At a birthday party she recently attended at a play center, Sarina announced to the group of 2- and 3-year-olds, "Everyone be quiet. I just put my baby to bed."
And so she had... a baby doll in a plastic crib. She'd never shown an interest in "mothering" a doll before, but I was happy to encourage it, and the nice folks at Badger Basket sent me an amazing doll crib for her to try out for this review.
The thing that appealed to me most about this crib is that it's not the typical child's toy-- that is, it's not a brightly-colored plastic monstrosity. Instead, it actually looks sweet and delicate, like a real piece of furniture. It's made of wood and MDF (wood composite) board.
It took me about 20 minutes to assemble, which was not a difficult job, just a bit time-consuming. Getting the mobile strings to hang at the right height was the hardest part (the strings should probably be pre-cut shorter). The crib felt very sturdy when I was through, and I know this is the type of toy that can last through multiple children.
The details on this product are just charming-- the tie-on "bumpers" that look just like real bumpers, the lovely gingham baskets that are actually functional, and the working mobile. Even better, the mobile is wind-up, so it never needs batteries, and the song is a totally non-annoying version of Brahms' Lullaby. The loving attention to detail is apparent even down to the fact that the screws are painted white to blend in with the wood.
It's a strikingly beautiful piece that I'm proud to have in Sarina's room, and it draws compliments whenever someone sees it. The single improvement I'd like to see made is in the mobile attachment. The "vice" that's used to screw the mobile to the crib is detachable and can be placed wherever you want-- which is cool, except that (a) it sticks out about 2 inches beyond the crib, so you can't place the crib flush against a wall on that side, and (b) if you reposition the mobile, it can create little scratches in the paint where it connects to the crib. I'm tempted to just remove the mobile, but it's such a sweet feature.
Sarina was thrilled to find the crib in her room when I presented it to her, and has happily tended to her two baby dolls in it for the past week, positioning them on the pillow and pulling up the little sheet and playing their lullaby.
There's another variation of this doll crib that comes with a canopy, too, and another that comes with bottom cabinets instead of the baskets, and the grandest of all: the round doll crib with a canopy. How beautiful is this?