I think, for as long as I've been a mother, I've been looking for the cutest, cuddliest, sweetest smelling, nicest dressed dolls I can find. And I have found some very nice ones! Then at some point my husband declared enough was enough. I agreed. And yet, when a 4th birthday loomed on the horizon for Olivia, (who has been especially envious and covetous of big sister's American Girl doll Julie), I thought we should get her an American Girl Bitty Baby. It made sense, in a way, to give her a baby doll, since we have a new (real) baby in the house, even though we already have baby dolls aplenty. (See honey, I do know!) Really.
But an American Girl Bitty Baby baby doll would be extra super dooper special, right?
Known for their high quality and purportedly the 'perfect size' for 3 and 4 yr olds, Bitty Baby seemed the way to go. So I ordered the red head Bitty Baby with gray blue eyes. (We didn't have a red-headed doll yet was my reasoning, plus our real baby's downy fluff looks a bit gingery to me).
Well....when it arrived, I was surprised by the flatness of it's face sculpt, and the pallor of it's face and limbs. Lifelike it wasn't. Her clothes were lovely, though. As was the fun, pretend baby monitor I'd ordered. American Girl really does an outstanding job with their doll accessories and doll clothing.
But the doll. Hmm. 15 inch Bitty Baby just simply was not as cute and cuddly as one of the dolls we already own; specifically 14 inch Corolle's Bebe Do.
Now, our Corolle Bebe Do doll has not been given the love she deserves in our house, nope. I think I bought her 3 years ago and so, for 3 years she has mostly laid in a doll crib in the playroom, seemingly ignored. Sometimes I'd find her one white plush outfit removed, but I never saw her in the dolly highchair being 'fed', never saw her at a 'tea party' with the other dolls, never helped her into a carrier on my girl's back - why? Surely not for lack of cuteness!? Or cuddliness!?
I asked Big Sis (age 7.5) what she thought of the Bitty Baby doll vs. the Bebe Do doll - and shockingly (she's an American Girl doll lover), she agreed with me, that the Corolle Bebe Do was actually 'cuter', more life-like and cuddlier! She gave both dolls many squeezes and hugs and finally sniffed both doll's heads - "this doll smells better too", she said. Huh. Our 3 yr old Corolle still smells faintly of the vanilla scent Corolle uses in their doll-making. It never was an overpowering scent, and I am sensitive to such things...and she was right, the Bitty Baby did not smell quite as good. And our birthday girl is all about things smelling good!
I think Bitty Baby has no really discernible smell, just a faint sort of new car kind of smell...but...Bebe Do did smell 'better', kind of like a freshly bathed real baby.
Hmmm. Look at the difference in hand sculpts! I love Bebe Do's delicate fingers and oooh those babylicious lips! Overall, I find Bebe Do has a more delicate appearance, and a more finessed sculpt, whereas Bitty Baby's sculpt seems a bit clumsy and unrefined. I keep thinking poor Bitty Baby is going to need braces for that underbite when she grows up. ;)
I firmly believe that "The most effective kind of education is that a child should play amongst beautiful things!" (supposedly Plato said that.) Well, I say it, it helps me edit the house.
So here was my idea: return the American Girl Bitty Baby doll, clean up our Corolle Bebe Do doll, and use the return money to dress her up in cuter clothes, outfit her with some awesome accessories and see what happened....
Stay tuned, and I'll show you!