Moms expect a ton of new tasks to enter their lives when they have children. Late night feedings, gentle burping, and diaper changes come to mind. Mom will change more diapers than she can even imagine, and she will become a pro at dealing with poo explosions in any circumstances.
It's a good thing moms become so adapt at changing diapers because they will need those skills when life leaves them in less than stellar situations. Babies have to go when they have to go, and though there are changing tables in more places now than ever before, it's not easy to change a child just anywhere.
From the horrific smell to the sometimes fluid-like consistency, diaper changing is gross. However, it's even worse in certain places than others. Due to a lack of sanitation and the judgy eyes of observers, there are diaper changing locations that land at the top of the most horrific list.
Every mom has a horror story, and by sharing them it's easier for all of us to feel better about that time we had to change our baby on a plane or at a concert. We know as well as anyone that diaper changes are gross, but as the parents we're at the mercy of the baby. When the diaper is about to overflow, we do what we have to do.
Potty training as soon as a child is ready is the only way to avoid the diaper changing fiascos. Until then, we're stuck doing what is required to have a happy baby with a clean bottom.
The movie Snakes on a Plane presented what is probably one of the worst scenarios on a plane. A close second to snakes falling out of overhead compartments is a baby who needs a diaper change on a plane.
Airplane bathrooms are tiny, so mom usually ends up changing her child in her lap or in an empty seat next to her. The smell moves through the plane quickly, and there is no way to air it out. If the plane hits turbulence, this adds an extra level of challenge to the whole experience.
Because some passengers are not nice about babies on planes in the first place due to how much they cry, it's inevitable that at least one fellow passenger will have something to say about the diaper changing situation. There's really nothing mom can do about it but hope it only happens once on her trip.
It's still possible to walk into a bathroom and find that there is not a changing table. When this happens at a restaurant, it's even more problematic. It's true that no one wants to poop where they eat, except for babies because they really just do not care.
Trying to change a child at a restaurant is horrific because people are eating their food. Moms have changed their children in a booth, and some even brave putting the baby on the table for the diaper change.
Obviously, this is gross, and customers have complained about moms doing this while they are trying to eat. Though we get used to the look and smell of our kids waste, other people don't, and it's understandable that no one wants to see a child's poop while eating.
After having children our cars are pretty much disgusting anyway. They are covered in cracker crumbs and leftover applesauce, and all of this is accompanied by the smell of rotten milk. Adding to this lovely combination is the poop smell that comes when we have to change our child in the car.
Places without changing tables often force us into this situation. Plus, sometimes kids actually do us the courtesy of pooping before we are in the middle of a store, so we have the opportunity to remedy the situation before we head inside.
Unfortunately, that often means laying a child on our floor mats to deal with their diaper issue. It stinks, and we have to continue to drive our car around after turning it into a moving toilet. There's also the added humiliation of all the people passing us by in the parking lot, just watching us look for a place to store a used diaper.
Nothing says we're cool like whipping out a diaper bag and changing a baby. This can happen at a concert or at any even that takes place in an arena or open viewing area. While it's nice to get out and still enjoy the things we did before having kids, the cost is having to change diapers in public alongside people who may or may not be in our stage of life.
Because the trek to the bathrooms can take so long, mom often finds herself changing a baby's diaper while those around her are still trying to enjoy the show. It's loud, the baby is usually distracted making it hard to convince him to be still, and those in closest proximity receive the full scent of whatever baby had for dinner.
This situation alone is enough to keep parents home until they can find reliable baby sitters.
There are plenty of friends who don't judge us for needing to change our kids at their houses. In fact, a person doesn't have to be a parent to sympathize with the struggles of parenthood. However, childless friends who don't particularly like babies or who have no idea what it's like to raise one can make dealing with diaper issues awful.
Friends who gag at the first smell of poop or who scoff when mom pulls out the diaper bag are going to make it extra difficult to deal with diaper changes. In these situations, mom needs to ask where she should change the baby and where to dispose of the diaper. Understanding what this friend wants in advance will make it easier.
Still, there are those who will talk about how gross babies are or how they can't believe a poo explosion happened at their house. It's not a bad idea to remind these people that they used to be babies and did the same thing.
Taking a child to the park is a great way to kill time and enjoy nature. Children love the sights and sounds, and mom can often catch up with friends while the little one explores.
Nothing derails a park day like a dirty diaper. There are sometimes bathrooms at parks, but many times mom is just left with a swing set and some sand, and she has to decide where best to clean her baby.
The park is so hard because of the elements. The wind blowing can throw a spare pebble into the baby's diaper. Other kids running around make it difficult to put the child on the ground. Plus, toddlers often grow curious when they see a baby having a diaper changed, so they roam over in the middle of everything to explore. It's overwhelming, and it's gross.
The car is always an option if it is within walking distance from the park. However, many children become outraged if they think they are being taken home, so it's sometimes just better to deal with the park situation than it is to take them kicking and screaming to the car.
