Learn how to safely change your baby’s diaper in public when there’s no available changing area.
Need to Change Your Baby’s Diaper in Public?
It’s an unfortunate event, but there will come a time when you need to change your baby’s diaper in public. Why unfortunate?
- There may be no safe place to lay baby down.
- There may be no clean place to lay baby down.
- If it’s a messy diaper, you run the risk of making a mess on another surface.
- There may be an audience.
Doesn’t sound fun, now does it?
It can be an adjustment to change your baby’s diaper in public, especially when you’re used to having a safe, clean surface with everything you need nearby when you’re at home.
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Here’s what you can do to keep your baby safe and clean when changing your baby’s diaper in public:
Stock your diaper bag with the necessary diaper changing items:
- diaper rash cream,
- small plastic bags/wet bags,
- hand sanitizer,
- sanitizing wipes,
- and extra clothes.
Not sure which kind of diapers are right for your baby? Get diaper samples!
Bring a diaper changing pad.
You want a clean surface when you change the diaper. You can use a portable changing pad or a muslin blanket.
Locate the nearest restroom.
If there is no restroom available or in sight, locate a changing room when in a store, or find a bench or a clean space on the ground when at a park or other outdoor venue.
If you’re in a public restroom, try to use the wall-mounted diaper changing table.
Use a changing pad to keep your baby from touching the surface, or if you’re without one, line the table with paper towels or a blankie.
Make sure to use the safety belt; it’s there in case the baby should roll. If you’re concerned about its cleanliness, wipe it down first with hand sanitizer or a sanitizing wipe.
Never leave your baby unattended on one of these!
If there is no changing table, you may need to change your baby’s diaper on the floor.
Not preferred, but it’s sometimes your only option. Once again use your changing pad or a blankie. If you have an extra blankie or burp cloth, use it to kneel on.
If you’re in a changing room in a store, try to use a stall that has a bench inside, or find a clean space on the floor inside of a stall. Be sure to use a changing pad or blanket on whatever surface you use.
If you’re in a park, try to find a bench.
If there aren’t any benches, find a grassy spot. In any case, use your diaper changing mat or blankie to lay baby down. Be careful of the baby rolling if you are on a bench!
If you’re worried about an audience, either cover baby’s parts with a wipe, burp cloth, or small blankie, or find a semi-secluded spot.
If all of those options are out, don’t forget about your car!
If you have a hatch back, you can change your baby’s diaper in the back of the car. You can also use the back seat, but in both cases use a changing pad or blanket to keep your car clean.
Try not to use bathroom sinks, a restaurant table, a shopping cart, the floor in a store in the middle of an aisle, or the tops of picnic tables to change the baby’s diaper.
Would you want someone else to change their baby’s diaper where you wash your hands, shop, or eat your food? Nope. Didn’t think so.
Also, don’t forget to wash your hands (or use sanitizer)!
Get a homemade hand sanitizer recipe here.
About the Cozy Cover On-the-Go Changing Pad
I was sent the Cozy Cover On-the-Go Changing Pad to review. (Please note that this is no longer available for sale, but there are a multitude of other diaper changing pads just like it.)
I love that while it can be taken along in a diaper bag, it can also be used on its own as it has enough storage for diaper changing needs when you need to change your baby’s diaper in public.
The On-the-Go Changing Pad is a cushioned 20″ x 23″ changing pad that has expandable pockets, and easy to clean surface, and a velcro strap/handle that can be used to attach the changing pad to a stroller or your wrist.
Along with the pockets that fold inside when the pad is folded, there is also a zipper pouch that can be used for keys and a phone.
This is not like other flimsy changing pads. This is a thicker pad yet it is very light. Even with two diapers, a small pack of wipes, and keys, it’s less than a pound in weight.
I love the shape of this diaper pad. It isn’t the standard rectangle; it has a rounded middle so that when a baby’s arms are at his/her side, they are not touching a possibly germy surface.
I also love that I can take it with me shopping, on walks, to the park, or to my son’s baseball games. I don’t need to carry around the diaper bag; I can easily fit everything I need into this compact changing pad! It fits in the basket beneath the stroller or I can attach it to the handle of the stroller.
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Alisha Hodges says
The hatchback of my car has been great in good weather! Lots of room and semi-privacy.
I’ve changed in the back of my car many times too. It does offer more privacy than anywhere else!
Many public bathrooms are JUST disgusting. When you open those diaper changing stations that claim to have microwhatever technology and some one else has left a smear of whatever on the plastic??? Grossnoss. Having a diaper changing pad is a must. Then I feel bad for having the pad touch the station. I have been known to put toilet seat covers down 1st.
trunk of the car
Lisa G says
I changed my baby in nasty department store bathrooms.
laurie nykaza says
Camping in the mountains lots of dirt and dust.
At an amusement park
jenna tomaszewski says
At a McDonalds bathroom.