B’s in a major baby-obsessed stage right now. She’s a little mama hen fussing over her babies, carrying them around the house, and feeding them her own snacks. Her Madame Alexander doll is so lifelike that B’s named her after a real-life friend of ours! Nothing amazes me more than watching B with her baby doll - she’s so tender and intentional with her. Being a mama to her doll is more than just pretend play to her. The doll comes with us everywhere, eats her meals in a high chair, and gets tucked in for “night night” when B does.
It’s amazing the amount of time she spends playing with this little babydoll. (Babies are a lot of work after all!) I love that it’s encouraging her imagination and inspiring some nurturing skills. It’s a sweet time for B and I to bond too. I spent so much time with my dolls growing up - they were like my babies. I’m an old pro at changing velcro doll clothes and getting tiny plastic bottles ready for feedings. B watches me mother her doll with saucer-like eyes, and mirrors it a few minutes later.
In those moments, B’s imagination is growing tenfold, and she’s picking up more than I realize. She knows that baby depends on her for food, bottles, cuddles, and diaper changes, and it brings her tiny mama heart joy to be the one that does all of that. She’s learning through play that babies need a lot of love and care. I like to think it’s preparing her for the day when she has to share our attention and prepare to be a nurturing and protective older sibling.
I turned around the other day and saw B rocking her baby telling it “Shh shh shh” just like I do to her when I’m putting her to bed. She gently kissed her on the forehead, and said “Night night, baby. I see you in the morning” as she tucked her baby in. I was seriously bubbling over from the cuteness, and opened my mouth to tell her how sweet she was with her baby when B stopped me and said “Mommy, baby sleeping. No loud! SHH!” I wanted to crack a smile so badly, but I just quietly whispered back, “That’s right. Babies need quiet when they’re sleeping.” Rule #1 at the Storey house: We do not wake sleeping babies. If there is one lesson she learns, let it be this one, ha!
B actually started “pretending” with her baby dolls first before any other toy, and does most of her imaginative play with them. I’ve watched her display empathy with her dolls, as well as project her own fears and feelings onto them. It can be really eye-opening as a parent to sit and listen to her talk to her baby. Sometimes the baby has an owie or is sad, and it’s helpful to B’s coping skills when we walk through how to help baby feel better with a kiss on the owie and a cuddle with a reassuring “It’s ok!”
I’ve also noticed that when we’re trying to wind down from the day to go to bed, it’s a great transition for me to tell B her baby needs to get ready for bed. It shifts the focus onto the doll, so she still feels like we’re playing, but I’m really just winding her down with a good distraction. That takes us from high-energy playing to a low-key calming down period that is so necessary for a better bedtime routine.
I know this doll will be around in our family for a long time. Just like our doll furniture that’s from my childhood, this Madame Alexander baby doll will be loved and treasured now, and passed onto the next generation to love. This specific doll is the Middleton doll - linked here. We love how lifelike and soft their dolls are. It makes for the perfect cuddly companion!
This post was sponsored by Madame Alexander Doll Company.