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Mother kicked out of restaurant for changing baby's diaper at table.

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On Eater this morning.
http://eater.com/archives/2014/08/11/...

I've seen a mother do this before, but not get kicked out. I can't say I don't support the restaurant's decision.

  1. Just a point of clarification, article says "at the table," not "on the table." I think there is a substantive difference.

    3 Replies
    1. re: tcamp

      good point. I edited it to reflect that. Still pretty gross.

      1. re: tcamp

        Either situation has no place in a restaurant dining room. That is what a bathroom is for.

        1. re: tcamp

          I think many would disagree. I certainly would.

        2. Who can possible think it"s acceptable to change their child's diaper at a table, in a restaurant, and in the general vicinity of other people trying to eat? I can only surmise it wasn't just a wet diaper either based on the urgency to change it. Tell the waiter you need to leave for a few minutes, take the kids, and go change the diaper in the minivan!

          The article also references the woman who was kicked out of a resto for breastfeeding. Totally different thing.

          If that restaurant is one that typically serves families, they might want to consider a changing table in the rest room. Just sayin'.

          4 Replies
          1. re: PattiCakes

            "If that restaurant is one that typically serves families, they might want to consider a changing table in the rest room. Just sayin'."

            Yep. And if it isn't one that typically serves families, perhaps those with diaper-wearing babies in tow should reconsider dining there.

            1. re: sockii

              I can't get past the contradiction that some restaurants present: they offer a kids' menu, but do not have changing tables in the restrooms. Make up your mind, please! Do you welcome (or tolerate) children, or not? Kids who are still in diapers often eat their own meals...

              PattiCakes, I totally agree with you that the reporter should NOT have brought up breastfeeding in the same article. Food in is appropriate; food out is not. :o

              1. re: truman

                There are many "kids" who don't wear diapers. There is a difference btw kids and babies. BTW, I was in the situation once where my grandson, then under 2, needed to have his diaper changed in a hurry, for the reasons you intimated, and my daughter in law took him out to the mini-van. He created a scene in the parking lot - better than in the restaurant. I would have been pretty upset if she changed him at the table - and he is my grandson.

            2. re: PattiCakes

              I remember when Lulu was 5 months old, and we were in NYC together. I took her to the MoMA and we ate at the Modern. Well, I ate at the modern and she looked like a cute little baby. Her diaper needed changing, I took her to the rest room - no diaper changing station. But I had my diaper bag with me, so onto the floor she went on top of the pad the diaper bag had inside it, and her dipes were changed. No one ended up offended. I got to have a nice meal, she got the experience of being with her happy mom in a non-playground, non-kid oriented place.

              Totally not ok to change your kid in a restaurant other than in the bathroom.

            3. I would have said something, probably something not very nice.

              1. I totally agree with everyone that it's not an acceptable place, and I will not make an excuse for the mother in question. That said, many restaurant bathrooms are also unacceptable places to change a diaper, either because they don't have enough space or are not cleaned well enough or don't have the little fold down changing table. I'd choose the filthy cramped bathroom over the table, but it still pisses me off that some establishments don't seem to give a damn.

                5 Replies
                1. re: LurkerDan

                  Aren't changing pads designed just for such locations (as in, places without a changing table?)

                  1. re: sockii

                    But where would you lay it out in a bathroom? I used to carry the pads and use them even w/ changing tables.

                    If the restaurant didn't have a place to change the baby in the bathroom, we'd go outside to the car. It would never occur to me to do it at the table, even if it were in the car seat. Ewww. I like to keep my appetite as would the other customers.

                    1. re: chowser

                      I used to sit on the lid of the toilet, lay the pad on my knees and change baby that way. It works. Comfortable? no. But not every bathroom has space for a changing table.

                    2. re: sockii

                      Not in my world they aren't. Changing pads are designed to cushion hard surfaces and keep your child off germy surfaces (including the fold-out changing table), but I don't know many parents who would just lay a changing pad on the floor of a public bathroom and be fine with that.

                      sabinaHahn's solution might work, but not every restaurant toilet even has a lid, and I'm not sure I'm into sitting on the toilet seat as I change my kid.

                      As I've already said, I wouldn't change my kid at the table, and I'd make do somewhere else (car, bathroom, whatever) as most parents have had to change their kid in weird and difficult places, but I also get frustrated at the lack of changing tables at kid-friendly establishments. They don't take up very much space.

                    3. re: LurkerDan

                      I've been in a restaurant with my son's family, which includes 4 young 'uns, one of which was in diapers. Even with her own changing pad, my DIL will almost never use a changing station in a bathroom because of the germ and ick factor. We stay with the kids, and one parent or the other will make the trip out to the car to do the changing.

                    4. This is not comparable to breastfeeding! That is a stupid association for the journalist to make

                      I love how all involved mention "see" a dirty diaper or "quickly and quietly" wrong seses people - noise and sight are not your problem - a dirty diaper unleashed SMELLS - OMG I would not want to have to gag down pizza while smelling poo

                      otoh throwing them out after the fact seems pointless - I mean the deed was done already right.

                      some people have no class

                      3 Replies
                      1. re: JTPhilly

                        The odor was what I was thinking of first as well. Plus I have to imagine it would be some kind of health code violation, yes?

                        1. re: JTPhilly

                          This is the problem - that this is remotely relatable to breast feeding. Breast feeding is an issue of whether or not a public space deems the act "vulgar". Not unsanitary.

