Hi-Tech Homework for Some Vigo County Students

By Kellie Bartoli

Published 02/26 2014 05:40PM

Updated 02/26 2014 06:41PM

All three Vigo County high schools have a few new classmates - simulated babies that are pretty close to the real thing. It's a way to show teens the responsibility of parenthood.

It's all part of a child development class, and this take home project has the students caring for a baby all day... and all night.

Oh the sounds of new parenthood...

"I tried everything, I tried burping it, I tried rocking it, I tried everything and it just would not stop."

"It's harder than it looks."

"How many times it would cry and when it would cry and how long it would cry! And how long you have to sit up and burp it."

Luckily for these kids, it only lasted a few days.

Say hello to "Baby Think It Over."

It's a simulation program that looks, acts, and yes, sounds, just like a real baby.

"You feed it, burp it, whatever...you have to figure out what it wants, change the diaper. And then it stops crying for a little bit and you go to sleep... and then it starts to cry again!," said David Wellman, a sophomore at Terre Haute South.

The students take the baby home over a weekend, and wear a special wristband which means only they can care for the little one during all hours.

"And then you get more stressed because you're half asleep and the baby just won't stop and finally when you do get it to go back to sleep, an hour later you're up again," said Terre Haute South freshman Mallory Price.

At the end of that long weekend, a printout shows the teens' parenting skills, detailing how many diaper changes were missed, if they held the baby correctly, even how long the infant cried.

"Babies don't tell you what they did or what they're crying for so you have to figure it out and on this baby you do too," said Adejiona Gunn, Terre Haute South sophomore.

Price adds: "You're exhausted, you're constantly tired...you don't get much of a break."

While this is just an extra credit assignment the students can sign up for, these pseudo-parents are getting a crash course is a real life skill - and it's making them think twice about the future and planning more for parenthood.

"It wasn't that easy," said Price.

 "I definitely don't want to have a child until I'm married and financially stable," said Price. "Are you going to be able to support it? Is that baby gonna have the life that you want it to have?"

The students also have in-class demonstrations with drug-addicted babies and shaken babies, showing the severity - even fatal consequences.
The babies and all their accessories are each about $800.

Terre Haute South has five take-home babies and three class models on hand.

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