It was 9:30 a.m. in California, noon in Maryland, 11:30 p.m. in Indonesia, and 2:30 a.m. in Australia. The date was Saturday, April 23, 2011. The event: The Great Cloth Diaper Change, an attempt by thousands of parents around the world to set a new world record for changing the most cloth diapers at the same time.
Judy Aagard of California came up with the idea as a way to celebrate Earth Day in her community. At the time, she had no idea that her concept would grow into a Guinness World Record-setting event. But word spreads fast on the Web, and before she knew it, cloth diaper enthusiasts and environmentalists from around the globe were talking about her idea. Aagard heard from parents in Iceland, Russia, Brazil and Tanzania who wanted to host their own cloth diaper promotions and help set a world record.
To qualify for a Guinness World Record, the diaper-changing had to occur in an open, public setting, with independent witnesses verifying headcounts. Babies and toddlers had to be smaller than 39 inches, and for some reason the diapers had to be commercially available cloth diapers — not homemade. Each parent could only change one baby, and the change had to occur at the same time — 12:30 p.m., EST.
So did they do it? Did they set a world record? Unofficially, there were 10,000 bottoms changed in 400 locations as part of the Great Cloth Diaper Change, and that would warrant a world record. But the official numbers won’t be known until the tally from all 400 locations is added up and approved by Guinness World Records. That could take a couple of weeks.
One thing we do know for sure is that a lot of diapers were changed around the world at 12:30 p.m. on Saturday — and none of those diapers went to a landfill.