New baby simulators ‘a challenge’ for sophomores

Sophomore+Kasey+Redman+cares+for+her+baby+by+%22feeding%22+it+with+a+bottle+that+comes+with+the+RealCare%C2%AE+Baby+Simulator.+This+year%27s+sophomores+have+an+all-new+program+to+use+for+this+year%27s+baby+project.

Sophomore Kasey Redman cares for her baby by "feeding" it with a bottle that comes with the RealCare® Baby Simulator. This year's sophomores have an all-new program to use for this year's baby project.

PUKALANI – That new-baby smell is in the air again – figuratively, of course. The annual baby project has begun, as of Monday, Oct. 28.

As usual, the Health class students must take care of their babies for two days. However, these babies aren’t the Ready-Or-Not Tots used in previous years. This year, the sophomores received RealCare Babies.

Sophomores no longer need keys to tend to their baby simulators. Instead, the mannequins are equipped with sensors.

Sensors are built into the baby’s clothes, diapers, bottle, and body.

According to the company site, the RealCare babies “cry for care at all hours, day and night” instead of following a semi-regular pattern like the Ready-Or-Not Tots.

In order to stop a baby from crying, students must physically change diapers, change clothes, feed, or give attention to the baby, unlike in the past when they just needed to insert an electronic key into a slot on the baby’s back.

Another feature that is different than the Ready-Or-Not Tots is that the caregiver decides what kind of care the baby needs when it cries, but all results are recorded on a program on the teacher’s (Ms. Kaulana Molina’s) computer to keep the students from “getting the easy way out,” she said.

“I get a report on how many times someone changes their baby’s clothes or [does] something like that, and it’s supposed to be even between the different kinds of ways someone cares for their baby,” she said.

There is also an app for smart phones called The RealCare Baby Guide. It is designed to help the temporary parents with their RealCare Babies. There are stress management tips, care tips, and other helpful information.

Ms. Molina stated that the project will be more meaningful for students now.

“[Previous classes] weren’t getting enough of a challenge,” she said. “They weren’t being taught parenting skills like I thought.”

According to sophomore Kainalu Stewart, the project is “hard but insightful.”

“It’s teaching me a lot about parenting skills and how much real parents have to go through,” he said.

The project began when the class of 2009 was sophomores. This is the first time that the baby simulators have been replaced since 2007.