Many customers come to me confused and frazzled about which baby type they may want to adopt and which one may better suit their interests. I will start here by outlining a few of the differences between silicone and vinyl. I hope you will enjoy the short videos I included below and that they will help you better understand the two mediums.
Part I: Vinyl Babies
Part II: Silicone Babies
Are NOT REBORN BABIES. They are squishy (think warm twizzler or gummy bear). It is bendy and you can really sink your finger and thumb into the material. You can bend the ankle or wrist into unnatural positions (think touch the toes to the front of the lower leg). You will also notice that silicone babies may feel much colder and almost damp to the touch when held. Unless he/she is created with armatures (internal structures) in the arms and legs, they will flop and not hold a shape when you pose them. Silicone is a floppy material – the degree of this attribute is determined by the class of silicone the baby is poured in as some silicones are softer and more wiggly. Platinum 20 Ecoflex is a common grade for lifelike dolls. Silicone babies that are full body (all one piece made from the same slab of silicone) can be submerged in water. Cloth bodied silicones CANNOT. All silicone babies can have rooted hair BUT the hair cannot be sealed and may shed over time. They also act as a magnet to lint, hair and other foreign material and you have to be VERY CAREFUL about what other items are close to your baby because silicone can leech pigments from other surfaces. For a complete list of dangerous materials to your silicone babies please contact your silicone manufacturer/artist. Silicone prices are tremendously higher for several reasons. The first is that they are less plentiful than the vinyl sculpts. The second is because the cost to manufacture them is higher. The third is the amount of work involved in bringing a blank silicone baby to lifelike standard. The lifespan of a silicone baby is usually going to vary by manufacturer, material, grade, paints used and your care and handling of the baby. It is hard to estimate how long you will enjoy your silicone baby as they break down at different rates depending on many factors.
Are generally referred to as reborn babies or reborn dolls. They are realistically weighted to feel like a newborn baby. They are much softer than regular vinyl babies you find at walmart. You can press into the limbs but they are NOT squishy and you cannot bend the ankles or wrists into unnatural positions. Think of it this way: A soft vinyl baby’s limbs feel similar to a real baby’s as a real baby would not have the ability to roll the limbs into extreme positioning because of the bones present to give stability to the body. Vinyl babies are flexible to the extent determined by their body style. All vinyl babies have cloth bodies, even the FULL VINYL BODY babies. With the exception of ball jointed vinyl dolls (which are usually NOT weighted due to the assembly mechanisms involved) all of the vinyl babies will have a cloth body. It will be underneath the torso sleeve that makes them full body anatomically correct. There are two types of cloth bodies. Jointed limbed cloth bodies will allow the hips and shoulders more flexibility and will allow the arms and legs to spin all the way around on the joint axis. Non-jointed cloth bodies have a limited range of motion and the arms and legs cannot spin around the joint axis. They can have arms lifted and turned (amount of rotation will depend on whether mobility rings have been added to the limb during assembly). Because vinyl babies have a cloth body that anchors the limbs and head together they CANNOT EVER be submerged in liquid. You can, however wipe them down safely with a damp sponge or cloth and the hair can be gently and carefully shampooed a few times a year to keep it fresh. Vinyl babies do not tend to break down over time when cared for properly. You can reasonably expect 10-30 years of good life from your vinyl baby if you treat it well and care for it lovingly.