They say it takes a village to raise a child. Likewise, it takes a similar number of people to make a magazine cover photo shoot go smoothly.

Our Baby Cover Photo contest is an annual tradition. In the past, we have selected one baby out of dozens of submissions for the cover.

This year, though, it felt like the right time to try something different. My idea? Instead of just one baby, why not have a whole group?

As with all big ideas, excitement builds ... then someone has to figure out the nitty-gritty details. Correction: A team of people has to figure it out.

When we selected the eight babies for this issue’s photo shoot on a Saturday in February, the Yakima Herald-Republic’s downstairs lobby quickly became packed with staff, babies and family members. (Babies don’t mosey on in all by themselves!)

It could have been total chaos. But despite one mystery mess I had to clean up off the floor after the photo shoot, the session went off without a hitch. That’s because everyone came together to help, including those not directly related to the kiddos in the photo shoot. Suzanne Voldman supplied cloth diapers for the babies to wear (you can read her article on cloth diapering in this issue), which were given to her by Susan Brady of Buckwheat Bottoms, a cloth-diapering company in Richland. Our photographer, TJ Mullinax, was calm throughout. The babies and families were troupers. So as the saying goes, the “village” truly came together!

The “village” also packed this edition of Playdate, as you’ll see from the many contributing voices in the following pages. Of course, it wouldn’t be Playate without our daily calendar and other fun odds and ends to help you plan ahead as we enjoy the approaching spring. As always, please send questions, comments or suggestions to sklepach@yakimaherald.com, and be sure to friend us on Facebook. Enjoy this time with your family, and while you’re at it, enjoy the others in the “village” that make up our community.

PS: This edition of Playdate publishes one day before the Playdate Family Expo on Sat., March 16. This fun family event wouldn’t be possible without the support of our sponsors, including Fiesta Foods, Friends of the Village, Solarity Credit Union and Catholic Family & Child Service. Thank you! For more info on the Expo, go to page 9.