I’m one of those people who shops all year long for Christmas. If I see a good deal on something that I know one of the kids would adore, I snap it up and hide it away until December… with one major exception: The baby! Babies grow too fast to stockpile toys and their wants and needs can change daily based on their growth and developmental milestones. That, in my book, makes them a toughie to shop for come Christmas. Luckily I’m letting the kids choose the top toys to review this month and Maggie has a clear favorite that will last her well into the toddler years and beyond:
Snuggly Swaddle Dolls
So adorable! I mean, really: Look at those smiles. But they aren’t just a pretty face. Snuggly Swaddle Dolls are each handmade with incredibly durable materials. They are made to be played with constantly, wiped clean and even machine washed. These are dolls that won’t look bedraggled and destroyed after a week of being played with, like other dolls on the market. No, they’ll survive years of abuse and still look lovely left on the couch with the throw pillows when you have guests over. In fact… you might have to fight the kids to let you leave them on the couch with the throw pillows if you choose your fabrics right!
When I ordered our dolls, I had already fallen in love with this colorful patterned cotton velveteen. Not only is velveteen an incredibly durable fabric, but it also has a soft fuzzy feel to it that I knew Maggie would adore. Plus, the pattern will hide stains really well. As you can see, I received the “Sibling Set” (so Evie wouldn’t get jealous of Maggie’s new baby) and even requested different hair colors so the dolls could be as unique as my daughters are. The DesignsbyMSusan Etsy store offers a huge range of options, from swaddle fabric choices to skin tone and hair color that are ready to ship! Plus custom orders are always welcome too. That means each child can have a gorgeous one-of-a-kind custom doll that will last ten times longer than the garbage available at Walmart and for a reasonable price to boot. In fact, everything in the Etsy store is priced under $35! And select styles (like the navy polka dot one and the one with the green and pink berry print) are available on Amazon with Prime shipping. Perfect for anyone with an Amazon card burning a hole in their pocket!
Maggie absolutely adores her Snuggly Swaddle Doll. She hugs it, holds it, chews on it and pets the fuzzy soft fabric until, well, sometimes pictures speak louder than words…
Most impressive though, is that Maggie’s three-year-old big sister Evie loves the dolls just as much as the baby (if not more). This tells me that not only are these dolls built to last, but the design itself is so well thought-out that children will actually continue to play with them as they grow. But why wouldn’t they? The design was inspired by Russian nesting dolls, a beloved toy that has captured imaginations for centuries. In fact, Snuggly Swaddle Dolls were created by a Charlotte, North Carolina mom after her own baby girl ripped the arms off of a doll she’d been given as a gift. That mom set out to make a stronger doll for her baby’s first birthday that wouldn’t have small parts to rip off, would be strong enough to last for several years but still be as soft, sweet and reassuring as her favorite blanket. I’d say she hit the nail on the head.
Whether you want to peruse the Etsy store for a custom doll that matches your child’s unique features or just need a quick Amazon purchase to donate to your favorite toy drive, there’s a perfect Snuggly Swaddle Doll for everyone. As a mom of two boys and two girls myself, I was also thrilled to find a great selection of boy options too. The developmental benefits of offering baby dolls for boys to play with is well known, but finding a doll that actually appeals to them can be a challenge. Even my seven-year-old son Charlie was smitten wen he saw the picture of these “baby pirates”though, and five-year-old JD loves the “car babies”. These would be a great option to prepare older siblings for the upcoming birth of a baby brother too. I remember the frustration of trying (to no avail) to find a “boy” baby doll when I was expecting JD. In the end, I can’t possibly give these dolls a higher recommendation. They are everything I look for in a toy: Quality, durability, playability and value. A+
Disclaimer: These items were provided to me for free in order to facilitate this review. I pride myself on being an honest person though, so my opinion was not influenced in any way. I am also in no way obligated (or compensated) to share it here. I test hundreds of products and only a fraction of them are shared on my blog. That’s because only a fraction of them are extraordinary… and Snuggly Swaddle Dolls *are* extraordinary (in my opinion, anyway)!