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Mr. Swanhorst's Health classes recently went through orientation for the Real Care Baby program. The core of the program is an infant care simulation using the newest and most realistic infant simulator available. The program helps students explore how important it is to be physically, emotionally, and socially mature. In addition, the program covers the financial consequences of parenthood with the goal of teaching young people how important the job of raising a child is and how important it is to be ready for this commitment.

The infant simulator will cry according to its 24-hour schedule, and require the participant to provide care for it. The student responds by bringing an electronic ID near Baby so Baby can recognize its correct caregiver and then figuring out what kind of care Baby needs. Baby needs to be fed, burped, rocked and have its diaper changed. Baby will also cry if it is roughly handled, held in a position it does not like, or if the head is not properly supported. There are also happy and fussy times.

The students select a weekend to take the baby, at the end of the school week, and return the baby and materials at the beginning of the next school week. The students were recently able to practice meeting the needs of the babies in class while the simulators were set to Demo.