Pros: fun realistic doll; eats/drinks; goes potty; says phrases; eyes move;
Cons: Price! Doll can be messy - but worth it!!
I'm a child of the 70's (shhh,don't tell). I had the first Baby Alive Doll manufactured in 1973, the very one that was recalled too. Unfortunately my mom didn't keep her. I think she threw her in a yard sale box shortly after the recall, but what a great memento that doll would have been!! I loved that doll, honestly, I loved any doll. I spent my entire childhood playing with dolls and dreaming of the day when I would have a little girl, hoping she would love dolls as much as I did.
I now have a daughter of my own, and as much as it breaks my heart, she has never been a doll fan. Oh, I've tried, believe me. If she even showed the slightest interest in a doll I would buy it only for the doll to quickly be added to the misfits of least favorite toys in the bottom of her toy box. But when Hasbro introduced the new Baby Alive Doll in 2006 my daughter just thought she had to have it - I think mainly because the doll talked and moved her lips and eyes. And I thought she needed it because it was a doll and because she reminded me of my own childhood toy...just more realistic and much more advanced than my 1973 version!!
My 4 yr old daughter actually ended up with the Baby Alive Doll as a Christmas gift from her grandmother. Oh how exited she was when she opened up the package! She couldn't wait to get her new baby out of the box and of course the first thing she wanted to do was feed her. I was simply thrilled that my daughter was playing with a doll or at least showing interest. She fed the doll, gave the doll a bottle, rocked the doll, the doll even said Mommy, I love you and my heart melted when my daughter echoed the sentiments back ever so sweetly to her new baby. Then came the moment when Baby Alive would need her itty-bitty disposable diaper changed - this moment would change the course of everything!!
About the Baby Alive Doll
Don't confuse this doll with the Baby Alive Sip N Slurp which is also manufactured by Hasbro. Baby Alive is a doll for ages 3+ . She is suppose to make playing & mommy more fun. This doll eats and goes potty (poops & tinkles) like a real baby. This baby speaks, cries, moves her mouth, and moves her eyes. Your child can feed her or give her a bottle or a pacifier (not included), and then change her messy diaper! From the manufacturer, She is ready to play, laugh and talk with you and you will love taking care of her!
When Baby Alive is hungry just mix up some of the powered doll food with 15mL of water (each container bottle or bowl is marked) and stir until thickened. Do not feed the doll anything other than the special food that is made just for her. And give the baby a drink of water after every few spoonfuls of food to help keep her from clogging up. Baby Alive's food is non-toxic and is made from actual food product but it is not recommended for human consumption. When you feed the baby she opens her mouth. She tells you how well she likes her food or if she wants more. She also says electronic phrases like, I'm thirsty or I'm hungry, mmm..good or more please.
Baby Alive also lets you know when she is ready for one of her famous diaper changes. This is one of my personal favorite faces and phrases she makes. She sniffs and says, uh-oh, I made a stinky, Mommy, change me please. I suppose I love this so much because my daughter's first experience with changing her baby was after feeding her peas. Of course the doll food peas are green just like the real deal. And what goes in must come out - and you guessed it - green. The look on my daughter's face was priceless. She quickly informed me that she was not going to change the baby. Of course she was a great assistant, but there was NO WAY she was going to touch that doll or her dirty diaper. We missed a great photo moment!
As a hint and from our experience with an excited toddler -don't overfeed your Baby Alive. Give her no more than 1 packet of food and 1 bottle of juice or water or else you'll have a blow-out. For parents out there...LOL...you know exactly what I'm talking about. Baby Alive's diapers will only hold so much...and trust me when I say we put the first diaper to the test. What a MESS!! I still laugh when I think about it!!!
Also, when Baby Alive is tired, she gets fussy, and yes...she fusses, but unlike the real deal, the doll gives up pretty quickly and falls asleep. The doll can be given a pacifier as I mentioned above which is an optional purchase, the bottle (without water) or press the button on her bracelet and she will calm down and/or go to sleep.
The doll can also be played with without having her speak. To do this the button on her bracelet must be pressed and held for about 5 seconds. The doll will say bye-bye, but her eyes will remain open. The button can be pressed again for the doll to begin speaking.
If she isn't played with for a long period of time (as in our case), it's helpful to turn the switch found on her back to the off position to conserve batteries for an even longer period of time.
Real babies are work and so is Baby Alive. Here's how you keep her clean:
1.) Rinse doll immediately after each use to prevent food from hardening and clogging.
2.) Give doll several bottles of water until water runs clear. It's helpful to do this while holding the doll over a sink. Tilt bottle from side to side to make sure all food has been rinsed away from the doll's mouth. Use a soft cloth to wipe away any remaining food. Allow doll to dry.