                          Also - I am not a parent so I am neither looking for changing tables or making establishment choices based on kid friendliness - but how mainstream is it for public restrooms to have a changing table? Essentially, how reasonable is the assumption of "I thought you would have one, and that assumption was valid".

                          1. re: JTPhilly

                            I think the connection was "women who have been thrown out of restaurants for something having to do with a baby". Dumb.

                          2. We've done it and not get kicked out. Of course we did it quietly, quickly, and discretely. If someone was offended and the restaurant wants to kick us out, I can understand that as well.

                            22 Replies
                            1. re: Worldwide Diner

                              I'm sorry but there is nothing discreet about changing a diaper at a table in a restaurant.
                              Furthermore I think it is rude to put the burden on others to have to say that what you are doing is wrong. It is so clearly the wrong thing to do in a restaurant environment, or anywhere people are consuming food. You shouldn't just wait for somebody to say something and assume it's fine if nobody says anything.

                              1. re: EatFoodGetMoney

                                If we're sitting in a booth, and the baby is lying down on the banquette - no one would even know that we're changing a diaper. Also, the baby's bare bottom does not touch any surface in the restaurant, so it's not a hygiene issue. I see absolutely nothing wrong with changing a diaper at the table. You can insist that it's wrong, and I can simply disagree. BTW, it doesn't occur regularly. I think it only happened while we were visiting NYC - we weren't near our car or our hotel.

                                  1. re: BubblyOne

                                    And I care about what you think? What's done is done. Your insistence that I'm wrong won't change a thing.

                                  2. re: Worldwide Diner

                                    With all due respect, saying it's "not a hygiene issue" is not addressed by the fact that the baby does not directly touch any surface in the restaurant. By that logic, then there's also "not a hygiene issue" with changing the baby on the floor of the bathroom if you put a changing mat on the floor.

                                    1. re: cresyd

                                      I'm not here to debate this issue. I'm merely pointing out the fact that we have changed diapers at the table at upscale restaurants and no one complained. Far worse than witnessing a diaper change at a restaurant is getting stuck on a plane with people who cut cheese.

                                      1. re: Worldwide Diner

                                        Wait, you did this at an upscale restaurant?

                                        The fact that nobody complained does not make it ok. Do you complain when somebody farts on a plane? Probably not, does that make it ok? No!

                                        1. re: EatFoodGetMoney

                                          If a tree falls in a forest and no one is around to hear it, does it make a sound? If I can remember the restaurant where it happened, I would post it so you can avoid said restaurant in the future because I'm sure just the thought of someone changing a diaper in said restaurant would be unappetizing to you.

                                          1. re: Worldwide Diner

                                            you don't have to -- if I ever see you or anyone else changing a diaper at the table I will refer the manager to your table.

                                            1. re: sunshine842

                                              I don't get this. On what planet does someone think it is ok to change a diaper in a restaurant -at or on the table. And then consider US in the wrong for not being tolerant. I'm so over this stuff.

                                            2. re: Worldwide Diner

                                              This is a truly vulgar and inconsiderate attitude Perhaps people did not complain and just choked down their dinner politely as baby poo wafted through the restaurant - gross, absolutely gross. Now you try to make it other people's problems telling them they should just avoid your poor behavior? Classy.

                                              1. re: JTPhilly

                                                Internet browbeating has changed my mind. From now on, I won't change smelly, ebola virus dripping diapers on a restaurant's table in full view of the all the diners.

                                                1. re: Worldwide Diner

                                                  And don't do it on the chair or the baby carrier or the bench or the floor under the table cloth either!

                                                  1. re: Worldwide Diner

                                                    yeah -- let's take a global health crisis and apply to your not wanting to walk over to the bathroom to change your kid's diaper.

                                                    If you DID have Ebola, you'd be a public health nuisance -- with any luck you'd be jailed for public health endangerment -- if you and your kids actually lived, that is.

                                                    This is the current version of Godwin's Law -- you no longer have any valid argument, so you have to compare it to disasters of global proportions.

                                                    And it has to go beyond changing diapers on the table -- you need to haul yourself, your kid, and your diaper bag to an appropriate place to do the job.

                                                2. re: Worldwide Diner

                                                  Are there not a number of things a person could do and get away with without too much comment? For example if they had quiet sex with their partner or themselves and no one noticed? Or of they coughed up some phlegm and discretely spat it on the floor? Ot changed the dressing on the septic ulcer on their leg?

                                                  Isn't changing the nappy, of a perfectly healthy child who does not have any nasty viruses), just as inappropriate?

                                                  Maybe the staff and other diners where too embarrassed to say anything (maybe the nappy did note stink*), or maybe they were too polite to say anything. But that doesn't make it socially acceptable. We have social norms to make life pleasant for all.

                                                  * I suspect mums get used to the smell of soiled nappies and they are less sensitive to the smell as a result.

                                                1. re: Worldwide Diner

                                                  You changed your baby's diaper at your dining table at an upscale restaurant in NYC??? oh my....

                                                1. re: Worldwide Diner

                                                  " BTW, it doesn't occur regularly. I think it only happened while we were visiting NYC -"

                                                  BTW, things like this are why New Yorkers find tourists annoying. Why do people think it's OK to pull stunts like this in NYC that they'd never dream of doing at home?

