For years, we’ve written about the joy and beauty and specialness of baby dolls as gifts for our kids, from newborns to toddlers, even our school-aged kids. A doll can be a cherished best friend, a bedtime comfort, a travel companion, a tea party guest, and these days, a source of endless smartphone photo inspiration.
At least for all the parents, godparents, aunts, uncles and grandparents of the world!
So we are beyond thrilled to be teaming up with Corolle, the wonderful French company behind our own absolutely favorite baby dolls. They’re each designed to have the perfect look, size, feel and scent (mmm…that vanilla scent) for little ones to love, and we’re so grateful that Corolle offers such diversity of skin tones, races, and genders too, plus dolls for children at all ages and stages.
You may have even grown up with a Corolle doll yourself, because (drumroll) Corolle is turning 40 this year! That’s a whole lot of happy kids with a lot of baby dolls over four decades.
So for the 40th anniversary of Corolle, we’ll be giving away 40 Corolle dolls to our readers, and for each one that you win, Corolle will donate another to an absolutely lovely non-profit helping children in need.
Be sure to read all the details below!
And should you need more reasons to pick up a Corolle doll for your next birthday, shower, or new baby gift? We’ve got 7 right here, all based on research, expert advice, and or own lived experiences.
(We may even be a little emotional just writing about them.)
1. Baby dolls inspire imagination
Our associate editor Kate doctoring her doll back to health
Sure, it looks like a baby doll to us. But to your child, they see a newborn in need of a change, a preschooler in a classroom, a cake-loving friend at a birthday party, a new sibling (aw!) — or even a firefighter, a teacher, a baker, an astronaut, or a movie star.
Kids have the incredible ability to see beyond what a doll may look like, and use their imaginations to create great adventures they’ll always remember. (We even remember our own adventures with our own dolls from childhood — some going back as long as Corolle has been around!)
And of course, pretend play lets kids practice all of the other skills here, which are all so essential to their social, emotional and physiological development .
2. Baby dolls help establish nurturing, empathy and kindness.
Ibidunni took Bubbles to Santa Fe, NM in 1985…and basically everywhere else
When your child dresses a doll, tucks a doll into a carriage, sings the doll to sleep, or bathes the doll (even if the doll wasn’t made for the bath, whoops!) it’s all a demonstration of kindness. There’s something just so incredible about seeing a young child put on a bandage when the baby “has a boo-boo” or sing a lullaby because “the baby is scared.” It’s like we’re seeing the first signs of true empathy appear right before our eyes.
And if you’ve got a new baby in the house, a baby doll allows your older child to emulate the caregiving they see in you. Which is why our toy chests are packed with baby doll accessories like strollers, feeding sets, and mini strollers, ha.
Even the littlest children love getting to “be” good moms and dads too.
3. Baby dolls helps kids become responsible
Liza M rocking her Corolle baby doll to sleep
Kids start to learn real responsibility when they have a doll — not just the imaginary kind. You may notice it starts with imaginary play actions like covering the baby doll with a blanket, but only up to the doll’s shoulders. Or putting the doll into a tiny high chair at the dinner table.
But as kids grow, they learn how to really take care of the doll — like keeping it dry (if it’s not made for the bath), making sure the clothes are on properly, or even storing it in a special place to keep it safe. Seeing that sweet, realistic baby face means your child will see the baby doll as having more realistic baby needs than even other stuffed friends they may love.
4. Baby dolls help children process emotions.
Our contributor Caroline getting her cuddle on with her favorite doll
As your kid becomes verbal, you’ll learn that the baby is angry, the baby is sad, the baby is happy, the baby is feeling silly. Coincidentally — your child may be feeling the same way. It’s remarkable to see how kids gain emotional growth by projecting their own emotions onto a doll, as a way to learn to manage, express, and understand feelings.
5. Baby dolls teach social skills
Bridget and Juliette playing with Baby Baby
When children are old enough to start playing with dolls together — even if they’re simply co-playing, side-by-side — they are learning important social skills like sharing, listening, taking turns, solving problems, and eventually, collaboration. In fact, we think a lot of adults could solve problems too, if we just played with some dolls together. (Yes, we’re serious.)
6. Baby dolls help kids gain developmental skills like language, and fine/gross motor skills
Our assoociate editor Kate’s son Hayes being a cool dad
We still remember overhearing our toddlers in cribs singing at night to their dolls. Rocking them for naps. Reading to their dolls. Or waking up in the morning, determined to change the baby doll’s clothes, with their tiny, chubby little fingers. All of these activities are opportunities to practice developmental skills in a free-form, open-ended way.
Educational opportunities don’t always come from STEM toys or mommy-and-me classes! Sometimes, all it takes is the love for a doll and the chance to take care of it.
7. Baby dolls build beautiful memories
Liz’s daughter Sage and her Papa in an entire doll world of Sage’s imagination
Collectively, our team probably has a hundred sweet, funny, wonderful stories about our kids and their dolls — and about a zillion photos as evidence. As you can see here!
As kids grow up, they may not remember their preschool classmates’ names, or their favorite foods, but we can assure you, even our tweens and teens always remember the dolls they loved.
And we remember ours too.
EXTRA COOL: Giveaway…and Giving Back
We’re so thrilled that our partner Corolle is celebrating their 40th anniversary with this wonderful giveaway, that also helps kids who need it most.
Corolle is giving away 40 Corolle baby dolls to Cool Mom Picks readers! And even better, for each doll they give away, they’ll be donating one (up to 40 total) to The Fiaria Project, a family-run non-profit whose mission is to help make placement transitions easier for foster families in the Philadelphia area. They provide children with essential clothing, toiletries, and other basic item. In many cases, these items are the only new things the children have ever had, so to be able to add a special doll into 40 transition kits for 40 foster children is amazing.
Here’s how to enter the giveaway and help The Fiaria Project with their mission:
Here’s one of the kits The Fiaria Project provides to foster kids to help ease their transition.
1. Follow @CoolMomPicks and @corolle_official on Instagram + share a photo of your own or your child’s first doll or special stuffed animal, like the ones we’ve shared throughout the post here. It’s okay if they’re (or you’re) not in the photo, but if they are, great! And be sure to do it on your feed itself. (Not that we don’t love seeing them in stories too.)
3. Tell us why this doll or stuffed animal was so important to you or your child. (What was their name? What’s a favorite memory? Where did the doll go with you? We want to hear all about it!)
4. ***Comment here on this post with the link to let us know that you’ve entered!***
NOTE: If you have a private account, you’ll need to make it public for the duration of this giveaway, or alternatively you can email a screenshot of it in your feed to email@example.com with COROLLE in the subject.
5. We’ll be accepting entries through May 31 midnight PT. We’ll announce the winners on June 3.
The first 40 people to post and correctly follow these directions will receive either a Madeleine Anniversary Doll or Léonie Anniversary doll, chosen at random. Plus, The Fiaria Project will receive 40 dolls to distribute to the foster children they support.
For complete rules and regulations, please visit the Corolle Turns 40 giveaway rules page.
A huge happy birthday wish to our sponsor Corolle! We’re so honored to be a part of your big celebration, and we know so many families will appreciate your generosity.