Saturday, November 7, 2009

Changing stations in public bathrooms

Does anyone else judge the quality of a shop or restaurant by the baby changing stations they provide? I do. The very worst culprits don't have anything at all in the men's room, and the very best have family cubicles (or even whole rooms) where you can use the loo yourself while keeping your child in sight.

My main gripes are when they put the nappy bin and the sink too far away from the pull-down unit, so unless you have extendable arms you have let go of your child to throw things away and/or wash your hands afterwards. It's especially annoying when you haven't brought in your sling or buggy and going to wash your hands means taking not only your hands, but also your eyes off your child. I know they have straps but they're often broken and don't get me started on how many units have run out of disposible liners. I now carry my own wipe-clean mat to lay underneath Owen because of this problem.

I was in a brand new Wal-Mart today and they not only had an entire room available for families (changing station, adult toilet and comfortable section for breastfeeding), but in the main women's room they also had a large space for changing nappies. The unit was ultra-modern and stocked with liners, there were two bins very close by, there were three hooks for you to hang your coat, handbag and diaper bag if you needed to and the sink was located right next to the unit. In fact, not only was there a separate sink for parents, but in the main row there were normal height sinks and two placed lower down for children and wheelchair access. Now THOSE are facilities!

Wal-Mart might be evil for a lot of reasons, but I cannot fault them on their parent and child-friendly loos. Ace.


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