As a mother it’s a big job to keep your children safe and it requires a lot of attention to details.
This is especially true when you are picking out a baby doll. While it may seem that any baby doll that was designed for babies would be safe, this is not necessarily the case.
Some dolls may be labeled as such, but you need to put on your detective hat to make sure you are selecting a baby doll that is truly safe for your precious little one.
If you follow these five steps during the buying process, you can rest easy knowing the baby doll will be a welcome companion for your child:
Step 1: Read Age Guidelines
Every baby toy is required by law to have them, but you would be surprised to know how many parents ignore these suggestions. As ToyInfo.org kindly reminds us:
"Remember, the age grading doesn’t pertain to how smart a child is – it’s a safety precaution that is based on the developmental skills and abilities of children at a given age".
These age guidelines are set based on how safe the toy is. So if the baby doll is rated ages 3 years old and up, don’t buy it for your 1 year old.
Step 2: Inspect Everything
Even if the baby doll that you want is rated according to your daughter’s age, that doesn’t always mean it's the right toy for your child.
Brands have different standards as far as production goes, so it’s up to you to thoroughly investigate. Here are some great questions to keep in mind:
- Are the seams on the baby doll reinforced?
- Are the buttons and eyeballs attached so well that you can’t break them free?
- Do any parts detach and become a choking hazard?
An easy test is if it has any parts that can fit in a toilet paper tube, than it’s not appropriate for a child younger than three to play with.
Step 3: Do Your Homework
As you know, just because something is being sold doesn't mean that it is safe.
Always do your homework to make sure the baby doll you are buying is not on the recall list, and only purchase from highly reputable companies.
Step 4: Discard Packaging Completely
Once you have chosen a well-made baby doll with no small parts, you need to make sure you eliminate any choking or suffocation hazards that can be found in the packaging.
Make sure to throw all plastic in the garbage immediately, and double-check the doll before handing it to your daughter to ensure all of the tag attachments have been removed.
Step 5: Be Aware
Finally, remember it’s important to keep making sure that the toy is safe. Even if the doll or toy was thoroughly inspected when you bought it, that doesn’t mean it won’t become damaged—and therefore unsafe—over time.
You should be giving the baby doll a thorough visual inspection at least every three months, and always keep an extra loving eye on your little one while she is playing.
Now it’s your turn. What are your doll safety tips? Let us know in the comments below!