Reborn Baby Dolls Essential Questions 101

Have you heard about the latest craze in doll making? Reborn baby dolls are becoming increasingly popular, and it seems like people have started using a variety of terms to describe them. Some say these babies look real-life or lifelike; however some would rather call them “reborn” than anything else since that’s what they do – come back from death! But what are they exactly? Read on to get all your most pressing questions answered! 

What are Reborn Baby Dolls?

A reborn doll is a doll that is created from a kit or a previously manufactured doll that has been updated by an artist to mimic a real baby. The more realism created by the artist the better and it is often very detailed and time consuming work. These artists refer to themselves as reborners, there is no known licensing or training to become a reborn artist so anyone can be a reborner.  However, a reborn doll isn’t just a lifelike looking baby doll, these dolls had to have been altered artistically by another individual to classify. Any doll can become a reborn doll but the most popular alteration is making already real looking dolls even more so.

The pastime of developing born-again baby dolls started in the very early 1990s when doll fanatics desired more realistic dolls. Since then, the market as well as community surrounding born-again dolls have actually steadily risen in popularity. Depending upon craftsmanship, they range in cost from hundreds to hundreds of bucks. 

Reborning includes various lengthy steps. The most standard form of the process entails taking a vinyl doll, adding several hand-painted layers of paint, and adding other physical functions to the doll.  Artists can pick various brand names to fit the ideal doll they desire to produce. Reborn artists can also buy born-again doll packages that are sculpted by other reborn sculpt artists and then simply make it their own with their finishing choices. 

What are Reborn baby dolls used for?

People buy reborn dolls for lots of different reasons that can vary drastically, but the most common reason people do so is for companionship.

Did you know that holding one of these baby dolls has been shown to help patients with dementia and Alzheimer’s? They’re considered an efficient way to calm, soothe, or destress without having resorting drugs. To learn more about therapy dolls click here.  

These dolls have also been shown to help people of any age manage stress, anxiety, depression, and grieving parents with the loss of an infant. 

For others, they are simply a hobby or a collection item. 

How are Reborn Baby Dolls Made?

The process of reborning starts with a completed doll or doll kit. If the artist picks an already finished doll they will begin by removing all the paint finish typically by soaking them in a chemical solution. The artist then starts the process of applying new layers of paint in a way that makes the baby more realistic. They accomplish this by adding on undertones of various colors such a red, orange, pink, etc., to mimic human skin. They also add on additional details such as veins, red patches on the cheeks, wrinkle lines, etc. 

By the time the artist is finished with painting the baby to their approval they could have added on as much as 50 or more new layers of paint! After the paint comes the addition of prosthetic eyes, if they weren’t painted on. Then the hair gets added, either hand-rooted (usually with mohair) or a wig is then glued on. Lastly the dolls bodies are stuffed, weighted, and scent packs are added to make baby smell like baby powder.  

Additional features can also be added such as hot packs, voice boxes, or machines that mimic heartbeats and breathing. 

Here’s what a starter kit looks like below:


Where are Reborn baby dolls made?

Large manufacturers of the dolls have them made in large factories, mostly outside the country in places like China. Even though some businesses say they were created in the USA, they might not be telling the full story. The dolls could of been created by artists living in USA and they may have headquarters in the USA but the mass production of the dolls is sent outside the country (USA). 

Individual reborners are located all over the world, with the niche steadily increasing in size more are added everyday. You can find them everywhere online from Etsy, eBay, even their own websites.

Where are Reborn Baby Dolls sold?

They are sold on big e-commerce sites such as Amazon, Walmart, Target, etc.  They are also sold on sites like Etsy, individual artists sites as well as individual manufacturer sites. 

Here are a few popular manufactures I’ve talked about on other posts:

Lifelike Baby Dolls; Paradise Galleries Reborn Baby Dolls

Charex reborn baby doll;Life like baby dolls

2021 Realistic Baby Dolls;Exclusive Ashton-Drake Doll



Are Reborn Baby dolls real?

No, while they are incredibly lifelike and realistic they are still just baby dolls. Unlike with a real baby, a lifelike doll comes with no real-world problems like, no diapers, no smells, no feeding, no crying. These babies, unlike real ones, do not come with the commitment a real baby would take, or the possible financial burden for some parents. 

Can reborns wear real baby clothes?

Yes! They can wear baby clothes newborn baby clothes for dolls 18 -20 inches tall. Zero to three months sizes will fit 22 inch dolls. And three to six month clothes will fit a 24 inch doll. For dolls smaller than 17 inches the preemie sizes might fit.

Can Reborn Baby dolls drink milk?

