Baby changing facilities are important in a wide variety of venues. In some, they’re absolutely essential. In others, baby changing facilities can ensure that customers are even happier with your customer service, spending longer at your venue and, ultimately, giving you more money. News of a good changing facility can travel far and wide, and you might even bring people to your venue just to use your facilities which can help you to attract completely new customers
Yet, it’s not enough to provide a room with a baby changing table and add a sign indicating that it’s your ‘Baby Changing’ facility. So, how can you create a great facility to really help parents and guardians?
Babies might not take up a lot of space, but you’d be surprised how hard it is to change a nappy when you’re in a small room. In fact, you need somewhere to put your bags and equipment, room to move your arms around and space to not feel cramped and claustrophobic. If you’re trying to create a good baby changing facility then don’t just convert a cupboard – find a room big enough to move around in, and to park a pram in.
Parents and guardians typically know what they’re doing when it comes to stocking their baby changing bag, but all sorts of things could go wrong. A screaming baby could distract a mum just as she’s leaving the house, and she could leave her changing bag by the front door. A dad could be out shopping for longer than he’d planned and could run out of nappies. A cheeky toddler could have removed the nappy bags or baby wipes from the changing bag without their carer realising.
There are many reasons why a flustered parent might reach a baby changing facility and find that they haven’t got everything that they need. A supply of nappies in various sizes, baby wipes and nappy bags could save someone’s day. Consider supplying them free of charge by leaving them on a shelf and inviting customers to help themselves, or install a vending machine so that people can pay for what they need.
No parent wants to put a full nappy back into their changing bag to transport it home in the car. Provide a bin or nappy disposal facility so that they can leave their baby’s dirty nappy behind.
You’d be surprised how many baby changing facilities don’t include somewhere to wash. Mums don’t want to wipe their hands using a baby wipe – they’d prefer something more effective. A sink, some soap and a hand dryer are great additions to a baby changing room, but even a small hand sanitiser dispenser is going to be appreciated.
Breastfeeding mothers are sure to appreciate space to feed their child comfortably. A comfortable feeding chair within the main changing area is fine, but if your changing rooms are going to be available for more than one parent to use at once then you might want to add a separate feeding cubicle or a curtain that can be pulled across to provide a mum with privacy.
Women’s toilet cubicles are typically nowhere near big enough for a parent with a child and a pushchair. Men can have even more difficulty taking babies with them whilst using the toilet, as they’d have to bring their child to the urinals. Ideally, a baby changing facility should include a toilet specifically for parents and guardians to use. If it’s completely separate from the main baby changing area, this can be even more comfortable for men.
If you really want to go above and beyond, consider that many parents and guardians are out and about with multiple children in tow. No toddler wants to stand around waiting whilst their little brother or sister is having their nappy changed, and it can be hard to focus on two children at once. Providing distractions for other kids can help to make the experience much less stressful. Consider a TV with a kid’s show or a Disney DVD on repeat, or perhaps an interesting wall mural with items that children have to find.
What do you look for in a baby changing facility? Do you have any suggestions to add to this list? Leave them in a comment.