As parents with a child still breastfeeding, bottle feeding and/or on diaper, nursing rooms and diaper changing facilities in a shopping mall become our #1 priority when bringing kids out, on top of the variety of F&B outlets and retail outlets at a mall.
Recently, there has been numerous posts on Facebook complaining about the use of these facilities. They are either abused by mall tenants (for sleeping!), cleaners (as pantry!), young students (for hanky panky!) or fellow parents.
Though the facilities in Singapore are not excellent (that’s for another post), everyone using the facilities can make it more pleasant by playing their part to have some manners and consideration for others.
Who are they for?
Nursing rooms are designed for privacy of nursing (breastfeeding) mothers.
In our conservative Asian culture, boob flashing isn’t very welcomed by the older generation and surprisingly, there are young daddies who do not want their wife to breastfeed in public (even with a nursing cover) for fear of others looking at their assets.
I’ll be honest: My breasts are no longer my own when I breastfeed. You want to see? See lor. All I’m interested in is to feed my baby. And no, I’m not out to make you feel uncomfortable by flashing my boobs. I will do it discreetly.
Why only for nursing mothers? Then those who bottle feed leh?
Well, most people believe that if you are bottle feeding, you can simply grab at seat elsewhere and feed your child. It’s true: If your child isn’t easily distracted.
Now, then the argument comes: So bottle feed cannot use nursing room ah?
In my opinion, I will suggest this:
(1) Nursing mothers get priority as they need the privacy.
(2) Give way to mummies with screaming babies who are demanding to be fed. Try to share if you will be using the room for a while longer.
(3) Nursing mummies also need privacy to produce enough to feed their babies even if their babies are not with them. Do not rush them, simply knock and inform them of your intent, they might be willing to share the room! (SPEAK NICELY!)
(4) If you really need to bottle feed in the nursing room, don’t lock the door, just close it, be prepared to SHARE the room if a nursing mother comes along.
Of course, this can be solved easily if our ideal nursing room exists (upcoming post – keep a lookout!).
Another common complaint: So noisy!
I agree. The noise makes my baby distracted too!
(1) Keep your children in check. If you are bringing your older children along to the nursing room, ensure you have something to keep them occupied. Bring a book or some small toys. It may not be 100% effective to keep them quiet, but at least help to lower their volumes. Explain to them the purpose of the nursing room and teach them to be considerate towards others too.
If possible (you have extra help with you), get someone to watch them while you nurse in peace too.
(2) Don’t yak on your mobile while using the nursing room. The rest of us are not interested in your conversation. Really.
(3) If you are watching shows or dramas on your mobile while nursing, use an earpiece. I might want to kaypo about the drama you are watching, but not everyone feels the same.
Diaper changing rooms are often together with nursing rooms. Then daddies how? They cannot change baby’s diapers?
Well… Due to ‘limited space’ at shopping malls, most of them design the nursing room inside the diaper changing room. For us, we usually push our stroller along and use the stroller as a diaper change area in a discreet place (not in restaurant of course).
(1) Knock before entering.
(2) If there’s a nursing mother inside, nicely inform her that you need the diaper changing area and ask if it is possible to share the space (she can face away from you if she is willing). If it is not possible, then ask her how long more she will take so that you can decide to wait or find another place to change diapers.
(3) Always wrap & dispose diapers properly. I love the dog poo bags available in a roll at Daiso! It’s SMALL and each bag is just right to put a soiled diaper and tie off the top to keep it contained.
Remember, our TONE when speaking matters a lot.
A frustrated, “Can share?”
Versus a sweet, “Can share?”
Which would you be more receptive to? Definitely asking in a nice tone will get higher chance of success. And don’t curse when the other party rejects sharing. Some people really are more sensitive are need more privacy.
Wah… So many ‘rules’.
These are not rules but guidelines to help make our environment a better place for all.
A little consideration for others can make another person’s day better.
Let’s be positive role models for our children and show consideration towards others!
Written by Mummy Audrey Wong
Mother of 3 & Owners of TLO.com.sg