5 Things You Should Be Doing Every Time You Deploy Baby

Sending out RealCare Baby with students throughout the year can create unique challenges. Here are 5 best practices we have gathered from talking with instructors over the years.

1. Gather available resources. There are a wealth of resources available when working with RealCare Baby:

2. Follow through. If you tell your students that if they return their baby with their wristband broken they get a zero, then give them a zero, etc. If you start making exceptions, you will weaken your program.

3. Practice makes perfect! Take class time to give all students hands-on practice before sending Babies home with them. This will solve many problems that you might have otherwise.

4. Be creative. Assign hands-on projects, like play time between students and their Babies. Have students journal and take pictures documenting their play time.

5. Do your own press. Don’t forget to toot your horn! Social media is a great way to get student involvement. Be sure to publicize what you are doing at school and in your local media. Don’t forget to include pictures!

The following are also great resources to reference:

Is it Time to Trade-In Your RealCare Baby?

Which RealCare® Baby do you have?

Does your program need updating? How much would an update cost? Use this short, interactive questionnaire to answer those questions and learn how you can improve the health of your RealCare Program (and how much you could save with our RealCare Baby Trade-In Program).

Watch this video for more information on when it’s time to trade in your RealCare Baby:

Teacher Tip: Creative RealCare Baby Storage and More!

Lauren Williams currently teaches early elementary education courses, including a Parenting class, at McCracken County High School. With 19 years of teaching experience, she has a wealth of knowledge and practice working with different schools and programs. Lauren uses RealCare Baby® infant simulators in her Parenting classes and says she would recommend all teachers use the babies.

“The principle came to my room the first year I did these. He told me that a mother called him and told him it was the best project her daughter had ever completed while in high school. He’s very supportive of the program.”

Lauren spoke to us recently and shared some of her top tips and tricks for incorporating these products in your program:

“It is a wonderful site,” said Lauren. “I use the sign-up forms along with the parent permission forms.”

  • Give students more accountability over their Baby experience by using sign-up forms.

“I post sign-up forms at the beginning of the semester, and it is the student’s responsibility to write their name in for a weekend to bring a Baby home,” said Lauren.”

  • Send the Babies home for at least a 48-hour period.

“I do think it is best to do a 48-hour simulation on the weekend.  I will schedule some quiet times if a student cannot get out of work shift.  They do however have to make up the time at the end,” said Lauren. “If the simulation starts at 4 on a Friday, instead of turning off the Baby at 4 on Sunday, the time would be extended to compensate.”

  • Make the most of your students’ Baby experiences by using Baby’s software.

“I use the Infant Care Schedule Table to program active times.  I tell everyone that a 48-hour simulation will usually yield about 50 care opportunities,” said Lauren. “I look at the schedules to see when most of these care opportunities will occur and assign them appropriately.”

  • Have students download the Real Care Baby App for how-to information, FAQs, video guides for caring for Baby, safety precautions and stress management tips.

“ONE OF THE MOST IMPORTANT TOOLS THAT HAVE HELPED MY STUDENTS AND MY SANITY!!!  I insist that all students look at the app before they text me.  I have had so many students tell me and other students that the app helped them.”

  • Find ways to organize your supplies.

“I keep all of my supplies now in a little plastic 3 drawer cabinet beside the baby bed I brought from home.  I placed the baby bed in front of an electrical outlet where I plug them in.  The car seats are stacked by the bed.”

  • Have students help with your organization process for quick pick-ups and drop-offs.

“I have students turn in the babies with both diapers on.  One on top of the other and we put the sensor bracelet down in the diaper too.  This way, all the equipment needed is in one place. They get the doll, car seat, bottle and extra clothes quickly.”

Overall, Lauren says students take away a lot from this experience in her parenting class. Her students are really excited about the babies when they pick them up on Friday, but have a change of attitude by the time they bring them back to school on Monday.

“Having a baby to take care of is not just fun and games. It is difficult being the only person that can take care of the baby. It isn’t easy trying to calm a crying child if you do not know the reason for the cry. Taking care of a baby interferes with schedules but the baby has to come first.”

