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public nappy changing tips

2 minutes


Changing a baby’s nappy is nobody’s favourite job. It can be a very fiddly, messy and sometimes quite stressful task, particularly if your baby is squirming at the time. And if you need to do it in public, you could add ‘embarrassing’ to that list.

Changing a nappy in public is sometimes hard to avoid

But while it may not be your first choice to change a nappy in public, the NHS advise that leaving a baby in a dirty nappy can lead to baby contact dermatitis – often known as ‘nappy rash’ – so if there are no adequate facilities at hand, you may not have a choice. Check out our information on how to cope with baby contact dermatitis and newborn baby nappy rash.

‘I had a real complex about changing nappies in public, so when I first had to, at a friend’s birthday picnic, I walked for ages to try and find somewhere private,’ says Issy, mum to Charlie, 4 and Cecila, 1.

‘It was a horrible grubby patch of ground and I did it in a real rush to get it over with before anyone could see me. Now, I really don’t mind as much, I’d rather get my daughter out of a dirty nappy quickly then fuss about who might think what. If people don’t like it, look away.’

Ways to help change your baby without proper facilities

In the stroller

"Sometimes it’s possible to change your baby in their pram, and can be really helpful if there are no changing facilities nearby (or if the ones on offer leave little to be desired).

On your lap

Little babies can sometimes be changed on your lap, and a travel changing mat is always a good idea. (Although a scarf/jumper can make a good substitute).

Backseat or boot of the car

And don’t underestimate how useful the back seat of the car or boot can be if you want to change your baby with a little bit of privacy. And for that reason, keeping a constant stock of nappy-changing supplies in the car as well as your changing bag, to help make sure you’re always prepared for an impromptu nappy change. Read our changing bag checklist for more info on what to bring with baby outdoors.

If you do find yourself having a few awkward nappy changes while out and about - don’t be discouraged. You really will need to change so many nappies over the next couple of years that, pretty quickly, you become pretty good at it.

If you found our public nappy changing tips helpful, check out our other articles on the Parenting Hub:

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