Reader: Diapering a baby in a restaurant's eating area is okay if there's no changing table

ruth.and.alex.burgos.205x205.jpg
The Burgoses.
Some topics strike a nerve -- which explains why our post about a dispute involving Alex and Ruth Burgos, who changed their baby in the main section of a Starbucks, is still collecting comments a month after it was published.

Here's an exchange representing opposite points of view.

Natasha Schwertley writes:

I have no issues with this. If a place will take their money, they should provide appropriate facilities. If they don't, I have no issue with them using the booth or chair. I am a mother and understand that babies have normal human bodies.
adarc writes:
When my daughter was born 16 years ago, there was no such thing as a public baby changing station. You took your diaper pad (in my case I chose to use a disposable table cloth) and went to the bathroom and changed that baby on the floor.

Changing a baby where food is served violates every health code there is. If you can't find somewhere else to change your baby beside the table at a restaurant or the booth, please stay home until they are toilet trained.

Please try to understand that we ALL have normal human bodies, and your child's fecal matter can transmit disease and parasites to the next people who sit at the table.

For more memorable takes, visit our Comment of the Day archive.

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62 comments
BackOffImStarving
BackOffImStarving topcommenter

No, it's NOT okay.  Fecal matter is still fecal matter.  Keep that shit out of the places where people are paying to eat or drink.

Johnny Genova
Johnny Genova

Baby shit stinks really bad. The kid needs to be changed but you've gotta be kidding me thinking "fuck it lets just do it in the dinning area". Not having a changing station is the restaurants fault not everyone else's in the place. Looking at the picture of those two makes perfect sense why they wouldn't think twice about doing something so rude.

Jim Dissett
Jim Dissett

I suppose it depends on the situation. And I wasn't there when this incident occurred. Perhaps off in a corner if possible? Or yes, maybe in the bathroom on the floor. Somewhere else than right in front of other diners would be my suggestion. And my having a different opinion than you, Jewels, does not make me an asshole. But you making that comment does make you one.

Jewels Gray
Jewels Gray

Jim - what do you suggest? The floor in the bathroom? ...do you have kids? What an asshole remark

Victoria Lundy
Victoria Lundy

No, you just have to leave. Like people with kids have had to do for as long as there have been kids. You have to take a screaming kid out of a movie that you don't get to see, a kid with dirty diapers out of a restaurant or business without facilities to change them and not get to eat. That's just part of having children, and has been forever.

Jim Dissett
Jim Dissett

The restaurant should have a changing station. However, the restaurant not having a changing station doesn't alter the responsibility of the parents to find an appropriate place to change a diaper.

Ben Beeby
Ben Beeby

owning a restaurant comes with all sorts of inconveniences, buying a changing station is one of them. Lets put it this way, how would you react if you took your elderly mother to Starbucks, and they only had a urinal?

Ben Beeby
Ben Beeby

If I saw someone changing their baby on the floor of the mens room Id call social services. Koala Care (changing station) solicits these business, especially restaurants all day long. They cost about 40 bucks. Starbucks makes 3000% profit off a damn cup of coffee. You can run your mouth all day about children and how I need to stay home with my kid, but I dont see any of you waiting at outhouses along the street. You all expect to be able to relieve yourselves in any business you spend money at, so why is my two year old any different? You really expect us to stay home until we are done raising children? Im sorry if the isolation this world fosters has made you all forget that the only biological purpose of life is to create life. I guess you live in a world where you think us breeders should stay home so you can enjoy a clean poop and scream free world. Enjoy your dream, cause children belong everywhere they want to be, and there really is nothing you can do but complain on FB and WESTWORD about it.

Courtney Donaldson
Courtney Donaldson

UH.... NO and if I see it I'll find management... I don't watch people pooping on TV when I'm eating... or at all for that matter... Why would I PAY to watch it?

Maat Human
Maat Human

maybe they should find an area away from food so SHIT DOESNT START FLYING AROUND OR SO THE BABY DOESNT FUCKING PISS ACCROSS THE ROOM...

jeremy_lara
jeremy_lara

isn't required BY LAW a chanching station in the bathroom?? 

if not provided... the restaurant owner MUST provide some sort of private space for that matter....  like his OFFICE..... if... there is NO WAY that he can provide a space for that matter.... at least ALL THE PLATES IN TABLES at that time should be FREE...... (that's right!! FREE)  because he can't provide a healty enviroment for his costumers.... and there's POO present in the same space where his PAYING COSTUMERS are eating.....

i'm ok with that when there are not any more choices or options.... but... some moms think that their parenthood it's more important than other people's lunch.......

