Monday, 22 June 2015

Miniature Monday: Dolls with Cleft Lips and Palates

A/N: Another repost from my doll blog - this was inspired by the #ToyLikeMe campaign which is seeking better representation of disability in the toybox. There is an interesting article HERE about the history of toy diversity.

Dolls with Cleft Lips and / or Palates

Cleft lips, alveolus (dental ridge), and palates can come alone or together, in the form of a unilateral or bilateral cleft, and affect about one in every 700 babies born in the UK. It can cause speech and language problems, along with difficulty in feeding and ear infections which can lead to hearing loss. In the worst case scenario babies with a severe cleft, without specialised feeding aids or suffering from associated problems, can die - something which still happens to over 3,000 people every year. Find out more at CLEFT, CLAPA, Operation Smile, or the Smile Train.

My better (worse?) half was born with a cleft palate, so I do have a bit of a personal interest in the condition. I'd love to get Marianna a doll with a cleft one day so she can have a doll like her daddy. :)

Anthony and Marianna
Anthony and Marianna.

* All pictures found on Google Images, I make no claim to ownership *

Baby Isabella dolls with cleft lips
Baby Isabella and Baby Isaac

Created by Tiny Wide Smiles, these dolls are modified to have a left or right unilateral cleft, or a bilateral cleft. They are $50 each but the order period for each batch is quite short, so you need to keep an eye out for updates. You can read more about the Kickstarter that launched the dolls HERE, or check out the Tiny Wide Smiles facebook page. There's a super cute blog of a little girl being given a Baby Isabella HERE.

Rag doll with stitched cleft lip surgery scar by Cairdeas Doll
Cairdeas Doll

Provide a cloth doll and postage costs, and Cairdeas Doll will use embroidery floss to sew a scar matching your child's for free. Read more HERE.

Baby with Cleftline Teddy Bear
Cleftline Bears

Produced by the Cleft Palate Foundation, these custom made bears have stitches across their lip to represent the scars left by corrective surgery. The bears cost $10 each plus shipping and handling. Read more HERE.

plush baby doll with cleft lip by Tiny Wide Smiles
Plush Cleft Doll

Produced by Tiny Wide Smiles these plush dolls come with unilateral or bilateral cleft smiles, and retail for $15. The image above came from the baileyjadekodra blog, check out the full photo shoot HERE. You can purchase them through Tiny Wide Smiles or at

As is often the case with dolls who differ from the 'norm', most dolls with cleft lips or palates are OOAK (one of a kind) dolls created by parents or doll artists.

Amber Carr modified Blythe DollBlythe doll with cleft lip by Amber Carr
Amber Carr

These gorgeous Blythe dolls were customised by Amber Carr and sold through the Rockabilly Hoodlum store on eBay.

Christie Durant baby doll with cleft lip
Christie Durant

Sweet Peas Forever Reborn artist Christie Durant has created some amazingly lifelike baby dolls with cleft lips / palates, representing the condition before and after surgery.

Devon Rescue Doll with cleft lip
Devon Rescue Dolls

This repainted and customised Bratz doll is currently up for auction on eBay to raise money for CLAPA (Cleft Lip and Palate Association). Devon Rescue Dolls also have an etsy store HERE.

Six String Kate's modified Cabbage Patch doll

A mum on customised a Cabbage Patch doll for her son. Read more HERE.

Teruna Kowaii doll
Teruna Kowaii

Work in progress project of a BJD elf with a cleft lip. Read more HERE.

Emma Cayley cleft lip doll

#ToyLikeMe challenge doll created by Emma Cayley.

For more like this, please click the image below:


  1. What a wonderful blog story Jessica! Thank you so much for sharing. At Smile Train we support cleft dolls to help make children with clefts feel more represented by the toys that they have.

    1. Thanks for commenting! It can seem like such a little thing, having representative toys, but it makes such a difference. My partner told me how his favourite toy when he was young was a teddy bear with a wonky nose line - because it looked like the scar from his own cleft surgery.

  2. I never realised that you could purchase dolls with cleft lips, such a wonderful idea #ToyTuesday

    1. It's great, isn't it? There is so much diversity out there these days!


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