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Make it easier for parents!

Discussion in 'Parenting' started by hhhh, Sep 1, 2011.

  1. hhhh

    hhhh Lead commenter

    What little changes could make life easier for parents?
    Example- for the first time in ages I went shopping without kids. I was able to take stairs and scalators, not have to worry about cramming a pram into toilets, didn't have to think if a highchair would be free...
    At my city centre car park, there's only one small lift to get out. On a busy Saturday, that makes life really hard for pram users-and of course people who use wheelchairs. Today the lift was broken. Easy enough for me to us the stairs today, but it's a really long steep flight. How is a mum/dad with a pram and say a 3 year old supposed to cope? Carry the kids up and just leave them while she gets the pram up? Yes, people were helping, but how do you know if that friendly stranger has theft or worse on his mind?
    And couldn't slightly wider parking spaces make it easier to get car seats in and out?
    And seating for feeding mums, whether breast or bottlefeeding somewhere to sit down would be good.
    I know some might say it's whinging and that it's people's own choice to have kids(and we do have it easier in some ways than previous generations), but just these few changes could make life so much easier. Let's face it, people shopping with kds are usually going to spend money, so shouldn't facilities be provided?
    My friend who does use a wheelchair says she reckons that planners should have to think about things like this (and she actually advises on builds, for free for the benefit of other disabled people) and many of the things I mention eg cars toilets, travelling up and down lifts cause difficulties for both parents and wheelchair users, and she has 3 kids, so I guess the particular centre I'm talking about would be a nightmare for her.
    But anyone else g ot any other things that are particular bugbears, maybe that you wouldn't have noticed in the pre baby days?
  2. learningyoghurt

    learningyoghurt New commenter

    Whilst I agree with you on some points, I think that tbh having kids is just going to be difficult anyway and no matter what is put in place, there'll be new difficulties that pop up.
    I had to travel with Lite recently (also mahoosive new car-seat and suitcase, it was fun) and it's like going somewhere with a small but heavy bag of concrete that you can't leave anywhere and that needs entertaining all the time.
    To be honest, the only thing that would've made the trip pleasant and easy would've been a) a remote-controlled forklift truck with special baby attachments that could follow me around and climb stairs and b) a tame clown to keep him entertained and perhaps hold him for five minutes whilst I perhaps go and empty my bladder at some point during the six-hour journey. Maybe some sort of gentle baby-gripping claws on the back of each toilet cubicle door would help otherwise?
    On the upside, I didn't realise how nice the vast majority of people are until I had a baby and had to ask for and accept help. When Lite is older I am going to be the nicest of people-with-baby helpers in the world, purely out of sheer gratitude. [​IMG]
  3. What would make my life easier? Tesco (other supermarkets are available) to stop putting those b**tarding kiddie rides outside the entrance. Shopping with a 2 year old is stressful enough without them having a tanrtum because you didn't let him in the flashing Postman Pat van...

  4. Cafes / restaurants to have high chairs as standard... Disabled toilets as standard (my local tesco doesn't have one - consequently ALWAYS caught short there)... More ramps less stairs!... But in the spirit of positivity a Buddhist centre close to me recently put a sofa out on the street for all to use and it was a f...ing brilliant stroke! LO was approaching meltdown on my way home, so we sat down, fed, cuddled and continued our journey. Lovely!!
  5. Chica77

    Chica77 New commenter

    All baby changing rooms should have loos in them too, and there should be more of them. Where i live the only place you can change your kids, get the buggy in, and go to the loo yourself is the library.
    One place has a disabled loo so i could go myself and bring the buggy in, but it's upstairs. There's a lift, but it's more hassle. The baby changing facilities are in the ladies' loos downstairs, but you have to go down some steps and there's no room for the buggy. Plus the pull down changing table is really short and my 2 year old is over 3 foot tall!
    We have a caf&eacute; here with a children's play area - a table with some books and toys around it - which is really handy (shame the coffee is **** in there) so i think there should be more places like that.
  6. Where I live the Sainsburys and Debenhams both have 'family loos', which are a brilliant idea. Basically, big rooms with baby changing facilities and at least 2 child sized toilets (not in cubicles, just in the main room). I only have one LO who is 1 so it's not really relevant for me but I can imagine if you have a family with 3 little ones it's fab as you can all go to the loo together!
    I think places should automatically provide easily accesible facilities for you to warm up baby food and get mugs of hot water for you to pop an Ella's Kitchen poutch in! I have real difficulties as every time I request a mug of hot water it's the wrong size or it's got too much water in it etc. .
  7. Chica77

