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.