This isn’t JC Toys’ first foray in the world of realistic dolls – they’ve been focusing on creating soft, cuddly babies that are as lifelike as can be for three decades and counting. While they do offer stand-alone dolls that differ in size and are usually less expensive than a full-fledged set such as this, the value you get out of buying more than just the doll really shines through.
This is a themed set intended to introduce children to the necessary chores of changing a baby’s diaper as well as feeding and getting it ready for bed in a pretend yet faithful way.
As the baby is supposed to depict a newborn that’s just been discharged from the hospital and into mommy’s care, the inclusion off a hospital bracelet as well as a birth certificate on which you can write the baby’s and “parent’s” name as well as the baby’s date of birth is a nice touch.
The set’s focus is diaper-changing. To that intent, it comes with a diaper-changing bag, a violet and a pink diaper, a pretend dispenser of baby wraps and a cute cap which goes well with either diaper. The diapers have little Velcro tabs on them which hold them in place and make the removal/changing process effortless for the child.
The diaper case is the biggest piece and serves as a carrying case for the doll and all of its accessories. You can fold it out into a changing mat and let your child practice this thankless yet necessary chore on top of it.
Once the pretend business has been cleaned up, it’s time for food and play. The small cup, spoon and rattle make this part as fun as the last. All of these smaller, harder accessories are made from plastic and can be easily cleaned if they ever get dirty.
The baby itself, in true JC Toys fashion, has been made to look happy, healthy, and as true to form as the manipulation of its appendages would allow. Everything on the doll, from the wide sparkling eyes through its adorable baby fat all the way down to the ends of its tiny toes, makes one want to pick the doll up and give it all the nurture a real newborn would demand.
It is 13 inches tall, so neither too small nor by no means big. The set is intended for children age 2 and up because of all the small accessories, and toddlers or older children won’t have problems lifting the doll, carrying it around etc.
As the doll’s body is entirely made out of vinyl, it is completely safe to submerge it in water and thoroughly clean it that way. Needless to say, that this makes tub time all the more interesting.
If your child plays with the doll in water a lot, you’ll need to detach its head and limbs while making sure that all the water is drained from it and the doll is thoroughly dried in order to stop mould from developing inside of it. La Newborn is washing machine safe, provided you use a gentle setting to clean it. This goes for driers as well.
Even though there’s a generous number of accessories to keep your child entertained and their play engaging, it’s worth noting that, apart from the diapers, the La Newborn doesn’t come with any kind of clothes. This is understandable due to the nature of this play set, and would have been fine if not for the fact that the baby isn’t exactly anatomically correct. Most standard 13-inch clothes sets will probably not fit the doll, so your best option is to have some knitted or custom made.
While the doll itself is of a good size and was evidently made with quality in mind, most of its accessories didn’t have as much attention. In general, they’re small and made out of a plastic which could definitely have been improved upon. None of them are as tiny as to be classified as a possible choking hazard, but they are small enough to easily get misplaced or lost, causing your child some grief along the way.
Generous number of accessories not just for diaper changing, but feeding as well
Soft-bodied doll is big enough, lifelike and inviting for kids to play with
Diaper case doubles as a carrying bag
Machine-washable and safe to dry in the drier
Good balance of quality and price
Water tends to get inside the appendages and head
The accessories are a bit too small and not well made
There are no clothes to dress the baby in, and extras aren’t readily available
The JC Toys’ La Newborn Diaper Bag Set are a comprehensive gift which small and not-so-small children will enjoy playing with to the fullest. The baby’s features as well as the intent of the set make it a little bit of a niche product, and great as a supplement to the child’s existing toys rather than one you should start out with. Even so, it is a well-made product with a lot of value your child can use to develop their skills with.