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The 10 Best Realistic Baby Dolls of 2022


The popularity of lifelike dolls exploded in the 1990s. Today, they look more realistic than ever — and your options for adopting one of these cuddly play babies for your little one seem endless. 

There are a lot of factors to weigh when sifting through all the realistic baby dolls for sale: cost, quality, fun rating, realistic look and cuteness quotient.

With these factors in mind, I have researched some of the top sellers and checked out those harder to find gems in the world of baby dolls that look real.

My background in journalism and a career in higher ed, (plus 14 years of mom-cred) has turned me into a bit of a research nerd. I’m used to sorting through the fluff and have listed my top picks below.  

Best Realistic Overall:
Best Realistic with Set:
Best Realistic Sleeping:


Best “Reborn” Dolls that Look Like Real Babies

The Lullaby Llama Doll requires preemie clothes, making it smaller than other dolls. The Aori Lifelike Doll, Realistic Reborn Baby Dolls, and Sleeping Baby Doll require 0-3 months clothing.

Paradise Galleries Reborn Baby Doll Lullaby Llama

Paradise Galleries Reborn Baby Doll with Magnetic Pacifier, Lullaby Llama, 18 Inch Sleeping Baby in Softtouch Vinyl, 7-Piece Doll Gift Set
Quality
Popularity

You May Forget It’s A Doll …

What I like: A big part of creating a realistic baby is considering how the baby feels in your arms.

This one hits it out of the park: the delicate baby-powder scent, a slightly weighted body and soft touch vinyl skin make for a very realistic feeling baby.

This beauty also has hand-painted hair, closed eyes, eyelashes, lips and even finger nails that give her an adorable realistic look.

If the sometimes thick or frizzy attempts at hair on other reborn dolls freak you out, this dolls painted on hair will be a welcome sight. It’s a more natural look for a newborn. Her sweet features and face are sculpted by an artist. 

The clothing included with the doll completes her adorable look. A llama-themed outfit features a knit bonnet and matching socks. 

While Lullaby Llama is a bit pricier, the details of the doll will delight an older child. While this doll could be added to a collection, it could also work for an older child as a play toy.

Definitely a good buy for a more mature child who won’t throw the doll in the bottom of the toy bin. I would skip giving this one to a toddler as their first real baby doll. 

Consider this: This one is on the smaller side, preemie clothes may work or be slightly large. 

Perfect for: Older kids who will take care of this real-looking baby and appreciate the delicate details. 

Aori Lifelike Realistic Reborn Girl Doll 

Aori Lifelike Realistic Reborn Baby Dolls 22 Inch Weighted Reborn Girl Doll with Yellow Clothes and Duck Toy Accessories Best Birthday Set for Girls Age 3
Price$$$$
Quality
Popularity

A Sunny Playmate 

The good: This baby definitely stands out from the pack. From the bright yellow ensemble to the toothy smile, this baby is made for a fun-loving kid who is ready to play

This lifelike doll has short hair that your child can style. The hair also has a realistic look, less of a mop than some of the other choices. 

While the bright smile of this doll will catch your eye, when you take a closer look you will find that the quality is also there. This duck-themed doll boasts a handcrafted design with handset eyes and individual eyelashes, soft vinyl limbs and a cloth body. 

The price is about mid- to the high range and the doll comes with some fun accessories: a blanket, pacifier, bottle, plush duck and birth certificate. This doll can wear 0-3 month clothing.

Even though this doll is ready to play, the soft vinyl and weighted cloth body makes for a perfectly cuddly baby. 

Consider this: While the doll looks like it could sit on its own, it does need support. The limbs can also be difficult to pose. 

Perfect for: An active kid who wants a fun, real-looking baby doll. 

Realistic Reborn Baby Dolls

XINAN-US Realistic Reborn Baby Dolls, 18 Inch Lifelike Soft Silicone Vinyl Baby Dolls with Clothes Gift for Kids Age 3+
Price$$$$
Popularity

For Your Fashionista 

I love this doll. From her bow and ruffles on her headband with matching skirt and a pacifer. She even has her ears pierced!

The handset eyes and handmade rooted hair give the doll a realistic look. Posable arms and legs provide versatility for lots of play and fun posing.  

