Teen Health Parenting Project
three parents
For Student reactions to the project, click here.


Babies Available
Student Parenting Contract
Information for Real Parents
How to Care for the Baby
Why the Baby Think It Over Baby Cries
Positioning, Tending
Rough Handling
Food, Clothing, Diapers
Features of the Babies
Parent Permission

What is the Baby Think it Over parenting project?

It is a unique class project exploring the emotional, social, and financial consequences of parenthood. The project involves an infant simulator (Baby) that will cry randomly day and night. Over a 24 hour period the Baby will cry from five to fifteen times. Each time the Baby cries, the student must insert a care key into the baby's computer (located in the baby's back) to simulate tending (feeding, changing diapers, etc.). The tending time may vary, but will total about two hours each 24 hour period.

An internal computer keeps track of any lack of care or abuse.
  • It records any abuse, which includes rough handling, dropping or hitting. After one of those episodes the baby will cry for a period of time and cannot be stopped.
  • It records the number of minutes the Baby was not tended after it began to cry.
  • It shuts down if the computer is removed from the Baby for more than five minutes.
  • The Baby it records the number of times the head was not properly supported.
  • Students wear a care key on a nonremovable bracelet. No on else can care for the baby.
  • When the Baby is returned, the computer is opened (it has a lock) and the care or lack of care will be available see.

Babies Available


Baby "Stacy "
Baby "Sally"

Baby " Sonia"**
Baby " Sandy"
** Identical Twins!

Features of the Babies

The babies are, "Generation 5" babies. These babies cry more realistically, and simulate the necessity of neck support. If the neck is unsupported, these babies will cry and the computer will record the lapse in care. In addition, these babies "coo" at the end of a care session (if the care was good) to reinforce excellent care.

Student Parenting Contract
As a responsible parent I promise to:

1. Care for the Baby as if it were a real,
....live baby.
2. Carry the Baby and all of the items needed to properly care for it with me at all
.....times, wherever I go.
3. Never leave the baby alone.
4. Protect the Baby from harm or harassment.
5. Never attempt to tamper with the electronics box .
6. Keep a complete record of all tending times.
7. Learn all I can about being a parent.
8. Remember that the "Baby" has a replacement cost of $250.00.

Information Sheet for Parents of Students

Your son or daughter has volunteered for a parenting simulation with a computerized doll. The simulation will be supervised by Mr. Olson. Students who volunteer will begin their project on Friday morning and conclude the project Monday morning.

 You should know that the "baby" cries at random intervals and requires round-the-clock care on the part of her teen “parent.” This simulation will be a challenge for your young adult. It will teach him or her more about the responsibilities of parenthood than any amount of lecturing could. Many teens who use the doll say that the experience motivates them to wait to have children. Since the simulation is demanding, please note how this project will affect you and your teenager:

 1. Your teen will be the single "parent" for 24 hours a day from Friday to Monday. The teen must drop whatever he/she is doing whenever their "child" needs attention. The device used for caring for the doll will be strapped to your teen’s wrist with a tamperproof bracelet. No baby sitters are allowed as your teen is the only one who can stop the baby when it cries.

 2. The baby will cry frequently (but briefly, if its “parent” is attentive). The crying pattern is random and will occur at intervals between one and six hours. When your teen is tending the baby this interval is also random, lasting between five and thirty-five minutes. The baby cries briefly when it is ready to go back to "sleep."

 3. The baby will wake your teenager at night, and possibly other family members, as well.

 4. The teen must use the supplied car seat to take the baby along wherever he or she goes.

 5. The baby is equipped with a monitoring device that allows Mr. Olson to tell if was was not tended when it cried, was shaken or dropped.

 6. Stacy is a delicate and expensive device ($250). Acceptance of this project means you accept financial responsibility if Stacy is lost, damaged, or destroyed.

 If you agree that your teen may participate, your input as a parent will be of great value. While caring for the baby is your teen’s responsibility, your son or daughter will need your encouragement and support. Many parents have found that the simulation opens new lines of communication with their teenagers.

 Please sign the parent permission form if you are willing to allow your son or daughter to participate in the Baby Think It Over project.

