Product Type: ELC Doll
Newest Review: ... 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 so... more
ELC Cup Cake My First Doll
Member Name: sandemp
ELC Cup Cake My First Doll
Advantages: Well made, soft and cuddly body, safe for young toddlers
Disadvantages: Few accessories, no ethnic boy
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.
Summary: Freddy loves his Baby
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