                                                  1. re: Worldwide Diner

                                                    If you see nothing wrong with changing a diaper at a table, and the diaper stunk the place out and ruined the appetite of other patrons, surely you would see nothing wrong with picking up their checks, right

                                                2. re: Worldwide Diner

                                                  No matter how self righteous you feel about changing a diaper in a restaurant dining room, you are putting that restaurant at risk of being shut down and paying huge legal fees, if someone like me calls the local health inspector.

                                                  Quiet and discreet are meaningless to public health. Shame on you for defending your right to illegally change your childs diaper.

                                                  1. re: Bellachefa

                                                    Yes, and how about just a little respect for fellow diners.

                                                3. I don't like Babies in my Restaurant, some are well behaved but at least 50% of them cry and carry on, ruining the atmosphere for others. You want to go out to Dinner, get a Babysitter. If I saw someone changing a diaper in my restaurant proper, they would be kicked out immediately.

                                                  1 Reply
                                                  1. re: drsmoke

                                                    I have to agree with drsmoke! If (not mentioned if it was the case) a changing table was NOT available in restroom... that's the PARENT'S problem 100%!?! A LEAST, take the baby AND soiled diaper out to the parking lot where no one has to witness... seeing or smelling. If you have a spare diaper, it probably came out of a diaper bag where it's probably some kinda towel/blanket, too. A WORST case scenario, spread that blanket on bathroom floor to change baby on. Now don't go retching over that idea... I don't want pee or poop in my line of sight/smell at ANY time, let alone eating. If this is a major PROBLEM for parents... maybe ya shouldn't we in a restaurant!?!

                                                  2. Bare asses, big or small...urine and feces....do not need to be *anywhere* around other diners. It is common courtesy -and that is what restrooms are for. Restrooms also allow hands to be washed immediately after attending to personal business of any kind. Some things are just so darn basic....no?

                                                    1 Reply
                                                    1. re: sedimental

                                                      Apparently not basic to everyone.

                                                    2. Holy CRAP. Yeah that mom is rather ignorant. I would have complained and in fact left the restaurant.

                                                      1. I would have lost all social graces and let my potty mouth rip her a new a-hole. And then I would have apologized to her children for my vulgarity.

                                                        Imagine if the local health inspector happened to time their visit at that exact moment that Mommy Dearest was taking care of business? Immediate shutdown and legal fees.

                                                        1 Reply
                                                        1. re: Bellachefa

                                                          "And then I would have apologized to her children for my vulgarity." haha
                                                          I really like the "Wow you're setting a great example for your kids," move, but it doesn't really work that well for a diaper change.

                                                        2. Reading a couple other versions of this story in the news, apparently mom has filed a complaint against the restaurant with the Better Business Bureau.

                                                          1 Reply
                                                          1. re: Firegoat

                                                            now she is probably trying to get paid, UGH but I guess what would you expect from someone who would be so crass

                                                          2. What city is this in? Eater always seems to upload some kind of virus to my computer so I don't click on Eater stories anymore...

                                                            Anyway, I'm going to show this to my husband. I once changed my infant's (wet, not soiled) diaper on a bench in the big cats house at the zoo. My husband FREAKED OUT about my poor manners ("No one wants to see that!") and I never did anything like that again. But, no way would I even think about changing a diaper anywhere in a restaurant other than on the changing table (on top of my disposable changing pads) in the bathroom. No changing table? I take him out to the car and change him there. I think one time I had to change him on the floor of the bathroom on a disposable changing pad, but I can't remember why. That's gross, though, too--for me and the kiddo.

                                                            ~TDQ

                                                            12 Replies
                                                            1. re: The Dairy Queen

                                                              Yea - I had to shut down and restart after clicking on that - it froze up my browser and would not close it - no more Eater

                                                              It was Spring, TX I believe - a suburb of Houston.

                                                              1. re: The Dairy Queen

                                                                Place called Spring, Texas. You should read the comments on some of the online stories -- brutal.

                                                                  1. re: The Dairy Queen

                                                                    I apologize if that is the case. I've never had a trouble with Eater and visit it almost every day. It's also on a variety of other news sites. I believe the restaurant was Brother's Pizza in Spring, Texas.

                                                                      1. re: Firegoat

                                                                        By the way, while I haven't been to that Brother's Pizza, the one I go to on the near north side of Houston has really, seriously good pizza. It's also always crawling with police, city, county, undercover, out of town you name it. Maybe she should change her kid there and see what happens.

                                                                      2. re: The Dairy Queen

                                                                        I won't click on Eater articles anymore either. They let you in and you can't get out.

                                                                        Here is the mom..

                                                                        http://www.rgj.com/videos/news/2014/0...

                                                                        1. re: miss_belle

                                                                          I guess I'm in good company with having issues with Eater.

                                                                          ~TDQ

                                                                          1. re: miss_belle

                                                                            What?!?!
                                                                            Her responses and "justifications," are absurd.
                                                                            The news story was ridiculous too. That news lady must also be an inconsiderate new mom.

                                                                            1. re: EatFoodGetMoney

                                                                              She also has a 4 and 8 year old.

                                                                              Apparently there were also "smell" problems that were complained about by other patrons. http://houston.cbslocal.com/2014/08/1...

                                                                              1. re: cresyd

                                                                                I also checked out the restaurant on yelp. Photos of the interior. This is a SMALL CRAMPED dining room. Think checking with the table behind you before you scooted out a chair close. If you did anything of the sort people would notice. Also read cresyd's link. Sounds like people even texted to complain.

