In the last few months of being out and about with baby on Saturdays, it’s only become increasingly obvious to me how unfriendly New York City is to babies. Given how much real estate here costs, restaurants and businesses tend to have teeny tiny bathrooms with barely enough space for a toilet and a sink, much less a changing table or adequate facilities to change the diaper of a baby. Almost every weekend, I inevitably have to get ready to change our baby on some filthy floor, using our portable changing pad that I would immediately throw in the wash as soon as I would get home. It’s gross, but it’s all I have to work with. A couple weeks ago, Chris was able to change the baby in the restroom at the newly renovated Penn Station atop a real changing table, which was the very first time she had a changing table to get changed on in New York, at least outside our apartment. And today, while at a newly renovated office/communal dining space in Midtown East, not only was I able to comfortably change her on what looked like a brand new changing table in a brand new bathroom, but I was even able to roll the stroller into a huge bathroom stall so that I could pee and not hold her. It was amazing! The stall was so long and wide that the stroller could fit inside the stall with me, with additional space for me to stretch my legs out and pee in comfort. I couldn’t believe it!
How nice it would be if every public restroom in New York City could be like this, just for the sake of families with young children. But alas, that is an unrealistic expectation in a city and a country that is generally hostile towards young families and babies.