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Kardashian Is Right: Changing Diapers in Public Is Gross

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Lesson #1 for new parents: The world is not your changing table.

Diaper Change
momlogic's Momstrosity: I never, ever thought I would have something in common with Kim Kardashian. I've never seen her show, never read about her exploits in the tabloids, can't figure out how she got so famous. 

Today, all of that changed with one solitary tweet. 

The star of "Keeping Up with the Kardashians" complained on Twitter over the weekend that a woman had done an impromptu diaper-change on a table in the restaurant where Kim was lunching. Kim followed up her tweet complaint with, "DON'T change a dirty at the dinner table...u use the restroom. Everyone was complaining! Just unsanitary." 

Yep, this reality star and I are now BFFs. Seriously, what possesses parents to change their kids' diapers in public, near food? It's freakin' disgusting! I know from experience: One night, I went out to dinner with a friend and her 3-month-old baby. Suddenly, without warning, she put the kid down underneath our table and proceeded to wipe her kid's bum while I uncomfortably poked at my salad. She called it, "Guerilla Parenting: Getting It Done Anytime, Anywhere." I called it "Gag-Reflex Parenting." I found it hard to keep my food down.

Here's a tip: Feeding should be done in public; we all eat in public, even if it's out of a mom's boob. But to the best of my knowledge, none of us use the bathroom in public ... and if we do, we shouldn't be doing it between the appetizer and the main course. (And I know that Kimmy agrees -- at least with the diaper part. Breastfeeding, not so much.)

Eating and diaper-changing should be kept separate. Even my 4-year-old knows that the place to explain the consistency of her latest "gigantic poo" is not at the dinner table. 

Am I being too squeamish? (And Kim, if you're reading this, let's get together soon, K?)

next: Should Medical Marijuana Users Lose Custody of Kids?
28 comments so far | Post a comment now
Nev June 21, 2010, 2:06 PM

UGH! Unclassy parents for sure.

Lua June 21, 2010, 2:10 PM

Yikes! I wouldn’t change a diaper near food! Goodness!

Mariah June 21, 2010, 2:36 PM

I don’t make it a habit of changing a baby in the dining area, but I have to admit, I have done this 2 times. Once with my first and once with my second. Both times the dining area was nearly empty, and I had gone to the restroom first to change them, only to find it completely disgusting and with no changing area/table. There was no way I was laying my baby down in there. Neither instance was actually on the table, both were on the booth bench and neither time was with feces, only wet and as fast as I could pull one off and throw the other on as discreetly, and quietly as possible. Neither time did anyone even seem to notice what I was doing or care for that matter.

Now, on a table IS gross whether it’s pee or poo. But the friend laying their baby on the floor under the table is gross too. I wouldn’t do that, not b/c it’s gross for the diners, but gross for the baby. A baby should never be laid on a public floor.

Now I live in Florida, so running out to the car in 100 degree heat to change a baby is out of the question. The problem here is too many establishments not providing adequate places to change and the baby, leaving many parents to not even try and just “get it done”. I may not like it, but I understand it. That doesn’t mean I ever want to smell poo while eating, baby or not.

Anonymous June 21, 2010, 2:48 PM

I agree that sometimes you just HAVE to. Especially with a diaper-rash-inducing poopie diaper. While at a Wendy’s, with pouring rain outside, we had no choice but to change our baby on the seat of a booth. (Because I have never seen a Wendy’s with a changing table!) In those circumstances, I aways use a changing pad and try to be discrete, but sometimes it has to be done. I absolutely think every effort should be made to change a baby far away from the table, but if the car isn’t an option and the establishment doesn’t provide adequate facilities, what are you going to do?

Jessica June 21, 2010, 3:03 PM

Really though, how far must the bathroom have been from her table? It’s a freakin restaurant (and I’d guess it’s a nice restaurant too)! It couldn’t have been more than 50 feet away and sanitary enough to change her baby there! She could’ve excused herself from the table and gone to the restroom to do it. It’s unsanitary, rude and absolutely doesnt take any of the other customers into consideration either.

Secret Mommy June 21, 2010, 4:27 PM

Too funny, anonymous! The only place I’ve ever changed a dipe besides the bathroom was a Wendy’s, too. I’ve been writing their corporate office to complain since we regularly stop at one on the way to our cabin.

But otherwise I agree. Mothers, do NOT change your baby’s diaper where others eat! It’s gross. And against health code laws. Honestly, I think a restaurant could be shut down on the spot if an inspector happened to be there and see that. Though this gets me to thinking that ALL restaurants would probably pony up the $100 for a changing table then, huh??? :)

Mariah June 21, 2010, 5:57 PM

Wow, 2 women actually mention a Wendy’s and that was 1 of the places I had to change my son on the booth bench. The other was a Pizza Hut. Now if these franchises can’t get it straight that a baby changing station is needed, what’s make you think a high class establishment would?

@Jessica, When you go into a bathroom with no place to lay an infant who is much more supceptible to the millions of germs and viruses on every surface, where do you suggest the baby be changed? On the bathroom floor? I think not. If there were even counter space in the bathrooms next to the sink, I would change the baby there. But you would not believe how many spaces don’t even have that! (Again, not agreeing that the table was the next best option).

