Created by Zapf Creations, Baby Annabell is designed to mimic the motions and reactions of a real baby up to 12 months old, featuring some amazingly lifelike functions. The Baby Annabell doll is able to cry, babble, drink from her bottle, and suck her dummy. Because of the lifelike behaviour patterns, the Zapf Baby Annabell is designed to encourage your child’s social skills while playing and taking care of the baby doll.
Baby Annabell is just one of the realistic baby dolls offered by Zapf Creations, although Baby Annabell is perhaps the best known variety. Other dolls in their line include Baby Born, which is anatomically correct and even urinates on a potty chair; Baby Chou Chou, who is designed to teach about developmental stages such as a first tooth; and Sam and Sally, which are much larger dolls at 60 cm. These dolls can wear items from their own line of clothes or real baby clothes of the appropriate size.
Baby Annabell is designed both for play and for developing your child’s nurturing and parenting skills. Although they are primarily marketed to girls, don’t forget that little boys can also develop parenting skills through realistic play.
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Things to consider before buying
There are several different Baby Annabell dolls to choose from, so make sure you know which is right for your child. The primary models are Baby Annabell and My First Baby Annabell, although there are also ethnic and gender variations.
- First, there is the original Baby Annabell, which now has the ability to react to your child’s voice. She turns her head to the left or right, depending on where the sound is coming from. She gurgles, babbles, and sucks on her dummy. Fill her bottle with water, and she’ll make sucking sounds. After she finishes, she will burp and fall asleep, slowly opening and closing her eyes. If she is awakened by noise, she will cry real tears, although singing will quickly quiet her down.
- Next is Baby Annabell Ethnic, which offers all the same features as the original Baby Annabell, but with a darker skin tone.
- My First Baby Annabell, My First Baby Annabell Brother, and My First Baby Annabell Ethnic come with fewer interactive functions, designed for easy use by younger children. They have sweetly freckled faces, movable eyes, and soft bodies meant to inspire cuddles from your little one. They also have movable arms, legs, and heads, and they giggle and kiss.
- To decide which model is right for your child, consider your child’s age. If you have a very young child, the My First Baby Annabell will be easier and more age appropriate, while an older child would want the interactive features of the original Baby Annabell. For an in-between child
- The decision about gender and ethnicity is primarily a personal preference, depending on what you think your child would prefer. If your child already has a Baby Annabell, perhaps a friend or brother would make a good addition to the doll family.
Accessories and Other Toys
Baby Annabell accessories include many of the same items you would need to take care of a real little baby, including a Baby Annabell changing table, Baby Annabell wardrobe, and Baby Annabell bottle. Don’t forget the Baby Annabell walker and Baby Annabell buggy, and Baby Annabell high chair. Once you have bought the Baby Annabell toy, your child will want to keep up with the whole Baby Annabell set. With the wide range of accessories, your child will be able to mimic the whole range of experiences surrounding caring for an infant.
The available play mat provides fun just like a real baby’s play gym. Let the Baby Annabell doll lie on the blanket, being entertained or gently lulled to sleep by the musical flower. The swing comes with a rattle, toy arch, pillow, and squeaky toys. The changing bag lets your daughter carry all the nappies and changing accessories for changes on the go, or the changing table will take care of home changing needs.
For sleeping, Baby Annabell can have sweet dreams in an interactive bed, complete with a canopy and bows. The doll will turn her head toward a little musical sheep that plays a lullaby. Comes with a mattress, musical lamb, pillow, and blanket.
Baby Annabell also has her own complete line of feeding accessories. Your child can hold Baby Annabell to feed her a bottle, or put the doll in her own high chair for feeding convenience. Your child will love dressing up her Baby Annabell doll, and there are a wide range of clothing sets designed just for this doll.
Other role-playing toys
If your child likes playing with Baby Annabell, there is a wide variety of role playing toys that are also designed to teach home skills.
- Kitchen and baking sets: Sets can be a simple as a group of pans and some artificial food, or they progress all the way up to stoves with glowing burners and electronic sounds. With an Easy Bake oven, your child can bake her own cupcakes with the light bulb powered oven.
- Vacuum sets: You can buy vacuum cleaners that make noise, or even ones that actually work. These do not provide a lot of suction, but they will pick up small crumbs, letting your child feel like she’s really helping.
- Dress-up clothes: Put together a small trunk of dress-up clothes. Inexpensive play tiaras, scarves from your own wardrobe, and plastic high heels all let little girls pretend to be princesses. Whether an item is new or used, sized to fit or not, little girls love to pretend with real clothes. Also consider buying Halloween costumes off-season, which is an easy way to expand the dress-up trunk.
- Makeup sets: Consider putting together an age-appropriate makeup sets, with easily washable children’s play makeup. Real lipstick and nail polish should not be included, unless they will only be used with adult supervision. These items are very difficult to wash off, so use caution.
- Supermarket trolleys are designed to mimic the grocery shopping experience. They can be a good way to teach about nutrition, and some electronic models will also help your child learn math. Cash registers are a good accessory to the shopping cart for this reason, if it doesn’t already have its own math function.
- Washing machines let your little homemaker experience all the joys of pretend laundry, featuring realistic sound effects.
Finally, don’t forget to expand your child’s play horizons. While it is a stereotype that little girls like dolls and little boys like trucks, this obviously doesn’t apply evenly to every child. Your daughter or your son might enjoy playing with both cars and trucks, and some of the most interesting play scenarios actually combine the two.