New Brunswick

Saint John parents try to beat diaper-changing record

Saint John was among 19 Canadian cities participating in global effort to set new world record and raise awareness of cloth diapers.

19 Canadian cities participating in global effort to raise awareness about cloth diapers

Parents in Saint John, N.B., participate in the Great Cloth Diaper Change. (Matthew Bingley/CBC)

New Brunswick parents pitched in with a global effort to set a new world record while raising awareness about reusable diapers Saturday. 

Saint John was among 19 Canadian cities taking part in The Great Cloth Diaper Change. People at 200 events in 20 countries all started at 11 a.m. local time to try to break the record for most diapers changed.  

The effort began in 2011 and set a world record by changing 5,026 bums across the world. They've broken their own record several times since, and this year they're trying to top the 2014 record of 8,459 babies.

Parents will find out if they broke the world record once all the babies in different time zones have been changed.

Saint John event organizer Erin Smith said it's a fun way to get parents out of the house while raising awareness.

"It's very environmentally friendly, it keeps so much out of the landfills" she said, adding cloth diapers also cuts down on the materials wasted by manufacturing disposable diapers.  

Erin Smith and her son William.

Considering the babies involved, the room at the Saint John Boys and Girls Club was surprisingly quiet. Thirty parents held up a colourful array of diapers before getting to work at 11 a.m. Each held up their freshly changed kid for a photo after.

Emma Hayes and her 18-month-old son Zachary participated in the record attempt. Hayes said she didn't use reusable diapers with her first child and noticed a big difference after making the switch.

"It's way more fun," Hayes said, with all the colours and patterns of cloth diapers.

Convenience is also a big factor, she said, because you don't have to run to the store every month.

Emma Hayes and her son Zachary. (Matthew Bingley/CBC)

Mom Lynn McCarthy said her daughter Hailey stopped getting diaper rash after she switched to cloth diapers. McCarthy runs an in-home daycare and said cloth diapers are easier than people think.

The price of disposable diapers is another incentive for making the switch.

"I'm just amazed," said Nicole Chaisson. "It's so expensive to buy disposables."

Chaisson said reusable diapers cost around $400 to $500, but points out they can be used for more than one child.

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