Nature and Nurturing the Caregiver in Your Baby

One of the most magnificent things that has happened with Vivi over the past month has been watching her mimic the little things we all do day to day. She’s even picked up on things we don’t do anymore, like putting her in the baby swing or giving her a bottle.

A lot of her ability to mimic everyday tasks has come from having Addie around. Addie could play baby dolls or doctor all day long and Vivi watches her closely. It also helps that we already have all of the role play and pretend toys around because of her big sister. Lately Vivi has taken to dolls and stuffed animals, shoving them in strollers and pushing them around. She also likes to feed them as well as wipe them. (She also likes to poke them in the eye, but she didn’t learn that one from us.)

Vivi feeding the doll

My best friend has an almost three-year-old son who has also taken to baby dolls. The only problem is that his older sisters have already laid claim to every baby doll in the house meaning he has to either sneak or smuggle one away from them. I’m sure he’d much rather play with his own baby brother, but until he can learn to hit a little less and love a little more that won’t be happening. My best friend shrugged and said “Guess I’m going to have to buy him a baby of his own.”

We don’t actually have what would be considered a regular baby doll in our house. We do however have dozens upon dozens of stuffed animals and dolls as well as a few bigger dolls. I don’t remember playing with baby dolls growing up, perhaps that why I always felt my nurturing side could use a little help when I became pregnant for the first time. Thankfully nature kicked in and I managed just fine, but I have to wonder what a difference playing with babies does for younger kids.

Our most favorite essentials to have around for pretend baby care is a doll stroller, a doll crib (or any basket with a blanket will do), preemie or small cloth diapers for “changes”, little washcloths for “wipes”, a little plastic tub for baths, a little baby bottle and a little doll sling or baby carrier. Our doll toys are always the most popular when friends come over and Addie has played with her little creatures and dolls for hundreds of hours over the last seven years. It’s fun to see Vivi picking up on the same pretend play routines and witness the little caregiver inside of her grow.

If you’re looking for the perfect softie to add to your baby’s collection, the Disney Baby has an awful lot of adorable options. I love the muted colors of this super soft and squishable organic Minnie Mouse.

Has your baby taken to a particular stuffy or doll yet?

Find more Casey on her blog moosh in indy, Twitter, Pinterest, Flickr, Instagram and Facebook. (Phew!)

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