Adventures in Diaper Changing

Jingshan Park, Beijing

When we entered Jingshan Park (Coal Hill) overlooking the Forbidden City in Beijing I knew that I needed to get Dek strapped on for a nap. First he needed a diaper change and an extra pair of pants thrown on so his legs wouldn’t freeze, so we went in search of a restroom.

I found very few changing tables in bathrooms during our travels through China. I’m not sure why this is. I have heard that children are potty trained earlier in China. They have a unique way of potty training their children that includes a slit in the back of their pants, but surely infants wore some sort of diaper at some point, right? Then again, what do I know. Either way, I quickly became a pro at changing Dek’s diaper while he stood up. Even in the rare sights that had a “changing table,” it was usually so disgusting that I was scared to put Dek on it, even with my own changing pad on top.

In this particular bathroom in the park, a tour group must have just walked by because it was pretty crowded. I was crouched on the floor having just changed Dek’s diaper, and I was struggling to get his 2nd pair of pants over his sneakers. Suddenly another woman was crouched down next to me trying to help. Then another, and another. I was overwhelmed with help. It was incredible.

I have struggled many, many times in the US with various baby and non- baby related things, but never have so many people tried to come to my aid. By the time we walked out of the restroom Dek had smiled and giggled at about 20 women, all of whom were simply enamored with him. So thank you to all of the kind Chinese moms, grandmas and aunties that were traveling in Beijing at the same time as us. Your endless help was truly appreciated.

Tip of the Day

  • Don’t be afraid to accept friendly help when it’s offered. Of course, use your judgment and always make sure you and your child are safe, but sometimes a helping hand is just that, a nice gesture towards a mom who needed a little extra help that day.

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3 comments

  1. John Goerner

    Takes a village, and I too found that village ready a few times in China–my experience wasn’t quite as dramatic however.

    I saw coal hill when we were there, but I don’t think we went up there.

  2. Elizabeth

    I can identify with the diaper-changing challenges when traveling. I’ve had to change a diaper on a sidewalk in Oxford, England and a park bench in Dublin, Ireland, and countless other non-traditional diaper-changing surfaces. There are not always changing tables handy. Gotta make due with what you’ve got!

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