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Diapering Baby On the Go

Heading out for a day with baby? Here are some diaper bag must-haves, with tips for diapering babies in public, too

Diapering Baby in Public

In a perfect world, every public spot would have a public restroom. And every public restroom would have a perfectly clean baby-changing table.

But you received too many receiving blankets and no diapers at your baby shower, so you already know this is not a perfect world. So when it comes down to cleaning poop in public, how do fellow parents manage?

  • They use that less-than-sanitary changing table. Although many public restrooms do have changing tables, they’re often far from clean. That’s where your changing pads come in handy.
  • They use the stroller or car seat. Although neither of these is really made for a quick diaper change, both will do in a pinch, especially if you have a diaper pad.
  • They improvise. If there’s no changing table or restroom available, many parents make do with what’s around.

Parents Richard Ford and Amiee Peri make use of the flat, safe expanse of their car’s trunk to change baby Hudson. “It sounds weird,” says Peri, “but what makes it easy is: First, it's your trunk, so you know it's not dirty from tons of other people using it; second, you can spread your stuff out to make it easier to reach what you need; and third, it's flat!” Unlike the car’s contoured back seat, there’s no risk of baby falling.

Diapering Etiquette: No Diaper Left Behind

Most parents and pediatricians roundly discourage changing baby in a restaurant or other close places. Not only do dirty diapers spread disease but, frankly, baby poop can stink. And although many moms and dads may be inured to this daily task, parents run the risk of forgetting that not everyone is.

If you’re in a mall, restaurant, or other indoor spot, also be sure to tote dirty baby diapers and wipes out with you in a plastic bag to dispose of at home. It’s a lot more courteous than tossing a stinky diaper in a public trash can.

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Reviewed on August 29, 2015