Like many of the dolls on the list, this one is constructed out of silicone vinyl with a cloth body. The result is a gift set that is a good value and includes a magnetic pacifier, bottle, diaper, birth certificate and extra outfit.

And if your child wants to get extra outfits, this one wears a size 0-3 months so it should be easy to find clothes that work. 

Consider this: The hair can start to fall out if brushed a lot, so if you have a child who loves to style their dolls hair often, this may not be the best pick. 

Perfect for: The child who loves picking out their own clothes and already has their own sense of style. 

CHAREX Sleeping Reborn Baby Doll

CHAREX Reborn Baby Dolls Sleeping 22 Inch Realistic Reborn Newborn Baby Dolls Lifelike Real Baby Dolls That Look Real Soft Vinyl Silicone Baby Reborn Dolls
Price$$$
Quality
Popularity

Happy Baby 

What I like: I love these outfits because they remind me of how real babies are often dressed. While I appreciate the delicate dresses and rompers that some of the other dolls include, this one has the bright patterns, easy-to-wash materials and sweet details that I associate with dressing a newborn. 

You also get a doll that looks a lot like a real baby. The hand-painted face is sweet and the slightly pink cheeks add to the realism. You can choose if you want a doll who is a naptime pal (eyes shut) or a playmate (shiny blue eyes open). Both options feature hand-applied lashes. 

This doll is soft and snuggly with a weighted body to add to the realistic feel. Details like wrinkled fingers make it a believable lookalike real baby. 

The set comes with an extra change of clothes, magnetic pacifier, bottle and birth certificate for lots of interactive play. 

Consider this: The hair is a wig which you may have to reattach with glue if it comes loose. 

Perfect for: The mini-mommy or daddy who wants a doll that isn’t too frilly. 

Best Realistic Baby Doll in a Set

The Melissa & Doug Baby Care Set and Layette Baby Set come with the best accessories, while the Reborn Sleeping Doll is the best naptime companion.

Ecore Newborn Reborn Baby Doll and Clothes Set 

Ecore Fun 10 Inch Newborn Reborn Baby Doll and Clothes Set Washable Realistic Silicone Baby Dolls with Cute Sunflower Jumpsuit Clothes-Best Gift for Kids Girls
Price$$
Quality
Popularity

Tiny + Charming 

What I like: The price is the first thing that stood out — this is one of the least expensive choices on the list!  But just because this doll is on the cheaper side, doesn’t mean it isn’t a quality choice. 

This doll is small, even a little tiny for preemie clothes, but this is a realistic baby doll. The small size and lifelike look make this doll irresistibly cuddly and easy to take anywhere. This lifelike baby is crafted completely out of vinyl plastic which is soft, smooth and easy to wipe down to clean. 

I love the outfit and matching hat. Who doesn’t love daisies? The bright, vibrant pattern and matching pieces are trendy.

The look reminds me of the Instagram-worthy images people are posting of their newborns now.

Consider this: The smaller-than-a-real-infant size could make it harder to find extra clothes if your child loves dressing up their realistic baby doll. 

Perfect for: A toddler or younger child who wants a durable baby doll they can carry anywhere and keep clean. 

Melissa & Doug Deluxe Baby Care Play Set

Melissa & Doug Mine to Love Deluxe Baby Care Play Set (48 Pieces – Doll + Accessories to Feed, Bathe, Change, and Cuddle)
Price$$$$
Quality
Popularity

Hours of Playtime 

What I like: I love Melissa & Doug. And accessories are a big deal to me. So it’s no surprise this sweet looking doll complete with a 48(!!!!) piece accessory kit made my list. 

Some of the fun accessories you can expect with this set include: a bathtub, bottles of baby wash and shampoo, sweet hooded towel, lotions, a diaper, “disappearing” liquid bottle, sippy cup, baby feeding set, a soft blanket and a bedtime story book. 

Yes, you have the option to purchase a realistic looking baby doll and an accessory set separately, but there is something nice about an all-in-one purchase. For one, you know the accessories will be the correct size for your baby doll. Especially when the set comes from a trusted brand like Melissa & Doug, you can’t go wrong.

This one is durable and you won’t have to worry about your child taking in into the bath or sharing a snack. 

