Tuesday, June 30, 2009


Being eco-friendly and always interested in learning something new (I'm SUCH a teacher), I decided to venture out into the world of cloth diapers. Although reluctant at first, I was persuaded to give it a chance because of all the adorable cloth diapers on the market today. I decided to start with the Kushies Classic available at Walmart and Sears.

The 5-packs sell for about $70. Each one has a unique design and are extremely cute. I thought they did a good job of absorbing any liquid waste and used flushable disposable liners to prevent the solids from staining the cloth diaper. If you don't wish to use disposable liners, you may choose to purchase their washable liners for about $12 for 10 on-line at many retail stores. I didn't find the Velcro a problem although I've heard some moms mention that they irritate the skin. The only drawback, however, was that the diapers were a bit bulky. I had a rough time getting Hannah's pants up around her waist, but when I put pants on her that were slightly bigger than her age, it was fine.

Overall I found this first cloth diapering experience to be unique and fun. The cotton flannel was surprisingly not too warm for her although that may be because the spring weather has been cooler than normal. The extra built-in flap provided extra absorbency, but I could have added more cotton liners in case I needed it. I was excited to try it out and proud of myself for succeeding at something new. Although my mom and grandma both said that's how they did it back in the day. Now I just have to convince my husband that cloth diaper washes are fun!

For FAQs about Kushies and cloth diapering, please click here.

Stayed tuned for further adventures in cloth diapering . . .

Monday, June 29, 2009


This weekend, Hannah had her first wedding. Well, clearly, not HER wedding, but the first wedding she attended and it was in Niagara on the Lake. My brother-in-law and soon-to-be sister-in-law lucked out by having 25C temperatures with a very light breeze considering the scorching dry heat from earlier in the week.

We drove up on Friday to get ready for the festivities. Arrived early afternoon so we checked in at the hotel, freshened up, and drove to Niagara Falls to participate in the regular tourist attractions. We met up with my in-laws and walked down Clifton Hill stopping to take pictures in the arcade and various attractions. Of course, the touristy moment wouldn't be complete without the token pose by the Falls themselves. After that, we drove back into town and had a delicious dinner in a quaint little bistro on the main street. Unfortunately this was one of the restaurants with high chairs without straps so we held her during dinner instead. Although sitting well, she sometimes throws herself forward or backward and we didn't want to risk that during a peaceful dinner.

The next morning, we had a hearty breakfast with the groom and my in-laws. We had a couple hours of until the ceremony so they were spent setting up the video for the reception and getting ready. Soon it was time to head over to the Pillar and Post, another local inn, part of the Vintage Hotels chain. The ceremony was in the garden, with beautiful trees and flowers creating a very pretty environment. The bride's side was lucky and had ample shade from the enormous trees on their side of the courtyard. Guests began to filter in and Hannah began to fuss. I must say that holding her for the ceremony in numerous positions was quite the workout. With the sun beating down, holding her up and down, rocking her left and right, and bouncing her gently (all the while praying, "Don't make a peep during the 'if anyone objects' part"), the lovely ceremony seemed to last longer than it did. The bride looked amazing in her ivory gowned adorned with swirls of beading and the groom looked great in his black tux. The bridemaids wore brown with light pink floral bouquets. It was a terrific ceremony. We took some family pictures in another part of the garden and soon, people parted before that evening's reception.

Hannah was getting quite hot and fussy so we drove back to the hotel for some rest and A/C. Daddy was the best man so he had to stay for some more photos. After our much needed hour long nap, we met everyone downstairs for cocktails at 5:30 p.m. Many of Daddy's family friends hadn't met Hannah yet so they were delighted to see her in her formal wear looking like a little doll. The night went on and the four-course meal was awesome. The speeches were great and Daddy was happy that the guests laughed at the appropriate parts. Everyone loved the video and that was my cue to get her changed.

Conveniently located just above the hall was our room so Hannah and I made a quick exit and I changed her into her pajamas. I decided as silly as it may look, with everyone in a gown and my child in polka-dotted sleepwear, it was better to do it now than to wake her at midnight. We went back down where she had her bottle while watching people shake what their momma gave them. We danced a bit afterwards, but I think I twisted and shouted a little too much because she spat up on Daddy when I handed her to him. (Luckily, his tux was a rental. Ha ha!)

Anyway I managed to hang around until the dessert table was laid out (oh that double fudge chocolate cake...) and then of course, the mini-burgers and braised ribs poutine. Hannah mingled with the adults and was a bit of a fascination to a little girl who kept coming around our table to wave to her. That little girl was too cute herself!

