The Sims 4 isn’t the only version where babies have been objects

Babies have always been a challenge in The Sims. Freeing babies from their cribs will be a huge undertaking in The Sims 4.

With a new expansion pack for The Sims 4 set be announced next week, we thought we’d tone down the speculation a notch and focus on what we know the pack is not about.

We know that the next Sims 4 expansion will not be about cars, farms, bunk beds or free babies. The last one is something that’s been bugging players ever since The Sims 4 was released over six years ago.

Actually, it’s something that has been bugging players since the days of removing ladders from pools in the original version of the game.

Even though ‘free babies’ are not at the top of our wishlist for things to add to the game, it is kind of freaky to see the “baby object” when scrolling through build/buy in debug mode.

A little while back, we looked at why this is such a massive challenge for developers. For the TL:DR – it’s all about how babies function in the game.

Ever since the start of The Sims, babies have been objects. To ‘free’ babies, they would have to have their own life state added.

While this is not impossible, the challenge is the potential conflict that this can cause. Removing the “baby objects” would interfere with every baby currently in The Sims.

A possible solution is to allow for both the object baby and a new “pre-toddler” baby to exist.

But you can read the more detailed dive into the mechanics of “free babies” in The Sims 4 in our previous article.

Today, we want to take a trip down memory lane and look at how babies have been handled in previous editions of The Sims, keeping in the spirit of how it started/how it’s going.

Babies have never been really free in The Sims

It has never been possible to create babies in Create-A-Sim. While babies have gone through a few changes over the years, they have always been ‘objects’ – so while they might exist as a life stage, they are not a life state.

Babies in the first edition of The Sims

Babies appeared as a whole crib in the first edition of The Sims and arrived after the “should we have a baby” prompt after choosing the “play in bed” interaction. There is no pregnancy state – babies just appeared in their cribs with flowers around them and Sims clapping.

The Sims 2 and onwards: Babies start becoming more realistic

The Sims 2 introduced the “try for a baby” interaction and pregnancy for the first time. While babies were separate from their cribs (and the crib was not mandatory), they were not controllable or selectable. They did have their own icon, though.

Babies were technically still ‘objects’ in The Sims 2, but they did have far more interactions. Babies could be left on the floor (cruel) and would even throw up on their parents if they were played with too much.

In The Sims 3, babies were selectable, but still not controllable. No throwing up this time around, but if you had an evil Sim, they could steal a baby’s candy. They are also born with two traits. For many players, babies were the most realistic in this edition of the game.

With babies in The Sims 4, for the first time, breastfeeding was added. Babies remain fixed to their cribs in this version, though, but there is this super cute animation of storks if you follow your Sim to the hospital to give birth.

The Sims Baby At Hospital

Here are some other differences between babies in The Sims

The Sims

  • Could not travel with a baby and a social worker would come to take the baby away if your Sims did so anyway.
  • Social interactions and needs are limited.

The Sims 2

  • Babies can be changed on a diaper table and bathed in the sink.
  • There’s a bottle that creates trash.
  • Sims can call a nanny if they want to travel.

The Sims 3

  • Diapers can be changed anywhere and the bottle just appears and disappears.
  • Sims can travel with their babies, but they must remain on the same lot together.
  • Babies can be put into a stroller.

The Sims 4

  • Day-care without the need to call a nanny.
  • Diapers can only be changed in the crib.
  • Babies say no to food when full.

While it is not impossible to add the ability for babies to be added through CAS, to crawl and do all the other baby things that players want, it’s a tricky thing to get right.

Aside from the potential issues removing the “object baby” can cause, toddlers are already high-maintenance. While there is no doubt more realistic babies who be a boost for the game in terms of realism, it’s not easy to implement these changes. Regardless, we remain hopeful that everyone’s wishes for The Sims 4 will come true.

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Antoinette Muller
Antoinette is a recovering journalist. She's a multi-award winner and thinks it's strange writing about herself in the third person, unless she's playing as herself in The Sims.