                                                                        2. My sympathies are with the parent, who may not have had a choice. This is why public places need to have changing stations in BOTH the women's and the men's restrooms; it is unsanitary to change little ones on a public bathroom FLOOR of all things.

                                                                          25 Replies
                                                                          1. re: latertater

                                                                            The parent quite clearly had a choice. She could have laid papertowels on the floor to change her baby. Hell, she could have asked for a disinfectant to clean an area of the floor before putting down paper towels. To be honest, it's likely safer to change a baby on the floor then on a changing table of feces and urine bacteria. Do you think the Virgin Mary had a changing table for Baby Jesus? And given the choice, she'd have likely chosen a soft bed of hay, and properly disposed of it.

                                                                            1. re: latertater

                                                                              I believe the story said the parent had a mini van outside. It was inconvenient for her to go there.

                                                                              How did we all survive before changing tables?

                                                                              1. re: Firegoat

                                                                                Another part of the story I didn't entirely get was the excuse used for not going to the minivan was that she didn't want to leave her other children alone in the restaurant. However, did she initially take all the children with her to the restroom? Would it have been radically different for her to leave them alone and go to the minivan rather than the restroom?

                                                                                1. re: cresyd

                                                                                  hmmm something smells and it aint just baby poo... how did this story make the news - upthread someone said she now filed a complaint - I would not be surprised if this "poor mother" orchestrated the whole thing to get attention and get PAID.

                                                                                  1. re: JTPhilly

                                                                                    I think it's that flawed association of breast feeding and diaper changing in public as it includes mothers and babies. But then also thinking along the lines that breast feeding is "dirty".

                                                                                    Which I think is just more sad commentary about breast feeding in the US rather than anything defensible about changing a baby's diaper in a restaurant.

                                                                                  2. re: cresyd

                                                                                    I too wondered that exact point.

                                                                                  3. re: Firegoat

                                                                                    LOL Our parents didn't take us to restaurants before our time.

                                                                                  4. re: latertater

                                                                                    No choice? How so? There is a bathroom.

                                                                                    1. re: wincountrygirl

                                                                                      I'm trying to think of all the restaurants I've dined in recently. The majority did not have changing tables. Those all were mom and pop independently owned businesses. (You know, the ones we're all encouraging each other to eat) The only one I can think of was a Dairy Queen I went to while on a road trip with my dad (his choice ... very good onion rings) Yet, all the people in all these restaurants seem to survive just fine. Is a chair in a restaurant that much cleaner than the restroom which is probably cleaned more often and thoroughly than a chair is wiped down?

                                                                                      1. re: Firegoat

                                                                                        For awhile, we stopped eating at places that didn't have changing tables (and yes, I took copious notes. And broadcast this information quite extensively to folks people in my circle which places were baby friendly and which were not.) We just didn't eat out that often when my child was at that age that I felt like I needed to give my business to a place that didn't truly welcome my entire family.

                                                                                        Fortunately, we're beyond that now.

                                                                                        ~TDQ

                                                                                        1. re: The Dairy Queen

                                                                                          And to be fair, I don't have a baby so I probably eat in less baby friendly places just to avoid them. I still would have kittens if someone just started doing a diaper change at the table next door while I was eating.

                                                                                          1. re: Firegoat

                                                                                            It's not really babies you have to avoid as a fellow diner. They usually mostly sleep and can be contained in a high-chair or car seat. If they cry, it's usually for one of a few easy to determine, easy to solve reasons.

                                                                                            It's those, newly mobile, fiercely independent and wildly unpredictable toddlers you need to worry about. :) Running (literally) amok, throwing food, banging on the table, spilling drinks, etc.

                                                                                            ~TDQ

                                                                                            1. re: The Dairy Queen

                                                                                              OMG at brunch the other day there was a family next to us with some toddlers who were literally crawling on the table, throwing toys through the empty umbrella hole (it was a patio) and eventually got into the landscaping rocks and started to throw them - the parents were a few pitchers of margaritas in and had just put on blinders after I am sure they told them to sit still 45 times during the first half of the meal - only when the server intervened in the landscape rock throwing did they even turn their heads to look at the little monsters (who mush have been bored out of their minds)I actually felt for the parents because they looked exhausted but they should have got a sitter so they and everyone else could enjoy brunch.

                                                                                          2. re: The Dairy Queen

                                                                                            I think that's completely fair.

                                                                                            There are certain kinds of bars that I feel cater to (insert various groups of people I'd like to avoid, i.e. college students) - and I'm happy to broadcast which ones those are, if it's not the kind of crowd that I and my peers seek out. However it doesn't mean that the bar is failing me, it's just not for me.

                                                                                            1. re: cresyd

                                                                                              I totally agree. Why do you want to patronize a place that doesn't especially want your business (at this time of your life) and isn't especially equipped to handle it? We have more flexibility now than we did before, which is nice. :)

                                                                                              ~TDQ

                                                                                              1. re: The Dairy Queen

                                                                                                I agree there are bars that I would never go to now, unless it was a college reunion event or some such.

                                                                                                1. re: Firegoat

                                                                                                  Not every place has to be for everybody. However, if you view yourself as "family friendly," you really ought to provide changing tables in the bathrooms. Also, highchairs that work and booster seats.

                                                                                                  Nevertheless, I cannot how why this woman could justify what she did. Ew, ew, ew.

                                                                                                  ~TDQ

                                                                                                2. re: The Dairy Queen

                                                                                                  Yup. That being said, what various parents see as kid friendly can always be quite a range.

