It's weird but true that the Internet has brought everything together. On the unlimited space it offers, just anything can find a place for itself, right from worded emotions to voiced opinions to visual depictions to witty animations to virtual pets and even babies!
Adopting and raising virtual babies is similar to taking care of virtual pets, the only difference being in the 'being' that is being taken care of. Well, taming animals is obviously going to be different from raising babies, but the logic is fairly the same.
You adopt a virtual pet online, you cater to its needs, you feed it, caress it, raise it, and see it grow from a puppy to a full-grown dog or from a baby feline to a matured cat or from a little foal to a strong horse.
In case of virtual babies to take care of online; you adopt one, see it grow, and experience the joy of the entire process of parenting. By parenting a virtual baby online, you get to be involved in each of its little activities throughout the day.
You feed the baby, sing to it, pat it, change diapers, tend to all its needs, and take complete responsibility of that very difficult and equally exciting job of being a (virtual) parent.
Things You Should Know
How to adopt a virtual baby online? Well, it's pretty simple, thanks to the websites that give users easy options to either adopt free online virtual babies, buy them over the Internet, or download them. These virtual baby websites offer user-friendly options to play with and take care of the babies and experience the joys of parenting.
Of course, adopting the baby, playing with it, tending to its needs, raising it, and all other parenting activities will involve keyboard strokes and mouse clicks; you will be seeing your baby grow through audio-visual aids.
You won't be able to stroke the baby if it cries; the most you will be doing with the baby is quietening it with a keystroke. You won't be using your fingers to tickle the baby; possibly a mouse-click will do that for you.
The process of adopting is simple.
- Your first step in being a proud parent of a virtual baby is choosing a website that offers this facility. Websites like Cyberinfants, Virtualbabies, Kindergarten, Myvirtualbaby, and Zodler offer you a chance to parent virtual babies online.
- Sign up to one of these websites and once you are their registered user, you will be able to choose a baby you would like to adopt, select the gender of your baby, give him/her a nice name, and get into the role of being a 'virtual' mom or dad.
- While some websites offer you these services for free, some might need you to pay a nominal fee. After all, they are giving you the opportunity of becoming a 'parent'.
- When you avail of a paid service, you can be a little more sure about the security of the baby; Internet security concerns would be taken care of by the website.
How do you think you can make virtual babies online. Well, it's interesting that some websites even allow you to upload your and your partners' photographs and generate a picture of your baby; it's a technique that combines the photos of you and your partner to generate a picture of how your baby would look.
You can possibly use these virtual baby makers to find out how your baby would look and then choose a similar one from the options that the website provides.
Parenting Virtual Babies
Once you have adopted a virtual baby online, you are responsible for all that he/she does throughout the day. It goes without saying that you will have to keep logging in to your account to remain in touch with the baby.
What if the baby cries in the middle of the night? What if he feels hungry in the middle of the day? What if he needs something to play with, in the evening? You need to be there for your baby. It's something that comes as a responsibility the moment you take the decision to adopt a virtual baby.
Many websites have a download feature whereby you can download your virtual baby and take care of him offline. Now this can save you the effort of logging in to the website time and again.
You could upload the virtual baby on your website or make it part of your social networking profile. MySpace has this option of including the virtual baby code on your profile page and putting up the baby on your profile. And the good news of the virtual new arrival in your family will spread!
Parenting is never easy; be it real or virtual. Right from things to do, to things to understand; right from things like feeding and changing to those like understanding the baby's needs and tending to them, being a parent is not easy. As parents of virtual babies, you need to make yourselves aware of the eating and sleeping habits of your baby.
You need to be able to identify the reasons behind his reactions; you need to know when and why your baby cries, and you need to know the ways to make him smile. You need to ensure that he's comfortable when you are with him and also when you are away. And most websites which offer virtual babies, teach you all this. But can parenting be taught?
As 'parents' of virtual babies, you need to do 'virtually' everything that a real parent should. It's not just about feeding and changing diapers; you need to tend to all the needs of your virtual little one. Play with him, sing to him lullabies, buy him toys and fun things to play with, and keep him engaged in something constructive.
After all, you as a parent would want your child to grow into ... No, no! We are not talking about parenting in the real world; we are in the virtual world of parenting. Virtual means fake, unreal, imaginary. There's nothing really real over there.
And that's exactly what you need to bear in mind before you adopt a virtual baby. While practicing parenting, you need to remember that it's only virtual, not real.
Pros and Cons of Virtual Babies
The biggest advantage of virtual babies is that you can take the experience of becoming a parent without much trouble. Virtual babies give you a chance to rehearse parenting before you actually become one. Not only expecting moms and dads; but also couples who do not have babies, can experience parenting by adopting virtual ones.
Couples expecting babies often adopt virtual babies to see how having a baby feels. They also learn the art of parenting by taking care of virtual babies.
But the other side to this is that they become so involved with their virtual baby that they may forget about their real one. There have been cases of parents who spent all their time behind their virtual baby and didn't tend to their real one. It was as if they were so engrossed in taking care of their virtual baby that they abandoned the real one.
Being overly involved in the virtual world is indeed dangerous. You may begin to live in that imaginary world and deprive yourself of the joys of the real world. Or you may remain ignorant of the realities of the world you live in; this is dangerous.
Virtual babies offer another benefit. There is no age bar for who can adopt them. This means, even children can adopt them and learn the dos and don'ts of parenting. For kids, this serves the purpose of training them on how to take care of babies.
At an early age, kids can learn babysitting. Some websites offer tips on virtual parenting and actually teach you how to babysit; they provide you with training on raising children that can be of help in the long run. These websites host virtual baby games which can be a fun learning experience for children of all ages.
But again, children should not get carried away with the fantasies of the virtual world. They should be taught to differentiate between the real and the virtual, and kept from becoming Internet addicts.
All in all, virtual babies benefit almost everyone right from kids and teens who want to learn babysitting, to couples planning their baby. But they are virtual and online. They can never truly substitute for the real ones in your laps.