We'd say her first wedding was a success. She didn't cry out during the ceremony and didn't leak through her diapers. She didn't spit up too much or knock over the centrepiece. Overall, it was a fun time for all!

Congrats to E & J and enjoy your time in Hawaii. Aloha!

Friday, June 26, 2009


Wishing all the students out there a safe and FUNtastic summer! Fellow teachers and parents, make the most of these two months: relax, travel, sleep in, and PARTY! Pretty soon, we'll be back in our classrooms setting up before you know it.

On Sunday, New Kids on the Block were in Toronto and oh, how I wish I could've been there. I couldn't see them live, but I have been playing their greatest hits all week. Here's one for you:

Thursday, June 25, 2009


As with all new types of food, make simple recipes with just the one ingredient before adding a whole slew of other foods you think your little one will enjoy. Testing for allergies right now is more important than how gourmet your meal can be.

Start with meats such as chicken, turkey, beef, and pork first. You can either bake or grill it (retains nutrients more so than the other methods) or boil (retain cooking liquid to puree), whichever is easier for you.

To make a meat puree, put a cup or two of cooked and cut up meat pieces into your baby food processor. I like to use the Magic Bullet because it's fast and easy to clean. Place 2 - 5 tablespoons of water or cooking liquid inside the container. Gradually add more of the liquid until the puree reaches your desired consistency. Serve immediately or refrigerate. You can also place the puree into ice cube trays for freezing.

Wednesday, June 24, 2009


It's the last day of school for Canadian school children so nursing moms, your feeding experience at the mall won't be quite as quiet (or private) as it may have been! No problem. Bebe au Lait has a special promotion just for you!

For a limited time only, Bebe au Lait is offering a Buy One Get One Free special. Simply buy any Bebe au Lait, Hooter Hiders or Simple Organic nursing cover (or any Bebe au Lait or Simple Organic gift set), and use coupon code "MYSTERY09" at checkout. That's it! A mystery nursing cover will be added to your order for free! Knowing Bebe au Lait's fabulous styles, your mystery cover will sure to be Hip Teacher Mama suitable.

You can read more about the promotion at the Bebe au Lait site.
Happy Last Day of School especially to my fellow Hip Teacher Mamas!

Tuesday, June 23, 2009


In July's issue of PARENTS magazine, 58% of parents revealed that they do not make their own baby food. If you fall into that stat, but wish to feed your little one the healthiest food and are on-the-go (most parents are), here is the yummiest product I've tried on the market today!

Sweetpea Baby Food was created by two childhood friends who realized the need for healthy foods as well as recognizing the busy schedules of new parents. Delicious recipes come in easy-to-snap out frozen cubes and available at grocery stores like Longo's, Michael Angelo's, Highland Farms, and Metro. About $8 per frozen pack, it is slightly pricier than the jarred foods, but without the guilt and much less sodium. So what about the taste?

I decided to do my own research based on the flavours recommended for six-month old children. My seven-month old, Hannah, participated as well as her eleven-month old friend, Evan. A couple of other testers fell ill and also started to refuse solid foods (such is the unexpected ways of the kids), however, I found a suitable replacement, three-year old Ezra, who could tell me exactly what he liked and didn't like. I, of course, tried the foods myself, but didn't include my opinion in the review. Here are the results based on the yummiest to the least lip-smacking as rated by my young panel:

1) Banana Blueberry
2) Pear & Brown Rice
3) Butternut Squash
4) Sweet Potato
5) Broccoli

Not a big surprise that the favourites were the sweetest flavours, but what was wonderful was how each one smelled coming out of the microwave. At thirty seconds per cube, it was a quick warm-up, but the scent of each flavour was enticing and most importantly, natural. It smelled simply like the food and not anything extra because no sugar or salt has been added to it. Although I've been making Hannah's solids for over two months now and will continue to do so (as long as I have time), it's great to know that if I get too busy, Sweetpea is there to help out.

Monday, June 22, 2009


It was my husband's first Father's Day and he really milked it (ha ha). We had a Father's Day Weekend instead of just a day. Briefly, here's how Hannah and I helped Daddy celebrate his special day.

Part I: Friday - After work (my husband is also a teacher so I guess that makes him a Hip Teacher Papa), Hannah's daddy wanted to walk around Vaughan Mills and shop (one of the many reasons why I love him)! However after a few hours of going in and out of the outlet shops, we came out surprisingly empty-handed (never happens). Hannah scored the most items with some cute tops and a black pair of pants from Baby Gap.

