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Where to change diapers if the lav is too small?

Where to change diapers if the lav is too small?

Old Nov 19, 18, 5:57 pm
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Where to change diapers if the lav is too small?

As many undoubtedly know, airplane lavatories are shrinking, at least in the domestic US. On some of my recent flights, I have barely fit. Thus, the assumption that parent + baby + necessary supplies is not likely to work. In order to plan ahead, can anyone share thoughts or suggestions of where on the plane to do diaper changes if the lav is too small?
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Old Nov 20, 18, 4:33 am
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I will not suggest an alternative location in the plane, however for the supplies I have a small shoulder bag and I just take one item at a time when I need it to change the diaper. This avoids needing any space further than that to put the child on.

As to suggesting an alternative location, I would say at the airport if it can wait :-(
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Old Nov 20, 18, 4:59 am
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I used to put individual diaper changes in one of those throw away diaper bags (poor for the planet, but what can you do.) Diaper, ziploc bags of wipes. That made getting in the tiny loos easier. Onboard if you will not fit in the loo for changes, ask the cabin crew where you can do the deed. Also pack way more diapers than you think you could ever need, babies seem to liquify in the air.
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Old Nov 21, 18, 5:20 am
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Learn to do it with the child standing up that way you can do it on the loo. They can stand on the toilet seat and you can change them that way. Never ever ever change them at your seat or in the aisle. And yes take way more diapers and a change of plans for both of you.
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Old Nov 23, 18, 4:30 pm
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Originally Posted by Redhead View Post
Learn to do it with the child standing up that way you can do it on the loo. They can stand on the toilet seat and you can change them that way. Never ever ever change them at your seat or in the aisle. And yes take way more diapers and a change of plans for both of you.


That assumes the child can stand. Most U1s can't stand, and the U1s that can stand probably shouldn't be standing on the toilet seat unless the caretaker of the child can do the whole process -- whatever that may be -- one handed. And most can't do all of that for a standing 8-12 month old without potentially risking a slip up of sorts, no less so if unexpected turbulence hits while wholly or partially in the tiny lavatory.

There are lots of parents/caretakers who can barely fit into the tiniest of the new plane lavatories even when alone in the lavatory. The idea of all such parents/caretakers being able to stand in the bathroom with a standing child and being able to maneuver easily to deal with a runny, messy diaper is a pipe dream.

Airlines should prepare for a lot more diaper changes being done on the plane floors in the galleys and the aisles, and even on the plane seats. Maybe even on the tray tables -- as horrible an idea as that is, even more horrible than the rest of the possibilities mentioned in the prior sentence.

And given the growing proportion of men -- who are generally larger than women -- as the primary caretaker of children or takers of parental leave (unpaid or otherwise) when transporting children by air, this issue will only become more likely a visibly public one.

I seem to find a lower proportion of plane bathrooms with changing tables for infants nowadays in the US and TATL/EU markets than used to be the case say 5 years ago. I also seem to find the plane bathrooms are smaller on average than they used to be say 5-10 years ago. And I also find that passengers seem to be bigger now than they were say 15-30 years ago.

When space to move properly in a bathroom becomes less likely, the bathrooms will get more disgusting than they used to be. When the space to properly change the diaper of a infant/toddler in a a bathroom is harder to come across, the planes will get more disgusting than they already are. Thank the greedy airlines -- and the airlines' willingness to exchange passenger comfort for ever more profits -- for the gross-out factor spreading on the planes.
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Last edited by GUWonder; Nov 23, 18 at 4:43 pm
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Old Dec 13, 18, 4:44 am
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Last time I had to change my little monkey on a domestic flight*: Baby table down, lav door wide open, and my back/arse hanging out into the galley. The FA actually came over and held the door for me. +1 AA. thank you. (not that the wide bodies have bigger lavs these days...)

As others have said, take just the minimum you need for that one change into the lav with you - theres' no room for a full nappy bag - one diaper, the cream/wipes, and a garbage bag (the reason I still get the occasional plastic shopping bag - to wrap a dirty diaper up in to contain the smells).

*Mrs. Dirty and I have a deal - she puts the food in, I deal with it when it comes out.

Last edited by DirtyDan; Dec 13, 18 at 4:45 am Reason: sausage fingers
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Old Dec 13, 18, 7:01 pm
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Originally Posted by DirtyDan View Post
Last time I had to change my little monkey on a domestic flight*: Baby table down, lav door wide open, and my back/arse hanging out into the galley. The FA actually came over and held the door for me. +1 AA. thank you. (not that the wide bodies have bigger lavs these days...)

As others have said, take just the minimum you need for that one change into the lav with you - theres' no room for a full nappy bag - one diaper, the cream/wipes, and a garbage bag (the reason I still get the occasional plastic shopping bag - to wrap a dirty diaper up in to contain the smells).
Totally agree. If the lav is too small, just hold the door open and stand in the doorway. That works for changing diapers as well as monitoring (and wiping) little ones once they start to use the toilet. It can get a little awkward if there are people waiting to use the lav, but people are generally understanding and it's infinitely preferable to changing a diaper on a seat or seatback tray table.
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Old Dec 14, 18, 9:00 pm
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Depends on flight time, of course, but if it's a few hours, get the heavy-duty night diaper, change at airport, and hope for no #2s .

If that's not an option, like others have said: open lav door (if anyone's awkward about it, they can go sit down and wait until you're done), or standing change.
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Old Dec 15, 18, 9:13 pm
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Thanks all for the advice.
What ended up happening: On the way there, the F lav was a little bigger than the coach lavs, so used that. Got an announcement from the FA about that lav being reserved for F passengers, but nothing was said directly to us. Other change was done by putting a changing pad on a seat. On the way back it was same, except coach lav was used.
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Old Dec 18, 18, 3:38 pm
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Originally Posted by themicah View Post
Totally agree. If the lav is too small, just hold the door open and stand in the doorway. That works for changing diapers as well as monitoring (and wiping) little ones once they start to use the toilet. It can get a little awkward if there are people waiting to use the lav, but people are generally understanding and it's infinitely preferable to changing a diaper on a seat or seatback tray table.
That can work for many, but there are definitely circumstances where that standing in the doorway approach won’t work so well.

Place me into the category of people who would welcome government regulation that increases lavatory space and increases seating comfort — at the expense of there being fewer seats available for passengers in the main cabin.
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Old Dec 19, 18, 1:20 pm
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Originally Posted by Scotttheking View Post
Other change was done by putting a changing pad on a seat.
Ewww, that is foul
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Old Dec 22, 18, 10:46 pm
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Originally Posted by Redhead View Post
Ewww, that is foul
waterproof pad, much better than the bins your stuff went in at security.
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Old Dec 29, 18, 5:57 pm
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There are infinitely nastier substances on most plane surfaces than a small bit of baby poo. We've been lucky thus far traveling with our smallest (a surprisingly large changing surface on a 12 hour TATL on BA when she was 6 months!), but there are unfortunate circumstances that can't be helped sometimes. Try to be as clean and considerate as possible in all situations, and plan ahead when you can. *shrug*
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Old Jan 7, 19, 4:34 pm
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Last edited by UAPremierGuy; May 21, 19 at 4:59 pm
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