                                                                                                  There's a bar/restaurant I frequent for English Premier League games, which as this is the US and given the game start times - it can be an environment where by noon it can possibly have a fairly rowdy/drunk crowd. And yet, there are always (American) parents who want to watch the games in the bar area with their 7-9 year old children and seem baffled by the policy of no children in the bar area

                                                                                                  1. re: cresyd

                                                                                                    Does the bar have a changing table? If yes, that's kind of an invitation to bring your diaper toting tot.

                                                                                                    ~TDQ

                                                                                                    1. re: The Dairy Queen

                                                                                                      Clearly - this is not something I pay attention to. But the tabled seating and bar area do share toilets.

                                                                                                      Actually, given the overall clientele, in this specific place it would make far more sense to have the changing table in the men's room.

                                                                                                      1. re: cresyd

                                                                                                        Ah I see your point. You're just saying the bar part is off-limits to kids, but there's a restaurant part that is family-friendly.

                                                                                                        ~TDQ

                                                                                        2. re: latertater

                                                                                          the parent had a choice but opted for the most selfish option possible.

                                                                                          1. re: sunshine842

                                                                                            Exactly. That selfish lady figured she'd just push (and also greatly magnify) the costs onto everyone else in the restaurant. Classic exernality.

                                                                                          2. re: latertater

                                                                                            The establishment was a walk up pizza place where the parking lot was right in front of the store. Absolutely no excuse why she couldn't go out to the car.

                                                                                          3. I have no problem with the restaurants decision. My only question is how did this make it into a news article. I didn't read that the lady called the police, or is suing, so how did word get out about this?

                                                                                            3 Replies
                                                                                            1. re: jrvedivici

                                                                                              well she is filing a better business bureau complaint, so I'm guessing she's the one making it go public.

                                                                                              1. re: Firegoat

                                                                                                And that common practice of not sharing minors names, well mumsy dearest shared all three names with the press, otherwise they wouldn't be in print.

                                                                                                1. re: Firegoat

                                                                                                  I guess I missed that in the article, even so it's odd that a reporter would catch on to a BBB complaint.

                                                                                              2. Given the options of floor vs plastic changing table - with hand soap, water, paper towels, sani wipes and a changing mat

                                                                                                I'm placing my bet that the floor would have been the more hygiene option from a scientific perspective.

                                                                                                41 Replies
                                                                                                1. re: Bellachefa

                                                                                                  Kneeling down on the bathroom floor to change your baby ain't no fun. And you can't convince me it's sanitary. I can do an entire change on a changing table with my child and me touching nothing and everything that touches anything have to do with my child's bottom and the changing table itself getting disposed of.

                                                                                                  ~TDQ

                                                                                                  1. re: The Dairy Queen

                                                                                                    how can you manage a no-touch/all-disposal regime on a changing table, but can't do it on the floor?

                                                                                                    so carry a big bath towel and put it in the trunk.

                                                                                                    Dirty diaper in a place with no changing table? Not a biggie - -Dad runs out to the car and grabs the towel, and mom goes to the bathroom to change the smelly kid. (sometimes it even goes vice-versa)

                                                                                                    Everything's clean, kid doesn't toes the floor, and the towel goes in the wash when we get home.

                                                                                                    No Big Deal.

                                                                                                    1. re: sunshine842

                                                                                                      Sorry, I really don't like kneeling on the floor, or kneeling on a towel on the floor. And I really dislike the idea of having to carry dirty laundry home in my purse or diaper bag. Wow. That's one more thing I don't need in my life. The restaurant's dirty-bathroom-floor laundry!

                                                                                                      Plus, that's an extra trip to the car. Why not just change the child in the car? That's what I'd prefer to do than kneel on the dirty floor and carry around the dirty towel.

                                                                                                      I have a million zillion options for dining in places that have made accommodations for diaper-wearing kids, why should I patronize a place that doesn't truly welcome a member of my family? They obviously don't welcome babies or they'd provide for them.

                                                                                                      No worries, we'll come back when my child reaches the age of clientele the establishment actually welcomes. There are plenty of ways to signal you don't welcome babies. Not having a changing table is one. This is another: http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/9018...

                                                                                                      It really is okay. I really don't need to take my child everywhere and the restaurant is absolutely allowed to decide what kind of business they want to attract. Not everyone wants babies in restaurants.

                                                                                                      ~TDQ

                                                                                                      1. re: The Dairy Queen

                                                                                                        a million zillion dining options?

                                                                                                        1. re: The Dairy Queen

                                                                                                          Obviously you don't live in a subtropical climate where the temperature inside the car in the summer is literally high enough to bake cookies. (they do it every summer as a "news" stunt) You don't put your infant into a chamber heated that hot. (when you're leaving, one parent goes out and starts the car and opens the window)

                                                                                                          We traveled -- a lot. (more than one towel, before you start. Towels with an obvious right side and wrong side, folded floor-side in if immediate washing wasn't possible). Nobody keeps (and nobody should keep) exhaustive lists of which restaurants do and don't have changing tables -- and I'm enough older than you that changing tables were the exception not the rule when mine were in diapers. We survived!

                                                                                                          And when you travel internationally, much of the world doesn't have changing tables. They all manage to survive, too.

                                                                                                          1. re: sunshine842

                                                                                                            The trunk works fine. It takes minutes.

                                                                                                            1. re: chowser

                                                                                                              The trunk is even hotter than the passenger compartment, and if you're traveling, space to lay baby out for a change may not be an option.

