Changing diapers on a plane? - Mothering Forums

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#1 of 36 Old 07-30-2008, 03:41 AM - Thread Starter
 
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We're flying with babe for the first time next month (first-class). Where is a person supposed to change a diaper on the plane? I can't imagine changing a diaper in the plane bathroom. Do people actually do that? Can I change her in my seat (DH and I will be seated next to each other)? What if it is a poopy diaper--does that change anything? She has major blowouts.

And what about in the airport? Those airport bathrooms are so nasty. Can I find a secluded corner of a gate area where nobody is around and just change her there?
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#2 of 36 Old 07-30-2008, 03:48 AM
 
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we have flown quite a few times and we always change dd's dipe at our seat when we fly together. when i'm alone, and she's just wet i still do it at the seat, but she's almost 11 months so we don't really lay her down anymore. if she poops i take her to the plane bathroom. they actually have changing tables in the bathrooms. they fold down over the toilet. flight attendents are pretty funny about dirty dipes. i usually put them in puke bags but if i don't they want it in the bathroom trash or a whole seperate bag from the food trash.
in the airport, we usually try to find a family bathroom. they are usually a little cleaner than regular bathrooms.
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#3 of 36 Old 07-30-2008, 04:18 AM
 
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I agree with finding a family bathroom. Otherwise, yes, I think it's easy to find a secluded corner somewhere to change a diaper. Have DH stand there and block anyone's view.

As for planes, how awesome that you have flown in planes with changing tables, norajune'smama! I never, ever have been in a plane with one! When DS was 4 months old, I tried to change his diaper while balancing him on the toilet lid! I got so frustrated with that, I took him to our seat and changed him there. A flight attendant told me to go do it in the bathroom and I told her that until their planes had changing tables, I would be changing my child in my seat (I had a changing pad down and everything).

When I complained to the other flight attendant, she said, "Don't worry about her. She doesn't have children yet, so she doesn't know what it's like."
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#4 of 36 Old 07-30-2008, 04:42 AM
 
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Personally, I think it's kind of gross and unfair to the other passengers to change a diaper in your seat unless there are truly no other alternatives (no changing facilities on the plane at all). MAYBE if the baby was just wet and you had a changing pad down underneath but certainly not for a poopy diaper. As parents we are sort of immune to the smell but it does linger in the air for quite awhile and it's pretty unhygenic to have feces being handled in a seat where many people have sat and will have to sit (and eat). Every plane I've ever been on, at least in the last five years or so, has at least one bathroom with a changing table that folds down over the toilets. You might have to ask a flight attendant which one it is but there should be at least one with this facility.

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#5 of 36 Old 07-30-2008, 05:48 AM
 
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Just wet I change in the seat or on the floor, but honestly IME it was always easier to change them in the bathroom on the little table. Bring plenty of cloth diapers and you just use the diaper as a changing pad. You can use a new one each time if you want so your baby is never touching anything but the CD, although most placed also seemed to have that paper you can put down.

In the airport I changed whereever if it was wet, but poopys got changed in the bathroom.

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#6 of 36 Old 07-30-2008, 08:28 AM
 
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Most planes we have been on have a changing table that folds down over the toilet/sink area. Not alot of room but I MUCH prefer it to havning to change a baby on my lap ESP a dirty diaper

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#7 of 36 Old 07-30-2008, 08:38 AM
 
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Lots of planes do have changing tables, but not all of them. And when they do, they're tiny. A flight attendant did tell me to use the toilet seat. Gross. And they are funny about diapers. I was given a plastic 'diaper bag' when I got on the plane, but didn't bother with it because I only had wet ones. But I sure was praying for no blowouts!

I agree -- poopy ones in the bathroom, wet in the seat next to me (if I'm lucky enough to have an empty one), and I usually do that first and wait to apologize if anyone complains rather than ask and be told no.

