Research by parents reveals inadequate baby changing facilities
Research from Direct365, a leading online provider of essential workplace products and services, has revealed the top five products parents expect to find in public baby changing facilities.
Working with parents across the UK, the research also found that some outlets are failing to meet even a minimum standard expected by parents, and this would deter them from returning.
Direct365 partnered with ten parenting influencers across the country and tasked them to visit a number of outlets, including nationwide chains and independent outlets, to investigate the onsite baby changing facilities.
Examining the pros and cons of the tested facilities, the top five products that the parents agreed should be compulsory are:
- A safety strap for the changing table
- Clear signposting to the changing room or area
- Hand sanitiser in addition to a sink
- Nappy bin and nappy bags
- A seat for breastfeeding or for an older child to sit on
In addition, all the participants individually identified a lack of changing facilities in male toilets, where there wasn’t a dedicated unisex changing area.
Kathyrn Skinner, at Direct 365, commented: “Baby changing facilities in places such as cafes, restaurants, shops and leisure outlets are of paramount importance to parents. Last year, there were 14 million parents with dependent children in the UK, and more than 3.2 million families had at least one child aged between newborn and four years old.
“A customer base of this size can’t be ignored and outlets that don’t adequately cater for this audience could be unwittingly deterring parents from returning. Our testers all expressed that they were instantly more inclined to return regularly to a place where changing their baby wasn’t a stressful experience because of the standard of facilities.
“Feedback from the exercise found a number of reoccurring issues that places could quite easily rectify. For example, a common finding was overflowing nappy bins and a noticeable odour due to bins not being emptied regularly. Not having hand sanitiser, which can be more convenient for a parent to use should they be holding a baby, was also a problem. These issues can be fixed for very little.”
One of the parents involved in the study said: “It can be stressful taking young children on trips such as a supermarket food shop. Therefore, anything that an outlet does to take some of that stress out of your visit won’t go unnoticed by parents. Having features such as space for your pram and a safety strap on the changing table are invaluable and make the customer experience as a parent a positive one.”
Another parent tester added: “I took the size of the outlet into consideration when I was reviewing the facilities and I was surprised at how many places didn’t dedicate an area to baby changing, despite appearing to have space, including large shopping centres. If I visit my small, local coffee shop it’s understandable if the changing table is confined to the toilet, but often, the changing table would only be in the female toilet, leaving men unable to change young children. It’s these factors that outlets need to consider.”
As part of our campaign to improve baby changing facilities, Direct365 created a series of humorous baby talking videos which you can view here.
For more information on the products available for baby changing visit https://www.direct365.co.uk/supplies/baby-changers