Sunday, July 25, 2010

Changing Tables, Nursing Stalls, and Other Finds

I'm really impressed with the accessibility of baby changing tables and nursing stalls in Chicago. The coolest place I discovered was the bathroom at the eatery at the Ridge Mall.

Sam took me there after Oliver took a poopy, and I was floored. I walked in, and a set of comfortable chairs greeted me. On the wall, there were toys for toddlers to play with. On the opposite wall, there were large closet-like rooms with soft chairs for nursing. There were curtains to pull for privacy. Perpendicular to those rooms was a long wall with a counter that ran along it. The counter had about a dozen insets to lay babies down to change their diapers. Next to each station was a sink and a diaper disposal drawer. Last but not least, there was a vending machine that was filled with nutritious children's snacks, including baby food, a portable container of Cheerios, Horizon organic milk, and Gerber finger foods. It was remarkable! I felt like I was in baby heaven.

Midway Airport was not quite as impressive, but they still outdid themselves. I arrived for my flight about four hours early. During my wait, Oliver, of course, needed to be nursed. I was nervous about nursing him by myself in public. I decided to search for a private area. First, I stopped in the family bathroom to change Oliver's diaper. It was perfect! It was a large bathroom with a changing station and a wide chair for nursing as well as a toilet for me. Best of all, it was private. I was able to change Oliver, nurse him, and use the bathroom without a problem. I wish I could personally thank the person who took the time to build that!

Now in Denver, we've returned to the land of bathrooms with no changing stations and no nursing areas. At DIA, Andrew took Oliver to the men's room to change his diaper. He returned a minute later with the news: there was no changing station. I took Oliver in the women's room. No changing station there. I checked the handicapped stall. No changing station there. Back out I went. Andrew and I changed Oliver on the carpet of the baggage claim. At least that's better than changing him on the tile of a restroom floor like I've been known to have to do many times!

Hopefully, Denver will start to make strides in making their public areas more accessible for families with young kids. In the meantime, mind the naked baby on the floor.

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