Photo Credit: Children's Trust Fund of Missouri
Baby Think it Over Program
Any parent knows that dealing with a newborn baby can be difficult, time consuming and exhausting. The late-night feeding, the inexplicable crying, the inconvenient diaper changes; this is the around-the-clock care that is required. These are the realities of parenting. The Baby Think It Over (BTIO) program is designed to provide a simulated parenting experience to teenagers to help them understand the responsibilities of being a parent.
The Baby Think It Over (BTIO) program was initiated in Hillsdale in 1995 when the Hillsdale County Community Foundation provided funding to purchase dolls and start the program. Since 1995, the Baby Think It Over Program has grown as the old dolls were replaced with more technologically advanced successors. Today teens and students involved in the program interact with extremely realistic baby simulators that cry when they need attention, feeding, or a diaper change. CAPA’s BTIO dolls also require proper head support and proper handling. Rough handling, abuse and missed care are recorded and later translated into a grade through the computer software that interacts with the dolls. The students can then evaluate their performance. Regardless of the student’s score, the reaction is always the same. Students develop deep respect and understanding of the rigors of childcare. Students and young teens discover that being a parent is not something they would like to deal with in the near future.