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I couldn't wait for Hope to get her first dolly and this is the one she got! It is from The Early Learning Centre and in my opinion is a very good first doll for any little girl or boy. Hope is now four and still loves this dolly a lot so think it was a good choice of ours just over 3 years ago before she turned 1.
The Early Learning Centre make so many different toys and games that our house is slowly being taken over by them! one of their brands is called Cupcake and it is a collection of dollies and accessories. Some of the dolls are large, some medium and some tiny so there should be something for everyone. We chose this medium sized doll as it looked just perfect for a nearly one year old.
I think it is perfect for a nearly 1 year old because it is part hard and part soft- it has a soft tummy so is quite cuddly and flexible but has plastic hands, feet and head. This makes it seem a step up from the all soft dolls that you can get from newborn but not quite as grown up as an all plastic one! The dolly comes either wearing blue or pink and either with white skin or black. The dolly that Hope has is white with pink clothing. The clothes are a little vest which is white with pink teddies on and a little pink and spotty sleep suit over the top. The dolly is wearing a hat and this hat matches the sleepsuit and actually stays attached to the sleep suit which is very useful! Saves us from losing it.
Hope loves playing with this dolly. We have progressed from her just carrying her around and giving her cuddles to her playing imaginative games with her where she is pretending to be the mummy and she is busy bossing the baby around! We have got some of the accessories that go with this dolly so that makes playing with her even more fun as she has a highchair, a bouncer chair and a pushchair too.
Hope likes to take the clothes off this dolly but she can't get them on herself yet. She is now at an age where she tries to and gets a bit frustrated that she can't but between us we do it and she helps me do it which I think makes her feel like a big girl!
This dolly has been well loved over the last 3 years and I can see it being a firm favourite for a while longer yet.
In my opinion it is a very good quality dolly as it has withstood Hope's heavy handedness and is still in very good condition. The clothes are a little worn looking now but aside from that the dolly doesn't look very battered or anything despite being played with on a daily basis for three years! This makes a lovely first doll and the accessories that you can get with it are great. It doesn't do anything it is for your children to use their imaginations with this and I think that is fine, I don't always want a doll that can cry and sing and wee and everything so this is perfect for young children to play with and use their imaginations with.
For her first doll I wanted something really basic and simple, that was not going to be too big as she was only two herself so it needed to be small enough that she could hold it and move it around when playing with it. This cost something like £9.99 from the Early Learning Centre I think, it was bought as a birthday present by a relative so I'm not sure of the actual price they paid.
My daughter was bought the pink dressed version of this doll, it also comes in a blue outfit as well and each doll has a hat as well which is the same colour as the clothes. My little girl loves this doll, she totters around with it all the time and insists on having it in bed with her at night. She loves to feed it with a little pretend bottle and she sort of mimics the behaviour she sees that others do with either dolls or real babies.
It is nice and small, about 30cm in height and with a nice soft, cuddly body, the extremities of feet, hands and head are hard bodied though which makes them a bit more robust. I was a bit worried at first in case she hurt herself on the harder bits but thankfully that has not been the case and it is a very safe toy. When I had seen a picture of this I never realised that the whole outfit including the hat was all attached so I was worried that the hat would soon get lost however with it all as one piece this is not possible and the hat easily stretches over the dolls head and is pretty good at staying in place.
There are no special features with this doll, it is a very basic model which for me was ideal for a young baby, plus it is very reasonably priced and it represents good value for money. My daughter has been fascinated with her doll from day one and chunts away at it all of the time
It is hard to find any faults with this doll, it is a simple toy and sometimes they are the best as it allows your child free range with their imagination and that is what I have found with my daughter when she plays with this.
My little girl was bought this baby doll when she was born by her Grandparents. It is quite a simple doll and I guess this is why its called My First Baby Doll but I have to admit for a new born and into the first year or so this is all a baby needs and I actually like this baby doll a lot better than the Baby Annabell doll that she recently received.
This doll is pink and medium sized, about 30cm tall, so it is perfect for her to hold and carry about. I like this fact as she often carries it around by one arm, just sort of dragging her along and this does not take much effort. The baby Annabell doll is really rather quite heavy due to the big battery pack that she has to carry around and its in my opinion too heavy to carry around for long periods so this first baby doll is perfect in that she can take it out with her all day and not have to worry about it.
