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What are your memories of playing with dolls? Share with Baby Annabell

(511 Posts)
LucyBMumsnet (MNHQ) Thu 07-Nov-19 14:38:18

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Most people have some fond memories of playing with dolls in their childhood, from sweetly changing their nappy and rocking them to sleep, to taking them everywhere or ‘customising’ what they look like. Baby Annabell would like to find out more about your memories of playing with dolls, as well as how your children play with their dolls.

What was your doll’s name, and do you still like it now? Did your doll cry real tears, drink real water, burp after feeding, or need its nappy changing? Or did you have to make pretend because the technology wasn’t available yet? What were your favourite games to play with your doll? How does your child play with dolls now? How does it differ from how you played with dolls?

Share your memories on this thread and you will be entered into a prize draw where one lucky MNer will win a £300 voucher for a store of their choice (from a list).

Thanks and good luck!

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OP’s posts: |
Flube Thu 07-Nov-19 15:20:26

My first doll went everywhere with me. When I was almost 4, I left it outside in the garden. A neighbour's dog tore it to shreds. sad

DGM bought me a brand new Zapf creation, as a replacement. I took better care of this one.

It played the part of baby Jesus in every school nativity, comforted me in hospital when I had my tonsils removed, slept with me every night etc

DD plays with it now. Although, it is extremely grubby from my attempts at colouring it in with lipstick, and also has some residue left over from the ecg residue pads stuck on during our hospital stay.

But it is still very much loved.

QuietAndStill Thu 07-Nov-19 15:43:55

The first doll I remember was a rag doll, the same size as me. I don't know how big 'me' was at that point though. Mostly, my doll memories are of tangled-hair Sindy's.

Twickerhun Thu 07-Nov-19 15:56:40

I had a lovely rag doll from the days of the dinosaurs (before dolls that could cry and poo were invented). I had an old terry nappy for it and a proper massive nappy pin, the kind of nappy pin that would send current health and safety experts apoplectic. I took my doll everywhere with me, and my best mate had hers too. whenever we wanted to go anywhere in a hurry we would shout ‘quick our dollies’ and go running off.

Danascully2 Thu 07-Nov-19 15:58:37

I loved my dolls and relatives made lovely clothes for them from offcuts of their clothes or hand knitted. Now my sons play with one of them. No technology and I don't think technology really enhances a doll - it's all about imagination anyway so doesn't need to be realistic.

BristolMum96 Thu 07-Nov-19 16:17:01

Only ever really played with barbies. Used to have a huge box of clothes and do fashion shows. Never pretended they were anything but dress up dollies

Theimpossiblegirl Thu 07-Nov-19 16:32:25

I had Sindy because my mum didn't like Barbie. I remember my sister had a Tiny Tears that would wee, which we thought was great!

DD used to breastfeed her baby dolls because she would see me feed her sister.

GooodMythicalMorning Thu 07-Nov-19 16:55:38

I had a few, I had a zapf creation doll. One with 7 natural functions that went wee and you fed real food and it went poop after. love her, still have her. her name is Cristabell and she still lives with me and moved every time I have. one very unnatural function when after feeding you put washing up liquid in the bottle and fed her it and shook her up and down after to clean her out grin

When I was tiny I had a soft bodied doll with hard arms legs and head that I called George and dressed in a little blue jumper and trousers but George's legs and arms kept dropping out and mum kept trying to reattach them. Was sad when George would no longer stay together.

When I was 9 mum and dad got me a walking doll for christmas but I didn't have her long as though I tried to give her a piggy back and forced her legs apart and she broke sad that was a sad day. Didn't even have chance to name her.

Betterversionofme Thu 07-Nov-19 17:22:45

I had a black girl doll with nice short curly African hair. She wore dungarees and shirt with pop buttons. Pop buttons were important feature as it was fun to play with them. As a child I never seen any other black doll except mine. It was a gift at my birth, to be used when I will be a bit older. I played with it a bit, pushing it in a baby blue pram with a hood that could be removed or opened and closed.
When I was 8 years old we were doing essay 'My favourite toy' in school'. This doll was what I described. It wasn't my favourite toy, I preferred pram and a wind-up ladybird, but it was very interesting toy to describe and I understood teacher was interested in my writing not in my favourite toy.
I don't remember any other doll. I was a bit of a tomboy and wasn't particularly interested in dolls.

Minionoftheantichrist Thu 07-Nov-19 18:08:02

My favourite doll was one of the ones you could feed and it would then wee. Only mine wouldn’t wee and my mum had to take it back to the shop. I was gutted. My DD had one with a similar function and both ends worked fine. She called it Dolya because she couldn’t say Dolly properly, she took it everywhere in a toy pushchair which she had to share with DDs best teddy. I don’t think how she played with her dolls was much different to how I played with mine really.

CrohnicallyEarly Thu 07-Nov-19 18:21:30

My doll was Charlotte. It didn’t ‘do’ anything, but that was fine by me as I found the crying ones creepy. I remember going to the corner shop with my doll in a pram, I’d have been about 5, someone commented on my baby and I thought they were silly because it was clearly a doll!