Do you have old versions of RealCare Baby in your current program? Take a look at our current RealCare Baby® Trade-In Promotion. For a limited time, you can trade in any of these discontinued simulators for credit towards the latest generation RealCare Baby 3, Shaken Baby, or Pregnancy Profile® Simulator.

Summer-ready RealCare Babies in 5 simple steps

We’re approaching summer again, which means most RealCare Baby® infant simulators are being put away for a well-deserved rest. Before storing your Babies for the summer, follow these 5 simple steps. Doing so will help ensure that your Babies are ready for summer break – and that you can enjoy a smooth start to your RealCare Program this fall.

1. Give your Babies one final full charge.

  • Baby should be charged overnight, then unplugged – don’t leave Baby plugged in all summer. Ideally, your Babies should be charged for a few hours every 3 months. Haven’t used Baby since January or February? Now is the time to charge them overnight.
  • FYI: The batteries will gradually drain out on their own. Do not be surprised if the Babies start to make a popping sound while in storage. This is an indicator that the batteries are giving off their final amount of charge. Don’t worry; this is normal and the popping sound can last for a few days.
  • You can follow along with the “RCB Battery Maintenance” instructions here.

2. Wash the clothing and clean the Baby.

  • For Baby: Disinfectant wipes, Mr. Clean Magic Erasers and acne cream with sunlight are all great ways to get ink and other common stains off of Baby’s vinyl
  • For Baby’s clothing and supplies: Baby’s diapers and clothing can be machine washed in cold, gentle cycle. Tumble dry on low. We recommend line drying to prevent wear and tear.
  • Get more great cleaning tips here.

3. Place your Babies in plastic bags to protect the vinyl.

  • Be sure the bag does not have any print that can bleed onto the vinyl.

4. Store your Babies in a cool, dry place.

  • Baby should be stored indoors, in the plastic bag, for optimum conditions. If this isn’t possible, every attempt should be made to keep Baby dry and clean.
  • If Baby is stored in a very cold or hot environment, allow 24 hours for Baby to adjust to a moderate temperature before use.
  • Dramatic changes in temperature can cause water condensation inside Baby. Allow time for the condensation to evaporate before use.

5. BONUS TIP: Jump-start your fall lesson planning  by downloading our free career exploration curriculum today!

We know how important it is to provide career exploration opportunities to students. That’s why we created the Using the RealCare Program for Career Exploration, which contains 6 lessons that use our RealCare products (Drug-Affected Baby, Fetal Alcohol Syndrome Baby, Pregnancy Profile, RealCare Baby and more) as springboards to career exploration lessons.

(Don’t have all the products? No problem! They’re not required to use the curriculum).

Click here to learn more and download the curriculum yourself.

Learn more by watching our on-demand webinar: How to Prepare RealCare Baby for Summer Break:

Additional Product Support resources like video tutorials, documentation, webinars and FAQs can be found in our online Product Support Center. If you need further support, contact our Product Support Team by calling 800.830-1416, option 2, or emailing productsupport@realityworks.com.

Why Did RealCare Baby Shutdown?

By Nate Schlieve, Realityworks Product Support Technician

Did you know that there are four ways that RealCare Baby can turn off before its scheduled stop time? Ever look at your simulation report and see “______ Shutdown” and wondered what it means? The four different methods that can end a simulation early are: Abuse Shutdown, Battery Shutdown, Emergency Shutdown, Neglect Shutdown. Here is what causes the Baby to trigger each
specific shutdown.

Abuse Shutdown – Occurs when the Baby has been mishandled 24 times. That includes head supports, rough handling and shaken baby. Once Baby triggers 24 mishandle events the Baby will turn off.

Battery Shutdown – Battery level drained out enough to stop the simulation.

Emergency Shutdown – This occurs when the button that is above the red light is held down for 6 continuous chimes. This is manual, it will NEVER happen on its own.

Neglect Shutdown – If the Baby does not respond to an ID within 12 continuous hours it will turn itself off. So if the student gets the wrong ID, of the ID does not get programmed, it will turn off in 12 hours.

Visit our RealCare Baby Product Support page for videos, guides, FAQs and troubleshooting tips!

