The first time my son slipped off of his changing mat onto the damp floor of a men’s restroom in a New York City bar, I knew we had a problem. The second time it happened, I knew I needed a solution ⏤ fast. And one that didn’t involve not bringing my sons to the bar, because that wasn’t an option.
You see, my wife and I promised when we had twins that we wouldn’t completely change our lives. We’d still do the things we loved to do, like discovering new restaurants and craft breweries and exploring local parks. And for the first couple of months, we nailed it. Although we did notice one glaring obstacle: these places often had no changing facilities and abysmal restrooms. Some were downright gross. On more than one occasion, I found myself balancing my sons on a toilet seat cover or a wobbly IKEA shelf. In one spot, I used what appeared to be an antique ship’s wardrobe to change his diaper. It was becoming ridiculous ⏤ there aren’t enough Lysol wipes in the world to clean a child wet with bathroom slime.
So when a co-worker showed me the Baby Change-N-Go hanging changing pad, I knew we were back in business. A genius cross between a small hammock and a traditional changing pad, the Change-N-Go clips onto to the back of a bathroom stall door, essentially converting the door into a full changing table when one isn’t available. Plus, it sort of looks like what a baby rock climber would nap in if they were scaling the face of a mountain. All told, it weighs less than three pounds and has several zippered pockets, so it’s easy to load with diapers and wipes and fits in whatever bag or stroller we’re taking that day.
Though more expensive than a normal changing pad, at about $70, the added convenience, safety, and cleanliness are worth every penny. We’re toting around a full changing table in our diaper bag, that’s crazy. Now my twins stay high and dry in any restroom, and we’re back to ticking off new bars and breweries and even fun places that don’t serve booze without worrying about them contracting E. Coli from the floor. For parents on the go like us, it’s been a lifesaver.
Admittedly, we have run into a few snags. While the design allows hanging the Change-N-Go from doors and other high mounting points, some places still have bathrooms without anything suitable from which to hang it. You can only do some much, right? In these situations, we use the relatively thick pad on the floor, knowing the side netting ⏤ which keeps kids from rolling off ⏤ is lending some additional protection. The sides do their job well, but they can also make securing a diaper more challenging when the boys are kicking around. And finally, while the Change-N-Go hangs fairly stable, it does tend to swing more like a hammock on some doors, which can be a bit of a pain.
In the end, though, for active parents who don’t want to cut out activities, or avoid their favorite haunts, simply because they aren’t always baby-friendly, the Change-N-Go is a must-have in the diaper bag. And that’s something you can raise your pint to.