    Chica77 New commenter

    I stopped at a service station with a room like this, it had a really good changing mat with a shoulder strap harness on it so much safer, and there was an adult sized loo and a child sized loo.
    I think the play parks should be a bit safer too. Ours is enclosed but it has a gate at either side which aren't that hard to open. I'm sure my 2 year old could get out if he chose to. Also, the swings for older kids are in there too and i worry that my son could get kicked in the head if he got too close. I find it quite difficult as i sometimes have to feed my 3.5 months old while we're there and i like to be able to follow my son about!
  8. Some swimming pools have great facilities for family changing, some are completely rubbish. In my local pool the family room has a changing table and one of those toddler seats so you can strap baby in while you get dressed. great if you;re there on your own. Shame the small pool is uniformly one metre deep. The better swimming pool in the next town (great for littlies) has rubbish changing facilities. One baby changing room, and some "parent rooms" which are a standard cubicle with a toddler seat - you can barely move when you get toddler in said seat and then the ten tons of stuff you need is on the floor getting soaked.

    Like someone else said, cafes really need to get on the ball with the mums and tots market. A fab independent place near me has a big enclosed play area and the seats around this area have high chairs nearby and comfy sofas if you wanted to feed. My little group of mummy pals usually go there.
    TOilet facilities are the worst. I had a woman who was waiting with her friend in a wheelchair have a go at me for using the disabled toilet with LO in buggy until I pointed out it was a disabled toilet / mum and baby changing room. It's not ideal, either way someone would end up waiting, but I suppose places have limited space. I've seen a lot of places offer places to breastfeed, but these often tend to be a chair in the corner of a baby changing room - now i didn;t BF, but I can;t imagine anyone wanting to do it near a stinky nappy bin.
  9. OH was in costa the other day and overheard another dad asking for a cup of hot water to heat a bottle in. Guy behind the counter refused on health and safety grounds! As if walking around with a hot coffee is any different. That poor dad had to pay for a cup of tea, take the tea bag out and he heated baby's bottle anyway.
  10. hhhh

    hhhh Lead commenter

    When I worked in a pub we were'nt allowed to heat baby food-in case we got sued. Has any parent ever actually brought a law suit because someone didn't heat foodproperly?
    And today a man was moaning about all the prams in his way. Would he like to teach the two month olds to walk? Or should he carry the babies round in his arms. I have no idea if he had ever had kids of his own, but would he moan about a wheelchair user?
    (Sadly, I know of people who do, my friend was once asked to leave her wheelchair outside a cafe. Of course she could have walked, she was only being lazy was the implication!)
  11. hhhh

    hhhh Lead commenter

    Trouble is the supermarkets don't specify age usually-and Sainsbury's says under 12-I can't really see why the average 11 year old would need any more attention than any adult in that instance...
  12. at a motorway services an older man parked in the parent spaces next to me. When he got out i said 'oh no, you forgot to bring your baby with you!' he said yes, but i have a walking stick and a disabled badge. Typical. The one time i choose to say something there is a genuine reason for them to be there!
  13. Tesco signs have "under 5" written on it. Surely it's about space for getting them into car seats. What they should do is have them further away from the door then people would maybe not feel like they have to park in them?
  14. Yes, having enough space between cars to get little ones in and out of car seats is one reason...
    However, another aspect may be having somewhere safe for other siblings to wait for the baby/ies to be dealt with.... and being near to the trolley park can be important for some - when mine were small I'd start by getting a twin trolley, then transfer the children one by one - it would have been difficult if the trolley park was too far from where I could sensibly park.
  15. hhhh

    hhhh Lead commenter

    Agree-anyone palnning a car park should have to look after a 3 year old, a new born and some two year old twins, then people might be more sympathetic... I know someone who has that sit. She is my heroine!
  16. kittenmittens

    kittenmittens New commenter

    Blimey, that must be hard work! How does she do it?!!
    I agree that cafes etc could do so much more to accomodate and attract mums and babies/toddlers. There could be a chain of child-friendly cafes set up with tasteful decor and nice coffee and cake for the mums, with an activity area for toddlers, decent clean highchairs, space for pushchairs between tables, good changing facilities etc. They would make a fortune with all the parents around wanting to meet up with friends and keep LOs amused. It was fine when my baby was tiny as she just slept in her pram, but I hardly go to cafes now as she gets bored which is a shame.

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