I adore mermaids, but I noticed there isn’t much of a selection of mermaid dolls for the bath. When I first wrote this page, I found it difficult to find five mermaid dolls that would be both fun and bath safe. How could doll makers not know that mermaids are all the rage? I can’t be the only person who thinks mermaid dolls should swim! Or, at the very least, they should be designed to be in the water.
When the bedtime bath suddenly stopped entertaining my toddler-aged daughter, I looked for a toy that would make it more enjoyable. The problem was that blocks and squirt toys didn’t entice her, and she was too young to understand how to play with soap markers or foam letters. Since she loved dolls, I thought I’d give a water-safe doll a try.
These are the five swimming sweethearts that I found. Each one of them is designed to go in the water, and if they take on water, they also drain appropriately.
I think anyone of these lovely dolls would be entirely acceptable for tub time, but they each have different features, so be sure to check each one carefully before you decide on one for your little girl.
Shimmer and Shine Magic Mermaid Doll
Is there a little Shimmer and Shine fan in your house? One of these lovely mermaid dolls would make a great gift. Based on an episode of the favorite Nick Jr show, the Shimmer and Shine girls wish themselves into mermaids to play with their new mermaid friend. Each of these lovely dolls has a lock of hair that changes color with warm water and makes a great friend at bath time. They each come with a brush and a water strainer toy.
The Shimmer and Shine Magic Mermaid Dolls are utterly adorable. I like that the tail fins are fabric and not hard plastic. They also bend at the waist which will help for pretend swimming. I also love that they are manufactured by Fisher-Price because I find their toys to be consistently good quality.
Though this doll is appropriate for the bath, the head will take on water and will take a while to drain. They are also a little on the small side, standing about 2 inches shorter than your average Barbie, but that actually could be a benefit. Who wants big, clunky toys in the bath?
The Shimmer and Shine Magic Mermaid dolls are a load of fun at bath time, but make sure to dry them thoroughly between baths.
Shimmer, Shine, and Nila Mermaid Magic dolls are available at Amazon
Barbie Rainbow Lights Mermaid Doll
Look who is a mermaid! And not just any mermaid, but one that has a beautiful light show coming right out of her tail. She’s not only safe for bath time, but she was also built for it. When placed underwater, her translucent tail lights up with a rainbow sparkle. She’s a lovely looking doll. Pink strands delicately weave through her long, blonde hair. All clothing and accessories, except her tail fin and tiara, are molded onto the doll. She articulates at the arms and neck and has a button on her necklace that activates her light show.
When it’s turned on, it senses when underwater and tail lights up. It can be used for play outside of tub time as well. And that hair! I love the pink streaks, and it stands up to bathwater very well. Parents and little girls alike adore Barbie Rainbow Lights Mermaid.
Though batteries are included, should they run out, you will need to replace them. They are relatively easy to replace and not horribly expensive.
Children love this doll. She brings heaps of fun to bath time. After all, what better combination is there than turning Barbie into a bath-safe mermaid? I can’t think of one.
Read More from BestDollsForGirls.com: Barbie Rainbow Lights Mermaid Doll
Toysmith Bathtime Mermaid Doll
The Bathtime Mermaid doll from Toysmith is cute, has loads of hair, and at 8” in height, is just the right size for bath play. Though the age recommendation is for three years and up, there are no small parts once the hair elastics and ribbon are removed. If you want a mermaid bath doll for a toddler, this one would probably be fine. She has also been used by parents and caregivers as a teaching toy to help little ones get over their fear of hair washing and bathing.
Let’s be honest – the hottest thing going for this doll is the price. With that said, when the price is considered, it isn’t bad at all. Her hair is decent quality and will stand up to repeated dunking, and the tail and bodice paint won’t wear off.
Parents who are worried about water and mold growth would like this doll, as there are no holes and the hollow body won’t take on water. Just make sure the hair and exterior dry thoroughly between baths.
Unless you go to the store and physically pick out one of these dolls, you likely won’t be able to choose between pink and purple dolls. From what I’ve seen, all online retailers ship both colors randomly.
Don’t expect this doll to be of high quality, either. It’s cheap, which has its benefits but don’t expect it to last very long.
This doll would be great as a ‘just because’ gift, or an ‘I need a doll for the bath that I can toss if need be’ gift. Due to the quality, it probably isn’t best for a special birthday or Christmas gift for a special little someone, but it would be an excellent choice for a little girl whose parents don’t mind the thought of a throwaway doll.
Wee Waterbabies Mermaid Doll
When they put the Wee in Wee Waterbabies, they really mean it. At only 6 inches in length, these adorable mermaids are much smaller than the regular-sized Waterbabies, but are just as much fun! Also, even though the manufacturer recommends these dolls for kids at least three years old, I am not sure why it wouldn’t be a good bath doll for younger girls, primarily if they’re being supervised during tub time. They are used for some swimming lessons to help little ones stay interested.
One of the many reasons this is a perfect mermaid doll for the bath is that water is already a significant component of the toy. She is prefilled with water and sealed during manufacturing, which means the water inside won’t mold or leak out. The water in conjunction with the soft body makes her feel a little more like a real baby, which is perfect for nurturing and pretend play.
Some may consider their size to be a little too small – they fit in the palm of my medium-sized adult hand – but I think that it’s perfect for smaller children to wrap their little hands around. The only real issue I have is that they are becoming difficult to find at a reasonable price.