Possibly, but only if you specifically bought a silicone baby doll that is intended to do so. For vinyl dolls, no, do not try and give them real milk.  It could ruin the vinyl and potentially cause mold. 

Not sure what reborn baby is best for you? Check out: What is the difference between reborn and silicone babies?  Or Vinyl vs Silicone – Baby Dolls That Look Real

There also is such a thing as a fake milk intended for reborn enthusiasts.  Watch the video below for food and juice as well!

Can Reborn Baby dolls poop or pee?

Not vinyl reborn dolls, you can get silicone reborn babies that will drink, pee, and poop. Be prepared to spend quite a bit of money if you are looking to buy one of these doll as they are typically custom made for clients. 

Do Reborn Dolls Cry?

Yes, some reborn babies have electronic voice boxes included that makes the baby sound like it’s crying. However, no tears will actually be coming out of babies eyes.  Watch one of these babies cry below!

What do reborn dolls need?

I think what reborn baby dolls need is up to the individual purchasing their doll. What would I personally buy for them though? I would buy everything a real baby would need! 

I would start with a nice small bassinet, baby bed, or something contained to lay them on so they would be safe from any children or pets that may inadvertently damage them. 

Once I had a nice bed purchased I would start to make it as comfy a spot any real baby would feel comfortable in (though no need to worry about the baby being harmed by soft objects in the bed with them). A lovely knitted baby blanket would be on the top of my list or anything snuggly I could wrap up the baby in and hold them are a must for me. To top it all off, a soft stuffed animal or multiples in my case (the more the merrier) would be keeping the baby company in bed when not being held. 

Then onto the feeding and soothing the baby! Does your reborn baby have an open or closed mouth? If the mouth is open, did the baby come with a pacifier or baby bottle? If so, great! You don’t need to purchase more of these items unless you want to have multiples to place around your house, car, or diaper bag. 

If not, I would search the brand of the baby purchased and check if they need specials items before going to purchase real baby items. Some pacifiers and bottles are magnetic to keep it held in the baby’s mouth. Others are not magnetic but a real baby product might be too large to fit in their mouths and stay. 

Now that we’ve fed the baby we are going to need some diapers and baby wipes! Most reborn babies can wear real babies preemie, newborn, and size 0 diapers. Or, you could alternatively purchase cloth diapers. Some baby doll manufacturers make their  diapers especially for your baby brand as well. 

 As for the diaper wipes, you can also use real diaper wipes on the baby if the body is not made out of cloth. If the baby is made with a vinyl material it is okay to use but do not leave the baby wet. Remember to dry off the reborn immediately so the material will not be damaged.  Silicone babies you can also use wipes but you do not have to worry about leaving them wet as these babies take baths to keep them clean. 

It is not recommended to use baby powder on vinyl or cloth dolls. There are some specially made scent wipes for vinyl dolls if you just crave the new baby smell! Silicone babies need to be baby powdered weekly to prevent babies from becoming overly sticky. 

If baby comes with hair you should check and make sure you know what kind and check out Tips on How to Wash Synthetic Doll Hair.

Now we have the baby comfy in bed, fed and changed, it’s time for all the extras! Clothes (so many clothes), shoes, diaper bags, bouncers, car seats, baby swings!

Anything you can dream of for a baby you can purchase for your reborn. 

How do you bond with a reborn baby?

Any time invested with your reborn is a kind of bonding! Whether you are merely positioning them for display , taking their pictures or changing their clothes. When you do these tasks (and also appreciate doing them), it promotes a positive bond with your doll. 

You could get start making unboxing YouTube videos! These videos have a lot of viewers looking for reviews of babies they are interested in purchasing before making the decision to buy one. This is also a great way to find other people with similar interests as you and make new friends. 

 It’s also enjoyable for some doll enthusiasts to role-play. Roleplay includes doing activities with your reborn infant that you’d do with a genuine baby: changing their  diaper as well as clothes, bottle feeding, or posing them as if they are having fun with various toys.

If you plan to collect reborn baby dolls just for display purposes, simply taking a look at them and repositioning them is possibly pleasing enough.


Are Reborns creepy?

That I can’t answer, it’s a matter of an opinion and everyone’s will be different. Do I think they could be creepy? Sure!

It’s typical to think something is weird or creepy when its far from the norm, or unknown to others. 

Check out the original creeping baby doll patent from the Smithsonian. Created by George P Clark circa 1871. Now this doll, at this age in history, creepy for sure!

creeping baby doll


Reborn dolls will not be for everyone but those who have these dolls wouldn’t have them any other way!

Have a question I didn’t cover? Drop me a message in the comments and I will do my best to give you an answer!