My husband and I recently took our 1-year-old, Rowdy on his first road trip. And you know the worst thing about road trips – public restrooms! And now with a baby we were also faced with changing diapers in public. It may surprise you, but I have never changed Rowdy’s diaper in a public restroom at a baby changing station, or anything like that before. Most of the time I am able to change him at home or at the home of family when we’re visiting. In the few cases in which I’ve needed to change him while we’re out and about, I have opted to use my car as a changing station.
Our journey was about 15-16 hours each way, which is quite a long time for an adult to travel in one day, much less a baby or young child. Rowdy is a well behaved baby without too much of a temper, but I was prepared to cut him a little slack in that department during the trip. Fortunately, he was a champ. We only got a little whiny whimper out of him. No actual crying at all. He must get the good behavior and angel-like tendencies from his mother. 😉 For the most part, we changed his diaper in the car when we stopped to get food or gas. I wouldn’t say that changing his diaper in the car with the car door wide open in the middle of a Cracker Barrel parking lot is ideal, but I made sure to park strategically and block him from view as much as possible. Have you ever walked to your car in a parking lot and passed someone changing a dirty diaper at the car out in the open for all the world to see? I have. It’s not the most pleasant sight. So I was determined to avoid that as much as possible and also avoid using a changing station in a public restroom. I like things clean. I dislike public restrooms in general. I’d prefer not to change a diaper in one. End of story. On the way back home, my husband, Ryan opted to use the baby changing station in the handicap stall of a men’s restroom at a newer clean-looking fast food joint. He also changed Rowdy’s diaper later on in the trip at a changing station in the men’s restroom at an outdoors store. I performed a quick interview with him concerning his experience. Here I am, Rowdy’s mother, the parent that spends more time with him, and I had never used a public changing station but my husband had. So basically, Ryan said that they were both too low to the ground (he’s 6’3″, but he claims that even someone several inches shorter than him would prefer them to be mounted higher on the wall), they both looked general clean (although when Rowdy tried to grab the fabric safety straps so that he could chew on them, Ryan promptly intervened – thank GOD), he didn’t get any bad looks from fellow restroom goers and a hand sanitizer pump nearby would be a nice addition. The biggest problem he had was juggling the diaper bag (an Elmo backpack) because it’s missing the top strap that most backpacks have. Apparently, if it still had that strap, it would have hung on the little hook provided just fine and dandy.
So, what did I learn from this experience? I learned that if I need to change Rowdy’s diaper in a public restroom, hopefully Ryan is there to do it because he’s not near as grossed out by public restrooms as I am. 🙂
How do you feel about changing diapers in public? Are you a fan of changing stations in public restrooms? Do you think it’s inappropriate to change a diaper in the car in a parking lot?