Part II: Saturday - We spent the day with my in-laws, my brother-in-law and future sister-in-law (whose wedding is at the end of the month). Enjoyed a late lunch and then spent the afternoon at the mall with our laptops out and coffee cups all askew. Why? My husband is in charge of their wedding video so review and editing was necessary. In the evening, we had dinner at my in-laws' while my husband worked on the video some more.

When we arrived home, my husband said he couldn't wait anymore and wanted his presents. I got them out of my secret hiding spot and filmed his first Father's Day gift opening. Hannah got her daddy a sports-themed beer mug. I got him a box of basketball cards and a trophy cup gift card holder. I didn't know which jersey to buy him so I thought I'd let him do that himself. He was extremely happy with the cards simply because a) I usually tell him that sports cards are a waste of money and b) he was surprised I found a box on my own (thanks to my bro-in-law).

Part III: Sunday - We got up as early as we could manage and headed downtown. There are regular schedules and then "hope to be out" schedules for those with kids. Despite the crazy amount of events going on in Toronto (MMVAs, NKOTB concert, etc.), we thought that if we left by three in the afternoon, we'd be fine. We were. Did a little shopping at Eaton Centre and walked around for a while.

When Daddy went to throw out the garbage from lunch, a young couple came up to me and said, "We just wanted to tell you how gorgeous your daughter is. We were watching her with her daddy earlier and she is too beautiful." Awww, too bad Daddy caught the tail end of the conversation. Apparently this couple was married on Saturday and couldn't wait to start a family. I'm sure they were going to have beautiful children thought the girl had stunning blue eyes and perfect olive skin.

Got home and Daddy took a two-hour nap while Hannah seemed to have more energy than normal and refused to nap altogether. Lucky Mommy! Went out for dinner and soon it was time to head home. Bathtime, bottle, and a book later, our sweet little angel went to bed.

So that was my husband's first Father's Day. He said it was great and felt so lucky to have his two favourite girls in his life. Cheesy, but true.

How did you celebrate your Father's Day?

Friday, June 19, 2009


This weekend will be my husband's first Father's Day. I hope he has an amazing day and I'll do all I can to make it happen. I have a couple of surprises up my sleeve, but he'll just have to wait to see what they are. Until then, I'd like to recommend one of the best Will Smith songs ever (yes, it's the second Will Smith video in a row, but he's a fave) as you sit back, relax, and enjoy your Father's Day on Sunday!

Thursday, June 18, 2009


Take the essence of summer and put it all into a bowl for your baby's first tropical experience! Packed with vitamins and fibre, this combination of fruits balances sweet, tangy, and mild all at the same time.

1) Slice 1 ripe banana into thin slices.
2) Chop up 1 ripe mango into cubes.
3) Cut up 1 ripe papaya into small pieces.
4) Mix together. Add some diluted mango juice if you wish.
You can also scoop this mixture onto some rice cereal to liven up your little one's breakfast. Enjoy!

Wednesday, June 17, 2009


Created by Dr. Robert Titzer, a child development expert with a PhD in human performace from Indiana University, the Your Baby Can Read! Early Language Development System was the ideal HTM review product. I've seen the infomercials and discussed it with other Hip Teacher Mamas. Could this really work? Could a baby read even before speaking? I decided to test it out for myself. Hannah and I watched it every morning during or after breakfast for three weeks.

Although Hannah babbles quite a bit, she doesn't speak or read. Unlike the babies in the videos, she does not point to her nose, mouth, or any body part when the word comes on the screen. However, she does get excited when certain words flash before her such as baby, toes, and dog so I believe familiarity has set in. During the day, to encourage the recognition of these words, I use them as often as possible. For example, if I am changing her clothes, I will say, "Arms up!" I have good faith that if we continue to watch this program, she may actually do the actions shown on the video. It helps me out in the sense that it is teaching her and gives me a little break. It's hard to be so animated every moment of the day.

The idea of teaching your child to read at this early an age is not new. We may probably find the same success if we sit and read the same book over and over again. However, I would choose this series of videos over a re-run of Four Square or Barney anyday simply because you can watch it repeatedly at your convenience. Since kids like routine, it would be good to watch the program at the same time each day. This being said, this doesn't mean your child is guaranteed to read. However, as a teacher, I like it because includes rhymes and songs in between the word lessons. The words show variety and pictures are clear and concise. The words are not only said, but used in sentences showing context. Like a karaoke video, the words are spoken as an arrow moves underneath it from left to right. Hopefully this suggests to babies that there is direction when it comes to reading words.

