It’s a Boy

Students in Child Development Care for Simulation Babies

Allie Ament, Staff Writer

On Sept. 9, 2016, “Jonathan” was brought into this world weighing 8 pounds, 13 ounces and measured 20 inches long. Blue Valley became a home to Jonathan, and his mother was sophomore Abby Solomon.screen-shot-2016-10-27-at-8-20-53-am

In the last month, walking around the halls of BV has become quite interesting since students in Human Growth and Child Development have taken on the responsibility of caring for a baby. From hallways filled with just students to hallways now filled with baby carriers, BV has a whole new atmosphere.

The class teaches students the fundamentals of parenting and provides a better understanding of children. The reason behind the real-care baby assignment is to see first-hand how caring for a baby presents its own challenges.

This project also raises awareness about teen pregnancy and is supposed to show teens what kind of hard work is required in caring for a child on your own. The project is serving its purpose, and so far, all students have come back ready to hand over the baby for good.

screen-shot-2016-10-27-at-8-20-56-amJunior Kaysha Foil took home his real-care baby the first weekend, Sept 9.

“Carrying my baby around the school attracted a lot of stares and questions but mostly made people laugh,” Foil said.

“My favorite part of the project was handing the baby back over to Mrs. [Kendra] Smith,” Foil said. “I want my sleep and social life back.”

BV students realize caring for a baby has some major drawbacks when still wanting to enjoy freedom and independence.

“The project may seem fun and a little stupid at first, but caring for a baby doll isn’t as easy as it sounds,” Solomon said. “The hardest part was trying to sleep. I’d wake up to the sound of a baby crying and screaming at 3 a.m. and have to change its diaper, feed it, rock it or burp it. It was exhausting.”

Taking home the real-care baby didn’t stop students from participating in their daily routines — they just now had to do everything with a baby in their arms.

“I was out to eat, and the baby started crying,” senior Grace Bamburg said. “Right then and there, I had to figure out what was wrong and drop everything I was doing.”screen-shot-2016-10-27-at-8-21-00-am

Junior Grace Euler is on the cross country team, but she said having the responsibility of a baby didn’t stop her from running three miles.

“I brought a stroller from my house and wrapped the baby with a scarf so the baby wouldn’t bounce around and just ran till I heard the baby cry,” she said. “At times, I had to stop and feed her for 20 minutes but coach [Manal] Siam was super sweet and pushed her stroller while I fed her. It was really funny to see all the looks I got pushing a stroller and being so young.”

Though most students found this project overwhelming and exhausting, they gained experiences that can’t be taught in a classroom.

“Overall, it was a unique experience,” Bamburg said. “It’s something I’ll take away and remember my whole life.”