Today my husband revealed a secret that many husbands keep from their wives. It’s a big one. Now, I am imparting this secret to you so that you can be armed with the knowledge from this point on. Here it is – there are changing tables in men’s bathrooms. That’s right, all those times your hubby told you that he couldn’t change the baby because there wasn’t a changing table on his side, he was lying. Where there is a woman’s bathroom changing table, there is a men’s one, too.

Now that your husband is going to be taking the baby into the bathroom from this point forward to give you a break from the public diaper changes, it’s important that you both know the risks of any public changing table. Disturbing recent studies from the UK show that many changing tables show traces of cocaine when tested. Assuming you aren’t changing your baby in a dive bar or at a truck stop, you probably don’t have to worry about hard drugs. However, there’s no telling what types of other germs might be leftover from diaper changes in the past, so it’s best to be cautious.

Always lay down at least one blanket or towel on a public service before disrobing your baby. Keeping an extra set of receiving blankets or face towels in the diaper bag is necessary for this reason. As long as your baby’s skin doesn’t actually come into contact with the changing surface, he or she should be fine. Also, make sure you wash your hands prior to changing the diaper if you’re in a public place, because you’ve probably touched more germs than you even realize. Once you’re finished, don’t move the towels until your baby is safely back in his or her stroller or car seat.

Changing your baby in public is going to be necessary at one point or another. If you need to pull over and do it right out of the trunk, so be it. Keeping your baby clean and comfortable is more important than the looks of disgust from strangers you’ll never see again. No matter where you change your baby, it’s safe as long as there are towels or blankets underneath. Also, no matter what, remember, don’t believe your husband when he tries to convince you that only the woman’s room has a changing table. He can do it too.

Source: Jonathan Kotch et al: Evaluation of an Hygienic Intervention in Child Day-Care Centers. Pediatrics Volume 94 Issue 6 December pp.991-994 2010

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