As any parent knows, baby changing facilities are one of the most important things to consider when visiting any restaurant, business, shop or any other type of venue.
So when I was asked by Direct365 to independently review some changing facilities, I thought this would be a great opportunity to see what was available for mums (and dads) like me.
Direct365 supply baby changing facilities to leisure outlets throughout the UK and as part of a new campaign have launched a series of humorous videos to help improve changing spaces.
Check out the new Direct365 videos here https://www.direct365.co.uk/blog/direct365-launch-baby-based-videos-improve-changing-facilities/ (my favourite is number 3)
There is a whole host of things to consider when deciding if a baby changing facility is good enough for you to change your precious bundle of joy (even if their kicking and screaming at the time).
Like is it clean, are there any nappy bins or even a secure changing table. I know this may sound like basic stuff that most places should have but trust me there are quite a few different venues that are seriously lacking in even these areas.
Some places don’t even have a baby changing area, which is completely unacceptable in this time!
Here I will be reviewing two changing facilities at two different coffee shops, as I do not want to name and shame any business all I will say is that one is a well known, very popular chain of coffee shops and the other is a small independent one local to me.
The 9 points I will be assessing them against are as follows:
- How easy to find are the baby changing facilities?
- Are they available for both women and men?
- Is there enough space to move around?
- Are there any additional chairs for parents with more than one child and breastfeeding mothers?
- Are there any nappies, nappy bags, surface sanitisers?
- How does it smell? Are there any air scents or air purifiers?
- How safe and secure is the baby table?
- Are there nappy bins?
- Does everything seem to be well maintained (good stock levels and fresh bins)?
Independent Coffee Shop
First up is the small local independent coffee shop. It got off to a good start as I easily found where the changing facilities were without needing to ask a member of staff and they were available for both men and women.
The changing facility itself was very impressive as it was spacious enough for a parent with 2 or 3 children, with additional seating in the form of a small chair, it smelt very fresh, looked very clean and had a nappy bin to dispose of any used ones.
The changing table itself was very secure whilst having more than enough room than needed, there were no nappy bags or hand sanitisers available but this is usually not a problem as most parents will bring these with them.
Overall this was an excellent example of what a top notch baby changing facility should be like, I scored it 8/9 against the points above.
Large Chain Coffee Shop
Next is the large chain coffee shop, again it started well by being easy to find and available to both men and women but then it went downhill as the amount of space was considerably smaller than the independent shop and the changing table was secure but too small in my opinion.
There was a nappy bin but no extra chair if you needed one and the cleanliness was not up to the standard of the independent shop.
Overall I gave this a 4/9 as it did hit some of the points above but not as many as the previous shop or as many as I would’ve expected from a large chain.
You can check out the changing facilities I reviewed in this post for yourself in my video below.