I got my daughter a Corolle doll for her first birthday. Although the age on these ones are 18 months, the rep told me that it was appropriate for my daughter and she was so right. The doll is the perfect size for a little one. Small enough to hold, but big enough to feel like a real baby doll. http://www.corolle.com/us/catalogue/premier.php5
I can't say my daughter loves it, but she doesn't really like any baby dolls right now (I think she sees them as competition, because if I try to hold one of her dolls, she cries, "No, No!" and pulls it out of my hands lol).
But my friend's kids all really like it and I still think they are the perfect first doll.