This would make a great gift. The way the doll is packaged displays everything you get in this impressive bundle.

Even though this one is on the higher end of the cost, you get a lot of bang for your buck. 

To consider: The set doesn’t include a carrying case for all these accessories so plan on purchasing a large tub or mesh bag to keep these small items together and organized (or — if your kids are like mine — they will have lost half of them at the bottom of the toy chest within a week).

Perfect for: A toddler or younger child who will love the chance to exercise their imagination with this expansive set. And consider this one for a nice, easy-to-wrap gift!

8 piece Layette Baby Doll Gift Set 

8 piece Layette Baby Doll Gift Set | JC Toys - La Newborn Nursery | 14
Quality
Popularity

Affordable + Adorable

What I like: Wow, that sweet little smirk will melt your heart! It’s easy to see why this realistic baby doll is a top seller.

Not only does this baby look pretty realistic, it’s also one of the most affordable dolls I reviewed (about half the cost of many of the others).  

You get a lot for the money, too: 8 pieces! The set includes a change of clothes, diaper, adorable booties and newborn hat give your child some options when playing.

The lightweight, soft baby is easy for even a toddler to carry everywhere and snuggle. The vinyl makes the baby both durable and water friendly.

You may have to pop off the head and limbs to dry out after, but this baby is one of the few that can be included in pool fun or bath time. That’s a big plus if your kids are like my toddler son who insists on bringing any toy they are playing with into the tub. 

The customizable hospital bracelets are a fun touch that will make your child feel like they are really a parent bringing home a newborn, but without the sleepless nights and stinky diapers.

From the tiny newborn face to the wrinkled toes, this baby is definitely lovable and offers many chances for your child to practice nurturing. 

The affordable price may leave some room in your budget for some extra baby accessories too!

Consider this: While this doll has a realistic look, it is smaller than a real baby, especially in the curled up pose. If you want to buy extra clothes, plan on looking for preemie size, and they still may be a touch big.

The baby is made completely of vinyl plastic, so may have less of the realistic weighted feel when holding. 

Perfect for: Toddlers or young kids who want a lightweight, durable doll they can carry everywhere (even the bath) and spend hours taking care of and changing clothes.

Reborn Baby Dolls Lucy Gift Set

CHAREX Reborn Baby Dolls Lucy, 22 inch Realistic Girl Doll, Lifelike Soft Vinyl Weighted Gift Set
Price$$$$
Quality
Popularity

All About the Lashes 

What I like: Baby Lucy looks just like a real baby … only prettier. Lashes for days, sweet rosy cheeks and big blue eyes — this is a baby doll for the kid who wants a baby they can dote on. 

This option is a little pricier than some of the others, but the attention to detail and realism is obvious. Her face is sculpted out of soft vinyl and she even has detailed finger and toenails. 

The vibrant eyes and shiny hair make this the perfect doll to play dress up with. The flexible hands are unique and fun for kids to play with and add to the level of realism. 

And the tiny stitched onesie included is just precious. 

This baby fits size 0-3 month clothes, so it will be easy to find extra clothes for this realistic-looking doll. The soft-vinyl skin, posable limbs and weighted body will make you feel more like you are holding a real baby.

The magnetic pacifier is pretty cool and lets kids feel like they are really interacting with their new baby when they give it to her. This one has a birth certificate — again a nice touch for kids to have the newborn experience. 

Consider this: This doll is on the pricier side. The body is stuffed so care needs to be taken to keep clean and dry (no shared bath time for this baby).

Perfect for: An older kid who will take care of a more expensive baby doll, enjoys dress up and wants a doll that’s a bit of a show-off. 

Aori Reborn Baby Doll with Teddy Bear Set 

Aori Reborn Baby Doll 22 Inch Handmade Realistic Girl Baby Doll with Teddy Bear Set for Girls Children
Price$$$$
Quality
Popularity

Matching Adorableness

What I like: This doll and matching teddy is sugary sweet. I love her delicate features and the realistic looking (without being creepy) face. 

Yes, the headpiece is over the top. But that’s what makes it awesome. It has everything that many 5-year-old dreams are made of: pink frills, sparkles and a tiny princess crown. 

