Tuesday, January 25, 2011

Changing your baby on board an airplane

Changing your baby's diaper on board an airplane can be described as challenging at best. Airplane bathrooms are not spacious. Even just turning around, reaching for toilet paper, and washing your hands can be difficult. Now imagine you're in there with an infant who likes to kick and roll over, and has a very wet or very messy diaper.

The good thing is that there is always a change table in at least one of the bathrooms on longer flights. At least that is my experience. This change table is usually a kind of flap located above the toilet, and you lower it down to access it. You now have even less space than before, but at least you can put your baby down.

I highly recommend bringing some kind of portable changing pad with you if you are traveling with a baby, because the change tables on board are not padded and often do not even have any kind of edge to prevent the infant from rolling off. Not that there is a lot of space to roll off into! It will be a lot more comfortable and safe for the baby if you have something to put down on that hard plastic surface: even just a regular blanket or towel would be better than nothing.

Once you've managed to get your baby on the change table, you do the usual gymnastics to keep them from rolling off or rolling over while you change them, while also hoping there won't be any turbulence. I probably don't have to tell you that it is a good idea to have your wipes and clean diaper ready so you can do this as fast as possible.

And afterward, it is really, really nice to use antibacterial wipes or gel on your hands, because washing your hands effectively in an airplane sink is even more difficult than changing a baby's diaper.

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