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3 and 4 year old girls have already outgrown baby dolls???

post #1 of 45
Thread Starter 

My dd is turning 2 next week and she is really into babies right now so i made her a mini diaper bag with diapers, wipes, bibs, etc for her baby dolls.

 

I was thinking of making a similar thing for my 4 year old neice for Christmas but then I realized that she pretty much outgrew baby dolls at age 3 and moved onto princesses.  Now she is obsessed with princess barbie type dolls - for her 4th birthday party she got lots of princess barbie dolls, even some nail polish and lip gloss.

 

I've been thinking about this a lot and it makes me sad - I remember playing with baby dolls at least until I was 8 or 9.

 

I also think it's a reflection of our cultural values - what do we value in women?  Not nurturing, caretaking, mothering, etc but how they look, what clothes they wear, etc.  It makes me sad/angry that from such a young age girls are learning these values.

 

Have you noticed this trend?  What do you think?  When did your children outgrow baby dolls?

post #2 of 45

My dd is 4.5 and while she has recently begun to express a love for the "barbie" sized dolls and princess anything, she still regularly carries and cares for her babydolls, and they play "babies" at daycare as well... She would have loved her own diaper bag for baby.

 

post #3 of 45

Aw they do???  My DD is 17 mo and she looooves her babies.  Loves them.  I was shocked; TBH I thought dolls were creepy when I was a kid, and didn't really plan on getting DD one.  But when I saw how much she loved talking about babies, I got her a little baby doll, and it just melts my heart to see how much she loves playing with it.  I honestly think I'm gonna be a little teary when she gets too grown up for them.  For some reason I assumed it would be later. 

 

Could it also be possible that many 3/4 year olds have younger siblings - live babies are probably so much more awesome than play babies.

 

And could it also be that these fashion dolls are filling a niche in the sense that kids seem to like to play with dolls that are the same "age" as them?  Babies and toddlers love baby dolls because it's a world that is familiar to them.  What would be the equivalent for a 4 year old? 

post #4 of 45

I think some kids just aren't that inot baby dolls. My 4 year old loves them. She'll choose a baby doll over any other toy including Barbie any time.  My other daughter never cared about them.  when I go pick up my 7 year old from her afterschool program, though, there are usually a lot of kids (mainly girls0 her age 2nd grade playing with the baby dolls she just isn't one of them.

post #5 of 45

It might be the kids she plays with.  Perhaps there are a lot of older sisters in the mix?  I know that my daughter's friends all seem to be with baby dolls, and they are three, four, and five.  But these kids are all around this age and none of them attend elementary school yet, and none of them have older sisters (there are just two older brothers in the group).

 

It's a very mainstream group, too.

post #6 of 45

My dd has never liked dolls- baby or fashion dolls. She was never into princesses either.

She does baby her stuffed animals though. I think she actually mothers them more at the age of 10 than she did at the age of 4 so maybe the child will come around to that type of play again in future. Just lately she has gotten more into dresses and more girly stuff.

 

I can't speak for all girls. Some girls we know were very into princess play, Barbie, and boyfriends very young and other girls were not.

post #7 of 45

My kids played with baby dolls for a long time. They played with them less as they got older because they played with a wider variety of toys. Just because an older girl like Barbies or American Girl dolls (or lego!) doesn't mean that she no longer like babies.

 

And all our baby doll stuff was also used to care for stuffed animals.

 

I think it depends on the kid.

post #8 of 45

I think some kids are into baby dolls for a long time, some for a shorter time, and some not at all.  My dd was playing with them at 4 for sure, though she's more into the American Girl dolls now at 8 (almost 9).  I remember her and a friend playing a ton with baby dolls a year or two ago.  But to some extent this could just be a preferences thing.  I never played with baby dolls as a kid, or really any kind of doll.