Lindy June 21, 2010, 6:24 PM

I would change my kid (and have done it) in the back seat of my car before I would do it in a restaurant booth. That’s just tacky. I don’t care what your excuse is. When my daughter was baby, public places did not even have the diaper decks in the restrooms like they do now. We had to make do but never did anything gross like that.

Thusspeaks June 21, 2010, 7:00 PM

I have intentionally changed a diaper in very conspicuous places, but reserve that totally obnoxious behavior for places that don’t have changing tables. The way I see it, is that if a place is marketing itself as family friendly (by having or selling play structures, kid’s meals, high chairs, or toys) they should go all the way and provide changing tables. If they don’t, then they must suffer the consequences. The one place I specifically remember doing this is at a Best Buy, they didn’t have a changing table in the bathroom so I changed the diaper on top of a stove in the appliance section.

Anonymous June 21, 2010, 9:57 PM

Secret Mommy, we were at Wendy’s again tonight (I swear we don’t eat there THAT often!), and guess what? A total blow-out poopie diaper. They just remodeled, so I *hoped* to find a changing table when I peeked inside the restroom, but no such luck. Thankfully it was nice enough outside that she could be changed on the floor of our minivan, but I don’t consider that much better.

Oh, and another thought… My husband frequently takes the kids out himself, and I can’t believe how often he discovers there are no changing tables in the men’s restroom. That really puts him in a tough situation.

I’m not defending people who do it when there are otherwise acceptable places to change a diaper, but sometimes options are limited. It has to be a case-by-case decision. Hopefully most people wouldn’t do it on a regular basis.

Secret Mommy June 21, 2010, 10:55 PM

Everyone write a letter to Wendy’s via their corporate website! And contact any other restaurant for that matter!!!! Recently a woman in my town went on a crusade to get changing tables installed in a few Starbucks near her that didn’t have them. Voila! Within a few weeks of her “campaign” they got the changing tables! :)

As for the Wendy’s we frequent with no tables…we often drive through that town during the winter and those are the most often times I’ve used their restaurant bench to change my baby’s diaper. When it was cold and windy and SNOWING outside I didn’t think my car was a very good option…and I LOVE Thusspeaks’ idea of using the diaper change as a motivational statement to a biz! How true that a business might get the picture if you haul your baby’s wet or soiled bottom up on top of some OTHER piece of furniture for a nappy change. Hahaha! I love it! I haven’t ranted on my blog in a long time, I’m feeling a big, good one coming on about places without changing tables… :D

Sophia June 21, 2010, 11:14 PM

You’re definitely not being squeamish. Public breast-feeding I totally support, but public diaper-changing, ESPECIALLY at the table in a restaurant, is a completely different thing, if for no other reason than the unsanitary nature of it. Ick.

Gigohead  June 22, 2010, 6:32 AM

I also have to admit that I’m with Kim on this issue. I’ve never changed my son in a public restaurant. But I have to admit that one offender is Red Lobster. The restaurant in Middletown has the changer IN the booth which is unsanitary since droplets of dirty water can land on it. I found it so uncomfortable to change my son but I had to do it. Wish builders would be more considerate of where they put their Koala changers when they design these places!!!

momof4 June 22, 2010, 7:56 AM

if no changing area is available I would prob run to my car to change the little stinker, not at the dinner table. I did change little miss in the back of an Old navy once

Tiffany June 22, 2010, 12:51 PM

I’ve never changed my child at any restaurant! Not even in the bathrooms! I used to work in the restaurant to know well enough that the bathrooms aren’t cleaned the way they should be…especially the the changing tables!!!! The first thing a child does is rub his/her hands all over the table and the walls…eww! I have an SUV, so I open up the back..lay her down…and change her there. I say…use your vehicles if you can…use the back seat if you have a car.

lissalou June 22, 2010, 5:16 PM

I’ve been in more than one place where the restroom wasn’t fit to change my baby’s diaper in. What did I do? I took her out to my car and changed her there. Wasn’t really a hard decision to make.

Anonymous June 22, 2010, 6:41 PM

I think people fail to understand a car isn’t always an option. -What if there’s a torrential downpour outside? What about urban dwellers who don’t tend to use a car to get from place to place (think NYC)? What is the solution then?
Seriously, what do you all suggest in those circumstances? -No really, it’s a serious question.

Jessie June 22, 2010, 7:28 PM

OK, look. In a perfect world, every public restroom would have a baby-changing station or at least a nice big counter next to the sink. But they don’t. And if you’re out and about with your kid, without a car, what the heck are you supposed to do? The bathroom floor is obviously out. I agree with your friend — get it done. Do what you need to do.

As for those who are around, life’s tough sometimes. Boo hoo.

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JW July 14, 2010, 7:54 AM

I agree… you make the effort to change appropriately in a bathroom… but… if the facilities are either not clean or they do not provide a place to do it, the bench of a booth is fine. NEVER ON THE TABLE THOUGH! I also agree with those who use a booth to make a public comment towards the establishment that does not provide proper utilities. It is a two way street. Parents should make the efforts to use facilities available and, if they are not available, they should try to discretely use a booth seat and those who may witness this should not get bent out of shape about it, especially if they know the facilities there are subpar.

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