Jevne-- did you ever get a hold of your mamaw? I am interested to know if her doll babies were the same idea as the ones my mamaw and aunt made.
I have also been thinking about this topic recently again because growing up my sister and I were called doll boy and doll girl by my mamaw. I know my mom had a really hard time carrying full term and had a few miscarriages before my sister was born. I wonder if my mamaw may have done something witchy (though she would never call it that lol) in order to help my mom conceive and carry full term. And that is why she called us doll boy and girl and occasionally boy doll and girl doll.
Perhaps I am reading more into it than there is and it was just a term of endearment lol.
Sadly, she died in 1994 so I can't ask her.
My Mamaw said that sometimes a doll is just a doll, but under some circumstances a doll is created for a child to serve as a sort of spiritual guardian. The doll is usually made faceless, but bears other characteristics or clothing choices depending on the specific spirit it is intended to invoke or represent. Not every child was deemed to need this kind of protection. Some factor in the child's life triggered the making of the doll, which if memory serves her right is made very simply and kept in the child's room. The terms doll-baby or baby-doll are not particularly related to this lore, that she is aware of.
Don't know if that makes any sense, but there it is.