Oh poo . . .
Sometimes it happens — the blowout! At church, in the car seat or as you walk into the Sioux Center Health Medical Clinic for a doctor’s appointment.
Having two kids in two years has taught me to be prepared as I travel. I bring wipes, extra diapers, an extra baby outfit and especially a changing pad because often there’s no diaper-changing station in the restroom or a sink surface I can easily turn into a spot for a quick diaper change.
Surprisingly, this was the case at the medical clinic. A nurse helped me hunt for an open room (only one was found!) as I walked around with a dripping infant and self.
One mom once told me if all else fails, try your lap. Supposedly, our laps are built-in changing stations on which we can put a changing pad over our upper thighs and change our little one right on there.
The image of wrestling an alligator in water, leaving the handler soaked and crying comes to mind and has prevented me from trying this method.
I refuse to use the bathroom floor. (I don't want to think about what's on that floor . . .)
And I refuse to leave my baby sitting in a smelly mess, especially if it threatens to ooze out onto me — or already has.
In two years I’ve learned which places around town don’t have changing tables. I don’t go to those restaurants out of principle, or at least until I don’t have children in diapers. The Centre Mall, the Sioux Center Public Library and Walmart remain on my “can go there” list as a family.
My husband and I don’t want to restrict ourselves so much in that we feel we can’t go out as a family, but having to change our baby near our eating table has an impact on our appetites.
I know this problem isn’t new.
Up until the mid-'80s, it was exceedingly difficult for parents (at the time, that mostly meant mothers) to find a good place to change a diaper. In that parental distress, Jeff Hilger, then a medical-device salesman near Minneapolis, saw an opportunity. He and a couple of friends decided that the best solution was a fold-out device that could be mounted to a wall. Since 1987, the Koala Kare changing table has been available for businesses to install to support their customers.
I can only guess what the factors are that have resulted in the lack of changing tables — lack of space in the bathroom? Not wanting to spend today’s price of $211 plus shipping on a Koala Kare changing table from Amazon? Maybe there’s a liability issue? (There are other versions of the baby changing station out there from which to choose.)
What I do know is that in a time when more families are on the go, it’s hard to see such a practical solution as installing a changing table go unused.
Times are changing; perhaps I just need to create a mobile app that lists places with changing tables. That lack of dots in Sioux Center and N'West Iowa might encourage changing table use to grow. Families with young children — a high percentage of the community — may appreciate the foresight.