Nappy changing is not the most relished part of parenting. It’s one of those jobs that has to be done. If you don’t you run the risk of succumbing to the fumes and no one wants that on their gravestone. Plus the longer you leave it the more chance for bottom smearage.
It’s not an easy job. Especially when you have a baby that is practicing his best samba moves whilst you are trying not to get poo under your finger nails. Parents develop their own systems for nappy changes. Once the system is in place it is rarely deviated from, unless their is a poonami, in which case all systems go out the window, it is every man for himself and survival only of the fittest. Sometimes however the facilities available for parents to change their children add extra hassle and problems to the job in the hand.
Here are some of the problems I have encounters in change facilities that make doing it in public really hard….
1 Mountains to climb
Babies normally come with a whole stack of paraphernalia, especially when away from home. And most will be in some form of buggy / pushchair / pram / stroller. Yesterday I went to a cafe on the first floor of a shop. I pushed the little one in his buggy all the way to the back of the store, then waited 5 minutes for the ancient lift to creak its way down to us, held my breath and prayed that the lift would make it to the first floor, made my way through the cafe to a door which pointed to the baby change facilities. Opened the door to find a set of five steps down to the baby changing room. Seriously. Steps. Cue me holding the little one in one arm and bumping our heavily loaded buggy down the steps and all the while hoping there might be some person kind enough to help us back up on the way out. Cue dilemma number two…
2 I need some space
Slightly out of breath and wishing I had packed lighter (maybe only one spare change of clothes for the little one instead of two) I made it to the change room but upon opening the door discovered a room not big enough to swing a
baby cat! The problem with this is mentioned in my first point, babies don’t travel light and blah blah blah, buggy people. Where do you put the buggy? I now have to put the little one back in his buggy whilst I use it to wedge the door to the change room open. I can now get out what I need for the task in hand, unload the little one again and change his nappy whilst ensuring all our stuff and buggy is under my watchful eye. Now I know some people may have just left the buggy outside and maybe I am not trusting enough, but you know how much those things cost right?! So now I am changing the little one with the door wide open which kind of defeats the object of having a facility where you can do it in private. Now for the next problem…
3 Aiming high
Now I admit I am what some might call vertically challenged. But that said I do believe the
idiots professionals that install the change tables are all freakishly tall. Why are they so high up? I’m standing on tiptoes trying to change my baby’s nappy who is in turn trying to dive off the change mat and not making the job any easier. Those little pictures on the door with someone bent over the baby changing their bums, that’s how it’s supposed to be! I have used change tables so high that my arms have been above my head, testing the theory that I have changed so many nappies I could do it with my eyes closed. (I can’t do it by the way). So I am now rather frazzled and decide I too need some relief…
4 What about me
Where am I supposed to go to the toilet? Surely this is all logical stuff people. You make a facility big enough to get a buggy in and once Mummy has changed the baby she can put the baby in the buggy and use the toilet you have so kindly provided. No. Now if I can’t get my buggy in the baby change room there’s no way it’s going to fit in a toilet cubicle with me. Am I supposed to abandon my buggy and try to hold my baby and pee at the same time? Am I supposed to ask a ‘normal’ looking stranger to take care of my baby whilst I pee? Or do I put my baby on the floor of the cubicle why I pee? No. What I do is cross my legs and vow to do more pelvic floor exercises. And finally…
5 It’s a man’s world
My husband and I went for a pub lunch when our first born was tiny. Now we all know what this means. One of you gets to eat a hot meal whilst the other feeds the baby, who despite only being fed an hour ago senses the arrival of hot food like a basset hound. Now once baby and husband are fed it is my turn. Husband dutifully heads off to go and change the baby, only to return and tell me he can’t because the change facilities are in the ladies toilets. In this day and age I tell you! Gone are the days when men don’t change nappies. It’s actually in the marriage vows now, ‘thou shalt change dirty nappies’.
Perhaps people designing change facilities need to have actually changed a few nappies in order to get the job?
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