parents changing diaper in public
growing babies

tips for changing diapers in public

2 minutes

Changing a baby’s diaper 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 diaper in public is sometimes hard to avoid

But while it may not be your first choice to change a diaper in public, medical practitioners advise that leaving a baby in a dirty diaper can lead to contact dermatitis – often know as ‘diaper rash’ – so if there are no adequate facilities at hand, you may not have a choice.(For more on how to prevent and manage diaper rash, see our article here).

‘I had a real complex about changing diapers 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, mom 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 diaper 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

"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).

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

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 diaper-changing supplies in the car as well as your changing bag, to help make sure you’re always prepared for an impromptu diaper change.

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

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