 

I will say that I have seen in families sometimes where kids are encouraged to become interested in older things.  Like when my dd was 4 or 5, I remember a mom in the neighborhood where we were living there in the Chicago area saying that her dd (the same age) had "advanced" to High School Musical and wasn't into baby dolls anymore, but when my dd would play with dolls this girl would love to join in, and the mom would see this and encourage High School Musical barbie doll play instead.  I think sometimes some parents think that kids acting more grown up is equivalent with kids being smarter or more advanced or something.  This is the only parent I've seen do this though, so I don't know if it's common.  I knew this mom in high school, and she was very popular and I was under the impression that it was important to her that her dd also become popular so it might be about that?  Like wanting her dd to play with "cool" stuff?

post #9 of 45
Quote:
Originally Posted by mamazee View Post I remember a mom in the neighborhood where we were living there in the Chicago area saying that her dd (the same age) had "advanced" to High School Musical and wasn't into baby dolls anymore, but when my dd would play with dolls this girl would love to join in, and the mom would see this and encourage High School Musical barbie doll play instead. 


This is sooo funny!!

 

And if it weren't for location, I'd be sure that I had met that mom!!!!!

post #10 of 45

I don't think it's necessarily a reflection of culture although it can be something that parents project as some PPs mentioned (wanting more grown-up toys for their kids). I was never into baby dolls or barbie-type dolls as a kid. I did like stuffed animals a lot and I know a number of parents (including my DH) who discourage those mainly because they see them as clutter.

 

After I got over my dds liking babydolls as toddlers I let them lead the way. Dd1 moved on pretty quickly, her baby doll phase probably only lasted a year or two (maybe 2-4 yrs old), and she had many other interests during that time period also, (FP Little People, seals, mice, kitties). Dd2 loved her some babies and did probably until she was 5 or 6. She hasn't played with a baby doll in awhile now, but they've both picked up an American Girl lookalike in the past week or two. Dd2 has played with her American Girlish doll off and on since she got it and dd1 only played with it right at the time she got it and then it languished in the toy box until a new American Girl catalog arrived in the mail.

 

Both my girls absolutely loved certain stuffed animals and would be really upset if anything happened to them. We did lose one baby doll that Dd1 had loved as a toddler. Dd2 had it when she was a toddler and it disappeared when we were visiting Grandma. We got a replacement (never found the original), but neither girl was that upset about losing the original. I think they would have been really upset about certain stuffed animals, though.

 

So, in my opinion sometimes 3 and 4 year old girls do naturally outgrow baby dolls and it has nothing to do with culture or parents, but is just a reflection of the girls' interests.

post #11 of 45

my 4yo loves baby dolls. she's 4 so her "cultural values" are what happens in our home. my 7yo son is also into baby dolls from time to time.

post #12 of 45

I still played with baby dolls til I was at least ten.  Baby dolls and Fisher Price people stayed in my room until sixth grade.  

 

But, my daughter never really played with baby dolls the way I did.  She loved My Little Ponies and teeny tiny dolls like the rubber Polly Pocket type dolls.  She played with Littlest pet shop until she was 12.  She had, and loved her baby dolls, but never played with them the way I did.   

 

I don't think your niece outgrew dolls, but, she likes different things more than dolls.  

 

post #13 of 45

Dd (3.5) LOVES her babies still-I made her a little diaper bag for Christmas last year too :) Dsd (~9.5) still enjoys playing with her American Girl doll, but stopped playing with baby dolls maybe around 6-7?  She passed her babies down to dd around then, but would still play with them with dd.  I think she stil plays with Barbie dolls at her moms' house though (we don't do Barbie at our house).  I agree that it just is part of what they are exposed to, dd would probably love Barbie dolls at this age, but I am not interested in exposing her to them at this age (or ever, if I get my way, lol!)

post #14 of 45

I think this is partly a function of what is encouraged by the the parent (High school musical mom) and party of what the child is interested in -

I was never all that into Barbies - had 1 or 2? but my cousin had a HUGE collection and was into them - I preferred to BE the mom and 'play house' - Loved my "Baby Alive" that I could feed and change diapers (disgusting to think of the mold possibilities now).

 

My dd (almost 7 yo) is really not into either - but defintiely more Barbie oriented than baby doll - but actually she is FAR more into stuffed animals than any other toy or activity - which is why - when we did an 'inventory' to reinforce the tally marks she was learning at school we discovered she more than 122 of them! (that is PLUSH animals only)

post #15 of 45



Frankly, I value women for things beyond their ovaries, breasts, uteruses, and "caretaking" abilities, myself.  And if you think that women being valued for "how they look" (though granted The Look has changed throughout the centuries) is a new thing, I suggest that perhaps you are romanticizing a tad.  I think seeing women's primarily value as being caretakers and mothers to be just as gross as seeing them primarily as sexual relief objects.  Will all of us have elements of both/are there many women who will concentrate on one or the other during certain times in their lives?  Sure...but it's still not respecting the whole woman.  Even the best mom does not only have that side of her--and even the woman who likes to wear tube tops and 5 inch heels (believe it or not) has more than that side to herself as well.

