Nappy changing that is.

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.  Quite often it requires more than two hands.  Especially when you have a baby that is practising 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.

nappy change



Here are some of the problems I have encountered in change facilities that make doing it in public really hard….


1 Inaccessible Change Facilities

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. 

We made it!  I 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.  


2 Not Enough 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!  As I said, babies don’t travel light and there’s that thing, what’s it called?  Oh yes, the buggy. 

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 I’m Not 7ft Tall

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 Where Do I Put The baby When I Need to Pee?

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.  


5 Dad’s Change Nappies Too

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?


This post was featured on Mumsnet


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trying to change a baby's nappy in public change facilities is not easy.  Most have been designed by someone who has clearly never changed a nappy before.  Here's why doing it in public is tough...




Claire Kirby

26 Comments on Doing it in Public

  1. It’s crazy isn’t it? Especially when they have baby changes with no toilet. Mummy aside, what if you have another child with you who needs to go. I’m known to just wedge the buggy in front of a cubicle and wee for all the world to see. And my husband loves it when there’s no changer in the men’s room. 🙂

  2. So agree with every point! I must say I’m fairly lucky that there are a few changing area/adult loo areas that seem OK here but the majority are grim! And it’s about time there were more unisex changing areas because hello…dads change bums too!

  3. Oh I was nodding and huffing with you at every single one! Great post. I remember changing my first at 3 months old in a costa coffee cramped toilet, and she managed to spray paint poo my top on top of it all. I always remembered to bring spare clothes for the baby- but never me! I certainly came prepared after that.

  4. I hate changing my boy in public facilities. Except the mall facilities, that are actually very good, all other places are useless!!! You’re right! There is usually very little space for pushchairs, and the amount of times I’ve used the toilet with my baby on my knee is astounding. But the thing I hate most are those plastic fold down change tables. I hate them! They feel unsteady like the fold down bit might snap off at any moment. And there’s never anywhere to put ur nappy and wipes. Totally feel your pain! Bring on better facilities!!!

  5. Haha. I have yet to see any change facilities only in women’s toilet, but my sister was talking about seeing some just the other week. Also not yet seen any up stairs, which would make me very angry! Too little space is a definite issue. No adult toilets you can get pram in also issue. I’m 5′ 11″ so never noticed if the changing stations are always too high (but I swear it wasn’t me who put them up there!) #fartglitterlinky

  6. It seems that more and more places are putting changing tables in men’s bathrooms or setting up “family” restrooms” but its still a pain in the ass. Made it hard when I was out with my daughter by myself

  7. So true! The one that irritates me the most is the baby change being located in the ladies’ toilets. Because men can’t change nappies, right?

  8. So true! Why, why, why don’t people think about these things?! I’d say I’m average height, but I recently changed my very wriggly baby on a changing table that was closer to my shoulders than my waist, in the world’s smallest bathroom. I also hate toilets where the changing table is next to the sinks so everyone can witness horrific nappy explosions as they wash their hands! #effitfriday

  9. Claire you crack me up! I’ve gotten so trusting here abandoning not only my (expensive) buggy but my handbag too. And changing facilities are top notch and in both male and female toilets. In a separate room. With waist level leather changing tables…. probably not helping you here! Thanks for linking to #effitfriday xx

  10. Why are the change tables so high?! I’ve struggled a few times being a bit of a short arse. It drives me mad when places don’t have baby changing available – I have no problem whipping the nappy off whenever or wherever. Although it has got lots easier now my son is a toddler and I can do it whilst he stands!! #effitfriday

  11. So true!

    When my daughter was a baby we did a zillion changes in her pram parked against walls, with disposable change table liners under her bum. Did a fair few car boot changes too, poor thing! The shame!

    Then as soon as she started trying to get away, we switched to pull-up nappy pants (life is too short to try to fasten normal nappies on babies who are running away!). Now when there’s no accessible change table, we can do changes with her standing up in a cubicle in the ladies, me kneeling/ bending over her!

    Not ideal but I’ve come to expect rubbish facilities.

    • Maybe we should stage ‘poo sits in’. Let’s all take our kids with stinking nappies to make a protest about the change facilities 😉

  12. So true, I went to one when Baby was first born, and it was in the corner and so high up that I (5ft 10) had trouble getting Baby up there! John Lewis have the best changing rooms. Thanks for linking up to #TheList x

  13. My husband and I were in Toronto recently and most places had change facilities in both men’s and ladies toilets. Quite refreshing!

  14. I can so relate to what you’re saying and that’s why I hate changing my daughter’s nappy in public places. I had to change her nappy once at the hairdresser (I know, why did I go to the hairdresser with her?! I am still asking myself the same question!). I had to change her leaky nappy in the buggy! I felt so embarrassed as the other customers where giving me odd looks.

  15. Blimey this all sounds very tricky! I don’t have children myself yet, but I see what my sister has to go through with hers and its hard work! I think people without children must have designed the changing facilities! #brilliantblogposts

  16. This is so hilarious, and so very true! My favorite changing moment was on a road trip, at a VERY busy rest area. The changing table was, as you stated, installed by freakishly tall people, leaving my toddler in a state of panic at being so high up, and strategically placed right beside the very loud hand dryers, ensuring a complete meltdown as well as an awesome diaper change! Because parenthood isn’t hard enough people!

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