Meet James- we welcomed him into the Apedaile6 home for the weekend.
This is what Lindsay came home with: Baby in a carrier, receiving blanket, small diaper bag which held an electronic bottle and 2 diapers(1 of which is always on the baby).
The yellow fabric on the diaper is where the sensor for the diapers are located. There is one inside the nipple of the bottle as well.
The back of the baby. The teacher chooses a program for each student as to the level of care the baby will need- easy, moderate, and expert. She usually selects moderate, but Lindsay told me a male student on Friday specifically requested expert level as he has lots of siblings. I'm wondering how he's feeling about that choice this morning ;)
How the care for the baby works is when the baby first cries/fusses, Lindsay had to swipe her bracelet over a sensor area- chest or back. That indicates that she is tending to the baby. From there, the baby will need to either be fed, diaper changed, burped(usually after a feeding), or just rocked because they are fussy. Everything is recorded into the computer program and will be reported back to the teacher and that is how each student is graded. Things like how long it took to do the initial swipe, did they take care of the baby's needs correctly, and even if you held the baby correctly are all factors in earning your grade. Forgot to mention that each baby weighs 8 pounds and you have to support their head/neck much like a newborn or the baby will cry and you will get deducted points for not supporting the head.
Lindsay took James out shopping. She had quite a few stares from other customers in the stores. We even spoke with a few parents in the lines who also thought is was a fantastic idea. We also talked about how far the assignment has come from the old days of flour and egg babies.
Lindsay even tended to James in the car. I was a bad Grandma and didn't pull over for safety sake. Though I was a bit worried a police officer might see this and pull me over and I would have to explain and show how it's just a doll and not a real infant.
Proud Momma ready with her baby.
JT really enjoyed having James at the house and wanted to help as much as possible. When the baby would start to cry, JT would cover his mouth and have this look of concern that the baby needed something. It was quite precious and funny. Here JT is rocking James in his carrier.
What makes this baby oh so real is they stay on 24 hours a day! They even mock a newborn baby's schedule and wake up several times a night. Lindsay had her room set up pretty well each night.
Night 2 was much more challenging for her than night 1. She was already a bit sleep deprived from the first night and James decided to be more demanding on night two. Here Lindsay was trying to do something many new Mom's do for nighttime feedings- catch a few zzz's. If Lindsay's hand slipped and the bottle fell away from the mouth, James would start crying again. Feeding typically took 15-20 minutes and were followed up with burp sessions that lasted about 20 minutes. The baby would make a little happy coo sound when he was full and burp when he was properly burped.
I wanted to share a little video showing this baby in action. I love how the cries are real audio of a baby crying. I love this project so much. To me, besides borrowing an actual baby, this is the closest a student can get to experiencing what parenthood is actually like.
Proud Uncle JT holding his baby nephew.
Lindsay successfully completed her project and returned James back to school Monday morning.
A few observations from Lindsay during the weekend:
- Why do babies seems to cry more at night than during the day?
-How on Earth did you and Daddy do this while working and going to college!?!
-Why does it take so long for a baby to burp?
-I am SO Tired!!!
Lindsay turned her baby in yesterday at school and was thrilled to learn that she earned a 100% on this assignment! My oh so wise 15 year old noted that while she did well on taking care of this pretend baby, by no means does she feel remotely ready to be a parent in any fashion. Well done Reality Baby, your lesson was a success.