Jeff Heuchert email@example.com
More than 30 happy babies and toddlers left the Stratford Early Years Centre Saturday with a fresh bum and possibly a new world record to show for it.
The Great Cloth Diaper Change was held April 26 at exactly 11 a.m. local time in more than 200 locations across 15 countries, including in Stratford. The worldwide event aimed to break the Guinness World Record for number of baby bums changed at once while also raising awareness about the greener alternative to the more common disposable diapers that fill today's marketplace.
Organizers hoped to break the record they set in 2013, when moms and dads around the world helped change 8,301 cloth diapers at over 180 locations. The event also set new world records for babies changed in 2012 and 2011.
The Stratford event Saturday was organized by local moms Donna Nyland, April Baker, and Pip Penrose Young.
Nyland started using reusable cloth diapers because she wanted to avoid putting chemicals on her baby's skin, and while she acknowledges cloth diapers require more work, including regular washing, their benefits far outweigh any hindrances.
"You never have to go to the store to buy diapers. The cost savings is just amazing," she says. "And not just that, but think about how many diapers end up in a landfill."
In just the one minute the Great Cloth Diaper Change takes place, Nyland says approximately 60,000 disposable diapers are saved from going into the garbage across North America.
Nyland hopes the event gives parents are better understanding of how far cloth diapers have come in the last 50 years. Gone are the days of large safety pins holding everything together. Many of today's cloth diapers come with Velcro strips and are available in many different styles and colours. They've also improved their absorbency.
"I think when people think about cloth diapers they think how their grandmother had to do it. But it's not like that at all anymore. It's so modernized."
Penrose Young, of Stratford Chiropractic & Wellness Centre, served as one of two official witnesses for Saturday's world record attempt in Stratford along with Carol Hamilton, RN and director of the Institute for Parent and Infant Care in Stratford. Organizers needed at least 25 babies to participate to have their event counted towards the world record attempt.
Participation was free but donations were being accepted for the Real Diaper Association, a non-profit dedicated to creating a cultural shift to increase the use of reusable cloth diapers.