Fred Kaplan
Fred Kaplan

Take a chair into the bathroom. There are alternatives IF YOU THINK!!!! AND have respect for yourself and other people.

Gabe Romero
Gabe Romero

Part of the "it takes a village to raise a child" mantra does not extend to me having to smell baby shit while i'm having my lunch because the place we happen to be at isn't family oriented enough to have a changing table. Who raised this generation to be so rude and selfish; it's not always about sticking it to the employees because your $4 that you spent on coffee entitles you to do whatever the hell you want. It's about having some respect for everyone else in the world who didn't chose to pop out a carrier monkey and wants nothing to do with it.

Connie Megel Long
Connie Megel Long

Just wrong. Maybe the parents should be charged with indecent exposer. As a parent of now a two year old, why would you change your child in front of everybody. You don't know who any of those people are. Embarrassing for the parents and the baby.

Kelly Lorraine
Kelly Lorraine

Outrageously disgusting. Breastfeeding in public is disgusting as well. Not quite as unsanitary as changing a diaper on a table, but still extremely inappropriate. Have some respect for other people.

Kathy Crawford
Kathy Crawford

You are only in a restaurant for about an hour or so. Change the baby before you arrive, when you get home, or go back to the car. The last thing I want to be around while eating is diaper changing. Gross.

Nando Commando
Nando Commando

Sure it's ok... but I won't be staying to finish my meal

Catherine Flannery
Catherine Flannery

These parents are compete idiots void of any common sense! Absolutely not ok to do this ever. Wtf already!!

Stephan Reuchlein
Stephan Reuchlein

No, its against health codes for eating establishments and downright rude exposing patrons to the odor and,possible bacteria. Get a changing pad and do it in the bathroom , on the floor if you have to. Since when are changing tables required. Diapers have,been changed for a long time before that convenience. People need to get over this sense of entitlement. You deserve exactly whats in that diaper, crap.

Gil Henry
Gil Henry

Take the child to someplace private please ...Respect the other diners...It's not just about your baby....

Pam Stiffler
Pam Stiffler

p.s. these people are obviously part of the self entitled, we'll sue you if we don't get our rude selfish way & we don't care about anybody but ourselves, generation

Pam Stiffler
Pam Stiffler

Can I poop on your dining room table? Or wipe my ass with your napkins? Or just find a way to ruin your dining experience?

Rich Madison
Rich Madison

No, I don't agree. It's unsanitary, it's disgusting, and it's disruptive and disrespectful to everyone else in the restaurant. If there's no changing table in the bathroom, then go to your car or go home. Period.

Chris Cater
Chris Cater

I imagine this would have a real positive effect on the servers tips from that section of the restaurant......yuck....would the busboy pick up the soiled diaper? Anybody that thinks this is ok needs to learn some class.

Shelia Canfield-Jones
Shelia Canfield-Jones

You do what you have to do but with the grandson and my kids I always carried extra little blankets to put down under the child before I changed its diapers So I could throw that blanket down anywhere and change the diaper. So I never had to use the booth at the restaurant because the back seat of the car worked just fine. Just saying.

Eric S. Partridge
Eric S. Partridge

yes. and it's ok to have sex in a hotel lobby if your room isn't ready yet. (or if you just feel like it.)

Jim Dissett
Jim Dissett

Having children comes with all sorts of inconveniences. Finding an appropriate location for diaper changing is one of them.

Chrissy Burgell
Chrissy Burgell

Starbucks isn't exactly a restaurant. I wouldn't be bothered by it there, but would be if we were at like, Steuben's or something.

Ian Eldridge
Ian Eldridge

No thats nasty change the baby in the car or some thing.

Roberta J Repasz
Roberta J Repasz

take the baby to the car....then come back in stopping, of course, in the restroom to wash the hands....seems simple, to me.

Stephanie McCutcheon
Stephanie McCutcheon

No, this is never ok. It is unhealthy for the baby and anyone else at that table. Take the baby out to your car, if you have to! Parents, get a f**cking clue...

John Wiener
John Wiener

How about leaving screaming kids at home? Or if not, can you at least have your kids not shit on the table where I'm about to eat? Thanks.

Candie Bernard
Candie Bernard

We're back to this? No, it's not ok. It's disgusting, disrespectful toward everyone else in the restaurant, and shows a complete lack of problem-solving ability.

Nick McCollum
Nick McCollum

NO! I hate it when my dining experience is ruined and my hard earned money wasted because of some inconsiderate people.Why would it be socially acceptable to handle human excrement in the middle of a restaurant. Have some class/dignity

michael.roberts
michael.roberts moderator editortopcommenter

@Ben Beeby Thanks for the passionate post, Ben. We're going to make it an upcoming Comment of the Day. Much appreciated.

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