As for using public change tables - also gross - I bring a few receiving blankets with me so they can spread out and cover lots of the table. I've never seen one with paper covers, just empty dispensers. Then I can put the receiving blanket in a plastic bag and not use it again until it's been washed. But given the opportunity to find a secluded corner I'd rather change there.
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#8 of 36 Old 07-30-2008, 09:19 AM
 
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I have been traveling with DD since she was 3 weeks old. At the airport I always change her in the bathroom. I just make sure that I have a changing pad and then either a receiving blanket or another pad to put onto of that one to make sure she touches nothing icky. On the plane I change her right on my lap. I am usually traveling with my mother sitting right next to me so I usually just drap DD across the 2 of us. No one has ever complained. I do carry my own zip lock bags to quickly dispose of the diaper. HTH

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#9 of 36 Old 07-30-2008, 09:46 AM
 
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We flew to South Africa with ds when he was 11 months old and BIG. I took along a big shawl-type thing, tied around my waist, which was a BRILLIANT move--I used it to cover changing tables etc in the airport, as a blanket while sleeping/nursing, for all sorts of things. So that makes things much easier--I'm also yucked out by public bathrooms, esp in the airport! Anyway, I changed him in the plane bathroom without problems: I think there was a smallish changing table (don't remember exactly, but there must have been). It was a bit cramped, but not a major issue. We flew on Delta, btw.

If you CD, switching to sposies for the trip might make your life easier. And if she's old enough, and the flights are long enough, the overnight dipes also help.

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#10 of 36 Old 07-30-2008, 11:47 AM
 
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I was stuck on a plane (due to bad weather, we were on the ground but they wouldn't let us off) that had no changing table and a full cabin of passengers. And a very stinky diaper. And a pissy flight attendant.

I asked her if I could change him on the floor by the emergency exit, but she said "No! You're not allowed to block the exits!" and gave me a look like I was an utter idiot.....So I said, "I understand that, but we are still on the ground....how likely is it that there will be an emergency in the next few minutes?"

She sorta humphed and said, "Well, I don't think it would be very fair to the other passengers. Maybe you should ask them!"

So I said, "Look, the diaper is already poopy. It already stinks. It's going to continue to stink whether I change it or not. But if I change it, then at least the baby will stop screaming, and I'll bet the other passengers would appreciate that!"

So I went ahead and changed it, but I'm pretty sure she blacklisted me the rest of the flight.

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#11 of 36 Old 07-30-2008, 11:56 AM
 
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As a frequent flier for business, I beg you not to change the diaper at your seat.

Depending on the type of aircraft you are flying on, there may be a handicapped bathroom. These are common on Airbus A320 and A330 and Boeing 747. The handicapped bathrooms are literally bigger than mine at home and have plenty of room to change diapers. DO NOT feel bad using a handicapped bathroom for this purpose, unless the flight attendants instruct you not to. But they probably don't care.

Don't expect to see many changing tables in aircraft bathrooms anymore! Many have been removed because people were breaking them by having sex on them (I work in the aerospace industry, so that is how I know that. Not from personal experience ).

If you are flying first class, the bathroom should be sufficiently large enough to change a diaper. I would suggest holding your child on your lap whilst sitting on the toilet to change the diaper. In case there is any air turbulance, your baby is safer on your lap than if balanced on the sink or other surface.
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#12 of 36 Old 07-30-2008, 12:56 PM
 
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Originally Posted by amitymama View Post
Personally, I think it's kind of gross and unfair to the other passengers to change a diaper in your seat unless there are truly no other alternatives (no changing facilities on the plane at all). MAYBE if the baby was just wet and you had a changing pad down underneath but certainly not for a poopy diaper. As parents we are sort of immune to the smell but it does linger in the air for quite awhile and it's pretty unhygenic to have feces being handled in a seat where many people have sat and will have to sit (and eat). Every plane I've ever been on, at least in the last five years or so, has at least one bathroom with a changing table that folds down over the toilets. You might have to ask a flight attendant which one it is but there should be at least one with this facility.
I'm so with you on this. We fly a lot, and last time a lady changed a 18 mo poo diaper in front ofus, and you know that are just gets recirculated over and over. Cruel cruel cruel. And believe me, I've got a 3.5 yo and 8 mo in diapers, I know about stinky diapers!

The changing tables in the plane are very nice, better than almost all public restroom changing tables. Even big enough for a giant 3.5 yo who should be potty trained by now!!!
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#13 of 36 Old 07-30-2008, 12:58 PM
 
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Most commercial planes have changing tables in the lavs these days...even the smallest 35-seat jets have them! They're not well-marked and often go unnoticed, but they're usually there. If you're unsure, ask your flight attendant for help.

I strongly encourage folks not to change your babe in the seat unless there truly isn't another option, though....consider that the aircraft seats are everyone's living and eating space. I know I don't consider my wee one's poops to be offensive, but I'm sure the stranger next to me or the next person to sit there just might. You probably woudn't change her on a table in a restaurant, and likewise it's uncool to do it in the cabin of the plane.

