Where is it OK to change your baby’s nappy?

One mum said she didn't need the "judgement or criticism" of cafe owner after she changed her little one at a table...

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When you need to go, you need to go, right? And when you’re a baby, whether it’s number 1 or number 2 – that means you’ll need a nappy change at some point.

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If you tucked in warmly at home that’s easy – if you’re out and about – they might have to wait a while until you can find somewhere convenient.

But when in public, should you be changing your baby anywhere but a designated baby change area/toilet?

One of the MFM team remembers a time when she did change a pooey nappy on a quiet train (“on the seats as the loos were small and gross”) as they had a long journey ahead and her baby was wailing (some babies really don’t like to be dirty). 

But, she admits, there were no passengers too nearby and she did it as quickly as possible to avoid any looks.

Which brings us to the story of a a mum in Australia who posted a negative review after getting criticism for changing her baby as she sat at a cafe table.

The post in full

The mum in question posted a Google review of the cafe, in Bulimba, Brisbane, saying:

“My baby has been having difficulty breastfeeding and gaining weight so I sat to enjoy my coffee and feed her while there,” she wrote. 

“She then had a dirty nappy so naturally I go to change it. I put my change mat down to change her so that in this 30 degree heat she doesn’t develop a rash sitting in it on our way home. 

“Being that there are no public restrooms in sight albeit with a change table, this was the only solution. 

“… I approached her (the manager) upon leaving and asked if she had a problem with my baby and I sitting there. She said in quite a critical tone, that she didn’t think it was appropriate to change my baby there,” the review states.

“To this woman and the 2 other customers who made comments regarding this. Mothers don’t need your judgment or criticism. We have enough pressure and stress we deal with on a daily basis.

“We rarely get the opportunity to get out and have a coffee amidst the long list of things we are doing for our families every single day.

“I am sorry (not sorry) you are so terribly offended by a tiny baby’s tiny little dirty nappy that you think it necessary to criticise.”

The cafe owner’s reply

In swift response to the review, the owner of the cafe added their own remarks, saying: 

“I don’t think there is much more to say other than in the same way you don’t expect to have to feed your baby in a toilet, I don’t expect people to eat while a nappy is being changed.

“Whilst you invite me to see this from a ‘mothers point of view’ (which I already do and still would never subject people around me to baby poo) I invite you to see it from my point of view as a woman in business with customers walking out and upset.”

She added that the baby had done 2 poos while they’d been there and that she’d had complaints from other customers.

What everyone else is saying

While these “don’t judge me” mum posts tend to get a (virtual) big round of applause, we have to say this mum didn’t get the thumbs up so much…

Responding on Google reviews, one person wrote:

“Just defending the cafe in relation to what has got it in the news recently. To the lady who changed her baby’s nappy in the cafe: It is not an “attack on mothers” to complain about your actions.

“This isn’t the breast feeding issue, which would be different. THIS IS A MATTER OF HYGIENE. Even many animal species seem to understand and live by that old saying “don’t sh*t where you eat”.

“Fecal odors are caused by particles in the air that can carry bacteria. So there are very good reasons why no one wants to eat and drink in close proximity to a used nappy. Basic, basic hygiene. Who raised you? Is your bathroom in your kitchen or on your dinning table at home?”

And another said: 

“I’m here in support of the owner. I’m a mother too and a new one at that. Despite the stresses of parenthood I have managed to go out and enjoy a cuppa and lunch at many establishments since giving birth 3 months ago and baby has come too.

“Despite being sleep deprived and managing the household and the baby I still manage to change my baby away from where people are eating.

“Even if I have to go back to the car and change her on the backseat because there’s no bathrooms. I DO NOT say to myself “mums have it hard” and use that as an excuse to change a dirty nappy on a table where people eat!”

Mmm – we have to say, here at MFM HQ we kind of agree that no changing nappies in eating areas seems to be a bit of a given for us.

What do you reckon?

Maybe you think differently? Are there places other than a changing room or toilet where you’ve found yourself putting a nappy on your bubba? Does it make a difference if it’s a number 1 or number 2?

Tell us in the comments below or over on Facebook

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