For The Community
Erie County Health Department (ECDOH)
Baby Think It Over Program
Baby Think It Over is an educational loan program available to all schools and community centers to teach teenagers about the realities and responsibilities of parenting.
Through the use of electronic dolls that cry randomly both day and night, teens learn about interruptions and frustration. All "babies" look real, with heads that move and need proper support. "Babies" are available in many different nationalities. All bodies of the "babies" are anatomically correct and need proper positioning to keep "baby" happy. "Babies" need to be fed, diaper changed, burped, and rocked, and may occasionally get fussy just like a real infant. The "baby" will "coo" when it is tended to properly with gentle care. A computer records the quality of the "parenting" session, (i.e. how many times the "baby" needs specific care, and if the baby is neglected or abused.)
Once the student has parent permission through the school or community organization, an overnight or weekend "baby" loan allows the student to care for the "baby". Teens often comment that they had no idea how much work and time and energy a baby demands of their personal time. As well, upon walking the "baby" through the mall or neighborhood streets, they quickly experience the reactions of others seeing a teenager in a "parent" role so early in their life.
Dolls are loaned to the schools, community-based organizations, and churches for FREE. You can choose the ethnicities (African American, Hispanic, or Caucasian) that reflect your student population, and will receive both males and females. A Drug Affected "baby" and a Fetal Alcohol Syndrome "baby" are also available. Extensive training materials help students learn the financial commitment babies require and other topics related to caring for a baby.
"You tell them and they forget. You show them and they may remember. Involve them and they will understand." Baby Think It Over is a lesson teens won't forget.
For more information on how you can participate call 716-858-4977 or email Rosetta.Brunner@erie.gov.