TheCanterburyWhales Thu 07-Nov-19 18:31:55

My best Christmas ever in the history of Christmas was the one where I would have been about 6 and got twin baby dolls (not Tiny Tears or anything branded and posh, just two identical dolls) that I decided were a boy and girl called Alison and Paul which to me, in 1971 were just the coolest most beautiful names ever grin
I got a pram, and my darling Grandad had spent all autumn in his shed making me furniture for them, there was a cradle that rocked, a miniature wardrobe and chest of drawers. Marjorie up the street (Aunty to everyone) knitted an entire wardrobe of clothes for them both.
The furniture and presumably the dolls are in storage somewhere.

I also had a Sindy not a Barbie, which I bought myself as my Mum said they weren't worth the money. The one I had came with red trousers and a yellow and red stripy jumper and yellow boots. I used to save up and buy proper clothes whenever I could, but the aforementioned Marjorie used to make me clothes for her. I gave her (Sindy, not Marjorie) a Purdey hair cut (Joanna Lumley in The New Avengers) which sadly didn't grow back. grin

virginpinkmartini Thu 07-Nov-19 18:47:14

I mostly had Barbies, but I did have one baby doll called Diana- she had the same style of hair as the Princess Of Wales. I remember I had a rickety metal buggy frame with red and white padding, and her eyes would close when you lay her back, which was her only 'feature'.

I was jealous of my friends array of dolls, like Baby Annabel, Baby Wee Wee and Baby Chou Chou.. My mum had decided for some reason it made little girls want to get pregnant young so I wasn't allowed any more 🙄 My DS1 isn't interested in baby dolls, but I will see if DS2 would be interested. I think it's lovely seeing boys and girls alike play with dolls and being affectionate and compassionate to something 'requiring care' . My parents weren't keen on me giving my son dolls to try and play with, but I just said 'What are you worried about, him growing up to be a caring dad one day?' I have nothing but fond memories of my Diana doll, and nothing would warm my heart more than to see my kids role playing in a nurturing way

Asuwere Thu 07-Nov-19 20:04:44

I only had a doll as my parents thought it would be strange pushing an empty pram; I really had no interest in the doll though, I just liked the pram!
None of my DC have been very interested in dolls - again, they put them in prams or trucks but that was about it.

PashleyB Thu 07-Nov-19 20:49:39

I had many many Sindys which I remember arranging and rearranging in their house. I have found memories of playing for hours on end

Bloodybridget Thu 07-Nov-19 21:35:00

I had loads of dolls, and played with them till I was older than I'm willing to admit here! I used to take one away on holiday each year; one year I took Tweetie, and tragically her head came off and was lost on the beach. I carefully put a handkerchief over her neck, secured with a rubber band, and her life and mine carried on.

clopper Thu 07-Nov-19 21:41:39

I had a collection of very small dolls called Pippa dolls which were like small versions of Sindy dolls. I used to love getting them changed into their fashionable clothes. However, I have never really been interested in buying fashionable clothes or following trends for myself, just for those dolls.

Quietvoiceplease Thu 07-Nov-19 22:12:35

Oh, I loved my Tiny Tears doll. Probably my happiest memories of playing with toys as a small child: walking her in her pram, making clothes for her with my mum, feeding and washing her. Even typing this has made me feel very nostalgic!

VaguelySkeletal Thu 07-Nov-19 23:11:20

For my 4th birthday, my parents gave me a doll that drank from a bottle and weed into a nappy. That evening, after the party guests had gone home, my big brother proposed that we played Hospital with her - he would be the surgeon.

From then on, my doll peed through her hips.


TheUnquestionedAnswer Thu 07-Nov-19 23:23:04

I wee'd into a cup and poured it onto doll's nappy, for a realistic affect grin
dressing my dog up in dolls clothes and taking him out in the pram

torthecatlady Fri 08-Nov-19 00:10:16

I had the "baby all gone" as a kid. After watching the advert hundreds of times (I'm
Sure it had a catchy jingle) I had begged for it for months and was thrilled when I tore off the wrapping paper. I loved that doll, however one day I decided it would be a good idea to give her a haircut, which was essentially a number 1 all over (whilst cutting my own hair in the process). My poor mum was horrified.

littlebillie Fri 08-Nov-19 07:16:23

I wanted a baby doll with no hair and got the Annabel with hair. My mum night me fairy glen clothing which was a super British clothing brand for dolls in the 70s. I also loved Sindy and Pippa

FlowerTink Fri 08-Nov-19 07:34:14

I had a tiny tears doll called Lucy and a My Baby All Gone doll which I desperately wanted for Christmas. I loved feeding it and the food magically disappearing!!

My mum kept them and my DD who is 4 has so much enjoyment from them every time she visits!

At our house we are Baby Annabell fans and the dolls are much loved!!!

Chocolatecake12 Fri 08-Nov-19 07:40:03

My first doll was a tiny tears and I loved her! It was 35 years ago and she was so innovative - being able to actually cry!!
Then I had 2 soft bodied dolls one of which had long blond hair - I learnt how to french plait on her hair!!
Dolls were my main toys back in the day! I then went on to have 2 boys who had no interest in dolls so I’ve always been pleased my Nieces have loved dolls and it’s been interesting to see how they’ve developed over the years.

TheClitterati Fri 08-Nov-19 08:52:19

I have no memory of playing with dolls. I did have a baby doll but would have been too young to have memories of playing with her.

My memories of playing as a child don't involve dolls at all. Games, books, bricks, Lego, blackboard, bike, cards etc. No dolls.

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