The program comes with flip cards and books with sliding windows covering questions and pictures. The complete set comes with 5 DVDs for about $200. It is a good concept, but do not rely on it as the sole provider for language development for your baby. It's still recommended that you read to your child daily. Talk as much as you can when doing anything and encourage your baby to babble or talk. This program is good, but don't be mislead by thinking that by watching the videos several times a day, your child will become a genius. It requires just as much human interaction and nurturing for your child to read than it does the tools to do so. That being said, I do enjoy this program and will continue it as part of our morning routine.

Tuesday, June 16, 2009


This week's Editor's Pick for a fun and educational toy is the award-winning Lamaze Spin and Explore Garden Gym. Designed for 0-24 months, the playmat and spinner is a specialized product for Tummy Time, however, it can be used for much longer after a baby has hit the rolling and crawling milestones.

Created by pediatricians and child development experts from Yale University, this colourful mat encourages babies to spin and play with the different centres around the middle. Thus, your baby will develop the muscle strength required for rolling, sitting, and crawling without (at times) the stress of Tummy Time. As a teacher, we know that children can be kinesthetic learners and this is a great first-product to support that need.

Hannah likes to rest on the spinner and use her upper and lower body parts to spin around. Being seven months old however and quite tall for her age, at times, she prefers to lay on the mat without the spinner. There she enjoys the variety of stimulating features such as the peek-a-boo leaf flap, bee rattle, and crinkly butterfly wings. There are loops to attach other toys should you wish. It measures 28.0 x 5.5 x 28.0 inches (WxHxD)

Available at Toys R Us and Scholar's Choice for $59.99 (Cdn).

Monday, June 15, 2009


Preparations began months ago with the registration class. We then thought of the guest list and creating a menu. Last week was full of errands to craft shops, party stores, and grocery stores. What took hours to create lasted a brief moment, but a very important moment it was. On Sunday, Hannah Noelle celebrated her Baptism and was welcomed as one of God's little children. Family, close friends, and colleagues came out to witness this special once-in-a-lifetime day.

The weather was perfect and the morning was hectic. I woke up and ran around the house doing this and that. Although I had to-do lists in hand, the minute I thought of something, I jumped to it so that I wouldn't forget. As systematic as I usually am, I just needed to get things done. "Immediate results" became my middle name. My husband and I got all the appetizers complete (including smoked salmon rounds, crab dip with artichoke and jalepeno, and sausage rolls), got changed, and finally, dressed our little princess. In a white gown and a toothy smile, she really did look sweet.

The ceremony lasted about an hour with time at the end for pictures. Deacon Michael was amusing and kept the crowd entertained. We got there early so we scored the front row and made a lot of meaningful eye contact during his sermon. Yes, we knew why we wanted our daughter to be baptized. It's not only because we are both Catholic teachers, it's because we want her to be a part of the faith community. We believe in God and want her to follow in Jesus' teachings. We want her to learn that there is someone always watching out for her even if it's not us.

We were the last ones to leave the church because we took so many pictures. Some of our entourage made it back to our house before we did and then it was more running around. Bring out the warm hor d'oeuvres, put out the veggie dip, turn on the coffee machine, and all those other things we couldn't do earlier. Guests ate, mingled and had a good time. It was a couple of hours that flew by quickly. In fact, we actually forgot about her Baptism cake until a couple of families had left (sorry) and near the end of the afternoon, we opened her gifts. Our "Thank You" giveaways was a DVD slideshow set to music about Hannah's first seven months of life. Hopefully it'll be as meaningful to our guests as it is to us.

At the end of the night, we took our immediate family and Hannah's godparents out for Japanese food. More food? Yeah, it's typical of us to celebrate with grub (LOTS of it) and today was no exception. Another couple of hours later and the long day wound down. Hannah was snug in bed by 9:30pm and the recycling was by the curb.

Although Hannah is too young to know that this was a special moment in her life, we have plenty of pictures for her to look through one day and we'll explain it all. She had loving family members that came out to wish her well. Her grandparents and great-grandmother spent the entire day by her side. Our good friends came to give her hugs, kisses and special Christening gifts. Her loving godparents supported this important day from the first meeting to the end of the night. Most importantly, she is now blessed with the spirit of the Catholic faith.