                                                                                                              Bathrooms are for bodily functions. Period.

                                                                                                                1. re: Bellachefa

                                                                                                                  LOL! well it is a bodily function!

                                                                                                                  1. re: Bellachefa

                                                                                                                    Period. That small black dot at the end of a sentence indicating the completion of that particular sentence.

                                                                                                                    full stop.

                                                                                                                    end of discussion.

                                                                                                                      1. re: linguafood

                                                                                                                        huh?

                                                                                                                        The filthy plastic shelves that swing down from the wall and make a supposedly clean changing table.

                                                                                                                        Heavy emphasis on *supposedly*

                                                                                                                          1. re: linguafood

                                                                                                                            Not being snarky at all -- I have no idea what you're on about.

                                                                                                                            1. re: sunshine842

                                                                                                                              Sigh. Not sure if the link function is working properly. It would appear not to.

                                                                                                                              It was a link to the "period. full stop. end of discussion" post which struck me as funny considering that this discussion is clearly nowhere near being over......

                                                                                                                              And now what was supposed to be a short, light-hearted (not blue-hearted, of course & urrmurrgurrrd '-D) interlude is..... is.... hm..... I don't know, not worth anyone's time at this point.

                                                                                                                              Muh bad. Over and out & back to work. Blah.

                                                                                                                  2. re: sunshine842

                                                                                                                    Not with the lid open. People live in the subtropics w/out ac and manage to change their babes outside. You're not closing the baby the trunk. Let is sit open for a couple of minutes. It'll match the outside temperature. Or, find a place outside to do it. The bathroom floor is disgusting.

                                                                                                                    "Bathrooms are for bodily functions. Period"

                                                                                                                    You're obviously not a long distance runner, camper, hiker...

                                                                                                                    1. re: chowser

                                                                                                                      Bathrooms are also for patrons to throw up their dinner after witnessing and smelling someone change their baby's dirty diaper at the table.

                                                                                                                      1. re: Bellachefa

                                                                                                                        Ha, the bathrooms might be cleaner than your table given what parents are doing there these days!

                                                                                                                      2. re: chowser

                                                                                                                        oh, ffs.

                                                                                                                        If we were out in the middle of nowhere with the runners, campers, and hikers, we wouldn't be having this discussion, would we?

                                                                                                                        But we're not - -we're in a restaurant with a shitty diaper and an inconsiderate, selfish parent.

                                                                                                                        And you're missing that whole thing about traveling and trunks and space availability.

                                                                                                                        1. re: sunshine842

                                                                                                                          I think we just set our personal rules on different events. I tend to set mine on what I normally encounter, eg, when I can choose to run to the car and change my baby is far more often than being stuck in a rental car in the sub tropics where it's potentially dangerous to change the baby outside in the heat. You set your personal rules based on the extreme.

                                                                                                                  3. re: sunshine842

                                                                                                                    You're kind of missing the point. In my opinion, no changing table in 2014 (I don't know what it meant in your era, but I'm not raising a child in that era so I'm not going to worry about it) means babies not really welcome. Why patronize an establishment that doesn't welcome you?

                                                                                                                    ~TDQ

                                                                                                                    1. re: The Dairy Queen

                                                                                                                      No, I'm not missing the point at all -- there are plenty of places to eat and to travel where people don't bend over backwards to kiss my ass because I had a baby. The baby was my choice, not theirs.

                                                                                                                      It's my job to adapt, not to moan about and boycott hardworking business owners not welcoming me because they didn't hang a filthy plastic shelf in the bathroom.

                                                                                                                      1. re: sunshine842

                                                                                                                        filthy is a good word

                                                                                                                        they give me the shivers

                                                                                                                        especially at the grocery market

                                                                                                                        1. re: Bellachefa

                                                                                                                          I've seen more than a few that were in far worse condition than the countertops around the sinks or the floor.

                                                                                                                          1. re: sunshine842

                                                                                                                            In my experience, the places without the changing tables are also the places where you wouldn't dare change your child on the floor. Furthermore, lots of places (but not enough, sadly) provide disinfectant spray so you can disinfect the changing table. As I said, I'm able to change my child without any thing but our disposable items touch any part of the "filthy shelf". One also need to consider whether all caregivers are so spritely that they can just flop down to the pristine bathroom floor to change a child. Parents and caregivers come in a wide range of abilities.

                                                                                                                            ~TDQ

                                                                                                                        2. re: sunshine842

                                                                                                                          I'm not talking about boycotting at all. I'm talking about paying attention to the signs that your child is welcome. Where I live, most places are crazy kid-friendly. When an establishment doesn't provide what I observe to be fairly standard equipment, unless it's an obvious space issue, I've come to the conclusion that they are trying to send the message that they don't particularly enjoy hosting children. Sure, you can just ignore the signals and insist on bringing your child anyway. I spent many years as a diner without kids and always appreciated the people who could tell which environments welcomed children and which did not.

                                                                                                                          ~TDQ

                                                                                                                          1. re: The Dairy Queen

                                                                                                                            I travel well outside the suburbs, where the world is not designed for children.

                                                                                                                            As before -- other countries usually *don't* have a changing table -- and lots and lot of small non-chain places in the US don't, either.

                                                                                                                            we were welcomed (personnel cooing over and playing with our child) in many, many places that didn't have a changing table. The two are not mutually exclusive.

