While nappy changes may be one of the more unpleasant parts of parenthood, it’s a completely natural part of your little one’s daily routine. As much as you love your baby, it’s normal not to love their dirty nappies. When they soil a nappy in public, strangers might have less tolerance for that stinky mess than you do. But, to help you through it, here are our tips on how to manage those sticky situations in public!

So, how do you handle a nappy change when you’re far from home?

Remember it’s important to change your baby’s soiled nappy as soon as possible.
Your little one’s skin is particularly sensitive and can become dry and irritated easily. With all the wetness, rubbing and drying that comes with changing nappies, the skin under baby’s nappy can become sore or inflamed. Sitting in a soiled nappy may worsen your baby’s discomfort and increase the chance of nappy rash.

Be considerate, but don’t be ashamed! Sure, changing a nappy in public may feel awkward. You may even get side-looks or scoffs from bypassers. Poo can be taboo amongst a lot of adults! When nature calls, your baby has to answer, so keep in mind that while others may act offended by your baby’s mess, it’s only natural and shouldn’t stop you from cleaning them up.

If you’re close enough to home, consider heading back to your changing area to save yourself some fuss. Sometimes it’s not an option to pack up and leave on the spot, in which case be thoughtful of others around you. While it’s not okay to shame parents for removing a dirty nappy in public, it does matter how you deal with the process.

Choose an appropriate changing area

You’re at a café halfway through your meal when all of a sudden, it’s change time. Don’t use the spare seat next to you as a change table and expect the people trying to enjoy their eggs to be okay with it. If the establishment doesn’t provide a change table, take your little one to a nearby patch of grass, or the back of the car. If you do use a change table, remember to keep your eyes and a hand on your little one at all times to ensure their safety.

A change pad can turn any surface into a clean and comfortable place for nappy changing. It’s a good idea to keep a change pad in the car whenever you’re out and about. If you find yourself without one, clothing or a blanket that can be washed later will do.

Be prepared

Always bring your change bag with you! Newborns can go through 8 to 12 nappies a day, so you’ll be changing them every couple of hours, roughly. Your change bag should have:

  • Wet wipes
  • Hand sanitiser
  • Nappy cream
  • Baby powder
  • Fresh nappies
  • Bags to dispose of dirty nappies
  • Towel for patting them dry
  • Spare cloths or towels, because you never know when you’ll need extra clean-up material, or something to lie your baby down on.

Public nappy changes may feel embarrassing or unsettling at first. Keep in mind that while the situation may be uncomfortable, it’s natural and there are manageable and respectful ways to keep your baby comfortable and clean when you’re out and about – it doesn’t have to mean the end of your outing.