As soon as I had a child (and honestly probably even when I was pregnant), I was constantly targeted with ads for the same baby brands over and over. While sometimes this is annoying, other times it actually works and introduces me to a new brand I never would’ve seen otherwise. A few of the companies below were shown to me on an Instagram ad, which led me to check out the brand and become familiar with them.
Whether you have a boy or girl, chances are they will have a favorite doll or plush toy/stuffed animal. For Henry, it’s a stuffed Hess firetruck that plays the same 2 songs on a full-volume loop. He actually hated the toy for the first few months after he got it for Christmas, but then warmed up to it and became obsessed with it. Dragging all over the house and crying if we take it away type of obsessed.
If you’re looking for a gift for a friend/family member who is having a baby (or just want to buy something for your own child), here are 4 baby doll and plush toy brands to know about.
cuddle & kind
cuddle+kind makes beautiful hand-knit dolls that help feed children. For every doll sold, they give 10 meals to children in need (with a goal of providing one million meals each year). The dolls are made from natural, high-quality cotton so they aren’t just soft and cuddly, but also safe. To top it all off, each doll is handcrafted by female artisans in Peru, providing them with a sustainable, fair trade income.
While they’re referred to as dolls, they resemble a stuffed animal more (you can choose from human or animal versions) in my opinion. I love that they offer such a wide variety to choose from, including options for both boys and girls. They make great props for your monthly baby photos, too (if you’re into that).
Slumberkins were created by a therapist and an educator to support a full range of early emotional well-being and promote early emotional learning. The intentional children’s brand reinforces a positive attachment between children and their caregivers through stories that use research-based techniques to teach little ones important social-emotional skills.
Each machine-washable plush comes with a corresponding book. There are three “crews” to choose from — the caring crew supports children in learning how to take care of themselves and others, the confidence crew reinforces children’s belief in themselves and their ability to face challenges, and the resilience crew reminds us all that we can get through hard times, and we don’t have to do it alone.
Slumberkins make the perfect addition to a nursery that’s animal-themed, too. Once baby is old enough to play with and appreciate the toy, you can swap it from nursery decor to an item in their toy rotation.
Baby Stella® is an award-winning soft doll collection from Manhattan Toy. The dolls inspire creative role play and feature life-like features like belly buttons, toes, and stomachs. The dolls teach fine motor skills, responsibility, nurturing, and caring. The dolls come in a variety of skin and hair colors and are accompanied by life-like accessories and gear, so you can find one that resembles your child as their “mini me”. You can purchase Baby Stella dolls from a variety of retailers including Amazon, Target, and Walmart.
Jellycat combines luxurious fabrics with designs that are quirky and cute. The London-based company has been around since 1999 and their products are carried in various retail locations and online stores including Nordstrom, Crate and Barrel, and more. While most stuffed animal brands carry the standards like cats, dogs, and rabbits, Jellycat has chinchillas, pineapples, cauliflowers, rainbows, rockets, and more. How fun!