Air travel is unpleasant, and even moreso if you’re traveling with an infant or toddler who has just pooed in his or her diaper.
Here’s why it’s a problem for traveling moms: most airplanes don’t have changing tables. Even if you change your child’s diaper immediately before and after a flight, sometimes, as the saying goes, poo happens. Even at 35,000 feet.
And it’s a most awful predicament. For one thing, everyone seated around you immediately smells it. And there’s no good place to go to do the job. I often resort to changing my rolly-polly babies on the top of the curved toilet seats in the “lavatories,” but since all babies are bigger than the toilet seat and there is no place for a traveling mom to put her diaper changing equipment, it literally becomes a balancing act.
The day will come when I read about a mom who is suing an airline because her child was injured rolling onto the lavatory floor while she tried changing a diaper. I’ll be horrified, but not at all surprised.
I was once granted permission to put my changing pad down on the floor of the flight attendants’ galley area. That was the easiest place for me, because I had some elbow room. But let me tell you, that was not enjoyable for the flight attendants. I mean — you know what I’m talking about, traveling moms — that smell lingers.
I once saw a woman spread her 2-year-old out across a row of seats and change a diaper that smelled so disgusting, all 200 people aboard squinted in disgust and considered jumping out the emergency exit door.
What is the solution here? A flight attendant friend told me that some planes are now being equipped with changing tables (they’ve waited till NOW?), but given that they don’t even want to give passengers a bag of pretzels anymore, I wouldn’t hold my breath.
But the passengers should.