The baby project


Jamie Vaughan

Students learn to care for infants with baby simulators in the child development class.

Jamie Vaughan, Staff Writer

Many students in Liberty’s child development classes have recently done one of their biggest projects of the year: the baby project.

The baby project is one of the first major grades of the six weeks; the students take home and care for infant simulators for approximately two days or 50 hours. The students must feed, change, burp and rock the baby. Failure to make the baby stop crying within the required time frame will result in points being deducted; any recorded abuse to the child will also result in points being deducted.

“A project like this is one of the most important things the students will learn in my class,” child development teacher Melinda Lennington said. “Learning how to care for children and babies is something that people have to know if they plan on being parents in the future.”

After a student has completed the required time with the baby, he or she fills out a worksheet that asks about some things that were experienced while taking care of the baby. Then, the student presents some of the skills that were have learned while taking care of the child. Skills such as how to feed the baby, what the changing cry sounds like and how to hold the baby’s neck properly are learned while caring for the child.

“I think that this project is a really good chance for the kids to see how their lives would change without actually having a baby,” Lennington said. “They can see how it’s a very selfless act—meeting the needs of another human being.”

Child development is a one-semester class that is available to sophomores, juniors and seniors. This is an ongoing project due to the limited amount of babies and large amount of students. After the first semester ends, students who are taking child development for the second semester get the opportunity to experience the assignment with the infant simulators.

Most of the students who take part in this simulation find that caring for a child is more difficult than many people might assume.

“My favorite thing about this project is how much I’ve learned,” sophomore Megan Gammill said. “I have learned that I am not ready to have a kid; I’m just a child myself.”