Like I said this doll is pink and has a soft body. This makes the doll in my opinion perfect for cuddling and squishing and she is actually quite soft which is nice. She has the kind of clothes that are already on her body and technically make up her body so they cannot be taken off which at this age I think is a really good thing. She is wearing an all over pink baby grow which is a soft thin fleece and it makes her look really cute and cuddly. You can also get this doll in a blue version too if you want to have a blue baby but as my little girl was a girl when she was born, my parents went for the pink baby.
The doll also comes with a little hat which I actually find quite annoying as its really hard to fit on the babes head. In my opinion it is a little bit too small so you really have to stretch the hat over the head and this is difficult for a young child to do. I do it for my little girl but they she just easily pulls it off again so we play that little game over and over again. The head of the baby doll is plastic as are her hands and feet so that part of the doll differs from the soft material of the rest of the doll but I like this look as it makes the doll look fairly realistic and more like a real baby than a completely soft toy doll.
The doll also came with a little plastic milk bottle and a bib. The milk bottle is just solid and does not have "real" milk that pours like other dolls do but my little girl still finds it fun to play with. She has just recently started enjoying to do this as when she was first born and the months that followed she just used this doll to cuddle and not to actually play with. The milk bottle actually does not fit in the babes mouth even though she has her lips apart a little and I do find this annoying as you cannot leave the bottle in the mouth you just have to hold it up to the mouth and play "feeding the baby" that way.
The Early LEarning Centre recommend this baby doll for 24+ months but like I've said we've had it from birth and that has been fine. I think my parents paid in the £20 region for this doll which I think was a good price and a fun toy my little girl has enjoyed for a number of years now.
When my 2 year old niece came to stay with me for a week a few months ago I took her for a much promised trip to the toy shop (The ELC) where I told her she could pick out one thing as a present. It was with great trepidation that I did that because I was expecting her to pick out the biggest and most expensive thing in the shop, but to my relief, she waddled over to this little doll and from the moment she picked it up, she was smitten. The doll was part of the Cup Cake range and there were a number of different dolls to choose from, with different outfits and looks, even different genders and ethnicities, but she picked up a little doll that looks exactly like the one in the picture above - and the great news was that I was able to buy it for the low cost of just £9.00. Bargain.
The doll came packaged in the typical cardboard torture where it with pinned in by bondage tags that were a real pain to undo, especially as she wanted to hug it as soon as she bought it and didn't want to wait until we got home. Unfortunately, she had to learn the lesson that she cannot always get what she wants because there was no way I could release it from the box without scissors.
The doll itself is a basic doll and it doesn't do anything amazing like fly round the room or do a ballet dance(!), but it is a cute little thing and just the thing for a little person to clutch onto. Its not too big and fairly light and so it's not cumbersome for a two year old to trapse around with. The trunk of the doll is soft and squidgely and is not dissimilar to a bean-bag.....and this makes it ideal for her to cuddle and give love to.....although not ideal for throwing in the bath which she has threatened to do apparently a number of times! The head, limbs, hands and feet are made out of soft plastic which gives the dolly it's structure and shape. It comes with a little pink baby gro and hat - which are very girli-fied, but you can also buy other outfits if you want to. It's only moving parts are it's eyes which open and close depending on the angle of the head....and we liked to try to tell her when the dolls eyes are closed that means its time for her to close her eyes too!
The doll itself isn't washable, but the plastic parts are wipeable. In addition, because the clothes are completely removeable you can wash these on a low wash and they come up good as new.
She's had Cup Cake aka Lou for 3 months now and she's still trailing round with it and it's not really looking any of the worse for wear. It seems to be built to last a decent time - and for that reason, and the fact that she loves it, I can recommend it.
Having been subject to gender stereotyping by at least one set of grandparents and bought what they considered suitable toys for a girl as unwelcome gifts (I remember being absolutely disgusted by receiving a Sindy one year instead of Lego) I've always been determined that as far as my children are concerned there's no such thing as boy's or girl's toys. So when the then fourteen month old Freddy fell in love with a doll at mother and toddler group I started the search for his very own baby doll. Finding a doll that was suitable for such a young toddler was difficult enough, but then I did decide to tip a hat at relatives that were concerned about Freddy having a doll by buying a boy doll dressed in blue. After a month's worth of searching and researching I decided that the Cupcake My First Doll from the ELC was perfect being considered suitable for children over the age of two and on inspection being well made with no small parts that could cause a choking hazard.
