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.

Trade Up & Go Green: How our RealCare® Baby Trade-In Program Impacts the Environment

By Emily Kuhn, Realityworks Marketing Automation Specialist

Realityworks, Inc., is proud to be one of several Eau Claire, Wisconsin businesses to have been awarded the Green Business Award by the Eau Claire Area Chamber of Commerce last month. We earned the recognition for our commitment to green business practices and efforts to ensure that our company – from the way we manufacture our products to the methods of recycling we offer customers who upgrade – follows environmentally sustainable practices.

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Here at Realityworks, we are constantly looking at the impact of and waste produced by our products and reevaluating as needed to determine where improvements can be made. Why? We believe that it’s our responsibility as a company to help make the world a better place, and we work to accomplish this through our programs and our everyday actions.

Those actions include redesigning products in the middle of a life cycle when needed, and rewarding customers who return old products to us for recycling.

For example, the latest generation RealCare® Baby 3 relies on rechargeable batteries for operation rather than alkaline ones. This redesign has not only saved customers money, but reduced the use and disposal of more than 192,000 C batteries per year.

Additionally, the design of new RealCare Babies allows programming to be done on a computer rather than a hand-held unit, reducing unnecessary plastic and electronic materials. This eliminated over 2,000 standalone boxes per year – a dramatic reduction of approximately 2,000 pounds of plastic and electronics waste annually.

Furthermore, our current RealCare Baby Trade-Up Program offers customers the chance to earn up to $100 in credit towards the latest generation RealCare Baby 3 for every old model they trade in. We even offer an additional reward for those who physically mail their infant simulators to us for recycling!

Through this program, we have recycled more than 40,000 pounds of materials to date – some of which has been used to make recycled lawn chairs! It’s definitely proven to be a successful way of collecting and properly disposing of unused materials that may have ended up in a landfill.

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Our mission clearly states that “our community, country, and planet can look to us as responsible corporate citizens,” and our RealCare Baby Trade-Up Program is just one of the ways in which we strive to achieve that mission. Click here for details about our trade-up program and learn how your old Babies can earn credit and help you go green.

What do you do to help ensure your programs and actions are environmentally sustainable? Share your stories and ideas in the comments below.

3 Ways to Ensure a Successful RealCare Baby Program This School Year

By Nate Schlieve, Realityworks Product Support Technician

By now, many educators around the country have returned to their classrooms and removing their RealCare® Baby infant simulators from storage in preparation for a new round of simulation experiences. Before sending your Babies out, review the following steps to make sure you are properly prepared.

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First, make sure that you are using the most recent version of Control Center Software. Due to summer updates, upgraded computers, etc., many instructors return to their classrooms to discover that their Control Center Software is missing from their computer or they’re using an outdated version. If this happens to you, rest assured that there is an easy fix: You can install the most recent version by clicking here. This version of Control Center Software works with RealCare Baby II-Plus and RealCare Baby 3, and the link bypasses the need for an installation CD.

Second, take some time to reacquaint yourself with how Baby functions. The best way to do this is to watch this 20-minute RealCare Program Tutorial, which covers installing the Control Center Software, charging Babies, adding Babies to the software, programming them for a simulation, printing a report and more.

Third, review our comprehensive Product Support Center. This online center contains a plethora of resources for RealCare Baby users, including printable how-to documents, videos and FAQs.

Looking for additional RealCare Baby resources as the school year commences? Check out:

RealCare Baby users, do you have any other tips for educators who are just starting their programs? Share your thoughts in the comments below!

15 RealCare® Baby Tips to Help Your Program Succeed This School Year

Across the country, educators are returning to their classrooms and preparing for the 2015-2016 academic year. Classrooms are being organized, lesson plans reviewed and RealCare® Baby infant simulators are being removed from summer storage. Whether you are a new or experienced user, here are 15 RealCare Baby tips from seasoned Baby users to help your program succeed this school year!

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  1. Before deploying Baby each week, charge it overnight to ensure a full 7 day’s use.
  2. During your unit on infant health and safety, invite a guest speaker to present information on the dangers of leaving infants unattended in hot cars.
  3. Use Mr. Clean® Magic Erasers® to easily remove dirt and grime from Baby’s vinyl.
  4. When covering teen pregnancy prevention, invite a real teen parent to share their personal story about being a teen parent and the challenges presented by the situation.
  5. Give your students access to the RealCare Baby Guide app (available for iPhone and Android) so they can easily access “how-to” info, FAQs and video guides 24/7 to help them with their care experience.
  6. Arrange for your class to tour the local hospital’s maternity ward to show students what will happen when they become parents.
  7. Have your students visit Costo, Target or Wal-Mart to calculate the price of 1 month’s worth of diapers, formula and other infant necessities to understand the cost of having an infant.
  8. Number all accessories that come with each Baby to easily track parts.
  9. Take advantage of our storage solutions, which include small and large carts as well as soft-sided cases that both store and charge Baby.
  10. To teach the cost of caring for an infant, have your students create a monthly baby budget that factors in diapers, food, transportation and child care.
  11. Encourage students to journal about their experience caring for Baby, then share excerpts with their classmates.
  12. Encourage the parents of your student caregivers to make their child’s simulation as realistic as possible by requiring them to complete basic household chores or take care of meals while caring for Baby.
  13. Help your school raise money for additional Babies by arranging for community members to “adopt” new Babies. Provide those community members with “birth certificates” and subsequent photos of their Baby making a difference in your classroom.
  14. Encourage your students to go at least one public outing while caring for Baby to give them a glimpse of what traveling with an infant can be like.
  15. To complete your students’ parenting experience, encourage them (both males and females) to don our Pregnancy Profile for a specified time period prior to taking Baby home.

