Have you ever cancelled a city centre shopping trip because you had no babysitter? It’s not the thoughts of your child wanting this that and the other that’s the problem – after all, no is a parent’s favourite word. But rather the thoughts of stampeding to the nearest clean loo as soon as you detect a stinky whiff or hear the words “I need a wee-wee.”
Being out of baby practice for a while, I was a bit lost when I took my wee niece into town recently. I didn’t know where to change or feed her.
I put it to my Facebook friends to tell me the best places to change a nappy or feed a baby. They told me about the issues they have when they go into town.
I was specifically interested in feedback from fathers, so I asked Dads Matter NI to help me with the research. Their followers were very forthcoming in their responses.
A mother with a special needs child made a good point, her son is in nappies but he has become too heavy for the changing station. As a result, she has to put his blanket down and change him on the floor.
Two mothers said they thought it was important to have a toilet in the baby changing room.
One parent noted that some Belfast restaurants doubled their disabled toilet up as a baby changing room and were happy enough with the space needed in an emergency.
In alphabetical order, here are the best family friendly toilet facilities in Belfast City Centre as tested out by parents.
Belfast City Hall
Aine: “The ladies has a baby changing station and the toilets are always clean.”
Boots, Donegall Place
Jo: “Boots has a changing room with bottle warmer and nursing area with a comfy chair”.
Michelle: “Always use them, they have a wee rocking chair in a side room upstairs and changing mats and wipes”.
Roxanne: “Changing with two feeding stations for parents beside the male toilets upstairs, also has a microwave to heat food.”
Tara: “The one beside the food court is good but the one beside the travel agents is not. The door opens and closes when you’re trying to change a nappy. There’s room for another child on the changing station but two prams in the way leaves virtually no room to move”.
Mama’s & Papa’s, Victoria Square
Jamie: “Mamas and Papa’s have the nicest one with a rocking chair for nursing and it’s very clean.”
Laura: “They have a lovely and clean parents room but the lift up to it only takes one person with a pram. You have to hold a button in to keep the lift moving. It’s not good for someone who is afraid of lifts.”
McDonald’s, Donegall Place
Kristian: “Big eateries and restaurants, McDonald’s has one”
Mothercare, High Street
Adrienne: “Mothercare on High Street is fabulous.”
Emma: “For baby changing and breastfeeding, it’s a family room so men can take bubs in.”
James: “I use Mothercare”
Peter: “Was at the bogs at the end of Smithfield building, council ones at the car park. Very surprised, very clean and yes baby changing facilities there with sink and blower at it for the persons convenience. Although I haven’t seen many others elsewhere to be honest, not that I spent my time trolling bogs in the town lol!”
Neil: “They have a parents room and it’s always clean and available to use.”
So that’s the responses so far.
Do you recommend the toilet facilities of any shopping centres or restaurants in Belfast?
Do you have any horror stories of public toilets in town? Visitors to this blog love reading about other people’s misfortunes.
Let me know in the comments and I’ll add your first name and place to the list above.