Only little babies do that…

a blog by Emily\’s mother

Changing Room Gloom

Posted by Caroline on October 3, 2006

This is much nicer…Emily on her changing matWhen you have a baby, suddenly things you never really gave much thought to become matters of crucial importance.

Finding dips in the kerb, for example, when you’re pushing the pushchair around, (in order to cross the road without having to lift it up), or making sure you leave the house with everything that a little person might possibly need in the way of nappies, toys, clothes etc. (half of which you never actually use anyway and which stays at the bottom of the bag gathering dust until you realise it’s actually five sizes too small)

One of the most important things, however, is finding suitable places to change your baby’s nappy when you’re out and about. In this respect, shop toilets come in very handy since it’s one of the places where you can pretty much guarantee there’ll be changing facilities. What you can’t guarantee, however, is the quality of those facilities.

Supermarkets vary from place to place – our local Tesco proved to be basic but bearable, at least providing a proper changing mat – while Sainsbury’s was a very pleasant experience indeed. Our nearest Asda, Somerfield and Waitrose, meanwhile (as you can tell we have no loyalty when it comes to supermarket shopping) opt for a pull-down table which you have to strap your child into.

This is clearly the most useless invention ever since it consists of little more than two very thin straps of seatbelt material held together with a flimsy plastic clip. I can only assume that the designers have never had children, otherwise they would know that babies wriggle, and will find a way to worm themselves out of the strap no matter how tightly you tie it.

Of the above, Somerfield ranked as the worst experience. I’m optimistic that it wasn’t reflective of all their branches, but an emergency trip to the changing room when Emily was two weeks old (the kind of emergency that necessitated a change of outfit) revealed a rather dirty place with overflowing bins and a general feeling that cleanliness was somewhat lacking.

But other shops don’t do too badly. Ikea, for example, provides a very cosy changing room with a proper inflatable mat, like the kind we have at home, and even a baby gym (also like the kind we have at home). Selfridges has nice stainless steel pulldown tables, although the changing area is right next to the ladies’ toilets, and Emily was rather startled by the banging of the cubicle doors (as indeed was I).

And of course Mothercare was wonderful, with lovely changing and feeding facilities – but then you wouldn’t expect anything less from them. As for Gap – well we can’t comment as the changing room was out of order, and they offered us the use of the feeding room – which essentially consisted of one chair and a vast expanse of carpet. Er, thanks….

4 Responses to “Changing Room Gloom”

  1. Melos said

    That is always a trouble! I always brought a mat with me and often ended up changing my boys on the bathroom floor in some stores, which was rather horrid. I never bothered strapping them into those pull-down plastic things though.

  2. katharina said

    I agree… some are great but others are rather disgusting. I always preferred waiting until we were back to the car. It wasn’t very comfortable for me, but it was clean at least. (But then again, I’m the kind of shopper who likes getting in and out of the store as fast as possible so she rarely even needed a change in a store.) 🙂

  3. Ali G said

    I think my most ingenious effort was in a loo at Gatwick when I managed to change our three month-old baby while she was still in her buggy!

    Incidentally, why is it that the loos nearest to the departure gate – just when you want to do that final pre-boarding nappy change – are the only ones without proper baby-change facilities?

  4. LyricB said

    Oh, I had to change my baby on the bathroom floor a couple of times too, but luckily I had a blanket with me. It didn’t gross me out any less though…ick!

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