We’ve all been there. Unsightly bathrooms. A friend’s house. A parking lot. Diaper changes happen everywhere!
Are you aware that there are unwritten diaper changing etiquette rules to be aware of when outside the confines of your own home? Let’s discuss some of them:
Public bathroom with a changing table. A good rule of thumb is to wipe down the changing table before you change your baby, and then it’s good etiquette to wipe it down afterwards too. This will help prevent spreading germs, urine and feces. Every time someone flushes the toilet in the bathroom, little pieces of their business may be sprinkled around. I used to carry disinfectant wipes with me – but a standard wipe or wet paper towel will do. Always use a changing pad too.
Bathroom with no changing table. We’ve all been there. You need to change your baby’s diaper but the insensitive restaurant has no changing tables in the bathroom. Avoid putting your baby on the bathroom floor at all costs. The floor is a hotbed for germs – ick! If your baby can stand up, place some paper towels on the floor and change your baby while he stands. Otherwise your car – or anywhere for that matter – is a better option.
Airplanes. Most airplanes have compact changing tables in the bathroom, but not all do and that can create quite the dilemma thousands of miles above the ground. I’ve seen moms change their babies on the pull-down tray tables or seats. It grosses me out a bit – people eat and sit there! Talk to the flight attendant about an appropriate place to change your baby’s diaper. If she points to the floor, grab that extra burp cloth or light blanket and put your baby atop it.
Friend or family house with no baby. If your friend doesn’t have a baby, it is polite to ask where you should change your baby’s diaper, after all, they may not want you doing it on their $10,000 bedspread. The host will likely provide you with a towel you can place on the floor, or you can ask for one. If your baby poops, be sure to knock off the solids over the toilet – even if you have a disposable diaper! I always cringe when I see disposable diapers full of poop being left at a host’s house. The kind and generous host then has to deal with the stink bomb until trash day – no fair. Put poop in the toilet where it belongs or take home the dirty diaper to dispose of later (better yet, use cloth diapers!).
Friend’s house with a baby. It is polite to ask if you can use another baby’s changing table before assuming it’s okay. Again, you should ask the guest for a towel to put over it so you prevent the spread of germs from one baby to another.
About those changing pads… wash them, all the time. They spread germs not just from your baby, but from the locales they touched to protect your baby. Clean ‘em regularly!!
Remember a little diaper changing etiquette goes a long way to a cleaner, more polite and germ-free diapering world!
Known as the “Mother of the Modern Cloth Diaper,” Tereson Dupuy invented the cloth diaper that started the entire modern cloth diapering movement more than a decade ago. She later turned her invention into what is known today as FuzziBunz cloth diapers, a popular brand of cloth diapers since 1999. As an inventor, business owner and mom to three, Tereson has many years of personal and professional experience in the cloth diaper industry, and she’s excited to work with The Cloth Diaper Whisperer to offer her perspective on cloth diapering trends and insights.
By Tereson Dupuy