What We Like
Lifelike sounds and noises
What We Don't Like
Odd on-and-off switch
Baby Alive dolls have been around since 1973. My little sister, Amy, had one when she was a girl, and I remember thinking how cool it was that the doll actually moved and interacted with her. The toy is just as popular today, but is it still worth the buzz? I enlisted my friend’s 3-and-a-half-year-old daughter, Nova, who happens to be a huge baby doll fan, to help test out the Baby Alive Real As Can Be Baby. Get the scoop on what she and I thought of this “lifelike” baby.
Design: Not the most lifelike, but our tester was satisfied
The Baby Alive Real As Can Be Baby is available in the following hair and skin tones: black hair and brown skin, brown hair and light brown skin, or blonde hair and pale skin. The doll comes accessorized with a floral outfit, matching hat, pacifier, bottle, and blankie. Preemie clothing also can (loosely) fit this doll, which has a plush fabric body and molded plastic arms, hands, legs, feet, and head. A headband is sewn right into this doll’s head, and she also has a “diaper,” which is flush to the body on the back but partially detachable in the front. It can be fastened and unfastened with hook-and-loop tabs just like a real diaper.
Despite the product name, it’s visually not the most lifelike doll, which is my only gripe. The doll definitely looks like a toy, with exaggerated eyes and eyelashes and smoothed-down everything else. However, my 3-year-old tester did not mind or notice this at all. She was wowed by the baby’s reactiveness and the variety of sounds, movements, and expressions (80, to be exact!) this little cutie can make.
Despite the product name, it’s visually not the most lifelike doll, which is my only gripe.
Another oddity with its design is that the on-off switch is located in the crotch area, necessitating partially disrobing the doll and reaching between a slit in the fabric to get to the on-and-off button. I thought it was kind of strange (and a bit amusing) to put the switch in the potty area. It does sort of simulate the diaper-changing process, though, without any mess, so maybe that is the intention.
Entertainment Value: A hit!
For the right child, this doll is a total winner. It oohs and aahs and coos. She wiggles and giggles, reaches, blinks, turns her head when spoken to, and opens and closes her eyes. Nova immediately took to this baby, taking her hat off and putting it back on, feeding her the bottle (the doll makes slurping noises), burping her (she actually burps when patted on the back), and then rocking her to sleep (yes, she’ll even make sleeping sounds). Nova loved all the baby-like motions and babbles and right away started calling her “my baby.”
A great feature of this doll is that the sounds are plentiful and unique from each other but not too loud or annoying.
My teenage daughter found this toy creepy: “It keeps looking at me!” But the rest of us had a blast interacting with this little love. For a mom who is well out of the baby stage, it was unexpectedly satisfying to babble back and forth with the Baby Alive doll—and then be able to turn her off when done. A great feature of this doll is that the sounds are plentiful and unique from each other but not too loud or annoying.
Age Range: 3+
The manufacturer lists this doll for ages 3 and up, and I’d agree that it’s great for young toddlers who enjoy playing mommy or big sister. Many older girls (up to 10 or 11), would enjoy this lifelike baby, too. In fact, most of the real moms I showed it to also had fun with a turn holding this doll. Actually, even my labradoodle, Bucky, was intrigued and will attempt to nuzzle this doll when she makes noises.
Our 3-year-old tester loved all the baby-like motions and babbles and right away started calling her ‘my baby.’
Ease of Cleaning: Easy as 1, 2, 3
This Baby Alive doll is easy to maintain. The bottle isn’t real, so there are no real liquids (or pretend “waste”) to contend with. The plastic and fabric parts of the body easily wipe clean with a damp rag. A little gentle cleanser can be used to spot clean. Don’t ever submerge in water, though, as there are batteries and electronics inside the doll.
Price: Pricey, but what baby isn’t?
Baby Alive’s Real As Can Be Baby retails for $100 but can be found on sale online for around $83. This is a steep price for your average baby doll, but I think all the lifelike features justify the added cost.
Baby Alive Real As Can Be Baby vs. Aori Lifelike Reborn Baby Dolls with Soft Body
Both of these dolls are designed to be realistic baby dolls. The Aori doll, which retails for around $57, excels aesthetically, as it looks stunningly lifelike, much more so than the Baby Alive model. In fact, with just a quick glance, it would be easy to mistake the Aori toy for the real thing, as it is incredibly detailed and realistic—almost too realistic, depending on your personal preference.
The Baby Alive model, on the other hand, looks decidedly like a doll, with enormous eyes, a thin head, and molded hands. However, it delivers in lifelike responsiveness. Choose the Aori doll for the child that wants her baby to look real, and pick the Baby Alive toy for the girl who wants her doll to coo and bat her eyes.
- Product Name Real As Can Be Baby
- Product Brand Baby Alive
- MPN E2352
- Price $99.99
- Weight 2.15 lbs.
- Manufacturer Hasbro
- Batteries 4 AA (included)
- Warranty Contact Hasbro for returns of defective items
- Manufacturer Recommended Age Range 3+ years
- What’s Included Doll, removable outfit, hat, bib, blanket, pacifier, bottle, instructions, 4 AA batteries