Meet Lucy. The love of my early life.
My wonderful Grandparents gave her to me, my Grandma knitted all her clothes and that was it, love at first sight. She was by my side for pretty much my entire childhood and resembles a blonde Hamble from the 70’s kids fave Play School. Or so I’ve been told! *innocent face
My Grandad even made her a “4 poster bed” out of a hostess trolley since the accessories are so much a part of “baby play”. It was honestly the most beautiful 4 poster I had ever seen. Ah – how I WISH I still had it!
The 4 poster may be long gone (I too can be guilty of taking my kids bits to the charity shop a bit too early so let’s all learn from this!) but I DID save Lucy all this time. Even smelling her blonde locks and plastic head transports me back to my childhood. I cherished her, thinking my own children would love her as much as I did. And so, a year ago, after a worthy pre-amble, I produced her with a flourish and waited for their excitement.
And they LAUGHED. A lot!
Seriously, what’s not to love about her Angela Rippon hair and faded lips? Her hair plugs and hard limbs? She even featured in Akira’s Show & Tell at school the other day as they were talking about “old fashioned toys”. Charming!
Since Lucy was centre stage in my own childhood, I love it when I see my two playing with dolls. I got Kaya a Baby Annabell doll “from Akira” when he was born so she a) thought he was pretty ace as a baby brother and b) had something to play on when I was doing everything with “the new baby”.
And wow, have dolls changed since my day!
Step forward the latest Baby Annabell which, as I’ve been chosen to be the brand “Mumbassador” for Christmas (*proud face) we were asked to test. She ROCKS! No – literally, she does! Rocking is the new element to her design for 2014 and boy, is it a great new addition! If you rock her from side to side in your arms she falls asleep, just like a real baby. Don’t know about you but for me “the rock” became such a part of my life as a mum with a baby, I’d often catch myself “rocking” in the supermarket aisles when I wasn’t even holding my baby. And yes, I still occasionally do it now! Give any kid a doll and chances are, they’ll rock it in their arms. Finally a doll that responds to that. Stuff of dreams baby!
This baby also drinks water from a bottle and cries real tears (a HUGE hit in my house!) and her crying sounds are realistic – of the gentle crying sounds a baby can make at least, not the all out “feed me NOW” sounds we all grow to know! Future budding parents will be thrilled to discover they just have to gently stroke her cheeks or pat her on the back and she calms down. She also makes sweet sleeping noises and comes with extra goodies – bottle, bib, dummy and heart shaped pendant.
This doll is gorgeous. In traditional baby fashion she’s sporting a frilly velour romper suit with the classic sheep design on the front. But my favourite thing about her is how she FEELS – soft and cuddly and none of that “mechanical” feel so often associated with dolls that can “do”. Yes, I *might* have given her the occasional cuddle and pat on the velour bottom – just to keep that broodiness at bay! All her padding ensures this doll feels like a regular baby doll – meaning that if your child wants the mechanics turned off (simply done with a switch on her back) she’s a regular doll. And yet this creation could never truly be described as regular, she’s so much more!
As a busy mum of two, what I love most about her is her responsiveness. She does everything she’s supposed to do, when she’s supposed to do it and I for one am grateful for that. Having something that actually DOES what it says on the packet is refreshing! Credit to the folks at Zapf Creation for putting the time into her design and testing to make sure there will be smiles all round on Christmas day.
There are some cute new accessories you can get for her too – like the Rocking Cradle & Nightlight. I love it’s shabby chic design and vintage look and the way it can rock this Baby Annabell to sleep. I found it easy and quick to assemble – which would mean maximum enjoyment for your kids on Christmas Day, minimum fuss for you! It also plays lullabies and has a cool nightlight which projects onto the bedding. Crucially, it looks great so you don’t have to compromise on style adding it to your home which, let’s be honest, is also important.
My favourite thing of all? I love what this doll does to bring out my kids nurturing side. Long may it continue! This Baby Annabell looks set to be my kids “Lucy”! As for the original lady herself? Safely stored for posterity of course and, apparently, the odd giggle!
Baby Annabell RRP £49.99
Rocking Cradle & Nightlight RRP £45.99