Georgia loves babies. Although we’ve always offered her alternatives, she’s gravitated towards them.
I think half the reason is because of her nursery. When she was in the smaller room at nursery, the ages ranged from a few months old to 2.5 years old.
So for months, she was seeing first hand how to look after babies and frankly, she became obsessed. She started a girl-gang at nursery where her and three friends would viciously protect their naked babies. Oh there were tears over those babies. Heaven forbid if anybody else tried to touch them.
To this day, it’s still her highlight of her day when I ask, “What have you done today?” She will always start with “I played with the naked babies”.
So, you get my point – she loves babies.
But does she really need another one? What does an all-cooing, crying, weeing baby have over a plainer version?
Well… we have the plainer version, which has been a firm favourite for two years (you can see she’s well loved in am image below where I’ve added her for a size comparison). For her birthday, we were sent an Interactive Baby Annabell Zapf Creation Doll and here’s what we thought:
1. She’s big
As an interactive doll, Baby Annabell is a BIG baby. Now, in our opinion, that’s both a good and a bad thing. She’s not quite small enough to neatly hold under your arm as a clutch accessory (the way her usual baby is transported around the room). This makes her better for a ‘home toy’ rather than one that gets dragged around Tesco.
But she is much more lifelike in size, which makes the play experience more real for Georgia. She feels like she’s actually looking after a real baby.
2. She cries
Just like a real baby, every now and again, Baby Annabell gets a bit upset and cries. Now, if you’ve happened to have given her a bottle of milk *cough* water *cough*, then she will cry tears, else you’ll just hear the motors chugging along with no effect other than the sound of crying.
Just watch out for those tears as she does cry a lot.
I have to admit, it’s a feature that my daughter has not yet taken a shine to. Unsurprisingly, she loves the good aspects of parenting, but ironically cries every time the baby cries on her.
We’ve all been there right?
To solve this problem, we’ve just stopped giving the baby water – that way we get the cries, but not the tears. Job done.
Please do not try that trick on actual babies.
3. She sucks her dummy and bottle
Okay, you’ve probably guessed this part, but Baby Annabell drinks from her bottle.
What amazed me was the mouth movement. It’s unbelievably clever and really brings Baby Annabell to life. To be honest, it scared my family when I showed them. I just don’t think it’s something anybody expected so takes you unawares!
But just look how concentrated Georgia is when feeding her! (although for obvious reasons shared above, we leave the bottle empty for now…)
4. She wees
Yes. She actually wees. Well, if all that ‘milk’ doesn’t come out as tears (I think ours did), then, if you squeeze her tummy she will do a wee.
I have to admit, we’ve not tested this functionality yet. The tears we’ve had over the tears alone has meant that I’m not yet brave enough to test out the weeing.
I have however, added the adorable tiny nappy that she came with.
5. She makes noises
Baby Annabell gurgles, giggles, snores and cries. Oh, she also burps when burp her after feeding. It’s a clever toy that has some logic built in to help kids have a more real baby play experience.
6. She closes her eyes when she falls asleep
Unlike other dolls (or my old doll called Sam that used to close her eyes when you lied her down), Interactive Baby Annabell has the ability to open and close her eyes. This means that when she’s gently snoozing, she’ll drift off to sleep and close her eyes.
The grown up bit
As a grown up, the packaging was a bit like fort Knox to get into. With thick cable ties, threaded knots and plastic covers, it took us a while to actually release Baby Annabell from her packaging. I really think that it could do with less packaging and more clever quick releases (I am a big fan of the half turn plastic bolts!).
When faced with an exciting new toy, having to bat your child away while you wrestle with the packaging is frustrating for everyone.
As for replacing the batteries, it does need a screwdriver to release the cover, so make sure you have one handy, else unfortunately there’s more waiting involved!
What does she come with?
Interactive Baby Annabell comes with a few cute accessories:
- Pink lamb outfit
- Pink hat (which actually stays on her head quite nicely – trust me this is a benefit)
When upgrading a favourite toy, there’s always a chance that they’ll still play with the older one that has more sentimental attachment. But when I asked Georgia who her favourite baby was and she told me that her new baby was her favourite.
Within half an hour of play, she has claimed a new firm favourite.
More than a week later, she’s still the favourite baby (and favourite toy for that matter). So in our opinion, progressing onto the Interactive Baby Annabell was the right choice.
For parents, you’ll also be glad to hear that the noises aren’t too loud or distracting and there is an off switch.