Back to Baby Basics: Students Learn Child Care

Andrea Salow

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Your baby cries in the middle of the night. Is he sick or is he hungry? Will you know what to do when this happens to you?

For seven students taking Parenting I class this term, this won’t be a problem because of the knowledge they’ve learned about parenting and taking care of infants and children.

“The class focuses on child development and the skills required to manage, communicate, and care for children as it pertains to the developmental stage of the child,” Parenting I teacher Christian Carper said.

Students were given a baby simulator to watch over for one weekend. Each student wore a bracelet that corresponded to a sensor inside their baby. Through this technology, the student could burp, feed, change, and rock their child.

If the student was too busy, they were allowed to let another person, a “babysitter,” watch their baby with another bracelet specifically for the “babysitter.”

“It was definitely stressful to take care of (the baby) the whole time,” senior Cayleigh Schlichte said. “Even if you couldn’t take care of it for a while and had a babysitter, whatever happened to the baby, with or without you, determined part of your grade.”

No matter how stressful the task was, Schlichte felt Parenting I helped her learn useful information like what illnesses children are prone to in early childhood and how to be a good parent for the future.

Carper feels Parenting I teaches concepts and skills that transfer to other areas of life. “Not only do these skills relate to children, but the skills are transferable to work situations, friendships, and more intimate relationships,” Carper said. “This class gives students the opportunity to find out for themselves if parenting is something that is right for them.​”

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