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Baby Stella Doll Review

We received our first Baby Stella Doll when my daughter was around six months old, and just a handful of months later, I first put my experiences with her down in this review. Four years have passed since that first review, and I still have nothing but positive things to say about her. Baby Stella is a fantastic doll that has warmed my heart and made mommy-daughter playtime extra fun and full of giggles.

She was a gift from my mother-in-law by my request. I’d researched and read several threads on mamma forums talking about these dolls. Though I was familiar with Baby Stella before my baby arrived, I’d heard enough good things that I felt she’d be an excellent gift for my little one.

But do these happy ramblings from an easily excitable mom really rate, especially a few years later? Read on to find out!

My Experience with a Baby Stella Doll

Baby Stella is a very well-loved toy in this house. When my daughter was a baby, she loved to give Stella plenty of hugs and kisses. As time progressed, we accumulated more accessories and outfits. Stella became a best friend to my daughter, and together they would explore the world.

For a baby doll, Stella is surprisingly educational. First, my daughter learned the simple act of pulling the magnetic pacifier off of the doll’s face and placing it back on. Such a simple action is serious entertainment for an 11-month-old, folks.

The next stage, when words started to form, saw us spend many days talking about body parts and facial features. In this instance, Baby Stella is a marvelous teaching tool. I will forever have fond memories of little baby girl giggles when I would ask, “Where’s Stella’s belly button?”

Soon after, Stella became the consummate friend, being dragged everywhere and through everything. She would end up in the strangest of places, and I would spend some nights searching for her because she was nowhere to be seen at bedtime. She’d often turn up in unusual places. I would spy her peeking out from behind the curtains, seated on the windowsill, often with her clothes and diaper beside her.

My now preschool-aged girl is turning into quite the little fashionista, and Baby Stella has become her muse. Stella has a pretty big wardrobe, and there are days where she has multiple outfit changes before noon.

After she’s been styled appropriately for the day, she is often taken on walks in her backpack carrier or in her road-worthy buggy. There are often elaborate imaginary baby meals with her feeding set. “Mom, she’s eating pineapple baby food!” Stella is a doll that keeps entertaining.

At bedtime, Stella goes into her pajamas. She cuddles up in bed for storytime, and she becomes the ultimate nighttime comfort doll.

My daughter is 4 ½ years old now, and I feel like Stella is going to be a part of our daily life for a few more years. She’s well-made and has held up exceptionally well, considering all that she has been through in the last four years.

Baby Stella and her Outfit

Features

Read Now: Baby Stella Review

  • Outfit and diaper both have Velcro fasteners to make it simple for little fingers to dress and undress the doll
  • Teachable Anatomy! From embroidered facial features to detailed fingers and toes.
  • Soft materials include a firm polyfill and warm, chenille-like skin.
  • Inclusive! There are several different dolls with different skin tones and hair colors. Stella can be just like your baby, or like one of your baby’s friends!
  • Loads of accessories available! Clothing, Stella-sized baby furniture, and everything in between.

I want to talk a little about the amount of detail that this doll has. I mentioned above that Baby Stella has embroidered facial features and detailed fingers and toes.

To add to that, she also has little dimples on her arms and legs, and right above her bum, just like a chubby baby. Her legs also are slightly bent with knees turned outward, also like a baby. There is much more detail designed into this doll than I would have expected for a plush doll – right down to her cute little belly button.

She’s quite firm as well. She’s not so firm that it’s off-putting, but she’s not super-squishy. Stella falls somewhere in between, where you would imagine perfectly-huggable would lie.

Baby Stella Peach with Pacifier in Mouth

How Does Baby Stella Hold Up Over Time?

Stella has held up impressively well. Many other dolls in this house have been loved not quite as hard as Stella but have not held up the way she has. As I mentioned earlier, her headband looks a little rough. Her clothes, however, are still in beautiful shape, even after several washes.

We have a few sets of Baby Stella clothes. The outfits, including the clothes she came dressed in, aren’t quite as fabulously made as she is, but they are still much higher quality than seen in other well-known doll lines. There were some loose threads I had to cut off, but otherwise, it’s pretty decent. The diaper is made of thin yet oddly sturdy material, and the Velcro fasteners are very firmly sewn on.

