Head and face discolor easily
Clicking open-and-close eyes
Can’t sit up with clothes on
The American Girl Bitty Baby No. 1 is a sweet doll that’s waiting for your child’s love.
American Girl Bitty Baby Doll #1
We purchased the American Girl Bitty Baby Doll so our writer could put it to the test. Keep reading for our full product review.
For what it’s worth, I find baby dolls creepy. Yup, I said it. I think there is something weird about a plastic, life-like approximation of a nascent human child. I’ve pretty much always felt this but even more so since becoming a parent. They seem awkwardly ghoulish. My generalization of baby dolls aside, the Bitty Baby line is somehow less disconcerting than most other offerings.
American Girl is a high-end juggernaut in the doll world. Bitty Baby is the brand’s somewhat more affordable entry into their lineup. At $60, it’s an expensive option, but it’s an adorable doll that your child will love (and some parents won’t find creepy).
Design: Adorable and huggable
The design of the Bitty Baby is basic but flawless. This is my daughter’s second doll from their line. The first was a gift from her grandmother for her second birthday. She enjoyed it briefly but has played with it rather infrequently since that first day. That was nearly two years ago. Despite not seeing much play action in her toy room, her clothes are long gone and her face and head are a little worse for the wear.
Today, we have several dolls in our collection, but the latest Bitty Baby is my 3-year-old’s current favorite. She is prominently featured front and center in all manners of games, from fort building to Bakugan battles. My daughter named her “Lila,” I believe for Miss Lila Greer from some of her favorite books: "Rosie Revere, Engineer;" "Ada Twist, Scientist;" and "Iggy Peck, Architect" by Andrea Beaty.
This Bitty Baby comes dressed in a short, pink onesie and a cloth diaper. But with your purchase, you get to select a sleeper pajama onesie from three choices: a pink-patterned frock with a bow (Snuggly Pink,) a white number with multicolored polka dots and ruffled sleeves (Loveable Rainbow), or a teal jammie with more polka dots and buttons up the front (Darling Dots). All are charming, but I selected the Darling Dots get-up for “Lila.”
This doll clothing is not easy for a child (or an adult) to get on or off the doll, so be prepared to lend a hand to your child when it's time to change its look.
American Girl offers Bitty Babies in several skin tone and hair color combinations. The No. 1 has dark complexion and dark hair paint with texture molded into the plastic head. The baby’s nylon-lashed brown eyes close automatically when she is laid down, which I think is weird, but the kids don’t seem to mind.
At about 15 inches long, “Lila” is a good-sized doll, and she’ll fit perfectly in any toddler’s arms.
The doll’s left and right hand are slightly differentiated. The right index finger is separated from the rest of her digits, but since her mouth is closed she can’t suck her thumb or finger.
Construction: Tough little toy
Bitty Babies are solid toys. The head, arms, and legs are constructed from smooth vinyl while the torso is soft cloth. Generally, dolls are ruggedly constructed, but the faces do seem to scuff easily, leaving white spots.
Another interesting quirk about the Bitty Babies is that if they are undressed, they can sit up, but they topple over instantly if they are wearing an outfit.
Entertainment Value: It’s a go-to doll
Until recently, dolls have not been exciting for either of my children. But my daughter seems genuinely attached to “Lila.” She is frequently along for the ride on LEGO building sessions, Pokemon romps, and book readings. I’ve noticed her play's evolved over the last several months, and she has more conversations with her toys. She now generates rich, imaginary talks between dolls and stuffies or Transformers, which makes for fascinating eavesdropping.
Age Range: 3+
At about 15 inches long, “Lila” is a good-sized doll, and she’ll fit perfectly in any toddler’s arms. The manufacturer recommends the doll for children 3 years and up. But I don’t see why a two-year-old who’s into dolls wouldn’t enjoy a Bitty Baby. Both of my children (at ages 3 and 6) found “Lila” adorable and easy to play with.
Ease of Cleaning: Not machine-washable
Over the two weeks, my children played with “Lila,” and the almost two years we’ve had her predecessor, neither got that dirty. While machine washing is not recommended, dried-on milk spots were easily wiped away with a warm, wet paper towel. Removing marker is a different story. American Girl offers repairs both mail-in and at their in-store “hospitals” if your doll gets too marred.
Price: On the high side
At $60, the American Girl Bitty Baby Doll No. 1 is on the pricier side. Dolls can run from $10 to $200, but most fall in the $25 to $40 range. So, “Lila” was a bit more than the average, but if your child loves her, it’s a steal at double that price.
Competition: A saturated market
There are loads of dolls out there—from Cabbage Patch Kids to Adora to Corolle. Among the dolls we tested, the Bitty Baby was my children’s first choice supplanting the "Little Prince" Adora PlayTime Baby Doll.
No brainer purchase.
This is a no brainer for me. The American Girl Bitty Baby Doll #1 is adorable, sturdy, and versatile for children of various ages. I’d buy it again, but I hope I don’t have to.
- Product Name Bitty Baby Doll #1
- Product Brand American Girl
- SKU B016AXACZI
- Price $60.00
- Recommended Age 3+