell wakes up in the morning, naturally, she is ready for some breakfast so a drink is a must. Chloe was amazed that Annabell can drink real ‘milk’ (water) in her bottle, and she mimics a sucking kind of motion with her mouth when drinking from the bottle. Like any baby, next, it is time to burp her, which Chloe found hilarious to do. Then you’ve got time for a nappy change and time to play. Chloe liked to get her changed and dressed for a walk outside. It is winter, so of course, she needed to be wrapped up with some fluffy boots, a hat, scarf, and warm coat; Chloe is such a good little mummy!
I really liked the fact the Baby Annabell laughs along with you if you tickle her, ounce her on your knee, or touch her belly. She’s very playful and this was a fun ‘cause and effect’ thing for Chloe, as she can see that her actions can make Baby Annabell happy. Another thing that was very funny was the Baby Annabell occasionally lets out a ‘bottom burp’ as most babies do, meaning that it was time for a change of the nappy, a job that Chloe took much responsibility with.
As any parent knows, it is all fun and games with a baby, and they can get upset when they sleepy or in a bad mood. Baby Annabell was no different in that regard, as she will cry, and even cry ‘real’ tears. Luckily there wasn’t too much of that, as it made Chloe a little sad, so the focus was keeping her happy and soothing her with her dummy or putting her down for a nap. Much like the bottle, Baby Annabell will suck the dummy noisily and you’ll see it move, making it pretty life-like.
At the end of a long day, putting her to bed is done quite simply, with rocking her a little, causing her to make yawning sounds, her eyes closing, and then hearing the breathing.
Baby Annabell 43cm Features
- Baby Annabell 43cm doll comes with a romper, hat, bib, bottle, dummy and necklace. You can get extras like changing bag and other clothes and accessories separately.
- The doll allows for some pretty realistic and imaginative role play and encourages the development of responsibility and empathy. Chloe really was concerned when she’d make sad noises and cry, and loved it when she was able to make Baby Annabell laugh.
- The Baby Annabell doll reacts to touch and movement.
- You do need to have 3 x AA batteries in order to discover all of the features, which are not included. So if you are getting for Christmas or for a birthday, it is a good idea to get some ready to go (or set it all up on Christmas Eve so you can just switch it to ‘on’ on the day).
I really like the fact that Baby Annabell is just so life-like! It is an experience like no other for a little one, and it gives them the perfect change to encourage empathy, love, play, and responsibility, but having fun as you do so. For me, the real tears and the noises were great, and the motion when sucking a dummy or a bottle were great and so like real life. I haven’t seen a doll like this before, so it was pretty fun for me too.
It has been a lot of fun to see Chloe take her role as ‘mummy’ so seriously, and learning while she is doing so. For what you get, I think it is great value, and is a toy that really does add value as it teaches younger ones a lot. So if you are looking for a gift this Christmas, I don’t think you can go too far wrong with this. And if all else fails, you can just take the batteries out 😉
Baby Annabell is RRP £59.99 and is available at all good retailers including Smyths Toy Superstore, The Entertainer, Argos, Amazon, Selfridges, ASDA and Very.co.uk.
Have your children ever played with a Baby Annabell before? It would be great to hear what you think.
*this is a paid for advertorial with Baby Annabell and Mumsnet. All opinions are my own.