I can't tell you how many times I've found a dirty diaper in the seat back pockets, too! I understand how it happens...the baby needs changing, it's done in the seat (or -gasp!- ON the tray table!). Mom sticks the dipe in the pocket and forgets about it...and leaves it for the cleaners or FA or the next passenger to find. I had one poor passenger board the plane, stick her book in the pocket, and pull it out to find it covered in poo from a previous passenger's overloaded diaper. The cleaners don't always have time to check every single seat back pocket on the plane during a quick turn-around...so it's not terribly unusual.

I've had lots of passengers try to hand me their diapers to throw away, as well. I'd love to help, and I have, of course...it's tough when you're sometimes stuck in a seat and managing an infant. But the best thing is to throw it away in the lav...the people handling your food won't also be handling poo, and it won't be stowed in the galley with food either.
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#14 of 36 Old 07-30-2008, 01:03 PM
 
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I had a horror story happen to me last plane ride (just a few weeks ago). Turbulence and landing at the same time, so not allowed out of your seat and DD had a blow out and it was alllll over me (she hadn't pooped since the previous day! and I had been praying the whole ride it wouldn't happen then!)

Once we got to the gate, I discovered that there were no changing tables but another woman helped me balance her on my lap while I sat on the toliet and changed her.


just had to tell this story....I was yellow BF poop color the rest of the day

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#15 of 36 Old 07-30-2008, 01:35 PM
 
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We;re flying next month too, so we'll see what happens, but I think that changing our infant, on my lap, which never takes long, complete with wipes and hand sanitizer, involves less grossness than the typical person using the bathroom, improperly washing hands, and getting his filthy fingers all over doors, surfaces, etc (that ds and I would encounter on our trip to the toilet), plus crying that may begin due to a stressful change in a cramped bathroom. Not to mention, if it's okay to take off one's dirty shoes and have icky feet polluting the air, or have the hacking cough the person behind me always seems to have...
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#16 of 36 Old 07-30-2008, 02:26 PM
 
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ok, having flown a number of times with an older toddler, and my sister having flown recently with her infant, I can tell you MOST airplanes do NOT have changing tables.

One of our flights did, and I tried to use it, but she couldn't fit on it, or even on the toilet seat if I had wanted to. so yup, her diaper changes were at our seats. Our domestic flights did not have changing tables, it was our intenational flight that did, but it was too small.

My sisters flights had no changing tables.

I have no idea how one would try to balance a baby in their lap to change a diaper. neither of my kids would have ever fit on my lap for a diaper change - I don't think they would have even as newborns
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#17 of 36 Old 07-30-2008, 02:32 PM
 
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Airplane bathroom sinks are pretty small, right? If you had a large hardcover kids' book in your bag, I wonder if you could lay it over the sink, cover the whole counter/book surface with a receiving blanket, and give yourself a makeshift changing table that way.

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#18 of 36 Old 07-30-2008, 02:39 PM
 
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Agreed... do NOT change your baby in the seat. Just, don't. Not even if it's just wet.

The bathrooms have changing tables often, but not always. Isn't that what the changing pads in your diaper bag are for? We always change her RIGHT before getting on the plane and see if we can hold off until we land, though that's because one time we landed while DH was in the bathroom changing DD (SOOOO unsafe, but he had no idea we were landing and the flight attendent didn't know they were in there).

And really, I have flown more than 20 times with my 2yo DD, and most of our flights/legs were 2 hours or less, so it is usually very easy to just wait until we are on land for changes. Of course I leave for the opposite coast in 2 days and will get a nice reminder of the mini-bathroom changing pads then!

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#19 of 36 Old 07-30-2008, 02:48 PM
 
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every airplane I have ever been on EXCEPT southwest airlines... has a changing table... that is sometimes unmarked.

I contacted southwest and they said they were "working on making that standard".

okay, i take that back too.... one flight that i was on with american airlines didn't have one.

i cannot believe that they are not standard.

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#20 of 36 Old 07-30-2008, 02:50 PM
 
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Agreed... do NOT change your baby in the seat. Just, don't. Not even if it's just wet.
No kidding. I can't believe that anyone thinks that is acceptable.
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#21 of 36 Old 07-30-2008, 03:05 PM
 
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*Many* smaller commuter planes do not have changing tables! To get to my folks house, you have to fly in a plane that only has 30 seats. (And also has propellers!). The bathroom is barely big enough to wedge yourself into. You could not fit your baby on top of the sink, becuase the wall of the bathroom slants over it so you can just barely get your hands into the sink.