There are three different Cupcake My First Dolls available, a white girl dressed in pink, white boy dressed in blue and ethnic girl again dressed in pink. I'm not sure why there isn't an ethnic boy doll, but I do feel that ELC is a little remiss especially as the only difference between the two white dolls appears to be the colour of the clothes. Each doll costs £9 and comes supplied in an open face cardboard box secured by those horrible plastic ties. Getting the doll out of the box is a bit of a struggle and certainly something you would want to do out of sight of the child. As I've already stated I bought Freddy the boy doll, hoping this would satisfy some of his more old-fashioned, stuck in their ways relatives.
At only 30cm in height the baby is the perfect size for a toddler to carry round, Freddy even manages to carry him while crawling. Baby's body is perfect for cuddling as it's nice and soft being filled with beans (such as you would find in a beanbag), while his head, hands and feet are made of rubber with the detail painted on. As with the dolls I remember from my childhood, when you lay Baby down his eyes close and then they open as you sit him back up. Each of the different dolls is wearing a romper suit, the girl's are pink, but Baby's is blue. The romper is made of a lovely soft material and a pastel blue in colour with stripes down one side of the front and a solid panel on the other. The suit is removable for washing, with a Velcro opening at the back of the neck. I find it easy to remove his suit, but so far Freddy can't quite manage it. Baby also has a really sweet looking hat, that fits quite well but does come off easily, luckily it's attached to the back of romper so it doesn't get lost. Actually Freddy finds the hat perfect for carrying Baby around and even with this rough treatment there's no sign of it working loose. When it comes to giving baby a bath, unlike the dolls that my other children have owned that were stuffed with fluff, I don't feel confident putting baby in the washing machine. I'm sure it would survive, but am a little concerned that it will take a while to dry. It's easy to clean Baby's face, hands and feet though, a baby wipe does a perfect job at removing almost any mark, from experience with other dolls it will even remove pen marks.
From his reaction to the doll at Mother and Toddler I knew Freddy was going to love Baby but I didn't realise quite how much. As soon as he saw Baby, Freddy became very excited, to the point that he was bouncing up and down with a huge smile on his face and his arms out ready to take him. The first thing Freddy did when he got hold of Baby was give him a big cuddle and sloppy kiss while saying "Ahhh Baby", which was how the doll came to be known as Baby. From that day onwards Baby became an almost constant companion while in the house, being given lots of cuddles and kisses every day, dragged round the house and sharing Freddy's bed. Even when Freddy is playing with other toys, Baby is somewhere nearby watching the fun. Freddy's fascinated with Baby and regularly explores his hands, feet and face, which gives me a wonderful opportunity to introduce the names of different body parts without worrying that I'm going to get poked in the eye. We've also started doing some very basic role play with Baby, we've got an old cardboard box that we use as a pretend cot to put Baby down for a nap, feed him using Freddy's old weaning spoons or giving him a drink with a toy bottle.
Freddy absolutely adores Baby, will play with him several times a day every day and takes him to bed for every nap and bedtime. As you can imagine Baby has become a little grubby, especially as he's been slobbered over when getting kisses, but it's been easy to keep him clean. In fact, we've made it part of our games to wipe Baby's face, hands and feet as he's got sticky. Funnily enough this has made Freddy a little more amenable to having his own hands and face wiped, so long as we wipe Baby's first. Although Baby is only two months old, all the signs are that he is going to be living with us for some time to come. His fabric body is firmly stitched without a sign of any seams coming loose, and he has survived being dragged round the house, dropped from the cot and generally loved without any damage. My only slight concern is that from experience closing eyes can be damaged by excessive poking, so far this hasn't happened, which is impressive considering how often Freddy pokes Baby in the eye.
Baby has been a wonderful and much loved addition to our household and I would suggest that his brothers, sisters and cousins deserve a place in any toddler's heart. As I explained to Daddy, much of what our generation (female) learnt about looking after babies was taught through playing with dolls. I could change a nappy on a doll by the age of five (and that included folding the terry cloth) and so changing a real baby's nappy was something that came quite naturally. There's so much emphasis on "the modern man" and yet there's still something that stops many parents from buying their little boys a doll. That's not to say that I'm pushing any of this on Freddy, I bought him a baby doll simply because of how he reacted to dolls in other settings. But now he has Baby, we are introducing some simple care concepts to Freddy, especially as we're hoping that he might have a little brother or sister in the near future.
