When you start going out with an infant, one question that constantly nags you is what would you if you had to change his diaper, or even worse, if it a poopy explosion and you need to change his clothes too (hopefully not yours as well).
Babies rooms! Tadaa! The solution to all of our problems. A baby room is also very important for women who are not comfortable to breast feed in public – with or without a cover.
Personally, I prefer a baby room, which allow both mom and dad, to go into but that isn’t always an option. Yet. But I do think change is coming; there are many places now across the world which has a dedicated room which is accessible to both parents. Harrods in London had a brilliant one, but that wasn’t surprising. What actually floored me was the brilliant facilities at the Bengaluru airport. Whoa.
The facilities which were available in both the arrival and departure terminals had separated sections which meant private rooms with cribs for two babies, changing areas, and dispensers with baby soap and lotion offered by the sponsor – Himalaya Herbal.
Every time I go through the Qatar airport, I tell myself I must check out baby room facilities, but I haven’t gotten around it yet. But it has received positive reviews.
In Qatar baby rooms can be found at the following places:
Babyshop: All branches of Babyshop has a very well-equipped baby room. The Gulf Mall Babyshop baby room is my absolute fave in Qatar. Lovely colors, a rocking chair, drinking water, and space for changing the baby, including access to running tap water. The one at the recently opened Mall of Qatar is very good! I love the ceiling.Babyshop at City Center has these as well, although the room is slightly smaller. But hey, you can watch an intro into baby care 101 on loop, Babyshop at Asmakh mall is pretty tiny, and does not have running water. And I hear that the Barwa village branch is pretty basic as well. But hey, at least there is something?
Mothercare: The City Center branch and the Landmark Mall branch have baby rooms. I quite like the one in City Center; I haven’t used the one in Landmark yet and it seems it is more often than not used as a storage room. And I am not yet sure if the Mothercare in Gulf Mall has a baby room. The one in City Center is very interesting because the walls are covered with Mothercare advertisements dating back to the fifties and sixties (I think). It is nice to look at these and see how it advertising has evolved over the years while feeding your baby in the comfy armchair. The room is fairly spacious and the changing area is quite nice as well.
IKEA: I didn’t know about this, till the lovely ladies of the Positive Birth Doha Group pointed it out to me, and one mom was kind enough to even send me images. Colour me impressed! It looks great. I am actually looking forward to going to Ikea just to use these facilities.
Lagoona Mall: The mall has a very nice and cozy nursing area, equipped with leather couches, and is calm, quite and clean. Located next to Skin and Soul. Looking at the pictures, this looks pretty awesome!
Just Kidding: Another one that I have not used myself. But a mommy tells me that they do have a small changing area.
I have not seen any other dedicated changing rooms where mom and dad can go together.
As for the malls,
City Center has well equipped changing rooms in Babyshop and Mothercare.
Gulf Mall has a great facility at the Babyshop.
Villagio has an okay changing facility at the VIP ladies bathrooms. I am told Mamas and Papas have it too but when I went there last, they had converted it to a storage room.
Landmark Mall has changing facilities near the washrooms near the food court, and I heard that the furniture store The One also has a changing table which is clean and relatively quiet and not crowded.
Hyatt Plaza has changing areas near the washrooms too, as does Ezdan mall, and Al Khor Mall.
I must say I was disappointed that Toys R Us had no options.
If you are looking for a place to feed in peace and in private, then always go to the female prayer rooms are the best options. so even if you are outside, like the Aspire or even the Peal, you can nip into the ladies prayer room to feed.
One thing to always remember though is carry your own changing mat! Or at the very least wipe down the changing areas with wet wipes before you put the baby down.
And ALWAYS carry zip lock bags! To pack bubba’s dirty clothes, or to secure a diaper before binning them. Zip lock bags are a must for your diaper bag!