                                                                                                                            If I'm allowed in the front door carrying a child, that's truly all the allowance I expect others to make. I'm the parent, not them, and it's up to me, not them, to make sure that I have what I need to keep my child clean and dry.

                                                                                                                            1. re: sunshine842

                                                                                                                              I don't live in the suburbs and I seldom dine there. As a person who has traveled extensively, five continents and I don't know how many countries (I stopped counting when it hit 35 or 40 countries), I agree with you that a person has different expectations when traveling. I haven't actually traveled much with my child, though, not for any reason in particular except that our circumstances haven't permitted it, but I do have expectations based on where I live and where I dine.

                                                                                                                              I don't have to keep a long list of places in town that are child-friendly--I just keep a short list of the places --more or less in my head-- that clearly aren't. ETA (I actually do have a tiny little notebook I scribble down lots of random things --about restaurants but other stuff too: things I want to mention on chowhound about the menu, things I want to note for myself for the future, etc. but the list of places that I've encountered that I would say are baby-unfriendly are relatively few so I don't really have to consult my notebook.)

                                                                                                                              Obviously I don't live where you live and am not parenting when you parented however long ago (maybe expectations for facilities have changed, eh?), so please let me decide for myself and my family how to parent as long as I'm not intruding on anyone. I'm not sure why my choices about what I'm comfortable with should doggedly and vehemently bother anyone, especially when my preference is to have the restaurant provide appropriate facilities and then use them as intended. They are my choices and mine alone, though it seems I am not alone in my choices. (And neither are you.)

                                                                                                                              My preference is to change my child on a changing table assuming the facilities are appropriate or in the car--basically in the trunk with the hatchback open-- when they are not. Probably not in the high heat of summer though I honestly never encountered that, not a problem for me in my time as a parent with a tot in diapers as it turns out--and not in the bitter cold of winter when temps are subzero--again, something I actually never encountered, but could have.

                                                                                                                              You can go ahead and eat off those pristine bathroom floors for all I care. Your choices don't bother me as long as they don't intrude on me. However, I think --in general-- a bathroom floor is a disgusting place to be, especially when I'm in a dining environment, and I would only change my child there if I felt like it truly was the best of all of my options, whether that be a changing table, my car, or the bathroom floor. I've done it, but I didn't like it and most certainly don't prefer it. Most restaurants in 2014 and where I live, even mom and pop ones, offer changing facilities these days that they clean as often as they clean the floors. To each her own, I guess.

                                                                                                                              The point is, you do your best with what you have, but the choice to change your child in the restaurant proper is clearly not the correct one in any circumstances.

                                                                                                                              ~TDQ

                                                                                                                              1. re: The Dairy Queen

                                                                                                                                I hate to stir the fires further, but I have seen more than once a parent changing a baby's diaper in the shopping cart at Walmart, outside, in the parking lot. Even my tough guy husband said "Ewwwww!"

                                                                                                                                1. re: coll

                                                                                                                                  Yeah, again, ew. See, that's imposing on all of the rest of us.

                                                                                                                                  ~TDQ

                                                                                                                                2. re: The Dairy Queen

                                                                                                                                  What about in the city where most don't have a car? Do you flag down the bus or hop on the subway to change the kid? Park bench? Sometimes the bathroom floor is your only option.

                                                                                                                                    1. re: Jerseygirl111

                                                                                                                                      Seriously, we can contrive all sorts of situations where you'd be forced to make that decision but given any other choices, I'd choose the bathroom floor close to last. If I lived in a drug haven infested place where I risked life and limb outside, there were no bathrooms, then I'd change the baby at the table as did the woman in the OP. But, given an option, I'd choose otherwise. As I said, I make my decisions based on what I encounter on a regular basis. Other can choose to make their decisions based on the rare exceptions of "What ifs". If I lived in a city, had no car and there were bathrooms that were filthy, I would probably leave the restaurant and not eat.

                                                                                                                                      1. re: chowser

                                                                                                                                        well, let's be realistic -- if the bathroom is truly filthy enough to not want to lay your baby on (on a changing mat or towel) then there are hygiene issues with the management of the restaurant that very likely would justify going somewhere else.

                                                                                                                                        On a sidewalk on a 90+ degree day (where solid-surface temperatures soar way, way over 100 degrees) in a region where there are things like fire ants?

                                                                                                                                        Nah, I'll take that towel on the floor, thanks.

                                                                                                                                        There are generations of children who were raised without changing tables, and changing tables are not available everywhere around the world...and every one of them has managed to survive.

                                                                                                                                        1. re: sunshine842

                                                                                                                                          Realistic? I've never had to send my husband out to the car to get a towel so I could change a baby on a restroom floor and both my kids are years beyond that stage. I've never had to worry about fire ants eating my babies or them broiling to death while being changed outside of the air conditioned restaurant or being fried on the sidewalk while being laid on a towel.

                                                                                                                                          You might pick places where the bathroom floors are pristine enough to put your baby on the floor. I eat at plenty of hole in the wall places where I wouldn't. Your reality of children being injured, burned, eaten by fire ants while being changed outside is far different from mine of dirty bathroom floors that I don't want to lie on. We just live in different worlds.

                                                                                                                    2. re: The Dairy Queen

                                                                                                                      Well of course changing a baby on the floor isn't fun. I'm placing my bet that doing a swab of both a floor and a changing table - the changing table is ganna lose. Well unless it's the men's room where we know poor aim leads to spills.