Not only does this doll and teddy look great, this is a toy your child can cuddle with. The limbs and head are created from soft silicone and the body is weighted cloth, making this one feel real in your arms. 

Everything about this doll is top quality. The construction is well done and the details like the delicate fingernails really shine making this a very special pick.

If your child likes dressing up their dolls, this one fits sizes 0-3 months. 

Consider this: This doll may have an unpleasant plastic smell at first, but it seems to wear off over time. The soft stuffed body may be a little lumpy and cannot get wet. 

Perfect for: The little princess in your life. This one is a better fit for an older child who will take care of the dainty clothing and accessories. 

Reborn Lifelike Sleeping Baby Doll Gift Set

CHAREX Reborn Baby Doll, 22 Inch Lifelike Newborn Baby Boy Doll, Weighted Realistic Reborn Toddler Dolls That Look Real
Price$$$
Popularity

Did Someone Say Snuggles?

What I like: Who can resist that little sleeping face? This baby takes me right back to my maternity leave days when I spent hours snuggling my little one and staring at that tiny perfect face.

This doll can be your secret weapon when it comes to bedtime. You can make your child’s transition to sleep a little easier and comfort the little one who is scared of the dark. 

The baby is durable — sculpted from vinyl and soft cloth-like many others — and if you are looking for a realistic look, this one will turn heads. 

The closed-eye look is a realistic one for a newborn. If you are prepping your kiddo for the arrival of a new brother or sister, this doll may help set some expectations before the arrival of your new (often sleeping) bundle of joy. 

This doll is a little larger than some others (accurately the size of a real newborn) and if you have some 0-3 months or maybe even 3-6 months clothing on hand, this is a good pick. The bottle and pacifier allow for some pretend to play and practice nurturing. 

To consider: While the sleeping pose has many benefits, this may not be the best choice for a child who is really active and wants their baby to pretend to play a wider range of scenarios.

Perfect for: A bedtime or naptime pal or for teaching your child to be gentle and nurturing. Good preparation for a new infant brother or sister. 

Realistic Dolls Compared

The table below compares only the recommended products on this page. A low or high Price means it is low or high compared to the other products listed. The Popularity Score reflects how often readers click on and buy the product. The Quality Score is our assessment of the overall performance and satisfaction with the product compared to others in the table.


How to Choose a Realistic Baby Doll

Price/Value/Quality

While many of these dolls fall into the same price range, there are certainly those that fall above and below. These rankings consider the cost of the product, the quality of the item and what is included with your purchase. 

Materials/Body type 

There are a few different body types offered among baby dolls that look real. Most use some type of soft vinyl or silicone that has a skin-like feel. The bodies are either made from this or many have a soft cloth body with some being weighted to feel more like you are holding real life baby. 

Realistic Look 

We considered how much the baby doll looked like a realistic newborn in our ratings. Some dolls capture that adorable newborn baby look better than others. 

Accessories/Interaction

Does your child want a reborn baby doll they can snuggle with or are they more into pretend play? We looked at how many accessories each doll includes and the level of interaction they offer your child. 

FAQs – Realistic Baby Dolls

What are the benefits of playing with realistic baby dolls for children?

Pretend play is an important part of childhood development. Your child learns many lessons about themselves and the world around them by using their imagination in play.

Realistic baby dolls provide the opportunities for hours of play. Your child can mimic the loving adults in their lives as they play with their realistic baby doll. When you buy your child a realistic looking doll, you are meeting the needs of your child.

Here are a few of the lessons learned through playing with a realistic baby doll:

  • How to behave in society. Taking care of babies is in our nature and an important element of humanity. 
  • Emotional intelligence in family situations. Your child learns to try on new roles in the family. 
  • Storytelling — children learn to act out stories and improve communication skills through pretend play. 

Why do children enjoy playing with realistic baby dolls?

Have you ever noticed how drawn your child is to other children, even those bigger or smaller than them?

Kids are drawn to realistic baby dolls for the same reason. Your child loves to mimic their favorite adults as a caretaker for their own little one. 

The draw is also biological. Children instinctively want to protect these small, helpless and very real looking reborn dolls. Giving them a real looking doll will help build their empathy and capacity to nurture.

