We’ve never really had baby dolls, although my boys have enjoyed playing with them at playgroups when they were younger they hadn’t asked for their own ones. But with a new baby arriving later in the year, I thought it might be a good idea to give my youngest (age 4) a baby doll of his own to help him role play and get used to the idea. Baby Annabel sent us one of their Baby Annabel Interactive Brother dolls to review, and it has been a really big hit with my youngest, more than I expected!

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The Baby Annabel Interactive Brother doll is a good sized doll, around the size of a real newborn baby. It’s soft bodied, but with hard plastic limbs and face and comes with a few accessories: bib, dummy, locket necklace, feeding bottle, and sleep suit and hat.

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Baby Annabel Brother can also be switched on via a switch at the back which allows the baby doll to make realistic sound effects, including crying, sleeping, gulping the milk, and making a few babbling sounds. At first R switched these on a lot and would respond to the sounds with the milk and dummy, but as time has gone on he has mainly left the sound effects off and played just using his own imagination – so it’s good to have the choice available. The batteries for the sound effects come already provided, which is a big plus for me too.

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R loves babies and has really enjoyed having his own realistic baby to play with. It’s lovely to see how playing with this type of doll brings out young children’s nurturing skills and caring side.

The sleep suit which the doll comes in is removable so children can practice dressing and undressing him, and if you have other Baby Annabel clothes I think they would fit on. As I mentioned, this is our only Baby Annabel for now but looking through the leaflet that came with this one, there was a huge amount of accessories available (totally would have loved it all myself as a kid!)

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The Baby Annabel Interactive Brother doll is well made, clearly with good quality materials and attention to detail and should last very well. R’s interest in the doll has kept up well over the past month while we’ve had it, rather than being a novelty that he played with for a few days and left. I can see him continuing to play with this throughout the rest of my pregnancy and into the newborn days, and hopefully it will really benefit him to have his own baby to feed and dress to help him feel involved while I can feed and dress his little brother or sister nearby. (R is hoping for another boy! And he likes the aspect of this baby doll being a boy like himself)

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We have had a really good experience with our first Baby Annabel doll, and would recommend to any parent looking to buy a baby doll for their child – whether to help with welcoming a new arrival, or just for some fun pretend play!