My love of shopping hasn’t waned since having a baby. In fact, now with more ‘free’ time, I think I’m more in love than ever.
I blame the baby. Everything teeny tiny is so darn CUTE.
But ducking off to the shops and swanning around the racks of new season threads just ain’t what it used to be.
Spending time at the shops means I am forced to spend quite a bit of time in parents’ rooms. Changing and feeding does not magically stop once you are in the fairytale land that is The Fashion Capital.
So, which ones are good? Bad? Best avoided?
I’ll begin at Chaddy. Chadstone Shopping Centre‘s baby change rooms are pretty swish. The curved changing tables make it hard for bub to twist and flip. There are private feeding rooms for those not keen to expose the boobarinos to hapless shoppers, a fenced play area with The Wiggles on loop for older kiddies, a toilet big enough to wheel in a big pram and couches for feeders or patient dads/grandparents.
They are always clean and automatic air freshener puffs out every so often to disguise the vague dirty nappy smell.
Myer and David Jones at Chaddy both have feeding and changing areas too.
I’m partial to the one at Myer. While dated (the space in David Jones has been done up more recently, but is pretty small) it’s big and clean and not as busy as the ones in the centre. Often I have the room all to myself. The noise from constant passing foot traffic outside the room and squeaky doors (there are staff rooms and more toilets down the corridor) can be a hassle for easily distracted little feeders though.
If you’re on a mission to Ikea in Richmond, there are good feeding areas at Victoria Gardens. These were clean and colourful, and Millie was quite taken by the ladybird light fittings.
Westfield has revamped their change rooms so Southland and Doncaster’s areas are modern. Southland’s seemed particularly cramped, but fine.
The parents’ rooms at Myer Southland and Doncaster and the one at David Jones at Southland are ordinary. They are old and tired, not always clean, and have no atmosphere. Best to bring your phone to while away the time, because there’s not much to look at. I think Myer and DJs probably didn’t think it was worth fixing up their baby facilities because the ones in the shopping centres themselves are amazing by comparison. Best to stick to the ones in the centres then…but hungry babies might not give you the option to hot-foot it out of the shop you’re in. Bad luck, mummy.
The facilities in Myer in the CBD are great. Modern, clean, lots of space, easy to access. The room is better than the one in the DJs city store. Both are completely fine though and provide all you need.
The baby change room (or ‘parents’ retreat’) at Melbourne Central is very popular. It’s the newest out of the ones I’ve used and has all you need. Microwaves, play equipment, lots of change areas and is light, clean and airy. It’s a little tricky to find, however, so that could be frustrating if baby is squawking. It’s on level 2, down an alley.
The parents’ room at Malvern Central is brand new (to coincide with the new David Jones that has opened there) and very clean and functional.
On the other hand, the changing/feeding facilities at DFO Moorabbin are primitive. There’s a couch and a curtain for privacy, a change table you can pull down from the wall and some play equipment for older kiddies. But it’s a small room with a tiled floor and not one I’d like to visit if it wasn’t absolutely necessary.
I’ll add more reviews of baby facilities as I visit them…stay tuned.