3. Clean doll's face and body with a soft, damp cloth. Do not rub.
4. Do not submerge doll in water.
5. Do not wash doll's hair. If food gets in doll's hair, wipe away with a soft, damp cloth.
6. Doll's clothes can be washed in the washing machine in cold water, mild detergent, gentle cycle, hang to dry.
7. Hand-wash spoon, bottle and bowl with mild dish soap and warm water. Spoon and bottle are not dishwasher safe.
If we created an announcement welcoming Baby Alive it would look something like this.
Name: Baby Alive (how original)
Weight: about 3 pounds
Length: 16 inches
When I first saw this doll I wasn't so impressed with her overall appearance. I honestly thought she was a little odd looking. But I suppose she quickly grew on me because I think she is sort of cute now. Baby Alive is 16 inches long from toe to head. Her movable arms and legs are a hard plastic as is her main body. Her oversized head/face however is a rubbery material. She has large eyes and thin hair that is pulled up in two little dog-ears with bows.
She came wearing a sun-dress and diaper. Included was an extra diaper, bottle with nipple and cap, bowl, spoon, 4 packets of doll food, and a bib plus 4 AA batteries. Speaking of batteries, these go in the back of the baby. When the batteries are ready to be changed you will need a Phillips screwdriver to open the compartment.
A Variety of Baby Alive Dolls
I love the variety of Baby Alive Dolls that can be purchased.
Baby Alive (Caucasian)
Baby Alive (African American)
Baby Alive (Hispanic) - This doll has a setting to speak either English or Spanish!!
Baby Alive Sippy Snack Time Set
Baby Alive Changing Time Set
Baby Alive Diapers (6 pack)
Baby Alive Food Packs (10 packs)
Baby Alive Juice Mixes (10 packets)
Baby Alive Little Adventures Travel Set
Baby Alive Sweet Slumbers Bedtime Set
Baby Alive Dolls and her accessories can be found at most major retailers such as Wal-Mart, KMart, Target, KB Toys, Toys R Us or any online Toy Merchant.
If you visit www.babyalive.com you can view the complete line of Baby Alive Dolls including the Sip N Slurp and see the line of accessories. Also on the website you can help your child print out a birth certificate or birth announcement for their new Baby Alive.
Here are the toy awards Hasbro has received on the Baby Alive Doll
NAPPA Awards Honors Family Fun Grand Prize Winner & Top 10 list (#5)
Creative Child Magazine
Seal of Excellence Award
Dolls for Preschoolers Category
Experience and Final Thoughts
As for my own thoughts about Baby Alive (2006), I would have loved her as a child!! There's no doubt about that! I would have thought this newest version of Baby Alive to be the coolest doll ever!
As a parent, she is a little on the messy side and can be a pain to clean up - but I think that's part of the point in this doll. Having a realistic doll that eats and goes potty without making a mess just wouldn't be much fun now would it? Overall, she hasn't been too difficult to clean up. I just follow the directions per Hasbro. The doll hasn't had any staining, developed any odor or had any discoloration from the food. Also, her clothing has been machine washed and it has held up well.
As I mentioned earlier in the review, our first diaper experience was not a good one. Baby Alive had green peas up her back and all around the battery compartment. I wiped her clean with a wet cloth and made sure she was good and dry prior to re-dressing her.
As for battery life, we have turned the doll off simply because our daughter doesn't play with her. The batteries that are in the doll are the original ones that came in her over 8 months ago.
As for recommending this doll, I give her TWO thumbs up despite the mess that can accompany her. I think she would be great for a child that may have a baby brother or sister on the way. Plus I think she is a great doll for any little girl that likes to play Mommy. Besides she gets to change her diaper, change her clothes, and play with a doll that says some great phrases!!
A huge plus though, you don't actually have to feed the doll food or really give her juice or water for her electronic features to work or for her make the motions of eating or drinking. Feeding her real food and beverages serve the purpose of going potty - of course it also helps teach children how to measure and mix. Plus it's great for eye-hand coordination.
I will never try to force my child to like something she doesn't. I will try my best to respect her likes and dislikes no matter what, no matter how difficult it is for me, whether or I agree or not. Will I eat those words someday...probably. But for now I'll try to honor them and her. I won't force her to like dolls.
As for the fate of Baby Alive, she has joined the other few dolls my daughter owns and is currently collecting dust in a doll cradle. I'll leave the doll there until the day my daughter decides she doesn't want her at all. Then I'll find a new home for Baby Alive and her friends.