Friday, June 12, 2009


Usually beginning in May, teaching becomes unbearable. It's not that the kids start to get restless (they do) and teachers are excited about the third term wrapping up (we are), it's the heat inside my school sky-rocketing to ridiculous temperatures. Being an older school, it doesn't have A/C so when you have a classroom with windows that don't open properly, twenty-five students coming in from recess, and the pressure of getting the huge Ontario curriculum covered, the end of the year is NOT a pretty sight. However, this year Mother Nature has been kind to teachers, and I think, somewhat too kind. Personally I wouldn't mind some heat. It's June and yesterday's high was 18C? Where are the 25C averages?

Until then, here's a true Summertime anthem.

Thursday, June 11, 2009


Mango lassi is a sweet cold drink that originated in India. By mixing mango pulp with yogurt, cream, or ice cream, you get a thick and delicious drink much like the Western world's smoothie.

To make a baby version of this, simply puree well and make sure all the pulp is gone. It is suggested that babies who are eight months and older try this fruit because of allergies to the skin of the fruit. The allergies are usually not life threatening, but may appear around the mouth or buttocks as a rash. To prevent this, wash the skin thoroughly before cutting the mango.

When ripe, mangoes have a soft pulpy texture and taste sweet. They have a unique fragrance and when pressed, the skin will give in to the pressure. Mangoes are loaded with vitamins A, B6, C, E, and K.

1) Wash the mango's skin and peel. Cut up one mango.
2) Add 2 cups of yogurt.
3) Blend together. Strain if necessary.

Wednesday, June 10, 2009


After losing my father to cancer in 2002, every time I tried to do a Father's Day lesson with my students afterwards, was extremely difficult. A lump would rise in my throat and I would have to hold back tears when I was asked how I would be celebrating my Father's Day. Keeping it professional and in simple terms, I would explain to the kids that my father wasn't around to celebrate with me, but he would be remembered.

In my capacity as a teacher and then as a young adult without a father, I realized how important Father's Day can be, but not necessarily for fathers only. Teaching in a neighbourhood where mixed families is commonplace and single-parent households are not unique, it made me realize even more so that Father's Day is a day to celebrate the elder males in one's life. It can be an uncle, a grandfather, a brother, a cousin or anyone who has made a significant impact on your life. It's a day to spend time with those who guided, listened, and mentored you, whether it be a father bound to you by blood or not.

As teachers, we are quite aware of this and make a conscious effort to let the students know that Father's Day cards and crafts are for the dads, but if "Dads" aren't in the picture, then any father-figure in their life is just as worthy and important of recognition. As a friend or neighbour, be sure to speak sensitively of this day because you never know who the father is in one's life.

Tuesday, June 9, 2009


With a huge diaper bag to lug around, my purse, the stroller, and of course, the baby, sometimes you just want to grab something small and head out the door. The designers at BUILT NY read my mind because they came to the rescue.

Made from easy-to-clean stretchy material, all their products come in a variety of pretty colours and designs. The Double Thirsty Tote ($12US) did its job, for when Hannah had her milk three hours after we left the house, she did so without any fuss (and she is extremely picky about her milk being warm). I attached it to our stroller using the snap-in handle and away we went!

We also used the Gourmet Getaway Lunch Tote ($22-$25US) on several occasions and were amazed at how much could fit in the seemingly compact space. In fact, we managed to fit three bottles, two spoons, two small containers of applesauce, and some baby crackers, all in a vibrant mini-pack. Awesome! These and other BUILT NY products are must-haves for any hip mama, teacher or otherwise.

BUILT NY products are available on-line and in Canada at Babies R Us, Canadian Tire, Home Outfitters, and Kitchen Stuff Plus. In the U.S., please visit your local Bed Bath Beyond, Target, Wegman's, and GNC.

Monday, June 8, 2009


I wanted Hannah’s first haircut to be special and had always planned to take her to Melonhead for that first experience. I couldn’t wait to choose between the Spiderman chair or a pink racing car. However, being less than seven months old and still wobbly when sitting, I didn't want to risk a run-in with a pair of scissors, no matter how professional the stylist. In an upright position, the bangs reached past her brows and began to poke her in the eyes. Unless Hannah planned to lay down for the next couple of weeks, I didn’t think her hair could wait for a trim. We didn't always use hair clips either so we did what had to be done. I thought it would be a good idea to give her bangs a trim...um, remember Dumb and Dumber?