                                                                                                                      1. re: Bellachefa

                                                                                                                        I'm with you -- I'm guessing the floor gets mopped at least a couple of times a day...not guessing the changing table gets that much consideration....

                                                                                                                      2. re: The Dairy Queen

                                                                                                                        I would never change a baby on the floor either. I'd leave the restaurant to do it and often changed in the car. If my husband ran out to the car for a towel, he'd be taking the baby w/ him and doing it in the car.

                                                                                                                      3. re: Bellachefa

                                                                                                                        The countertop at McDonald's is far cleaner since they constantly wipe it down, plus the perfect height, plenty of space. Pop the toddler right down there and go about it. If no one complains, you're all ready to go.

                                                                                                                        1. re: chowser

                                                                                                                          Are you referring to the condiment counter top, the order countertop, or the pickup countertop, or the countertop by the window so anyone walking by can see your baby's hoooohaaaa?

                                                                                                                          1. re: Bellachefa

                                                                                                                            I was thinking ordering counter but there are so many options! But yeah, being able to moon passerbys is an added bonus. Because you know, they're soooo cute.

                                                                                                                      4. Changing a child in the dining area is a terrible idea. First, it stinks and may ruin the dinner for others. Getting rid of the odor isn't that easy in a restaurant. Second, if the poop or pee spills out onto the furniture or floor, the staff would need to sanitize it. Third, the poop or pee may go into the area of an adjacent patron. Again, the staff would need to sanitize this. Fourth, the odors may cause other patrons to vomit, which would compound the problem. That's more stuff to clean/sanitize, and a lot more patrons would be upset.

                                                                                                                        1 Reply
                                                                                                                        1. re: raytamsgv

                                                                                                                          and it's an out-and-out health code violation in many places.

                                                                                                                        2. If I had 3 kids under 10, I'd do take-out and eat at home for my own sanity.

                                                                                                                          1 Reply
                                                                                                                          1. Thankyou Firegoat. This thread has made me giggle many times over.

                                                                                                                            2 Replies
                                                                                                                            1. re: Bellachefa

                                                                                                                              YAY! Mission Accomplished! I feel so Tom Cruise-ish right now!

                                                                                                                              1. re: Firegoat

                                                                                                                                Joel get off the babysitter, I mean, Tom get off Oprah's couch! snort

                                                                                                                            2. I think the restaurant felt the need to act in the favor of the needs of "many" (all the patrons) vs. the needs of "few" (the mom and kiddo). They are, after all, a business. And their task is to make money.

                                                                                                                              Rarely do I read an article that makes me think "Thank Goodness I am Old"...but this was one of 'em.

                                                                                                                              (Changing tables..not an issue once your youngest is in grad school)

                                                                                                                              1 Reply
                                                                                                                              1. re: pedalfaster

                                                                                                                                "Changing tables..not an issue once your youngest is in grad school"

                                                                                                                                ...or if you can't have kids at all or decide not to have them.

                                                                                                                              2. Do they have changing tables in the men's room, too? I never thought about that before, since I predate the advent of changing tables. Our moms put a towel on the bathroom floor and laundered it later, the only choice until recent decades, and as most of the world still does.

                                                                                                                                If there are no changing tables in men's rooms, folks are missing out on many an equal accommodation lawsuit opportunity!

                                                                                                                                3 Replies
                                                                                                                                1. re: greygarious

                                                                                                                                  As far as I'm aware, if there's one in the womens there's usually one in the mens. But don't quote me!

                                                                                                                                  1. re: coll

                                                                                                                                    That is my experience as well. My son is 13 so it has been a long time since I actively noticed. My husband and I laughed that I was in charge in "input" and he handled the "output" so he handled most of the changes. In those day if the ladies had a changing table then the gents did as well so he did most of the changes when we went out too. Still, the diaper bag always had disinfecting wipes in addition to a changing pads.

                                                                                                                                    1. re: coll

                                                                                                                                      Not always. I'd guess about 30% of the time when there is a changing table in the women's room, there is not one in the men's. I've never seen the situation reversed where there's a changing table in the men's, but not the women's.

                                                                                                                                      ~TDQ

                                                                                                                                  2. The Virgin Mother may have swaddled the baby Jesus in the barn, but I guarentee she never changed his nappy at the farm table

                                                                                                                                    4 Replies
                                                                                                                                    1. re: Bellachefa

                                                                                                                                      Jesus, what's with all the virgin mary examples?

                                                                                                                                      1. re: EatFoodGetMoney

                                                                                                                                        not much use asking him -- that's his mom.

                                                                                                                                      2. Another woman using a child to validate her bad behavior.

                                                                                                                                        1. They should take her kid away from her and put her behind bars. Any restaurant patrons who had to witness the disgusting sight and smell should be filing suit.

                                                                                                                                          1 Reply
                                                                                                                                          1. re: emu48

                                                                                                                                            okay -- what she did was flat-out wrong -- but would you please detail the ordinance that she violated to justify having her children taken from her and being put into jail?

                                                                                                                                          2. We're locking this thread. We're pretty sure you can all guess why.

                                                                                                                                            1. Hey, this is an idea for Shark Tank. Someone needs to invent a portable changing station with legs to keep the baby off the floor, or maybe some kind of table attachment for one of those Baby Bjorn things, replete with Camelpak bidet and washing station.
                                                                                                                                              But seriously, I think the worst thing that I read here was that people actually believe that reporting something to the Better Business Bureau would have some kind of repercussions for the business involved.