Is Baby Stella Washable?

I have noticed that the little fibers that make up the doll’s surface can pick up pet hair and dust quite quickly, but overall, she’s pretty easy to clean and keep clean. The manufacturer’s washing instructions state that Baby Stella should be cleaned with a damp cloth only, which is usually enough to remove dirt and hair.

However, our Stella has been dragged through a lot more than just a little dirt and dog hair. Baby food, mud, juice, and so much more, all end up on Stella, as you can imagine.

When she’s filthy-dirty, she gets the full washing machine treatment. I throw Baby Stella in the washing machine with a load light colors on a warm or cool water setting, and she comes out clean and new. I haven’t tried drying her in the dryer, and it’s unlikely that I will. She air-dries on my kitchen counter overnight.

I have machine washed and dried all of Baby Stella’s clothes multiple times, and they have held up very well.

Baby Stella, as seen in her box

Versions

There are so many different Baby Stella dolls that it’s tough not to find one that’s right for your child. They have also changed over the years. When I initially researched for this article, there were only a couple with hair, a couple versions without, and two different skin tones.

The doll we have has a satiny headband sewn to her head and a tuft of brown hair at the top. I haven’t seen this version for a couple of years now, and there may be a reason why. The headband is the one part of the doll that almost immediately snagged and started looking a little worn.

You can see in the table below, Baby Stella comes in different skin tones, hair colors, and styles.

Baby Stella Brunette Doll
Baby Stella Brunette Doll
This lovely brunette turns heads with all of the pink she wears! Her spring blossom themed dress also comes with a matching diaper cover.
Baby Stella Beige Skin Doll
Baby Stella Beige Doll
This cutie has a lovely mop of richly colored brown hair and an adorable blue and white striped dress with butterfly sleeves.
Baby Stella with Dark Skin
Baby Stella Brown Doll
We love the rich color of this doll's skin, and we love her adorable pear-themed two-piece outfit! Perfect for snuggle time.
Baby Stella Blonde Doll
Baby Stella Blonde
With cute felted hair gathered into two pigtails tied with pink ribbons, Blonde Baby Stella is wearing an adorable green heart-print dress.
Baby Stella Boy Doll
Baby Stella Boy
Boys and girls will love this adorable baby boy doll. We love his bright onesie with the embroidered dinosaur and matching magnetic pacifier.
Baby Stella Learn to Dress Doll
Baby Stella Learn to Dress Doll
New for 2020, the Learn to Dress doll is made for developmental learning with buttons to button, shoes to tie, a zipper to zip, and more.

Wee Baby Stella

Now, there are the smaller “Wee Baby Stella” dolls that are just 12 inches tall. Wee Baby Stella may be a better choice for smaller children as this doll is not much longer than a Barbie doll.

In the past, there were many accessories made just for Wee Baby Stella. That has changed. I see now that the brand is moving to a more streamlined accessory lineup that is made for both sizes of Stella dolls.

With that said, many different Wee Baby Stella offerings come with appropriate-sized accessories, and many are still available for purchase separately.

Related: Our Favorite Wee Baby Stella Accessories (Updated!)

The current lineup of Baby Stella Dolls

Baby Stella Clothing and Accessories

While there are a few differences from doll to doll, all Baby Stella dolls come with a pacifier that magnetically sticks to her mouth and one removable outfit.

But there are many outfits and accessories available, too. Baby Stella’s many accessories include a stroller, plush training potty, bath sets, feeding sets, and so, so much more.

Her outfits are numerous as well. From adorable pajamas with bunny slippers to a yoga outfit to many available dresses, your little one can dress Stella to suit whatever mood he or she is in.

In our time with Stella, we have only had one issue. My daughter’s grandmother, who originally gifted Baby Stella to her, sent a Wee Baby Stella outfit as a birthday present. It was a pretty floral dress with matching red shoes.

As noted above, Wee Baby Stella is a smaller version of the doll we have. While it’s really too small for our doll, my girl has insisted we keep it and regularly squishes Stella into it. The shoes really don’t fit.

