April 23rd marked the Guinness World Book Record's Diaper Changing Challenge. I had the privilege of covering and assisting with the event at Terra Tots in Fayetteville, Arkansas. Bernice Hembree, founder and chief operator of Terra Tots founded the "grass roots" store in summer of 2007. After busting out on the scene, Bernice has worked hard and obtained a reputation for not only being kind and accommodating to her patrons, but the 'go to' gal when it comes to all things cloth diapers. Terra Tots is the first business of its kind in Arkansas. They offer local, regional, and international products: cloth diapers, organic clothing, wooden toys, natural home products, baby carriers, and much more. They are great at bringing awareness to the community regarding the products parents consume. You'll be hard pressed to find a more genuine individual than Bernice.
My husband, Garrett, and I made the rainy Saturday morning trek to Fayetteville in anticipation of the Cloth Diaper Changing Challenge. Terra Tots was the perfect location. With its eclectically funky and comfortable atmosphere, the participates began to arrive and the quiet room soon filled to a roar with the sound of children and parents. Babies in Moby wraps, Ergo carriers (all found at Terra Tots for great prices), warm embraces, and toddling around the the floor were as happy as can be (save the random squeal from a fight over a toy). Bernice, per Guinness rules and regulations, assigned her witnesses and the crowd mingled until time for the diaper change.
I gotta say, y'all... my first thought was, "Really? Diapers all being changed at once?" I imagined a strong smell of poop and lots of blood curdling screaming. My kids aren't the diaper changing kind... they kick and fight and do all the Tae Kwon Do moves they can muster to avoid a diaper change, so I was thankful not to have my babies in tow... because I would be THAT mom with the SCREAMING, WRIGGLING, DEATH GLARE GIVIN' baby...
Once the diaper change was underway I understood, completely, the purpose of this event (poop, screaming babies, and all)!
Bringing families who cloth diaper together: Cloth diapers have come a long way in the last ten years. Still, the general public is geared toward disposable diapering. Frequently, as a cloth diaper parent, I am asked interesting questions like, "but the poop... the pee... stains... ewwww." This event brought together families with children who, for various reasons, cloth diaper- a sense of support and acceptance was apparent.
Bringing awareness to health of cloth diapering for baby: Cloth diapering is healthier for your baby. Cloth diapering helps parents reduce the exposure their children have to toxic chemicals. All the chemicals in disposable diapers effect your child's skin and lungs, folks!
Bringing awareness and care to the Environment: Cloth diapers reduce waste for families with children in diapers by more than 50%. Disposables LIVE in the landfill... they don't die. When you use cloth diapering you aren't creating the amount of waste you would be with disposables. Moreover, many companies who produce cloth diapers are conscience of their environmental impact so you are purchasing a product that from start to finish (generally) seeks to protect our environment for generations to come.
Putting money back in your pocket: Cloth diapers allow families to save more than $2000 per child. Once you have purchased what you need, with good care and maintenance, your diapers can last through multiple children!! Consider cloth diapers as a VERY practical investment.
I can't say enough about how important Terra Tots is to the community or about how valuable cloth diapering is for families and the environment! I loved the event, holding the babies, meeting new parents who share the same goals as I, and supporting a great cause.