How To Choose The Best Doll for Any Age And Stage

Posted by Madame Alexander on Aug 30, 2014


When chosen correctly, a doll has the power to be a best friend, a source of comfort, and a way to show creativity.

So how do you make sure that the doll you select will be all of those things and so much more?

You can start by choosing a doll appropriate to the little girl’s age. Every age group uses dolls in a different way, which means you probably shouldn't buy the same doll for the 1-year-old and the 5-year-old in your life.

Here are some features to look at in a doll to find the right doll for the right age:


Newborn Stage

During their first year, babies don’t really have the motor and cognitive skills to gently cuddle or play pretend with a baby doll (at least until they get a lot closer to their first birthday).

However, they will absolutely love looking at and clutching baby dolls. For this reason, it’s important to choose a baby doll that has defined, high-contrast features and a soft, squeezable body.

(You may even want to try out one of our Peekaboo baby dolls!)

Baby Peekaboos, Kitty Plush Doll by Madame AlexanderBaby Peekaboos, Dog Plush Doll by Madame AlexanderBaby Peekaboos, Bluebird Plush by Madame AlexanderBaby Peekaboos, Bear Plush Doll by Madame Alexander



Once an infant transforms into a toddler (around age one), they will want to get as much cuddle time with their new doll as they can.

When it comes to choosing a baby doll for this age group, again, the softer the better. That being said, you also want to make sure it is machine washable, because who knows what the toddler will do with it? Keep in mind that this age group is still susceptible to choking, so keep any small accessories far away!



By the age of two or three, little girls are really starting to exercise their imaginations.

They love playing mommy and treating their baby doll as if it was their own. Look for a doll that allows movement and promotes discovery, such as one that can be fed or have its clothes changed.

And while very small items are still an issue, you can promote her creativity with some accessories for feeding, changing, and sleeping.

Newborn Nursery dolls are the perfect fit for this age!



With independence & freedom taking center stage, dolls for the 4-6 year olds should be all about making the young girl’s dreams come true.

Character dolls, such as ballerinas and princesses, are very popular with this age group, allowing them to act out their visions of living in a fairy tale.

Kindergarteners are also very aware of what they look like – and all the beauty they possess – so a doll with similar traits will be received with joy.


Grade School Girls

Once they have reached the age of seven, little girls do everything with their dolls. They become their best friends, and are always invited to sleepovers and tea parties.

At this age, the dolls need to have brushable hair, removable clothes, and high-quality parts that can withstand multiple outings to the park.

This is a great stage to introduce her to an 18-inch play doll.


Junior High and Beyond Ages

While some girls have outgrown their dolls once they reach the double-digits, many of them just move up to more grown-up versions.

Since responsibility and maturity are now present, this is the age to start giving collectible dolls that can be treasured for life.



Dolls are significantly more than a toy. They’re an appreciated piece of our child's growing up, a connection between the child and the universe of grown-ups.

Doll play helps children to investigate distinctive roles through nurturing and offering trusts, dreams and encounters with companion and friend that will always understand them.


What ways have you seen doll play help your growing children? Let us know in the comments below!


Like what you've read? Click to subscribe to our Blog!

Topics: Baby Dolls, 18 Inch Dolls, Parenting

Subscribe to Email Updates