How are you making the most of your RealCare program this school year? Share your tips and ideas in the comments!

Customer success story: RealCare® Baby provides MO FACS students with authentic learning experiences

AmandaKlenke-HeadshotSince September 2013, Battle High School Family & Consumer Sciences Teacher Amanda Klenke has used Realityworks’ RealCare® Baby infant simulators to provide her Child Development 1 & 2 students with authentic, hands-on learning experiences as they discuss human development. As a result, Klenke’s 14- to 18-year-old students leave the classroom more prepared for children in the future and  or careers related to child care.

“The Babies have become so much more than just a project for these students,” said Klenke, 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.”

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Battle High School students experience RealCare® Baby infant simulators during weekend simulations and in-class “Baby Bootcamp” sessions.

 

The electronic infant simulators cry for care throughout the day and night and require regular changing, feeding, burping and rocking. They also monitor surrounding
temperatures, track how long they sit unattended in car seats and how often their clothing is changed. All of this data is wirelessly tracked and used to generate caregiver reports. The Pregnancy Profile simulates the final trimester of pregnancy, allowing users  to feel what it is like to be 9 months pregnant. Klenke acquired the Babies, car seats,  accessories and program materials in June 2013, and started getting to know her new additions right away. As Klenke recalls, understanding the best way to use these powerful imulators required time, but was the process was made easier thanks to support provided  by Realityworks.

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Battle High School students are required to complete follow-up writing assignments following their weekend simulation experiences with RealCare® Baby.

 

“I spent lots of time on the Realityworks website and with the help line,” recalls Klenke. “The more I used them, the more comfortable I became with their needs and knowing what to expect.”

Click here to download Klenke’s full testimonial and learn how she uses these experiential learning products to provide her high school students with hands-on child development education. 

Not Just for the Classroom: How RealCare Baby is Helping Inmates Hone Nurturing Skills

By Emily Kuhn, Realityworks Marketing Automation Specialist

RealCare Baby isn’t just for the classroom. After all, the child care skills this infant simulator helps teach can be used by anyone who might eventually need to care for an infant, whether that person is a high school student, a parent-to-be, a nursing student or in this case, a prison inmate.

As Good4Utah.com first reported on March 11, twelve inmates from the Utah State Prison are currently completing a prison parenting course in which they’re paired with other inmates to care for RealCare Baby infant simulators. By responding to the simulator’s cries for feeding, diapering, rocking and burping, as well as supporting its head, changing its clothes and more, these inmates are learning valuable nurturing skills they can use in other aspects of their life, in and out of prison.

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As seen in the above video clip from ABC 4 Utah/KTVX, Utah State Prison inmates must respond to all of RealCare Baby’s needs: feeding, burping, rocking and changing. Caring for Baby is part of a parenting class at the prison that helps teach inmates nurturing skills.

RealCare Baby is all about tapping into the power of experiential learning. Twenty years ago, the original Baby Think It Over® program was designed to help participants understand what it was like to be the teen parent or caregiver of an infant. Two decades later, Realityworks’ RealCare Baby Program continues to teach participants the many ways that having an infant would impact their life on physical, emotional, social and financial levels, enabling them to experience a taste of parenthood.

In the Utah State Prison program, that experience is helping teach important parenting and life skills that be used once inmates are released, like nurturing and attachment, relationships, communication, the role of the father, literacy development, parenting styles and much more.

The many ways that the RealCare Program can be applied is limited only by our imagination. Baby has successfully touched the lives of participants many types of programs, including:

  • Babysitting classes
  • FACS classes
  • Prisons
  • After-school programs
  • Home visits by social workers
  • Prenatal education classes

What other programs or courses do you think would benefit from experiential learning products like RealCare Baby? Share your feedback in the comments!

From our Product Support Team: A Simple Way to Improve Baby-to-Software Communication

By Nate Schlieve, Realityworks Product Support Technician

RealCare® Baby users know how easy the latest version of Control Center Software makes programming and reporting on these infant simulators. However, what if your Baby is communicating with the Control Center and suddenly rejects your commands, gives you a status of “fail” or is or is stuck in “pending” or “report due?”

Caused by environmental interference (WiFi, walls, wireless communications, certain florescent lights, etc.), these communication errors seldom occur, but when they do, the solution is simple – and if you’re trying to retrieve data, you will not lose any of the information.

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First, remove the Baby’s battery cover using your battery key. With the cover off, press down and hold on the black reset button (shown below, circled in red) for the count of five. Doing so will cause all of the lights to turn off. After a count of five, release the button. The lights will turn back on, and you can resend the command again.

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If a communication error is encountered when sending or retrieving data, reset RealCare Baby by pressing and holding the reset button by Baby’s battery pack for 5 seconds.

If you have any questions about this information or need other assistance, feel free to contact our Product Support team by phone, 800.830-1416, option 2, or visit our online Product Support Center for 24/7 support, tips, video tutorials, FAQs and more!