Baby Blues

Students in Child Development get a taste of parenthood with electronic babies


Alyssa Tiongson

Freshman Macey Reich carries her electronic baby down the FACS hall. Students in Ms. Dickens’ Child Development class took home electronic babies for a weekend to learn more about parenting.

Students of South High can begin to experience what it’s like to be a full-time parent while juggling work and school through an assignment in Child Development.

At South High, a lot of students take Child Development and have to take home an electronic baby, and do other activities to experience what it’s like to be a parent. Students have the baby Friday-Sunday and the baby turns on at 4 p.m. Friday, and turns off at 11 p.m. Sunday. Students get their results the following Monday when they return to school. 

Freshman Alexa Arce said she was eager to take Child Development, and to be able to take one of the electronic babies home and to get a head start on what it will be like to be a parent.  

“I heard a lot of my friends were taking it, and I felt like I needed to know how to take care of a kid for when I’m older,” she said. 

Arce was also worried about how the assignment will be graded, and was beginning to have second thoughts days before she got the baby. 

“I heard that a lot of people failed and a lot of people said it was stressful,” she said. 

Freshman Macey Reich said she has gathered a lot of information on how to be a full-time parent, while also losing a lot of sleep, due to her taking an electronic baby home over the weekend. 

“Babies wake up too much in the night; they don’t give you much free time to hang out with friends, or to do everyday things,” Reich said. 

Freshman Carl Bevineau was one of a few boys who took the electronic baby home, and he was about to realize how hard it really is to take care of a baby, from waking up in the middle of the night to feeding the baby, and also changing the diaper, and also having to take it everywhere he goes whether it’s work, school, or practice for sports. 

“More guys need to take this class because they need to be prepared for when they’re older,” Bevineau said. 

Child Development teacher Monica Dickens has been checking out babies for about 14 years, and she loves it. She believes that these babies are best for giving an almost realistic experience. 

“I think the electronic baby simulation is the best experience to give high school students a glimpse of what it is like to be a parent,” Dickens said. 

In Child Development, students also get to learn how it feels to be 8 months pregnant by wearing an empathy belly. 

“We wear empathy bellies in Child Development where you, as a student, get to experience what it’s like to be 8 months pregnant! The students love it and they are more aware of how a pregnant woman feels during the last trimester of pregnancy,” Dickens said.

Overall, most students end up having a hard time getting a good grade on the electronic baby assignment because the babies have a sensitive neck, and students forget and end up holding the neck wrong and it’s a part of their assignment where they lose the most points.

“There are a range of results. Just last weekend, almost everyone got 90%! There were still two students who neglected their baby or were too rough with the baby. The baby has a sensitive neck to ensure you hold it carefully each time and unfortunately, some students forget that,” Dickens said.