There are few things I love more than baby dolls and I'm not afraid to admit that I played with them until I was at least 16. There's just something so lovely about a baby doll, especially the ones full of details. As a kid, one of my favorites was Baby Alive, which ate "real" food (!!), would talk to you, and required a new diaper every so often. Seriously, it was amazing. Baby Alive is a brand that continues to be innovative, which is why I was so excited to get a preview of the new Baby Alive Potty Dance Doll. And I can tell you, this baby doll is going to be a must-have this year.
Come on, is there anything cooler than a baby doll that feels like a real baby? My own 3-year-old daughter is as into the world of pretend parenting as I was, and she is totally obsessed with both of her Baby Alive dolls. Not only is it fun to play pretend with a doll that will actually eat the food you make them, but you guys — these dolls are also super helpful for teaching your kids things. Sure, they'll learn compassion and can practice caring for another, but the Baby Alive Potty Dance Doll, which will be available fall of 2018 and will retail for approximately $50, could potentially help them out with their own potty training.
The Baby Alive Potty Dance Doll is named for its major action — doing a potty dance to alert your child that the doll needs to go potty. When you feed the baby from her water bottle, she does a potty dance to signal that she needs to go. When your child places her on the tiny potty, she pees, and they can then pretend to wash her hands with her included soap bottle and even put a sticker on the doll's reward chart. Basically, my child's dream come true. She even offers to hold me on the potty and get my toilet paper for me, so to have her own tinkling doll? All the heart eyes. Plus, can you see how this is beneficial to potty training? Seriously, we needed this doll a year ago.
The Baby Alive Potty Dance Doll also says over 50 phrases, comes with a comb so your child can brush her hair, is bilingual, and has a feature that's my personal favorite — through a switch on her back, she can be activated in mommy or daddy mode, so she can call your child whichever one they prefer. My nephew is especially psyched about that last feature. Every Baby Alive doll we have has this option, and he loves to come over and ask me to make the babies say "Daddy" so he can play comfortably.
If you're still on the fence about how this Baby Alive Potty Dance Doll could be beneficial to your child (other than just being like their new favorite thing ever), there's something to consider — science says that pretend play is incredibly important for your child. There are several cognitive benefits to your child engaging in pretend play, including increases in language, "theory of mind" (which is an awareness that their own thoughts may differ from others'), and the ability to come up with different ideas and storylines, according to Psychology Today. Of course this kind of play can happen with any doll, but as someone who struggled with potty training my own child, I can definitely make an argument that the Baby Alive Potty Dance Doll won't just strengthen your child's imagination, but will also encourage them to go potty.
In How People Learn: Brain, Mind, Experience, and School: Expanded Edition, researchers wrote that children learn in a myriad of ways, but physical concepts are huge. Think about how your children learn to eat with a spoon, how they learn to walk, how they learn to dance — they're watching you. Potty training is no different, which is why so many experts encourage you to let your toddler in the bathroom with you to see what's happening. And let's be honest, everyone knows children love control over a situation, plus reward. Parenting recommends all of these tips for potty training your child, and the Baby Alive Potty Dance Doll can give them those things. The children get to help the doll go potty, they get to see what it means to do a "potty dance," they learn that drinking liquids makes you need to pee, and they get to reward the doll themselves and feel pretty excited about it. Seriously, Alice was obsessed with her own sticker chart while potty training, so a doll-sized one that she gets to be in control over? You guys, have you met a 3-year-old? This is peak life moment.
But it doesn't matter if your own kid is already potty trained, the Baby Alive Potty Dance Doll is still going to be a ton of fun for them. I mean, come on. It pees in a tiny potty. What kid isn't going to love that?
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