I laid her down on the bathroom counter while my husband performed the procedure. Hannah was good and didn’t wiggle, writhe about, or cry, yet she came out looking like we had placed a lopsided bowl on her head and snipped away. At least she still looks cute, but there are professionals out there for a reason. There were a few strays that I got the next morning during breakfast, but it's just not a good haircut.

The good news is that her hair is out of her eyes and she's still a happy baby. The bad news? Her Christening is next week and she looks like Jim Carrey.

Let me know what you think.
All comments are welcome!

Friday, June 5, 2009


I don't know about you, but our annual Play Days in June would be much more exciting if we had a Dunk Tank! The Obstacle Course may be fun and Relay Races show off your speed, but who doesn't want to dunk a teacher in a big tub of ice-cold H2O? Check out the Disney Channel Games version featuring stars of their most popular shows such as Hannah Montana and Cory in the House.

Thursday, June 4, 2009


Send out an alert to all those with a sweet tooth! This easy-to-make and easy-to-swallow Banana Apple Smoothie is a dairy free dessert for your little sweetie to enjoy. Packed with fibre, potassium, and Vitamin C, it's a delight especially when served cold.

1) Peel, core, and slice 3 apples.
2) Peel and slice 3 bananas.
3) Cook with 1/4 cup of water for about 8 minutes.
4) Puree together.
5) Add water to reach desired consistency.

Make sure your bananas are ripe so that the natural sugars will sweeten the whole mixture. It will also prevent any digestive issues in your baby.

Wednesday, June 3, 2009


Nothing melts my heart more than Hannah's toothy grin. Not yet seven months old, her two bottom teeth have grown in, pearly white, tiny, and strong. Before their existence, I tried to make a habit of "brushing her teeth" before bedtime. Essentially it was just massaging her gums with a cold cloth so that the milk wouldn't settle in overnight. Now that she actually has mini-fangs (yes, she bites, and yes, I read Twilight while pregnant), I'm more conscious than ever to wipe down her teeth at night.

For more tips on how to properly take care of your little one's million dollar smile, read Dr. Paula Elbirt's "
7 Tips on Baby Tooth Care" at Parents.com.

Tuesday, June 2, 2009


My favourite pacifier clip is the MAM PACIFIER KEEPER. With creative and colourful designs, this clip is ideal for any hip mama and her chic baby. Built with a sliding bar that adjusts to tighten the clip onto the clothing you want to clip the pacifier to, this innovative design makes it a must-have product! Unlike other pacifier keepers where the clip can slip off, the sliding bar makes it impossible for your baby to remove. The ribbon is washable and the Velcro tab to secure the pacifier is made for the long haul. They also come with a ring that can snap onto a button-type pacifier, but you can also remove it if you don't need it. It costs about $5 for each keeper, but some are sold in packs of 2 making each one slightly less costly.
Check your local Babies R Us, Walmart, or Target for availability.

Monday, June 1, 2009


After dinner at a family restaurant, my daughter began to fuss. My husband and I both did the "parent butt sniff" on our daughter and decided it was time for a diaper change. I brought her into the restroom only to discover that there was no change station. I looked down the hall thinking there may have been a family washroom nearby, but no such luck! I managed to change her on the narrow counter, but not before spending five minutes wiping it down. In a couple of months, there is NO way she could fit on that counter. I felt bad for those who needed to reach around me to get paper towels and access the sink, but what could I do? I kept shaking my head in disbelief. It's exactly like having a restaurant with no restroom for adults!

There should be a law in every province, every state, and every country that requires all restrooms to be equipped with a dedicated area for diaper changes. Not having one is essentially a restaurant without a restroom. It's like saying to an adult, "You can pay money to eat here, but don't think about washing your hands before your meal. Oh, nature calls? Well, put it on hold and call back later."

I'm not asking for a gourmet diaper change area. There doesn't need to be mood lighting. I'm not asking for heated wipes or fruity hand sanitizer. I don't need a plush sofa to sit on or single use pouches of Vaseline. I don't even need a diaper dispensing machine. I just need a regular Koala Kare baby changing station. I just want somewhere dry I can lay down my own change pad and get my child into a fresh diaper. Somewhere I don't have to worry about her reaching for the wet taps or touching the grimy sink.

I hope all restauranteurs think about the facilities when they decide to provide a community service. They need to think about families who wish to enjoy a meal out together. Babies like adults live by the same rule, "What goes in, must come out." Parents just want a decent place to clean up what comes out. It's not a lot to ask.