I don't know how people can change a baby that is sitting on their lap, but maybe because that's because we used snappied prefolds... I have used seats to change DS and have even been directed to use seats by a FA. I think it really depends on the particular plane and situation!
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#22 of 36 Old 07-30-2008, 04:23 PM
 
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No kidding. I can't believe that anyone thinks that is acceptable.
ok, where then? In the Aisle? Let them sit in their piss and poop or what? Sometimes there is no alternative but the seat - and yes with a changing pad underneath.

No changing tables aren't standard and even if they were made standard, you can't go back and retrofit all the older planes - ya know the ones that still have ash trays even though it's been ages since you could smoke on a plane?
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#23 of 36 Old 07-30-2008, 04:59 PM
 
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I wouldn't change in the seat if there was someone in the same row as me. But if it's just us, and if she's just wet, AND I have a change pad/blanket down, AND I sanitize/wipe our hands after, AND I dispose of the wet diaper into either the bathroom garbage or my own diaper bag...how is that yuckier than using the often disgusting airplane bathrooms?
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#24 of 36 Old 07-30-2008, 05:13 PM
 
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ok, where then? In the Aisle? Let them sit in their piss and poop or what? Sometimes there is no alternative but the seat - and yes with a changing pad underneath.

No changing tables aren't standard and even if they were made standard, you can't go back and retrofit all the older planes - ya know the ones that still have ash trays even though it's been ages since you could smoke on a plane?
The bathroom.
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#25 of 36 Old 07-30-2008, 05:28 PM
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ok, having flown a number of times with an older toddler, and my sister having flown recently with her infant, I can tell you MOST airplanes do NOT have changing tables.

One of our flights did, and I tried to use it, but she couldn't fit on it, or even on the toilet seat if I had wanted to. so yup, her diaper changes were at our seats. Our domestic flights did not have changing tables, it was our intenational flight that did, but it was too small.

My sisters flights had no changing tables.

I have no idea how one would try to balance a baby in their lap to change a diaper. neither of my kids would have ever fit on my lap for a diaper change - I don't think they would have even as newborns
I haven't noticed any changing tables on any of the Southwest Airlines planes, and I can't imagine the spacious airplane bathrooms that a poster above described. I can barely fit myself into the bathroom with room to turn around after securing the door, and I remember once hitting my head on the wall in front of me as I leaned over to wipe my bum. I can't picture changing a baby in a 2 foot by 2 foot "room"
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#26 of 36 Old 07-30-2008, 05:33 PM
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every airplane I have ever been on EXCEPT southwest airlines... has a changing table... that is sometimes unmarked.

I contacted southwest and they said they were "working on making that standard".
.....

i cannot believe that they are not standard.

I believe that is because they generally do flights that are 3 hours or less in duration. They also don't serve food (well, they give you crackers and soda). But, I can't complain, because without them and their low rates, I would not have been able to "date" my husband as much as we did during our long-distance courtship, and I wouldn't be able to go home to visit family and friends twice a year.
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#27 of 36 Old 07-30-2008, 05:38 PM
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I'm so with you on this. We fly a lot, and last time a lady changed a 18 mo poo diaper in front ofus, and you know that are just gets recirculated over and over. Cruel cruel cruel.
Maybe I'm just spacey after a long day....but I don't understand.

Isn't the air in the bathroom ALSO recirculating into the cabin of the airplane? Or is there some kind of invisible barrier that lets only people and their clothing through and traps the stinky doody air in the bathroom?
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#28 of 36 Old 07-30-2008, 06:19 PM
 
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Just this past February, I was TOLD by a Southwest airlines flight attendant to change the diaper in the seat because there were no changing tables and it was unsafe to do it in the aisle or in the postage stamp sized bathroom. I had to do a poopy that way. Luckily, I was in the back, the lady next to me was a kindly grandma, and she excused herself to the bathroom for the procedure.

On my next Southwest trip, in April, they announced that all planes now have changing tables.

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#29 of 36 Old 07-30-2008, 06:20 PM
 
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ok, having flown a number of times with an older toddler, and my sister having flown recently with her infant, I can tell you MOST airplanes do NOT have changing tables.
Yup.

I admit I have only had to change a diaper on a plane twice, but neither time were there changing tables in the bathroom. I sat on the toilet and awkwardly propped him hanging off my lap to change his diaper. It was not fun.

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#30 of 36 Old 07-30-2008, 06:23 PM
 
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My son is 3 and is not yet potty trained. He's just not ready yet. Your judgement feels pretty harsh.
I thought gretelmom was talking about her own son.

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