Student Workbooks as an Effective Instructional Resource

Educators have debated the effectiveness of worksheets, handouts and workbooks for years.  Similar to technology use in the classroom, efficacy all depends on how they are used.  Here are a few nuggets to contemplate from a review of literature on the subject:

  • Graphic organizers help learners to understand tasks by nurturing active participation, decrease dependency on rote learning and memorization, tap into learners’ prior knowledge, and show association between concepts to build new understanding (Kirylo & Millet, 2000).
  • Worksheets help students to construct knowledge, help to assess students and get feedback, are used as supplemental material to textbooks in authentic lessons, and build scaffolding for  some teaching strategies (Demircioglu & Kaymakci, 2011).
  • Using Multiple Intelligences learning theory, teachers should vary instruction and assessment strategy because all students do not learn and exhibit learning the same way (Smith 2002, 2008) Howard Gardner and Multiple Intelligences.

We are happy to announce two new student workbooks now available as supplemental resources to the RealCare Baby Simulation Experience and the Pregnancy Profile Simulation.

The RealCare Baby Experience Workbook includes all handouts needed for the simulation experience. Rather than photocopying dozens of pages, it is all ready for use in this handy workbook. Graphic organizers, rubrics and quizzes are included. Students will also complete journal and self-assessment exercises to reflect on their learning.  The completed workbook is a great addition to student portfolios for highlighting this project.

The My Life Student Workbook is a companion product to the Pregnancy Profile simulation experience. Rather than photocopying and assembling these workbooks in class, you can use that valuable time to teach the key objectives. Many of the handouts involve setting goals, reflecting on what a teen pregnancy would do to those goals and journal on a wide variety of questions relating to the impact of an unplanned pregnancy. These exercises strengthen student writing and research skills. The completed workbook provides a meaningful take-home manual that students can keep and refer to.

Follow this link to learn more about these effective student workbooks and how you can use them in your program.

Does RealCare Baby Adjust for Daylight Saving Time?

By Nate Schlieve, Realityworks Product Support Technician

Daylight Saving Time begins on March 12th, and many might be wondering “Does RealCare Baby adjust for DST?” The answer is no, during the simulation Baby will not adjust to Daylight Saving Time. If you have a specific Quiet Time for Sunday the 12th, you will want to adjust the time and possibly the length of the quiet time. Let’s say you need a Quiet Time to begin at noon on Sunday. When it is noon in real time, Baby thinks it is 11 am, so you will need to set your Quiet Time to begin at 11 am.

Once the simulation has ended you may ask yourself, “how do I adjust Baby so it is on real time?” The answer is, you do not have to make any adjustments. RealCare Baby takes the time from your Control Center, and your Control Center takes the time from the clock in your computer. As long as your computer has adjusted to DST (most computers do), then your Babies will be on the correct time when you program the next simulation. Double check the clock in your computer after March 12th, if it is on the correct time, the Babies will also be on the correct time.

Visit our RealCare Baby Product Support Page for Videos, Guides, FAQs and Troubleshooting Documents to help you manage your RealCare Program!

Tips for Programming Quiet Times for RealCare Baby® 3

By Nate Schlieve, Realityworks Product Support Technician

Quiet Times are a function that allows the instructor to set a specific time during a simulation where the RealCare Baby will not ask for any care. This is a discretionary function, and does not have to be used unless the instructor feels there is an event that warrants a Quiet Time. Here are some tips when setting the Quiet Times.

  1. Quiet Times can only be used up to three times during a simulation, and each Quiet Time has a maximum of 12 hours each. There is no way to increase the number of Quiet Times or increase the total hours of Quiet Times. So, if you use the Quiet Times, use them wisely.
  2. Quiet Times cannot be programmed at the same time a simulation begins. So if you set a simulation to start at 3 pm, you need to program the Quiet Time to begin at 4 pm.
  3. If programming an evening Quiet Time that will begin any time after midnight, be sure to set the Quiet Time to begin the following day. Example: if you have a simulation beginning on Friday, at 5 pm and you want the Quiet Time to begin at 1 am, you have to set the Quiet Time to begin on Saturday at 1 am. Remember, Friday ends at midnight.
  4. On rare occasions we have encountered instructors who use Quiet Times and Day Care during the same simulation. If you put the Baby into Day Care mode in the morning, but have an afternoon Quiet Time, you must end the Day Care BEFORE the Quiet Time starts. Example: Let’s say the students bring the Baby to you in the morning and you turn on the Day Care mode, but there is a 3 pm Quiet Time. You MUST end the Day Care BEFORE 2:59 pm. If you end the Day Care any time after 3 pm, you will also stop the Day Care.
  5. Finally, remind the students that in a Quiet Time the Baby will not ask for care, but the Baby WILL cry if mishandled (head supports, rough handling, shaken baby, wrong position). Quiet Time does not mean totally quiet; students are still responsible for how they handle Baby in a Quiet Time.