If you can find them, they are totally worth it. They’re not just a good bath toy, they’re a great all-around play toy for older toddlers and preschoolers. They’re squishy and huggable – what more do you need?
Read More on BestDollsForGirls.com: See Waterbabies Bathtime Fun Froggie in my Best Bathtime Baby Dolls list
Disney Princess Splash Surprise Ariel
Splash Surprise Ariel is a must-have for Little Mermaid fans. This doll is designed for use in water, and she does it with style. The doll itself is a regular doll with legs but also has a mermaid tail encasing. I like how you can play with her in the bath in her mermaid form, and when bath time is done, she can wear her dress and walk around with us land-lubbers. There is also a technique that girls can use to help her shed her fins when in water. Once Ariel’s tail is filled with water, just lift her by the torso out of the water, and her tail will fall off.
What a fabulous idea for those young fans who want to recreate their favorite Disney Princess’s story during tub time. I like how she has a different outfit for wet and dry play. Splash Surprise Ariel gets top marks for inspiring creative storytelling and pretend play styles.
After bath time, the doll and tail need to be rinsed off and kept separate for drying. I can only imagine this is to prevent mold and mildew growth. Another issue is that the tail can fall apart easily, which may frustrate some younger children who may not understand how she’s meant to be handled.
I would not buy this for a child under the age of four, even though the age recommendation is for girls as young as three. Otherwise, Splash Surprise Ariel will be a hit at bath time.
Nici Wonderland Minidebbie the Mermaid
Imagine my surprise when I discovered that a plush doll designed to go in the bathtub actually exists. I’ll be honest; I may have squealed the first time I saw Minidebbie the Mermaid bath doll because she was that doll. From head to toe, she’s full of materials that are safe for use in water, whether that water is in the bathtub or the pool.
Minidebbie’s fill is sponge-like and designed to drain water quickly. As long as she’s allowed to dry completely between baths, this material has antimicrobial properties that stop the growth of bacteria and mold from ever starting. And she will dry very fast as long as she is placed in an area with plenty of air circulation and not under a pile of other bath toys.
However, because toys are often forgotten in the aftermath of bath time, this adorable mermaid doll may be overlooked, and she may start to stink a little. If that’s the case, just run her through a wash and dry cycle with your towels, and she’ll be smelling as good as new!
Though her age recommendation is two and up, I wouldn’t personally let a two-year-old have this doll in the bath. It’s not because I don’t think she’s safe enough, but because toddlers tend to throw toys out of the tub. Have you ever had a soaking wet towel lobbed at you?
Minidebbie is currently my favorite bath-safe plush mermaid doll. She gets major points for cuteness and cuddliness, but even more to the point, because she is quick-drying and machine washable.
Cleaning and Care of Mermaid Bath Dolls
My biggest concern over any bath toy is cleanliness. All bath toys, including mermaid dolls, need to be given proper post-tub attention. They must be dried thoroughly between uses, and it is good practice to clean them regularly. Don’t store them in a bucket stacked on top of one another, as mold and mildew love to grow in places where there is little air movement.
Is any doll 100% safe for the bath? Where mold is concerned, the short answer is no. However, with proper attention and regular cleaning, any of the mermaid bath dolls listed here are as safe as any other bath toy.
Mermaid Bath Dolls and Child Development
According to experts, doll play can be very therapeutic. They allow children to work through fears of everyday activities, like having their hair washed. Bringing a trusted toy friend into the bath, and having the child participate in washing the doll’s hair can often alleviate fears a little, and sometimes just a bit of courage is enough for a little girl to face that fear head-on.
This form of pretend play also extends into just plain old bath time as well. Mermaids swim around in an imaginary underwater world, sometimes leaving their sea home to adventure on land. On the surface, it sounds like an ordinary bath time activity, but underneath, the child uses mermaid bath dolls to engage in imaginative and dramatic play, which spurs on social and language development.
Bath toys, such as mermaid dolls for the bath, can also help small children understand their physical world as well. Most importantly, they learn how toys float or sink, and they become familiar with the properties of water and how they can manipulate it. They also learn that, if they existed in reality, mermaids are swimmers. They watch how the doll’s hair flows underwater, and how her powerful fins can push water and propel her around.
Conclusion – I Love Mermaid Dolls
There were a few different considerations I kept in mind when I was looking for mermaid dolls suitable for bath time. I have a general set of criteria I stick to when I choose a doll to include on one of my lists, like how entertaining I think it would be, but when you add to bath water, other concerns such as cleanliness and mold come to the forefront. As long as you take reasonable precautions, any of the lovely mermaids in this list would be suitable for use at bath time.
FAQs on Mermaid Dolls for the Bath
A: It's best to rinse each doll off after every bath, and make sure to drain any pieces that hold water. Let dry completely before using it again. Clean regularly!
A: Some dolls you can, and it's even recommended. However, microwaving or boiling dolls may cause some materials to melt. Do so at your own risk.
- What’s the Best Way to Clean Bath Toys?, Nykia Spradley, Real Simple. Nykia answers a reader question about how to keep toys mold-free.
- Water Play: Wet and Wonderful [Archived], Angie Dorrell, M.A., Earlychildhood News. Discusses how playing with water fosters skill development in preschool-aged children
- Dolls and doll play: A new look at a familiar prop, Texas Child Care Quarterly. Presents the importance of doll play in relation to child development
- Bath time trouble? (Tips for bringing the splash back) [Archived], Katie Hurley, LCSW. Tips to help you and your little one overcome a fear of bathing