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Changing Diapers in Public
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Changing Diapers in Public
I love getting out and about with my two-month-old daughter and
meeting with friends at cafes. Most places I go, though, have no flat
surface in the restroom or out of the way place to change a diaper. I feel
weird changing her on a cafe chair (but I've done it), and I often walk to
these places so I can't always just go out to the car.
Any thoughts on this?
We have 2 kids now--3 yrs. old and 6 months--and our philosophy
very quickly became: ''If they don't have a changing table in the
bathroom, we'll change her wherever we can--at the table, on the
floor, etc.--and if they don't like it, they can put something in
the bathroom.'' No one has ever said a word to us about it.
I generally use the floor of the bathroom. I always throw a
baby blanket (the lightweight flannel type that seems to fold
up to a small size) on the floor and then put her changing pad
over it. When I re-fold the blanket, I always fold the
downside 'in' so that all of the nasty germs hang out
together. My child is almost 18 months and is a bit squirmier
than a 2-month old, but it still works.
My kids' poop has never bothered me. But, I have to confess that
on the rare occasion when I've had to change another kid's
diaper it kind of grossed my out. So, in answer to your query,
changing your baby in the cafe -- even though, at two months old
you consider your baby's poop to be sweet-smelling -- is, in my
opinion, inconsiderate of others. Besides, food and drink is
being served there. Do you change diapers in your kitchen or
dining room when you are entertaining guests?
While I appreciate your predicament, please realize that there are customers also
paying $4 for their cafe experience who do not want to see or smell your child's
excrement while eating.
Expecting to enjoy one's coffee, lunch or dinner undisturbed by a dirty diaper is not
hostile to families. Additionally, excrement and handling dirty diapers spreads
disease which is why those activities in public places are usually isolated to a wash
room where hands can be washed afterwards.
Other paying customers should not have to be exposed to the odor and health risk
of your child's dirty diapers. It is good citizenship for you to find a bathroom in
which to change your child.
I think if you use a portable diaper changing pad (waterproof
and big enough so that nothing dirty touches the outer surface)
and there is no flat surface in the bathroom, it is acceptable
to change an infant's diaper on a chair in public, although
preferably a booth where it is not in plain sight. Be
considerate and discreet. Definitely do NOT do it on a table
where other's would be eating. Also, not once baby is on
formula/solids and it is stinky. The better alternative, if
your car is not available, is to change it outside (or even
inside if absolutely necessary) using the baby's carseat or
stroller as the changing table with the diaper pad as a
barrier. Just more considerate, I think.
Yes, isn't it amazing how few businesses have changing tables?
This used to infuriate me. I just changed her on the bathroom
floor. Sometimes it was pretty yucky. I used disposable
bedliners (like the ones they put under you in the hospital bed
after childbirth) or newspaper so she wouldn't touch the floor
and then put a diaper changing pad on top of that with a small
blanket under her head. Afterward I threw away whatever I put
on the floor under the pad. I did once change her on a chair in
a restaurant, but with a poopy diaper, I don't think that's
really fair to other patrons . . . Some people can change their
babies in their laps; that never seemed possible to me. Good
I have been in many situations with no place to change one o my
three infants when they were young. I usually manage to go into
a bathroom stall. even with the door open and sit with my pants
up on the toilet seat. I was a high school wrestler so this may
have helped. I put the diaper/mat/pad that comes in the bag on
my lap and lie my kids done so their head is at my knees and
feet near my stomach. Then I do the quick change. I actually
prefer it over a changing table in a clean stall since I think
many of the changing tables are pretty groady.
Dad of three
this page was last updated: Feb 6, 2005
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