Baby Stella Accessories

A collapsable buggy to push a Stella doll around.
Stella Collection Buggy
This buggy has a collapsible frame, a removable carrier, and big rubber wheels to take Stella on sunny walks in the park!
A potty chair for Stella
Playtime Potty Chair
Stella can potty train right along with her best friend with this plush potty chair. Notice that the material matches that of the Brunette doll's dress.
A bath set for bathtime fun
Bath Set
Bath time is very important for little ones, and pretending to bathe their own doll is a great way to pass the time. This entirely plush bath set includes a bathrobe, tub, rubber ducky, and a bottle of shampoo.
A Baby Stella High Chair
Baby Stella Blissful Blooms High Chair
Strap Baby Stella in and safely secure her car seat with the seatbelt loop. Except for straps and buckles, the whole seat is soft and plush.
A car seat and carrier for Baby Stella
Cute Comfort Car Seat
One of the very few accessories that is not plush, this high chair is the perfect size for the larger Stella dolls. It has a sippy cup holder in the tray, and it collapses for easy storage.

Baby Stella Clothes

Adorable pink flannel pajamas
Goodnight PJ Set
Includes matching flannel top and bottoms and adorable bunny slippers. Buttons are embroidered, and the shirt instead uses velcro fasteners.
A light blue swimsuit, cap, and red goggles
Pool Party Swimsuit Set
This cutesy 3 piece set includes a swimsuit, swim cap, and goggles create a complete look for relaxing by the pool! Please note that the swim cap will not fit on dolls with pigtails.
A yoga top, pants and mat
Yoga Baby Set
While the yoga mat itself never caught on, we love this outfit and have fun trying to pose Stella. Set includes yoga top and pants, as well as a mat.
A Baby Stella Ballerina outfit
Twinkle Toes Party Dress
In our house, this is known as the Fairy Princess outfit. It's our most recent outfit, and we love that the top has the wings and tutu built right into it.
A wild outfit with a bear hat
Baby Stella Stay Wild Outfit
Let's face it. The real reason why this outfit is worthy is that every kid would love to dress their doll up like a teddy bear.
A ladybug costume just for Baby Stella dolls
Dress Up Ladybug Costume
Ridiculously cute! This is another outfit that only works with the dolls with a little hair. This is one of the first outfits ever available, and I'm not sure how much longer it will be around for.

  • Highly educational – Teach toddlers about anatomy and help to develop fine motor skills. Older children benefit from imaginative, nurturing play.
  • Grows with your child – This is an excellent doll for babies and preschoolers alike.
  • Loads of accessories and clothing available.
  • Soft and cuddly! Features are adorably embroidered.
  • Very well made with no loose parts. Baby-safe!
  • Picks up dirt and pet hair very easily. Use a damp cloth to keep Baby Stella looking good!
  • The diaper that came with our Baby Stella was fraying a bit. Check to make sure there aren’t any loose threads.
  • The older version with the headband can twist and become ragged fast.

Price

Baby Stella is higher-priced than most dolls, and in some ways, I can understand why some people don’t think that she’s worth it. I don’t believe that you’re just buying a doll; you’re buying an educational tool and a friend for your child. Baby Stella is a doll that can grow with your child for years to come.

Our Rating

When I set out to write a review about Baby Stella, I chose her because I am incredibly familiar with her. What I didn’t expect was to have my heart warmed all over again by her. She has helped to create many memories between my child and me, and I suspect that several more will be created for both of us.

If you are thinking about getting a Baby Stella doll as a gift for your child or someone else’s, I hope I have convinced you to do so. She is like a ray of sunshine!

More Information

Manhattan Toy Baby Stella Specs
Brand:Manhattan Toy
Doll Line:Baby Stella
Model Name:Peach
Type of Doll:Soft-bodied doll, baby doll
Ages:12 months and up
Height:15″
Articulation:No
Variations:Yes
Material:Polyester
Care Instructions:Surface wipe with damp cloth

2 thoughts on “Baby Stella Doll Review”

  1. Can the Wee baby Stella sit . Or is it inflexible. I see the baby Stella in a seated position but not the wee baby and this will be important to my one year old.

    Reply
    • Wee Baby Stella dolls are flexible enough that legs bend at the hips. The doll won’t stay seated unless it’s placed against something.

      Reply

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