On all fours, babies will crawl — hopefully in a straight line, and quickly — toward the Diaper Derby finish line at the Mall of New Hampshire this weekend.
Each child gets his own colored lane, and parents will try to coax the babies to the finish line first to win the derby, now in its second year.
“The babies have to be crawling — they cannot be walking yet,” said Rebecca Murphy, director of marketing and business development at the mall.
The top finishers from each heat move on to the finals. The top three finishers in the finals will be awarded trophies at an award ceremony.
Murphy said the idea for the derby started with one of their sister malls, South Shore Plaza down in Braintree, Mass.
“It’s a really fun day for the whole family to come out to the mall at no cost,” Murphy said. “People definitely get into the competition.”
Last year, Murphy said, some moms made matching T-shirts for the baby and the family, and one mom had matching sweatbands.
“It’s very cute,” Murphy said. “And it’s fun to come and watch even if you don’t have a crawler in your life.”
Aside from the baby race, there will be vendors at the event and stores within the mall participating in family-based promotions. Parents will be able to talk with vendors about clothing and services, and there will be health organizations there with children’s programs as well as some information about kids’ camps.
“The vendors are very family focused,” Murphy said. “We know a lot of parents will have a crawler and maybe a child that’s 6 years old as well.”
Josh Heinzl, president and CEO of Josh’s Toys & Games, made sure his company would be at the Diaper Derby again this year.
“I love doing community outreach, and I love doing things that are fun,” Heinzl said. “It goes hand in hand with what our mission is.”
Josh’s Toys & Games will set up at the derby with a number of games for kids to play.
“There’s stuff for kids and adults — we have a little bit of everything,” Heinzl said.
The Picture People will take pictures of the race and individual baby portraits for parents, and Motherhood Maternity will be giving out goodie bags. There will be prizes from Build-a-Bear and Things Remembered, and Murphy is hoping to put on a kids’ fashion show as well. There will also be a mommy-and-me lounge for babies and their mothers before the race, as well as a craft area and face painting for older children.
Parents of children no older than 12 months are eligible to sign their child up for the race now. Those who register early will receive a goody bag with the Diaper Derby logo on it filled with coupons and samples from mall stores.
As seen in the March 6, 2014 issue of the Hippo.