Meet Ellias Grayson. We’ve been anticipating his arrival since the summer and we are so happy he’s finally here!
Ellias is a special kind of baby. A teaching baby, or as the company calls it a “Baby Think It Over”. I saw the “robo-baby” on a TV show over the summer and that’s what sparked my interest. A few online searches brought me to Home School Babies. Basically, it’s like the cliche “egg baby project” that you hear about for high schoolers, but with a very realistic twist! The baby is programmed for the duration of your time with him at home and needs everything from feeding, changing, burping, and even knows when you’re giving him a cuddle. It comes with pretty much everything you need and anytime baby “needs” something you swipe your key card against his little butt and start delivering whatever care baby needs, the really cool thing is that just like a real baby you have no idea what that care might be and so you just start going through the motions.
Livs was anxious and excited to get the project going so as soon as baby arrived we took him out of the box and popped in the batteries.
He was a little harder than we anticipated but otherwise, his length and weight were similar to a newborn baby. Because I’m a crazy person I thought a couple of weeks would be a good time frame, in hindsight I’m grateful that Livs convinced me to pair it down to 5 nights. That was plenty to get the point across.
What is the point you ask?
Well… We all want our kiddos to make it out into the big wide world in a little better spot than the parent. Soooooo I thought a little perspective on midnight feedings might offer a little insight. We are quite open and honest with our kiddos about lots of different things, and even though I love my kiddos more than anything in the whole wide world, my situation, specifically starting our little family at such a young age and under such interesting circumstances, is really an exception to the rule. I think the Grandmas reading this post would both agree that there were many hesitations when Hubby and I announced our little bun on the oven. And frankly, I’d like my kiddos to live a little before they commit to families and such. Again, while it all turned out just the way it was supposed to for us, not every young family is lucky enough to have the same positive experience.
So I just wanted to offer the kids a little glimpse into what it’s really like, at least as close as we could get with our little robo-baby.
Ryder was less than thrilled with the project. He wasn’t even really that involved except for the fact that ya know cardboard walls and that baby was LOUD! Ha! But, in our household, we teach equal responsibility when it comes to pregnancy and such. Plus we tend to do everything as a family and this was no exception, well, except for night care that was all Livs! I did my time 🙂
When we first “activated” baby he slept for a few hours and then once he cried his first cry we realized it was just the beginning. It didn’t take long for Livs to settle in though. And what I mean by settle in is, “Mooooommmm, he won’t stop crying all I want to do is watch Tik Tok.” HAHAHA! My favorite moment ever!
And actually seeing her take care of the baby made me so grateful that we had our kiddos before phones came along. It’s actually something I think of often, but I think I would have been an awful mom to young children if I had my phone to keep me occupied. This picture epitomizes, in my opinion, how phones have impacted our child-rearing. These devices pull us away from “real life” so often, and I am just as guilty, but I wonder how that will impact how we bond with our babies. Anyways…
So on with the project! At first, it seemed like baby wasn’t really going to “act” like a real baby but starting at about midnight that first night he was just as perfect as any other newborn. Round the clock feedings, diapering, burping, and rocking. And just when you thought you had done all the things and he was finally going to go to sleep he was ready to do it all over again. It was absolutely perfect! I mean, you don’t get the positive feedback of those little eyes gazing back at you, and those soft squishy cheeks, but that’s probably a good thing when deterring children from having children! Ha!
Hubby and I finally got smart and closed our door by the third night. Again cardboard walls but it helped a lot. After night two Olivia was just about fed up with the whole thing. She certainly “looked” like the mom of a newborn when she rolled out of bed that morning!
All in all, it was a fairly realistic experience and I feel that my goals were met with the project. I don’t know that there’s anything a parent can do to get their kiddo to stop and think in the heat of the moment, but at least we can say we went the extra mile and tried. Obviously, a good foundation is key. I’m a huge believer in the “first five” and we’ve tried to expose our kids to the nuances of starting a family young and key in on the life-altering changes that decision brings. The good, bad, and everything in between. If anything we checked robo-baby off the list. Who has such oddly specific lists? I’m pretty sure my kids think only me! Ha!
Here’s a little Q&A with Livs to see what she thought about the experience:
Overall what did you think about the baby experience?
Blah, It sucked! But I guess it wasn’t that bad, I was just really annoyed with it at night because it would wake up all the time and I was very tired.
Did it feel like a real baby?
I can’t answer that because I don’t know what a real baby is like.
Even not knowing what it’s like to take care of a real baby, do you think it was similar?
I guess, yeah, probably. A real baby probably would cry more throughout the day, and it would be more cuddly, this baby was too hard.
Do you think it gave you a perspective on caring for a baby? How?
Um, probably, maybe, I don’t know. Yes, it gave me perspective on how to care for a child, I guess. I mean, I’ve never had to be on call like that before.
The whole point was to get you to consider certain adult decisions as you get older, do you think you might think twice about certain things? Why?
Yes. Because I’m lazy and don’t want to have to deal with a child. Perhaps I’ll want to deal with a child in the future, when I don’t have other things I want to do.
Was the baby and experience what you thought it would be?
Mmmm, I don’t know. I think it was different than I thought it would be. I didn’t expect it to be so damned loud, it was so loud, and I thought it would be squishier, that made me sad. I didn’t like that I couldn’t pull its head or grab it by the legs, it’s really annoying that the baby was so sensitive, I hated worrying about shaken baby syndrome, it was hard to bring into bed with me at night. At night it was terrible, I would be trying to go to sleep but all I could hear was the baby screaming even though it wasn’t because I was so worried it would wake up, and then I couldn’t go to sleep, and then it would really start crying!
Do you think other kids could benefit from having this experience? How?
No, maybe, I don’t know. It’s hard to say. The people I know wouldn’t benefit from it because I think overall stupidity will rule and while perhaps it would change a teenager’s perspective on having a child, I don’t think it will change the act of getting pregnant because kids are stupid. But it might change whether you decided to have an abortion.
Do you feel differently about abortion now?
Is there anything parents/adults can do to impart how devasting it is to have a baby when you’re not ready?
Um, hmmm, um, I don’t know, probably nothing because kids are stupid and they won’t listen to their parents in “that” moment.
How could this experience have been better?
I don’t think it could have been better, it still wants all the things, and still wants to be awake when I want to sleep.
Are you glad we did it? Why?
Yeah, I am. I guess it would have been some sort of unknown had we not done it, so yeah, I’m glad we did it.
Did you learn anything?
Hmmm, not really. Um, what did I learn, I don’t know? I don’t want to make you mad by saying I didn’t learn anything. I guess I just learned that babies are loud and I don’t want one and you’ve scarred me!
Will you get your kids a robo-baby?
Hahaha, I don’t know, maybe. Probably not, who even knows if there’s a future with the state of our world, don’t put that in there!
Anything else you have to say about it?
I’m glad it’s gone! I don’t know what do you want me to say about it? Like it was cool and all but real annoying, and I’m tired, and I like not having to worry about it waking up, like I would think, should I even try to go to sleep because its just going to wake up, that b***!