 

My DD was never (and still is not) into baby dolls.  She prefered to play with and nuture her stuffed animals and animal figurines.  I don't worry about her getting into to beastiality.  Similarly, your niece is not going to be a slut because she like to play dress up with her dolls that have a wider variety of choices than a baby doll, and because she'd rather do that than change baby diapers.  It's not a reflection on her future abilities as a mother.  I was the same way, and yet I have 3 happy kids that were cloth diapered, nuturued, and are growing into fantastic young people.  Meanwhile, my mom, who loves baby dolls (and still collects them) was abusive, anything but nuturing, and prefers "stuff" to human connection and interaction.

 

When you start to extrapolate your niece liking something different than what your kid likes (or you like) to the ills of society--unless she's having Barbie orgies/drunken parties--I think that's time to kind of take a step back and stop taking yourself so seriously. 

Quote:
Originally Posted by bluedaisy View Post

 

I also think it's a reflection of our cultural values - what do we value in women?  Not nurturing, caretaking, mothering, etc but how they look, what clothes they wear, etc.  It makes me sad/angry that from such a young age girls are learning these values. 

 

post #16 of 45

My ten year old still has her dolls.  

 

My oldest daughter gave them up long ago.  She was never much into baby doll type play. 

post #17 of 45
Quote:
Originally Posted by Tigerchild View Post



Frankly, I value women for things beyond their ovaries, breasts, uteruses, and "caretaking" abilities, myself.  And if you think that women being valued for "how they look" (though granted The Look has changed throughout the centuries) is a new thing, I suggest that perhaps you are romanticizing a tad.  I think seeing women's primarily value as being caretakers and mothers to be just as gross as seeing them primarily as sexual relief objects.  Will all of us have elements of both/are there many women who will concentrate on one or the other during certain times in their lives?  Sure...but it's still not respecting the whole woman.  Even the best mom does not only have that side of her--and even the woman who likes to wear tube tops and 5 inch heels (believe it or not) has more than that side to herself as well.

 

My DD was never (and still is not) into baby dolls.  She prefered to play with and nuture her stuffed animals and animal figurines.  I don't worry about her getting into to beastiality.  Similarly, your niece is not going to be a slut because she like to play dress up with her dolls that have a wider variety of choices than a baby doll, and because she'd rather do that than change baby diapers.  It's not a reflection on her future abilities as a mother.  I was the same way, and yet I have 3 happy kids that were cloth diapered, nuturued, and are growing into fantastic young people.  Meanwhile, my mom, who loves baby dolls (and still collects them) was abusive, anything but nuturing, and prefers "stuff" to human connection and interaction.

 

When you start to extrapolate your niece liking something different than what your kid likes (or you like) to the ills of society--unless she's having Barbie orgies/drunken parties--I think that's time to kind of take a step back and stop taking yourself so seriously. 

 



Thank you.  Very well said.  I think we all deserve to like what we like.  Let our children like what they like.   My daughter wore bright green furry boots with Tinkerbell on them along with Spiderman Pajamas and carried a PJ Sparkles mermaid doll that she had cut all the hair off of for two months.  She seems pretty normal now as a young adult.  

 

When she did have a doll, she usually cut all the hair off of it.  She likes doing other people's hair now, but has no plans to be a hair dresser.  

 

She played with Bratz dolls, but is very modest herself.  

 

post #18 of 45

Would your niece like a set of baby things for her Barbies' babies?

 

Ooo! Or bedding, upholstered furniture?

post #19 of 45
Quote:
Originally Posted by sapphire_chan View Post

Would your niece like a set of baby things for her Barbies' babies?

 

Ooo! Or bedding, upholstered furniture?


Or a nice bag to keep them in?  But, I like the bedding idea.  I would have loved that.

post #20 of 45

My 5 year old DD and 3 year old DS are both into babydolls. But we have a 6 mo DD, so that might play a role.

 

Carma

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