Most artists and collectors consider that reborn dolls are not suitable for
children as they may damage them and they are really a collector’s item.
I disagree with this! They should not be exclusively for adults
but shared with careful prospective little mothers.
If your daughter really loves her dolls and looks after them
then an appropriate reborn will be just fine for her.
They can be carefully dressed and redressed and nappied and re-nappied.
After investing the extra money on buying such a doll for our daughter- it just
needs to be explained that this is a special baby that needs extra care and
handled just like a real baby- they generally understand
this even from age 4 and look after them.
Most small girls who love their dolls do take care with them.
They can take a bit of rough treatment. A cloth body is easily fixed
as is a limb that may be come detached from the body.
I do suggest that when play visitors come and the way they may handle dolls is
uncertain that the special dolls can be popped on the parent’s bed for safe
keeping- here they can be visited for showing off rather
than played with intensely.
Words of caution- keep them away from the dog - they can chew them up
irreparably!!! And pens are an absolute enemy of vinyl- it sinks in and is
I also suggest that you explain that baby can’t get wet, won’t east real food
and can’t drink water or anything from a bottle.
What’s an appropriate reborn?
Full newborn sized reborns of 21 or 22 inches and above are quite big for a
child under say 8 to handle and I would recommend a preemie sized baby for this
age group. They need also to be appropriately weighted- not too heavy, just sand
up to say a third of the limbs, a small bag of glass beads in the body and
smaller one in the head is enough. Also the weight in the head should be lower
near the neck- so it doesn’t flop too much.
A painted head is a really good idea- it makes the doll much more affordable and
less able to be damaged. A good portion of the time invested by an artist is
associated with the micro-rooting of the dolls head one to 2 hairs at a time.
Therefore a painted head baby should be much cheaper.
Mohair has a tendency to mat and can be pulled out, so gentle treatment is
required. If the doll doesn’t have rooted hair then there is less that can be
Dolls with hand-blown glass eyes are more susceptible to dame and unlikely to be
suitable for under 10 year olds.
More affordable sculpts are also appropriate so the final doll is more