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!

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!

Adjusting the RealCare® Baby Grading Scale

By Nate Schlieve, Realityworks Product Support Technician

  • Do you feel that you to make adjustments to the points taken off for each mishandle event?
  • Do you think that points should be reduced or increased to better reflect what you feel is appropriate for your grading scale?
  • Did you know that you can change the points taken off for each mishandle event?

We can help! Just follow these four easy steps…

  1. First, go to any class folder, select any report and click “View”
  2. On the view report screen, click where it says “Edit Rubric”
  3. A new window will open and in there you can increase or decrease points for each mishandle event
  4. Click “OK” and all reports, past-present-future will now reflect the new point system

For more product support tips make sure to check out our Product Support Page and our Pinterest Board too!

3 Reasons to Meet Us in Vegas for RealCare® Baby Basics and Best Practices

Every year, the Realityworks team journeys to the largest annual gathering of Career & Technical Education (CTE) professionals in a single location: the Association for Career & Technical Education (ACTE)’s CareerTech VISION Conference. In fact, we start planning for this conference a good year in advance! For the first time, we are planning a pre-conference workshop on Wednesday, November 30 all about RealCare Baby. Designed for current and prospective users, this pre-conference session is an opportunity for you to learn from a subject matter expert in person! Why join us in Vegas on November 30?

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1. Get RealCare Baby program best practices. What are the best ways to engage students with RealCare Baby? How can you use this powerful tool to make an even bigger impact on your students? What are seasoned users doing to succeed? We’ll answer these questions and more!

2. Discover career exploration activities. Did you know that RealCare Baby can help your students prepare for careers in education and human services? Join us to get ideas and activities that will help you prepare your students for careers.

3. Get our NEW RealCare™ Preemie Baby. Have you heard? The RealCare™ Preemie Baby is our newest experiential learning tool. It’s modeled after a preterm infant born at 30 weeks and is designed to help students, caregivers and parents-to-be understand the unique challenges and often complicated medical problems that can be associated with preterm birth. By attending our pre-conference workshop, you’ll receive a complimentary Preemie Baby from Realityworks!

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What: RealCare® Baby Basics and Best Practices
When: Wednesday, November 30, from 1-5:00 p.m.
Cost: $150

Ready to register? Visit the conference 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.

On the Road with Realityworks: RealCare Baby Tips from the 2015 Nebraska Career Education Conference

by Denise Bodart, Realityworks RealCare Product Manager

Summer is a busy time at Realityworks – we attend more tradeshows and conferences in June, July and August than any other time of the year. Last week, several of us took a road trip from our Wisconsin headquarters to Kearney, NE for the 2015 Nebraska Career Education Conference.

There, we spent the morning training a room full of local Family & Consumer Sciences teachers. As is often the case when we interact with educators, our NE trainees shared a plethora of RealCare® Baby tips and program best practices throughout the session that we’d like to share with you:

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  • Always send Baby home for more than one night! One night is fun; it’s easily seen as a “slumber party” and not taken as seriously. Multiple nights are recommended to give students the full responsibility of what it means to be a teen parent.
  • Get your faculty involved. The more buy-in and support you can get, the better and more realistic the experience will be. For example, if you use Baby in a Marriage and Family class, you can pair two students up to be the parents. Then, ask various faculty members to act as the bank, the daycare, the employer, etc., and have students work through a financial scenario of budgeting with a young child.
  • Get your community involved. Bring in guest speakers from a variety of settings. Professionals such as daycare workers, social workers, adoption coordinators, pediatricians and anyone who works with infants and families would be great for career exploration.
  • Give back. If you receive donated funds, time or resources from community organizations throughout the year, plan a year-end thank you luncheon for everyone to celebrate the year’s accomplishments.
  • Toot your own horn. The RealCare Baby program is a great way get positive press and publicity for your school and FACS program. Invite a local paper or media outlet to interview students about their experience taking Baby home.
  • Reflect. Have students journal about their experience with Baby during and after the simulation has ended. Ask them to consider key questions like “How did people react when they saw you in public?” and “How did Baby impact your social life?”
  • Use the curriculum, but make it your own. The lessons that come with RealCare Baby and the other pieces of the Total Parenting Experience product line are great. However, take time to read through and integrate it into your program, making it personal.
  • Use social media to get students connect with other students locally and across the country. Many students tweet and post entries to a variety of social media sites during the simulation experience. Hashtags like #RealCareBaby can be found across the internet.
  • Don’t be afraid to be a spy. Use the “Get Report” feature to check on how students are progressing during a simulation. Just make sure Baby is in your classroom close to your computer and it will be available to report back. This way you can offer support and advice to students during their simulation instead of all at the end.

We hope you’ll find these tips helpful. We’ll see you on the road! Click here to see where we’ll be next.

Getting Started with RealCare Baby: 3 Steps New Program Users Should Take

By Samantha Forehand, Realityworks Marketing Communications Manager

“Help! I’m a new RealCare® Baby Program user. Where do I begin?”

Beginning a brand-new educational program or inheriting an existing one isn’t always easy, but thanks to our Product Support Team, knowing where to go to get started is.

One of questions our Product Support Team receives most frequently is, ‘Where do I being with RealCare Baby?” Whether you are just beginning RealCare Baby Program or inheriting a current one, we have the resources to get you started running a successful program of your own.

Here are the three steps we recommend new RealCare Baby Program Users take:

Step 1: Watch RealCare Product Manager Denise Bodart’s 30-minute webinar, “Where do I Begin with RealCare Baby?
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This webinar features a review of what’s included with RealCare Baby 3, how to add and program RealCare Baby and how to interpret the post-simulation report

Step 2: Get to know Baby, what’s included with Baby and what you need to run your program.

Which version of Baby do you have? If you’ve inherited an existing program and need to verify which version of Baby you already have, click here.

What do you need to run Baby? Each RealCare Baby 3 includes a two-piece outfit, sleeper, infant bodysuit, set of color-coded diapers, bottle, ID with wristband and a charger. You will also need Control Center Software and an XStick for programming and reporting.

Can you get updated versions of the Control Center Software? Yes, updates are FREE. Download an updated version here.

What do the three lights on Baby’s back mean? Click here to watch a 1-minute review of these lights so you always know what Baby is trying to tell you!

Step 3: Review our Product Support Center for additional video tutorials, FAQs and downloads that will help you jumpstart your program.

Completion certificates, birth certificates, Control Center Software programming and reporting tips and participant experience information are just a few of the resources you’ll find in our online Product Support Center.

In the 20 years since RealCare Baby was born, we have diligently worked with educators and program supporters to update Baby and its supporting materials. Take the time to explore these resources so you can deploy the most impactful program possible. If you need additional support or resources, our Product Support team can be contacted via email or by phone: productsupport@realityworks.com or 800.830.1416. They are always happy to help!

15 RealCare® Baby Tips to Help Make Your Program More Successful

By Emily Kuhn, Realityworks Marketing Automation Specialist

Having used RealCare® Baby in educational settings for almost two decades, Family & Consumer Sciences teachers know Baby almost as well as we do. In fact, many educators are regularly finding new ways to make their RealCare programs more meaningful, and we are constantly amazed at the simple yet powerful ideas they come up with. Whether you are a new or experienced user, here are 15 RealCare Baby tips from seasoned Baby users to help make your program more successful.

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Find all 15 RealCare Baby tips, plus school funding resources, program ideas and more, on our Pinterest page!

  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? Share your tips and ideas in the comments!