Traveling with baby is not easy. You have to remember the diaper bag, the feeding bottles, breast pump, toys, and the diapers. Having to manage your little one in a confined space such as an airplane, could potentially thwart off travel for a while. One of the biggest concerns of parents is how to change a baby’s diaper on the airplane. Your baby will more-than-likely need to be changed when traveling on an airplane. Though most airlines with more than three restrooms provide a baby changing station in them, emergencies happen; and the wait for the restroom could take longer than the situation calls for.?By adhering to the following steps, you can effectively and efficiently change your baby’s diapers on a plane.
Plan A – Use the Baby Changing Station
Obviously, the first step is to find out if there is actual changing table in one of the restrooms on the plane. Even if the restrooms are small, it is the ideal place to change your baby. Many airplane bathrooms have a fold down baby changing platform above the toilet. If there are no changing stations available, ask the flight attendant if there is a place where you can discreetly change the baby. In either case, remember to bring a changing bad or blanket to lay on the changing surface and a plastic bag. If there are not designated places to change your baby, go on to step two.
Plan B – Use an Empty Seat or the Floor
You have to change your baby on the floor or the seat next to you. If you relax and handle this calmly, the situation will be finished shortly. Lay a changing pad or blanket on the floor or seat next to you and then lay your baby down. Working quickly, you can have the messy diaper cleaned up and into the plastic bag before anyone has the chance to notice. Admittedly planes today are a much tighter fit and that lost legroom can make it tricky. Many flights don’t book passengers in the back row of seats and this can be an ideal spot for a quick diaper change without bothering your fellow passengers.
Plan C – Do the Dirty Deed On Your Lap
You may have to change your baby on your lap if you are not allowed to leave your seat. In the same way as step 2, lay the pad and baby on your lap and quickly clean up the baby. Do not change a messy diaper on your lap, as this could offend those sitting around you. Instead, it may be best to wait until the “fasten seatbelts” light goes off.
Plan D – Ask for Help
Flight attendants are used to working with families and their infants. There is nothing wrong with handing the bag with the soiled diaper to the flight attendant asking to dispose of it if you cannot get up. You also have to option to throw it away when you are allowed to move. In any case, make sure the bag is closed tightly so the odor does not offend anyone. On most flights you won’t be the only parent travelling with small children, so if you need some extra supplies just ask, most parents would be happy to help.
Epilogue – After you Land
If the plane didn’t have baby-changing area, it is important to let the airline know how important this facility can be. You risk embarrassment and hassle when there is no designated place to clean up your infant. This kind of problem can be easily rectified by airlines and is something they should include on every plane to make family travel a little easier. It’s probably worth a phone call or strongly worded email to the airline. Once inside the airport it should be easy to find a family restroom or at least one equipped with a nice full size baby changing station. If not, you can probably find a bar to grab a nice stiff drink, you need it.
Elana Cameron is a traveling parent and a freelance writer for the blog at BabyStations.com