Must-Read History And Fun Facts About Cabbage Patch Kids

Did you know you can visit Babyland General Hospital where these dolls are "born"?

If you’re a member of Gen X or Y, chances are you grew up with a Cabbage Patch Kid. Or several. And maybe you’re now even buying the dolls for your own kids.

But in all that time, have you ever wondered about the story behind the Cabbage Patch Kids? We did, so we decided to go straight to the source and see what’s behind the naming of the dolls, where BabyLand General Hospital is, how it all started and more.

Cabbage Patch Kids were first introduced into the mass market in 1983. I remember my grandma waiting in line for hours to buy me one. She ended up purchasing one with red hair, even though I’m blonde, because it was the only one left on the shelf! Here’s a flashback to me with two of my Cabbage Patch Kids and another doll, taking them sledding in my Chicago backyard:

NL Cabbage Patch Kids
Natalia Lusinski

So, how did it all begin?

The Beginning

Cabbage Patch Kids actually started out as one-of-a-kind, hand-stitched dolls.

“The roots of these babies stem from art,” Margaret Hata McLean, Director of Corporate Communications at BabyLand General Hospital, tells Simplemost. “They began as hand-stitched to birth babies you could adopt at Arts and Crafts Shows in the Southeast.”

And if you’re feeling nostalgic, you can still purchase the hand-stitched ones today.

The Naming Process

If you scan the Cabbage Patch Kids website, you’ll see a wide array of names, from Delilah Naomi to Josephine Haley. Why two names?

“Having two names is a Southern tradition, such as Jamie Sue or Robert Ryan,” McLean says. “In the beginning, they used a Baby Name Book. However, today, technology helps with the naming of Cabbage Patch Kids.” Still, you can absolutely rename your doll if you buy one and don’t like the name it comes with (in case you can’t remember, these dolls come with a “birth certificate” featuring their name).

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“Name changes are very common today,” McLean says. “Children love to have the kids named after themselves, and the creativity continues when they name their next child.”

BabyLand General Hospital

Everyone with their very own Cabbage Patch Kid of course knows about BabyLand General Hospital, the utopian wonderland where Cabbage Patch Kids are born. But did you know you can actually visit BabyLand General Hospital? It’s located in Cleveland, Georgia, and, according to their website, it’s the only place where you can witness the actual birth of a Cabbage Patch Kid.

The hospital, housed in a Southern-style home, is on 650 acres in the North Georgia Mountains, and contains the Cabbage Patch, which is tended to by their Licensed Patch Doctors and Nurses.

cabbage patch kids photo
Flickr | william_mckeehan

And of course, while you’re there, there will be plenty of photo opportunities.

Of BabyLand, McLean says, “It continues to delight children of all ages.” We don’t doubt it for a second! Plus, admission to BabyLand General Hospital is FREE. Sign. Us.Up.

Like we said, you’ll see tons and tons and tons of lovable Cabbage Patch Kids—and can adopt one (or some!) to take home, too.

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So there you have it. Now doesn’t this make you want to adopt a new Cabbage Patch Kid of your own? The standard dolls cost $39.99, but there are a couple models currently on clearance on the the Cabbage Patch site for just $19.99. Check ’em out.

And if you’re truly a Cabbage Patch fan, you best plan a road trip to Georgia—STAT.