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On the plane

Changing baby on a plane

The baby change facilities in most aircraft are basic and inadequate.

A change table is often not available in every toilet (some smaller aircraft don’t even have a change table on the entire plane) so this may mean waiting in the inevitable toilet queues - and don’t expect people to let you in front of them either!

The “change table” is usually just a thin shelf that folds down over the toilet. On some planes you have to lie your baby down crossways leaving you with only side access making it all the more tricky to change your baby as you need one hand on the baby to stop s/he rolling off leaving you one hand to change a nappy (diaper).

For these reasons I suggest you take only the bare essentials into the toilet with you as you will most likey need to do most things one-handed and you definetly don’t want to put your baby down on the floor (especially in the middle of a long haul flight!).

bare essentials: nappy/diaper, small packet of wipes, small tube of cream (if you regularly use it)

I also avoid changing my baby more than is absolutely necessary - I figure that my baby sleeps through the night in the same nappy so he is used to it. Of course, if he soils his nappy or it’s a long flight I do change him.

TIP - the toilets are their busiest after the trays have been collected from meal service (all those free glasses of wine and second cups of tea or coffee!) and for the hour before landing (people using those free toothbrushes to freshen up). The toilets are at their quietest when the lights go out as people are sleeping or watching movies. That’s a good time to do a mid-flight nappy change when you are not pressured by a huge queue of people waiting for the toilet.

TIP - Always carry a spare t-shirt for yourself and your partner in case of spills on the plane (extremely likely if you have a lapsit baby!). Get changed once you land - chances are that you will have a long wait at immigration and at the baggage carousel anyway. I generally avoid using the toilets before landing and wait until we disembark. In most airports there are several sets of toilets in the terminal. The toilets closest to the gate will be the busiest, so unless you need the baby change room keep walking until the next set of toilets.


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