 If you have any comments or questions please feel free to contact Mr. Olson at

phone # 847-676-9010 ex. 7580.
e-mail: tolson@sd68.k12.il.us

Parent Permission

As the parent of guardian of a student who has volunteered to participate in the
Baby Think It Over Program, I have read and understand the following:
  •  The Baby Think It Over will require my son or daughter to be the sole caretaker of Baby Think It Over, a computerized infant simulator whose crying replicates that of an infant. The experience is intended to demonstrate to my son or daughter the full-time commitment required for parenting an infant.
  • The Baby cries at random intervals throughout the day and night. When it cries, it will be the responsibility of my son or daughter to attend to the Baby's need.
  • The baby's crying and need for care may cause my child to lose sleep and possibly disturb other family members.
  • I agree to be responsible for any damage that occurs while my son or daughter has the Baby.

How to Care The Baby Think it Over Baby

The Baby Think It Over baby is designed to help you understand what it’s like to be the primary caregiver of a real baby. Obviously, it can’t do everything a real baby can do. Probably the biggest differences are that the baby does not wet or soil diapers and does not laugh, smile or coo at you. The only form of feedback she can give you is her crying. You will be given a magnetic or plastic probe for “feeding” or “tending” the baby when he/she cries. The probe will be strapped to your wrist with a tamperproof armband to make sure that you are the only one who can feed the baby. This means you must keep the baby with you at all times.

Why Your Baby Cries

Real babies cry for many reasons. They may be hungry, wet, sick, or just want attention. The Baby Think It Over will cry for only four reasons:

1. The baby does not like the position

2. The baby needs feeding or tending,

3. The baby wants to go to sleep, or

4. The baby has been handled too roughly.

These reasons for crying, and how you should respond to them are described below.

The baby wants to be on her back or side, lying down, at all times. There are two reasons for this. First infants can not sit up, and second, doctors don’t recommend putting infants on their stomachs to sleep. So do not sit your baby up, and do not put her on her stomach. If you do, she will cry. If someone else puts her in the wrong position, correct it quickly. Try experimenting with the baby to see what positions she does and does not like. Do not let her cry more than a few seconds at a time.

Note: Never lay the baby down on newsprint, magazines, or new colored clothing. The dyes in all of these can rub off on the baby’s skin and be very difficult to remove.


At random intervals, the baby will cry because she needs care. With a real baby, this care could be feeding, diaper changing, or bathing. You will simulate all of those activities with the magnetic probe that is strapped to your armband. You will not actually be doing any of those things, but you must spend about the same amount of time that those activities would take.

You will not know ahead of time when the baby will need tending, but you can tell she does when she suddenly starts crying even though she is correctly positioned. The crying is the signal to you to pick the baby up, hold in a normal feeding position, and insert the probe in the small hole at the lower right-hand corner of the electronics box. Push the probe in all the way up to the clear plastic tubing.

 During the tending you should simulate feeding the baby with the a bottle. Also, diapers may be changed. When you give this care make a note of it on the care diary.

 As long as you hold the probe in place, the baby will not cry. The feeding or care period can last as little as 5 minutes, as much as 35 minutes, or anywhere in between. The signal that the baby is finished is when he/she starts to cry again. Take out the probe and the baby will stop crying in a few seconds.
Rough Handling

Babies need gentle treatment, and your baby is no exception. If the Baby is handled too roughly, it will cry. Here are a few possible causes of rough handling:

  • Dropping the baby on the floor
  • Throwing the baby in the air and catching
  • Other students deliberately hitting or throwing the baby
  • Shaking the baby

 It’s your job as a parent to protect your child. Don’t put the Baby in dangerous situations. Don’t give the baby to pranksters who may think it’s funny to hurt it. If your baby is handled roughly, it will cry for 30 seconds, and you will not be able to comfort it.

Food, Clothing, and Diapers

You will be given supplies that would be necessary for a real baby,such as diapers, bottles, and a carrier to transport the baby. Since these items would be necessary with a real baby, you must take them with you everywhere you go. The baby should be strapped in to a seat belt like a real baby.



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