Many families walk together after dinner or take family hikes to get exercise and fresh air. It's important for parents to make sure they pack plenty of clean diapers, and then it's good to hope they don't have to be used.
Hiking trails often only have bathrooms at the starting points, and even those usually don't have changing tables. That means once mom and dad set out, they are pretty much on their own in case of a poo explosion. It's possible to change a child in a stroller, but it's not easy. Pulling off the trail and trying to find a safe place to put the baby that isn't covered in rocks, dirt, or bugs is also a challenge.
Because of this, parents get creative, and one may try to hold the baby while the other changes the diaper. Best of luck with that since liquid poop will slide right down the arms of the one willing to hold the little one, making for a long, smelly ride back to the car.
A typical day at the beach with a baby involves all the basics: water, sun, sand, poop. While vacationing with kids is going to be lot more work than vacationing without them, it's even harder when they fill their tiny swimmer diapers with feces.
Those swim diapers are basically meant to hold nothing, so when a child does go at the beach it likely will not be contained. Plus, mom better hope she brought a blanket because sand is not kind when it's time to change a diaper.
Changing a diaper in sand ensures an unhappy child because the sand sticks to their little bottoms and won't let go. It irritates them, and no amount of wipes seems to get rid of it all. That's why a blanket or changing pad are essential beach items when a baby is involved.
Children make precious flower girls and ring bearers, and they can add cuteness to a wedding like nothing else. They can also add dirty diapers for all the guests to deal with.
Because weddings often have long lines to get into the ladies room, mom will have to scramble when it comes time to change her baby. Kids generally wear cute attire to weddings, so moving quickly is the only way to make sure it's not destroyed during a diaper accident.
Taking a child to a car to change the diaper may be an option, but when it's not mom is left trying to find the least populated area to change a diaper. It can be difficult to maneuver in nice clothes while trying not to get covered in poo, but moms adapt to almost any circumstances. Just remember lots of wipes and a change of clothes for everyone.
It's tragic when babies have to attend funerals because one of mom's loved ones has died. It can happen at any stage of a child's life, and if the child is in diapers, the mourning process can get even more complicated.
Funeral homes may or may not have bathrooms with changing tables, and it's not convenient to find a place to change a baby when there are mourning people all around. Changing a child in a car or in a private room is best when possible, but if it's not mom is left having to find a way to try not to offend anyone while still getting her baby clean.
Portable changing pads make it easier, and burp cloths can even stand in if mom doesn't have a changing pad. Anything to keep the baby clean and off a dirty floor is a good idea.
There are instances when mom isn't the one who has to change the baby. Dads have found themselves with a baby who needs a diaper change only to realize that many men's restrooms don't come equipped with changing tables. It's unfair, and many men complain about it regularly.
When this happens, dads have to try to find a way to change a baby's diaper in the men's room, an area with urinals and stalls but no safe place to put a child down. This usually ends with dad sitting on a toilet and placing the baby on his lap, balancing the child while changing the diaper. It doesn't take much imagination to realize how this could go wrong.
Moms and dads are smart to petition for changing tables in men's restrooms since dads are equal partners in the parenting journey. It's not fair for them to have to improvise because they are given no other options.
Even a place designed for diaper changes can be one of the grossest places to change a child. Changing tables are great if they are kept clean and every mom follows the rule to clean up her baby's mess and wipe down the table when finished. Unfortunately, there are plenty of moms who don't follow this code.
Moms have found changing tables with dirty diapers still on them and used wipes just wadded up and left behind. There are times when it's possible to see leftover waste from another child's diaper smeared across the table, and this is a good reminder that changing tables are just public toilets for babies.
Using a changing pad on a changing table is not overkill and may add another level of protection from bacteria and germs. It's never a bad idea to do what we can to create the cleanest experience possible.
Taking a child to a doctor's office is gross enough on its own. Germs, sick kids, and the overall feeling that touching anything is the wrong idea surround the doctor experience. Add a poop diaper and the trip is even harder to bear.
Many doctor's offices have signs up asking parents not to throw poop diapers in the trash can in the office. We get it, poop stinks, but that leaves mom with a dirty diaper just hanging out in her purse until she leaves.
There's also the issue of even changing the kid. Sure, we can change them on the table where the paper is rolled out to keep infections from spreading, but the minute we put the child on that bed they think they are getting a shot. That leads to screaming, rolling, and a whole lot of mess for mom and baby.
We love story time at the library, and there's no better place for a child to be to work on their reading and word skills. However, when it's time to change our child, there's not always a storybook ending.
After story time programs, pretty much every parent rushes the bathroom to change their babies before getting in the car. That means a child who has already overloaded their diaper will likely not be first in line to use the changing table.
There are moms who have tried to sneak into the stacks and change the baby among all the beautiful books. If this works, great. If not, there will be some very judgmental patrons and librarians staring mom down as she tries to sneak out quietly.
It's embarrassing to get caught changing our kids in a place that's not designed for that, but it happens to us all.