Full details on Quiet Time and Day Care modes can be found in the RealCare® Control Center Software Help Guide

For more RealCare Baby product support, including videos and FAQs check out our product support page.

Making a Difference through Family & Consumer Sciences: A RealCare Baby® User Spotlight

by Denise Bodart, Realityworks RealCare Product Manager

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Finance. Housing and interior design. Food science. Nutrition. Personal wellness. Human development. The life and career skills that Family and Consuner Sciences (FCS) educators equip students with can have a significant impact on their lives. In the two decades since RealCare Baby® first made its debut, we’ve had the pleasure of working with many dedicated FCS professionals who were using RealCare Baby to help prepare young people for their future. One such person is Amanda McGovern, FCS teacher at Battle High School in Columbia, MO.

Since September 2013, McGovern has used Baby to provide her Child Development 1 & 2 students with authentic, hands-on learning experiences as they discuss human development. As a result, McGovern’s 14- to 18-year-old students leave the classroom more prepared for children in the future and for careers related to child care.

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“The Babies have become so much more than just a project for these students,” said McGovern, who has 11 RealCare Baby 3 infant simulators and one RealCare® Pregnancy Profile® Simulator. “They have really become a great discussion piece for choosing to parent or building their resumes for jobs.”

Now, McGovern incorporates these experiential learning tools and the accompanying curricula regularly, sending Babies home with students for the weekend and also using them during in-class “Baby Bootcamp” sessions. During these sessions, McGovern turns all 11 Babies to demonstration mode and students practice changing their clothes and getting them in and out of car seats while addressing their frequent needs.

“I love the authentic learning, and the reports are incredible,” said McGovern. “I use the provided curriculum frequently to engage students and provide multiple means of learning. It’s easily integrated into classes and provides a great variety of activities. Students are challenged to do this project and take of this Baby for longer than most have ever cared for a real child. The experience takes them out of their comfort zone, and the learning is authentic. It really makes an impact on students now and in the future.”

The American Association of Family and Consumer Sciences has declared July 14-21 “Making a Difference with Family and Consumer Sciences” week as part of their efforts to advocate for FCS programs. To learn about more inspiring FCS professionals and what you can do to advocate for FCS, visit the AAFCS website here

Keep your Babies looking like new with these RealCare Baby cleaning tips [Free download]

By Nate Schlieve, Realityworks Product Support Technician

Anyone who has ever sent RealCare Baby out for a simulation experience knows that eventually, Baby is going to need to be washed. But what are the best ways to safely and effectively clean RealCare Baby infant simulators?

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To wash Baby’s clothing, use cold water and ensure the washer is set to a gentle cycle. You can tumble dry the clothing on a low cycle, but we recommend line drying or air fluffing to reduce wear and tear.

To remove dirt stains from Baby’s vinyl, we recommend the following commercially available cleaning products:

  • Goop® hand cleaner with pumice
  • GoJo® orange pumice hand cleaner
  • Clean® Magic Eraser
  • Acne cream
  • Baking soda
  • Soft Scrub® cleanser without bleach
  • Oxi Clean®
  • Mild dish soap
  • All-purpose cleaner
  • Rubbing alcohol

To remove ink stains from Baby’s vinyl:

  • Place a small amount of Clearasil Acne Cream (10% Benzyl Peroxide) on the stained area, then leave Baby in direct sunlight for 1-3 days. Wash stained areas with a combination of Goop or GoJo and water.

Please note that removing ink stains from Baby’s vinyl has proved to be much more difficult than removing dirt stains.

For a complete list of cleaning suggestions, download this document.

Do you have a question for our Product Support Team? Contact us by calling 1-800-830-1416, option 2, or emailing productsupport@realityworks.com.