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Changing Diapers in Not-So-Friendly Situations

Posted by CDB Guest on 2/18/2010 to Cloth Diaper How-To

Can you picture it? You're out with your sweet baby, you see your precious love making those distinct facial expressions and grunts and you just know he is leaving you a treasure in his cloth diaper. You rush to the nearest bathroom only to find: No changing table! You start to panic - HOW can a bathroom not have a changing table?!


If you're at a restaurant that doesn't have a changing table you could run your baby out to your car and simply change him there on one of the seats (or if you have a mini-van/suv, in the back). If you don't have a car, are parked too far away, there is inclement weather, etc…you might even have change your baby on the booth - or even tucked away on the floor - yes, people will probably gawk, but, better than leaving your baby in his own stink - am I right?

There is also the option of using the bathroom sink counter for changing your baby. If your baby is still small enough, you could even sit on the toilet and change your baby on your lap, or if you have a toddler, have them stand in the stall while you change them.

Maybe I'm a pot-stirrer (no pun intended), but when all is said and done, I would ask to speak with the manager and let them know the inconvenience placed on you by not having a place to change your baby.

Most malls have changing areas or even family bathrooms, but if you are in a store where there is no bathroom, ask to use a dressing room (if it's a clothing store) or seek out a private corner so as not to disturb other shoppers. A final option would be to find a bench and do your change there.

Now, imagine that you're heading down the road to grandma's house and only three more hours to go and before you know it, sweet baby has a poopy diaper. You check it and discover a huge diarrhea mess! If you are short on baby wipes, you might need to sacrifice an old t-shirt, a men's undershirt, socks, or even a pair of boxers -- at this point, getting baby clean is the goal!

Once baby is clean, you need to deal with the diaper. If you have a cloth diaper wet bag, you have a perfect place to store the soiled cloth diaper until you are able to rinse and wash. If you're near a rest area you might be able to hold off on the diaper change until you reach it, but sometimes the diaper needs to be changed right away - rinsing off the soiled diaper once you can get to the bathrooms of the rest area.


Items to have on hand in such situations do not differ much from what you would normally have on hand for diaper changes. Obviously cloth baby wipes and an extra cloth diaper are needed (though I had a MacGyver-like friend who made do with some paper towels, a hair elastic and an extra t-shirt in a very extreme emergency!).

Cloth diaper wet bags are a great way to stash dirty diapers (and clothing!) when you're out and about (they keep the wet and stink in the bag!) although, a plastic ziploc-style bag works just as well.

Before placing your baby on a counter, a changing station, a booth, or worst case scenario, the floor…use a baby blanket for extra protection and a bit of padding. However, if you use a blanket on the ground, floor or counter, you will want to put that in the wash when you get home! Many cloth diaper bags come with a waterproof vinyl pad on which to lay your baby. You might want to have a small bottle of hand sanitizer in your bag if you are a germ-a-phobe like me.

Be sure to have lots of patience and always keep your sense of humor - you'll need it!


How have you handled a cloth diaper change in an anti-baby bathroom? Any tips to save the day?