The Baby Doll Debate

Lydia’s third birthday is quickly approaching.  So is my trip to Chicago.  Do you know what’s in Chicago?  One of the largest doll stores in the country.  Not just any doll, but the American Girl doll.  I know a lot of people my age had American Girl dolls when they were growing up.  Me?  I didn’t even know they existed until about 10 years ago(although the company started in 1986).  These dolls are high-quality, made-to-last dolls.  They even have a doll hospital that can do anything from ” general cleaning to ‘major surgery’ “.  I know of someone recently whose dog chewed up the doll’s hand.  She(the doll, not the girl) was sent to the hospital and returned as nice as new.  Even though that service is provided for a cost, I have to admit that it would be nice to have your very own doll back.  And I know from seeing other people and their dolls…they last.  They don’t turn black in the sun(we’ve already had one doll do this to us).  They don’t come unstitched easily(we’ve also done this).  They can tolerate “hard” play.  (And with Lydia, there’s lots of hard play!)  Oh?  And did I mention that they also have hair stylists for these little beauties.  I remember how knotty and gross the hair on my dolls used to get.  Well, if that happens, there are people to fix that(also for a price).

But then I look at the prices, and I think:  Am I really going to spend a that much on a doll?  Is she really old enough to appreciate it?  She’s three.  THREE.  And the extra services are nice, but are they worth it?  Could you just buy a new doll for the price of the hospital visit.  I’m pretty sure they don’t accept insurance.

I’m really torn on this.  It seems almost ridiculous to buy an expensive doll for a three year old.  Should I wait until she’s bigger, older and will really be able to appreciate it more?  Am I pleasing her or me?  And if I do get one, is it one she’ll want for years to come?

But there are a lot of pluses, too.

And Carter did get a train table for his third birthday…with trains and tracks(they were Target brand versions of the Thomas the Tank Engine trains & tracks).

So, enlightened readers, do I:

  • buy an AG doll and AG clothes/accessories
  • buy an AG doll and buy knock-off clothes/accessories
  • buy a knock-off doll(which is about half the price) and AG clothes/accessories
  • go knock-off all the way…doll, clothes and accessories

*I asked my facebook friends what they thought and they were split 50-50, so you guys were no help at all!  🙂

**UPDATE:  After thinking about it, I really can’t justify spending that much on a doll right now.  I hope that when she gets a little bigger(5, 6 maybe?) she and I can go to the American Girl store together and pick out a special doll.  I’ll get the knock-off doll and the knock-off accessories and the knock-off clothes.  But maybe I’ll splurge and get actual girl-doll matching clothes from the AG store in Chicago.  That’s totally worth it for the pictures, right?  🙂

7 Responses to The Baby Doll Debate
  1. aleasha
    July 14, 2009 | 9:34 am

    Honestly, I would just go knock-off all the way. But I’m a cheap-o! I guess the way I see it is, if I got that doll for Emery (who will be three in Oct) than I would want to get my monies worth. And I wouldn’t want her to play with anything else. I could see myself getting annoyed if she started to play with any other baby doll. Is that rude of me? My kiddos go from toy to toy though. They have a new ‘favorite’ every day. Just my thoughts.

  2. Tara
    July 14, 2009 | 10:29 am

    Oh, the dilemmas parents face. I don’t have an opinion one way or another (sorry), but I’ll share a story that may help you (or not). When I was 4, I wanted a Cabbage Patch Kid. Mom didn’t want to justify the money to buy it for me. My grandmother offered to buy it, but Mom declined. Eventually, Mom bought the doll, and for 6 weeks, I did chores around the house to repay her for it (loading the dishwasher was 25 cents). I earned that CPK, and though it’s well-played with, I still have it. The outfit it came with is long gone, but the doll itself (and it’s knock-off outfit) are still in pretty darn good condition.

  3. Camille
    July 14, 2009 | 10:34 am

    If I spent that much on a doll, I would be terrified she would lose it, or get it dirty. Ok, I would never spend that much. I grew up not caring about name brands because my parents raised me that way. A doll is a doll. A pair of jeans is a pair of jeans. Just because it has a fancy name and costs more doesn’t make it better. JMHO

  4. Peapodsquadmom
    July 14, 2009 | 11:15 am

    having been to the ag store in nyc, i can say a big part of the fun of getting an ag doll is actually going to the store to pick it out. i still don’t think sweet pea is old enough to truly get the coolness of an ag doll. i’m like you…i can’t see spending that much on a doll that will likely end up in the toy box with her walmart dolls. i’d rather wait ’til she’s a little older and us go together for the whole special ag experience.

    that’s my opinion on that. as for the knock off choice, hmm…i’m choosing not to go that route here because i don’t want the fake to diminish the excitement she’ll have over the real thing one day. kwim?

  5. punkinmama
    July 14, 2009 | 11:30 am

    Your update is exactly what I was going to suggest. I would wait until she was older and could go to the store with you. You’ll spend a ton that day, though!

    My brother & sister-in-law took my niece for her 6th birthday – she LOVED it.

    Hey, and you never know, in the next couple of years, she could become a tom-boy and not even like dolls anymore…

  6. ...angela
    July 14, 2009 | 4:09 pm

    Looking back, there a several things I bought for the kids because I wanted it for them – actually thought they would like it because I did. Guess where they are? Packed up in my garage! and guess what – they still don’t want them! Guess it’s really time to visit Good Will. I agree with your update -wait til Emmie can go with you and help pick out what she likes.

  7. Becky
    July 15, 2009 | 8:17 am

    I would go knock-off for doll & accessories for now. Of course you will just HAVE to make the doll a couple outfits that match Emmie’s…that’s a given. Then maybe in a couple years (when you feel like she’s ready for such an “investment”) make a day of it & go to the store & to the restaurant & have an unforgettable girls’ day!