Although I couldn't recommend the Cupcake My First Doll enough, I do wish there were a few more accessories that are specific to this doll and not pink. There is a My First Pram, but it's pink and there are bottles and nappies. But the nappies are rather too big and you'd probably better better off doing what I did and buying some Pampers in the micro (prem) size. It's also very difficult to find extra clothes for baby, ELC doesn't sell them and even newborn is too big. One accessory ELC does sell is the My First Stroller, which is considered suitable for children over the age of three, but I will probably be getting for Freddy once he's a very confident walker.
All in all there's very little to deter me from whole-heartedly recommending the Cupcake My First Doll, it's safe, durable and well loved, with the only downsides being the lack of accessories and the absence of an ethnic boy. And so I'm giving the Cupcake My First Doll four stars out of five and recommending it for toddlers from about a year up.
I first bought my son the blue clothed baby from this range back in dec 2010. I then bought my daughter the pink dressed one for her first birthday. Even though this is for 3 years and up i was confident it was safe for my daughter as there are no small parts to it.
At £8 i think its reasonably priced for a doll as they can be very expensive. Admittedly it doesnt have any accessories but at this price i wouldnt expect them. The body is soft with hard face, hands and feet. The hat comes off but is attached to the back of the dolls suit which does not come off easily.
My daughter loves the doll as she is quite dainty it is a good size for her to cuddle and carry and fits perfectly into her cupcake dolls pram. I guess as far as dolls go it is a cute looking one as well.
As i mentioned before the doll comes with a blue or pink outfit and dark or light skin. A good buy for a girl or boy. Definately for younger children as it wouldnt be interactive or large enough i dont feel for a much older child!
I've never been a 'doll person' and so was determined not to buy my daughter lots of dolls either. Unfortunately, my daughter started playing with them at the childminders and would always want to bring them home with her so I thought I had better relent and get her one for Christmas. As it was she got two; the one I bought and this one from ELC.
---About the range:
The Early Learning Centre Cupcake My First Doll comes in 3 different designs. The first is a dark skinned doll (as in picture) with a pink suit, the second is a light skinned doll in a pink suit and the third is a light skinned doll in a blue suit. Each comes with the same things and in the same design box at the same price. My daughter received the light skinned doll in the pink suit.
---Features of the toy
The ELC Cupcake Doll is a soft bodied doll with hard head, feet and hands. She is wearing a pink sleepsuit which has white spots on half of it and is plain pink on the other. The plain side also has the Cupcake logo with the cherries above it. The doll wears a matching hat which is attached to the back of the clothes with a thick matching cord. She has blue eyes which close when she is laid down. When we received her she came in cardboard packaging with plastic covered wire which secured around her neck and feet. It is therefore important that the packaging is removed before giving to a child which is what we did.
My daughter really loves dolls now and she likes to mother them a lot. This one is no different! She loves it when she finds her and puts her in the pram and takes her for a walk. She enjoys cuddling this doll so having the soft body is great. Although it doesn't come with any accessories, she uses those from other doll sets to play with which is useful to have. My daughter's biggest issue with this doll though is the fact the hat is secured to the sleepsuit. Whilst this is obviously a good way to keep the hat with the doll and also can easily be rectified, she hates that she can't remove the hat properly and sits pulling at it trying to remove it fully.
My daughter will always play with dolly and try to put a nappy on her, or give her 'juice' when she sees her. This is a lovely size doll as she is big enough to be played with easily but small enough to take to bed or be taken out for the day. When she is stood up, she is about 30cm high but her soft body means she can be squeezed into smaller spaces for packing if necessary. It is a shame that there are no accessories with her, but there is a whole range of items that you can buy from the Early Learning Centre within the same range that will accompany play.
The doll has two age ranges listed on the ELC website although I can't work out the difference. One says over 2 years and the other over 3 years. Both seem too high to me as long as the packaging is removed first. My daughter got this at 17 months and I think that is a fine age to have this doll at. There are no sharp edges or anything I feel that is dangerous so I would be happy recommending this for younger children to play with.
This doll has been really good for my daughter, but I think I would object to paying £8 for it when there are no accessories that come with it. That said, it does seem to be a reasonable price for a product from the ELC. It is a very nice first half-hard doll but there is very little that can be done with it. As an addition to an existing collection of dolls, I would definitely recommend it, but as a first doll I would go for one with more play features for the price.
My daughter has learnt a lot about taking care of other things using her dolls and this one is no exception. Despite my reservations, I am glad my daughter now has her dolls and is able to take care of them all.