Realistic looking baby dolls can also serve as a source of security and comfort for a child. They can be a little more confident and calm knowing that they have their little friend by their side whether it’s during a trip to the store or bedtime. 

What is the best lifelike baby doll?

The best lifelike doll for your child is the one that suits their needs (and your budget) best. You know your child better than anyone, so look at the benefits of the realistic baby dolls and trust that you will choose the one to suit your child best. 

At what age is my child is interested in realistic baby dolls?

Around 2-3 years, your child will start to show interest in pretend play. The great thing about these dolls, is that they can be a favorite toy as your child grows. Because play with these dolls is so imagination based, the same doll can work for years of evolving play. Many children play with dolls into their tween years and a growing number of teens love collecting reborn dolls. 

Realistic reborn dolls are adorable and have many benefits. From becoming your child’s favorite play toy to adding to a beautiful collection to being used in therapy for mothers who have lost a child or who have dementia to helping prep your child for a new sibling — these dolls are very versatile. 

What makes a reborn baby doll realistic? 

It isn’t just the look of a doll that qualifies it as a realistic baby doll. The makers of realistic dolls also pay attention to:

  • How the baby feels in your arms.
  • The touch of the materials used for the skin.
  • Posing the limbs and body in natural newborn stances.

Some doll makers have even captured that unmistakable newborn smell!

Where can I find a reborn doll?

Unless you are looking to spend upwards of thousands of dollars for an actual art piece, Amazon.com offers thousands of affordable and surprisingly real-looking baby dolls to choose from. Trusted brands include Paradise Galleries, Charex, Aori and even toy-staple Melissa & Doug. 

Our Top Picks

There are a lot of good options when it comes to realistic baby dolls. But while I found many that don’t live up to their product descriptions or cut corners on production, there are also many quality, realistic baby dolls for any budget.

For example, many of the options on this page are created with the help of an artist. Top-of-the-line materials are used on most dolls on this list. 

The key to finding the right doll for the little one in your life is to think about how your child plays. That will help you narrow down between a sleeping tot or a wide-eyed laughing playmate. 

For me, the answer was easy. 

Have I mentioned that my son loves bath time? 

He’s almost three and will try to take whatever toy he is playing with at bath time into the tub. If the toy isn’t water friendly, it takes a bit of convincing to get him to leave it behind.

That’s why the small, sweet 8 piece Layette Baby Doll Gift Set from JC Toys is a homerun for us. 

We are also saving up for a future family getaway, so I am always ready to jump on a deal when I can find one.

If a good deal is most important to you, also consider Ecore Newborn Reborn Baby Doll and Clothes Set

If a sweet snuggly baby doll for bedtime is more your speed, take a look at the  Reborn Lifelike Sleeping Baby Doll Gift Set. 

For a fancier doll with all the bells and whistles, I would go with the queen of sweet, Paradise Galleries Reborn Baby Doll Lullaby Llama

And if you need a gift that will really WOW, you can’t beat the Melissa & Doug Deluxe Baby Care Play Set

I hope you find a realistic baby doll that your child loves.

Happy shopping! 

Sources

  1. The Importance of Pretend Play in Child Development, www.brighthorizons.com
  2. The neuroscience of learning through play, www.legofoundation.com
  3. Science…, www.sciencemag.org
  4. Role Model the Behavior You Want to See From Your Kids, www.verywellfamily.com
  5. Reborn doll…, en.wikipedia.org
  6. That’s My Baby: How dolls promote emotional development in both sexes – Rose & Rex, www.roseandrex.com
  7. Mother's Intuition is Real And Here's Why You Should Trust It, www.parents.com
  8. Stages of Play from 24–36 Months: The World of Imagination • ZERO TO THREE, www.zerotothree.org
  9. What Is a Reborn Doll?, www.thecut.com
  10. New Baby Smell: Why Do They Smell So Good (or So Bad)?, www.healthline.com

Amy Jones

Amy Rourke Jones is a wife, mother to a toddler and a teenager, and stepmom to a tween. She is the favorite person of the family’s Australian Shepherd, Ollie. She has a degree in journalism and has worked in higher-ed communication for five years. Amy is an avid reader, online shopper, podcast-listener and she enjoys cooking.



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