Baby Pokémon can by classified as such by these four rules:
- Can be obtainable by hatching an Egg.
- Must be the lowest form in a family chain.
- Must be able to evolve at least once.
- In Undiscovered Egg Group.
The majority of baby Pokémon were introduced after their first-stage evolutions, with the exceptions of Togepi and Riolu. To achieve evolution, many require maximized friendship. Others will evolve by level up, but as the generations passed more complex methods of evolution were introduced.
In the video game series, the only way to obtain most baby Pokémon is through breeding. On occasion, non-player characters will give the player an Egg containing a baby Pokémon, and this Pokémon typically cannot be obtained in any other method, except for breeding. Generation III introduced the first baby Pokémon able to be caught in the wild: Wynaut on Mirage Island. In Generation IV, many other baby Pokémon were also available, relatively easily, in the wild. Players may still find it preferable to breed though, for the benefit of Egg moves (as many baby Pokémon have very limited movepools).
Baby Pokémon all have one thing in common: they are unable to breed unless they evolve into one of their higher forms, and are all in the Undiscovered Egg Group. This is presumably due to their infantile state.
From Generation III onwards, most new baby Pokémon can only be obtained by making the parent in their evolutionary line hold a specific Incense before breeding, explaining why parent Pokémon available in previous generations were unable to produce these Eggs in those generations. For example, Marill, who was introduced in Generation II, could not produce Azurill Eggs until the introduction of the Sea Incense in Generation III.
About half of all baby Pokémon are part of a three-stage evolutionary line, that is, they evolve again after evolving from their baby form. Only one of these, however, is achieved by level up, with most of the others requiring use of an evolutionary stone or held item to evolve a second time.
Baby Pokémon were eventually introduced in the Pokémon Trading Card Game as well.
List of baby Pokémon
In the anime
All of the baby Pokémon appeared in the anime so far, with some of them belonging to the main characters. While most of them appear in the Pikachu Shorts regularly, all of them have somehow had a major appearance. In some cases, newborn Pokémon are called baby Pokémon, but it is not used that way often.
Several Baby Pokémon are first shown with a quite childish personality, other ones after some experience or evolution begin to show signs of maturity, such as Brock's Bonsly giving up in being fed with a bottle. However there are several exceptions, such as Paul's Elekid showing to have inherit Paul's harsh personality. This is not limited to Pokémon owned by someone, as in Where No Togepi Has Gone Before! portrays a rare case where Togepi's personality is completely different from what is known.
Tyrogue's first appearance was in A Tyrogue Full of Trouble where he had been abandoned by his previous Trainer and left to fend for his own.
A Trainer named Satchel was trying to get his Magby to evolve for the Silver Conference in You're A Star, Larvitar and succeeded. It reappeared in Address Unown! where it was part of an Unown's dimension.
Several baby Pokémon including Pichu, Cleffa, Wynaut, Smoochum, Igglybuff and Azurill appeared in The Brockster Is In!.
- Main article: Misty's Togepi
In Attack of the Prehistoric Pokémon, Ash finds an Egg. It hatches into a Togepi in Who Gets to Keep Togepi?, and since Misty is the first thing the Baby Pokémon sees, it believes Misty is its mother. It evolved in A Togepi Mirage.
- Main article: Paul's Elekid
Paul owned an Elekid. He used it to battle to battle Ash's Pikachu in When Pokémon Worlds Collide! and Roark in Shapes of Things to Come. Paul's Elekid evolved into Electabuzz in Smells Like Team Spirit, and evolved into Electivire off-screen, prior to Casting a Paul on Barry!.
- Main article: Misty's Azurill
- Main article: Wynaut (anime)
- Main article: Nando's Budew
Budew made its first major appearance in Dawn of a New Era!. It was owned by a minstrel called Nando and used in battle against Dawn's Piplup and Ash's Pikachu. It evolved into Roselia in the second battle. It later evolved into Roserade prior to Coming Full-Festival Circle!.
- Main article: Brock's Bonsly
James's Mime Jr.
- Main article: James's Mime Jr.
- Main article: Brock's Happiny
Brock's Egg hatched into a Happiny in One Big Happiny Family!. Unusually, in contrast to Happiny's extremely low Attack stat in the games, she has amazing strength and can run with, pummel, and carry many heavy items and Pokémon for its size, such as having the ability to fling her Trainer into the air with ease and carrying Ash's Grotle around in Jumping Rocket Ship!. She evolved into a Chansey in The Brockster Is In!.
- Main article: May's Munchlax
Aura Sphere Riolu
- Main article: Aura Sphere Riolu
Riolu has made its first appearance during Pokémon Ranger and the Kidnapped Riolu! Parts One and Two. This Riolu had been trained to use Aura Sphere and was unnaturally strong. It was taken away from the lab by J's henchmen that wanted to exploit it but Ash and his friends returned it to its kingdom, with Kellyn's help. This Riolu developed a strong bond with Ash.
- Main article: Cameron's Riolu
- All baby Pokémon, excluding those which evolve by level-up alone, are able to evolve at a minimum of level 2, as the requirements for their evolution can be met without them having to level up more than once.
- Of those that are able to do this and evolve a second time, only two (Chansey and Marill) must level up further to reach their final form.
- Out of eighteen baby Pokémon, there are currently seven baby Pokémon which will evolve into Pokémon belonging to the Fairy Egg Group and six others that will evolve into Pokémon that belong to the Human-Like Egg Group.
- Of all post-Generation II baby Pokémon, only Azurill and Munchlax evolve by friendship alone (not requiring a certain time of day). In the anime, these two baby Pokémon are owned by two of Ash Ketchum's previous traveling companions, Misty and May.
- All baby Pokémon that were introduced in Generation II that evolve by friendship can evolve further using evolutionary stones.
- Riolu is the only baby Pokémon introduced after Generation II that hatches without requiring one of its parents to be holding an incense because its evolution debuted in the same generation as it did.
- Most baby Pokémon can learn Uproar via Move Tutor, while their evolved forms cannot.
- Generation I and Generation V are the only generations in which no baby Pokémon were introduced.
- May, James, and Brock got their baby Pokémon (Munchlax, Mime Jr., and Bonsly respectively) following the pattern of premiering in a movie and then being captured by one of the main characters. In all cases, the premiered Pokémon is not the same character as the one caught, just the same species. In some cases, this may be a result of the writers deciding a Pokémon works well with the group after they are shown together. Munchlax came after Destiny Deoxys and Mime Jr. and Bonsly came Lucario and the Mystery of Mew.