The big baby update for The Sims 4 is nearly here, and Kotaku got an inside look at how the new Growing Together Expansion Pack DLC and the free base game updates will play out.
Yes, the babies will finally be freed, but with that freedom will come a host of new ways to play with infants. And the Growing Together expansion looks like it’ll easily join the list of must-haves among The Sims 4’s already crowded roster of DLC options.
We’ll go through everything you need to know ahead of the big update and what’s coming in the Growing Together expansion.
The Sims 4 frees the babies
The long-awaited baby update will come to all Sims 4 players on March 14. And the enormity of this change is somewhat difficult to describe to casual fans or onlookers.
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You might be familiar with a particular Sims meme, one featuring an uncaring mother on her computer as her baby lies next to her on fire. Besides creating a scenario that only feels possible in MadLibs, it’s been impossible to recreate in the latest iteration of the game as babies have been tied to bassinets, serving only as static objects since The Sims 4 came out in 2014.
The fourth mainline Sims game brought with it a number of regressions to the series. It initially lacked ghosts, pools, terrain tools, and toddlers, among other details considered staples of the franchise by that point. All of those were eventually added to The Sims 4 (though many fans could list off any number of previously existing features that never arrived), but babies in all their non-object glory were nowhere to be seen. Until now of course.
Infants will be a new life stage entirely for the fourth entry in The Sims franchise. This means you can create and style a baby in the Create-a-Sim menu just as you can for any other Sim. It also means babies can now have more than three skin tones. Yes, babies could previously only have three skin tones and all had the same face. With the update, you can not only choose from any skin tone offered for any other Sims, but you can also give them different hair and outfits. They can also have what are known as stork bites, reddish or pink patches on the skin that typically go away over time.
Infants are, understandably, dependent on others, more so even than toddler or child Sims. They’ll also come with new interactions like changing diapers, feeding them in highchairs, and giving them bubble baths.
Babies come with a big free base game update
For the rest of the family, they’ll have new interactions focused specifically on how they interact with infants. But they also get things just for themselves. There will be more birthmark options and stretch marks for any age group. And as a boon for players who are focused on storytelling, you can now make a “science baby” in addition to making Sims woohoo like crazy or opt for adoption.
There will also be new infant beds, including one that turns into a toddler bed as your baby ages up, and new bassinet designs if you haven’t become hopelessly attached to the one baby bassinet we’ve all been forced to use since 2014.
And if you don’t want to deal with babies at all but still want to enjoy something from the base game update, you can knit a onesie now if you have the Knifty Knitting Stuff Pack.
The Growing Together Expansion Pack adds family dysfunction (in a good way)
Likely the biggest draw, appealing to both storytelling and builder players, is the new San Sequoia world. According to the developers, it’s based on the Bay Area where they’re located and features a bay-front neighborhood with lots of outdoor space. Sims can explore the San Sequoia’s nature walk or pier, play in the splash pad, or spend time in the theater.
But Growing Together, at its heart, is an Expansion Pack about family and interaction. So, while everyone will get access to the new infant life stage, Growing Together adds further depth to the task of raising babies. In the base game, infants will operate like a normal 8-month-old might, but in Growing Together, you’ll see the little ones progress from a newborn around 2 months old to a 12-month-old.
This progression is also marked by Milestones, which track life events like a baby learning to lift their head or mastering potty training. This also serves as a way to unlock more abilities for babies to move about the world, allowing them to eventually sit up on their own or roll over from their backs. Milestones will also work for older Sims and might change how they interact with the world. For instance, if your Sim can’t find a bathroom in time, that unfortunate milestone will stick with them forever, affecting them if they were to revisit the spot of that first embarrassment.
And just as with real babies, Sims infants will have their own quirks. Literally. There are 18 in total, and you can discover a Sim baby’s three specific quirks as they live in the world. Maybe they’re a pickier eater or a little aggressive. They can be helpful, add difficulty, or just add cute details, according to the developers.
Even before the bundle of joy arrives, you can host a baby shower to celebrate. You don’t need a pregnant Sim to host the event either if you’re planning on adopting or creating a science baby. Of course, not everyone in the family might be happy about the addition. New family dynamics can add layers to storytelling and interaction. Maybe there’s a sibling rivalry, someone might be the clown of the family, or maybe it’s a nice family where everyone is super supportive of one another. Either way, Growing Together is putting a big emphasis on how Sims co-exist. In addition to family dynamics, your Sim can dictate their preferences for other Sims’ characteristics. Maybe they don’t like other Sims who are mean, or maybe they’re really put off by a gym rat Sim. This will affect their compatibility. So maybe two Sims will click right away, maybe it’ll take some finessing, or maybe they’ll hate each other forever.
Regardless, the possibilities for telling and exploring stories will grow immensely when the expansion pack launches next month.
The Sims 4 frees the babies on March 14, and the Growing Together Expansion Pack follows shortly after on March 16.