Once again the Breastfeeding Association has come up with a program that is incredibly practical and useful … The Baby Care Room Awards. I know that after my son was born I found that my relationship with shopping centres and really all venues outside of home changed based upon my changing needs. One of those needs was for for Parent or Baby Rooms. I found it became an obect of interest to me (and something I would discuss with my Mother’s Group) he difference in facilities and the difference it would make in a journey or outing. What became very obvious is that some places didn’t have them at all, some appeared to be a small afterthought and others were extremely well thought out and planned.
It appears that my interests were similar to those held by the Breastfeeding Association. They have a national campaign to award rooms that provide facilities to enable mothers to feed and change their babies and toddlers when they are away from home.
The Baby Care Room symbol is awarded to a premises with:
- a convenient, quiet place to feed in privacy
- comfortable seating (armchair style is preferable)
- somewhere safe and clean to change nappies
- hot and cold water and hand drying facilities
- waste disposal
- a smoke free zone
- no advertising of artificial formula or toddler follow-on formula
- preferably access for fathers who need to care for infants without interfering with the privacy of breastfeeding women
Other features that are highly desirable to consider during the design of a baby change and feeding facility include: Brothers
- easy pram (stroller) access, including twin prams
- doors should be light to push and have the ability to be propped open for pram access, but not automatic
- the room should be clearly marked and easy to find
- food preparation area separate to nappy change area, with bottle warming facilities
- hot water thermostat regulator on taps
- change bench within arms reach of taps so baby can remain attended
- dispenser machine to buy disposable nappies
- dispenser machine for paper cups
- toddler toilet with low mirror, low wash basin with automatic cut off taps, no automatic hand drying facilities and a door able to be pushed open from the inside
A Baby Care Room is always a safe, comfortable, convenient and welcome place to go. A 3 star Baby Care Room is a great place to go, and a 5 star Baby Care Room is fantastic!
I have been to (on more than 1 occasion) 2 venues that have the 5 star rating and I would agree that they are fanatastic. If you live near check out both the Rhodes Shopping Centre (that also has a great Mum and Bubs Club) and the Foster Stockland Shopping Centre (Toddlers will also love the car shopping trolleys).
Check out the list on the ABA website for details of great facilities near you .. .