Waldorf dolls find their origin in Waldorf education/school, founded bij Rudolf Steiner. He was an important thinker/philosopher around the 1920's. His philosophy is called Antroposophy. There are many Waldorf- or Steiner schools, all over the world. (I, myself and my children went to Waldorf school)
The Waldorf idea about toys for children, is that they are simple and made of good quality natural material. The child needs to be able to fill in with it's imagination. This would mean, that the child decides, for instance, the mood or age of the doll.
I have learned to make traditional Waldorf dolls (Zonnekindpoppen in Dutch) many years ago.
Over the years, I have designed my own patterns and found ways to make the dolls of better quality and look more natural and child like. The techniques have changed, my dolls are a bit more detailed, than the traditional dolls. But they are still made of natural fibres, have a neutral expression and are made one by one, with a lot of love. This makes every doll unique.
From a pedagogical point of view, I would say, 4 to 7 years old is the perfect age to give a MonPilou doll, to your child. The baby doll is suitable for a younger (not mouthing) child. Make the moment of giving special and be an example, in taking care of the doll. You could put the doll, as a surprise, in a doll bed, next to your child's bed (maybe with candlelight) so, it will find the doll, when he or she goes to bed. And once in a while, you could make or buy something new for the doll, together with your child (for example, baking doll cookies of salt dough or make a little bracelet). This will keep doll play alive.
Although, the dolls are made "play strong" for children, I can completely relate to adult doll mama's and collectors who buy my dolls. As I love dolls myself, so much. Not only mine, but from many different dollmakers.
The dolls are filled with, clean, carded sheep wool, from organic working farms, in Germany. The good thing about sheep wool filling is that it makes the doll feel warm and almost alive. My dolls are firmly stuffed, for durability, but not "stone" hard. I like my dolls to feel cuddly, for children.
The doll skin is made of 100% cotton double knitted jersey (interlock) . I use interlock from de Witte Engel, mainly.
For the dolls hair, I crochet wigs, out of mohair yarns (straight and curly). I use Wild Mohair from Little Oke Dolls, mainly.
I love the nostalgic looks, for the doll outfits. The clothes and accessories are made of fabrics, like linen and Liberty of London. When available, I choose organic cotton, to work with.
The dolls, clothes and accessories are designed and made by MonPilou©
But, I have a great helper, to fill my little doll "boutique". Marianne is an experienced dressmaker, she sews a lot of little clothes for me.
And the lovely woolen felted shoes, are designed and made by Vaida Petreikis (Lituania).
NOTE: Because of small parts, but also from a pedagogical point of view, the dolls are not meant for children under 3 years old.