The Real Care Baby II is a sophisticated simulation module in the Baby Think It Over Program. It requires students to care for the baby simulation doll over the weekend and keep a journal of their actions with it. Students get limited instructions going into the project. Knowing what teachers do about the baby's demands, and the computer programming which controls it, can make the difference between a passing and failing grade.
Timing Out Care Events
Student care instructions claim the baby's cries are "random" and the care schedule cannot be predicted. In truth, the baby is powered by a sophisticated computer program with a set schedule. The trick to anticipating care is determining which of the 15 possible settings your baby is programmed to. Easy settings have nine to 15 minutes between care events. The care events take place every two to 14 minutes on medium settings, and one to eight minutes on hard settings. Track the amount of time between cries to determine the average time between demands for your baby.
If you know of an upcoming obstacle that will keep you from tending to the baby, ask your teacher in advance for a "quiet period." Babies can be programmed with up to three quiet periods during which it sleeps and does not demand care. If an emergency occurs after the simulation begins, the student can end the project rather than trying to continue the project at risk of failure. There is an emergency shut off directly below the "Real Care Baby II" label on the doll's back, just above the contact point. Use a small piece of wire or the end of a pencil to push the button.
Order of Care
Students must care for the baby when it cries. The basic instructions say to pass the large charm on the ID bracelet over one of the baby's contact points. When it chimes, you use trial and error to work through all the possible care scenarios until the crying stops. The trick is to follow a basic hierarchy of needs, based on the care you have already provided. You should feed, burp, change and rock the baby in that order without repeating the last care act. If what you are doing does not stop the crying after 10 seconds, change tactics. If nothing else calms the baby, it needs to be comforted more. Rock the baby until it begins to make breathing sounds and continue until it coos.
If the Real Care Baby has been handled roughly, shaken or improperly held, it could record an "abuse" and will need to be rocked until it stops crying. This can take several minutes. Also, if a baby stops feeding but does not coo, a mishandling has been recorded during the feeding. The baby will store up to 49 abuse records, so they're expected. Acknowledge every abuse in your journal, and provide a detailed and legitimate reason for why the abuse occurred. Teachers will take into consideration the circumstances surrounding the record, and a reasonable explanation can save points on your grade.