Diaper Changes: Are Some Places Off Limits?

Avatar for cmkristy
iVillage Member
Registered: 07-05-2005
Diaper Changes: Are Some Places Off Limits?
Mon, 05-20-2013 - 2:59pm

With hot coffee poured out in anger, cross words exchanged and a call to police, this was no ordinary diaper change. But what went down in a Denver Starbucks this week has parents discussing: Are there some places where you should never change your baby’s diaper?

As the NBC affiliate KUSA/9News in Denver reported, Ruth and Alex Burgos were out for a coffee run at Starbucks when they realized their son Thiago needed a clean diaper. Ruth Burgos took him to the bathroom, where there was no changing table.

So, she brought him back and changed him in the seating area, telling 9News she “just kind of wiped him off, cleaned him off as quick as I could.”

Alex Burgos says a Starbucks employee threw them a rag and asked them to wipe the seat when they were done. He found the employee's tone demeaning and fired back by pouring his coffee on the floor. An argument ensued and police were called, but no arrests were made, 9News reports.


Where do you think? Are there some places were diaper changes just shouldn't take place?

 photo snowsiggy.png

Community Leader
Registered: 10-01-2010
Wed, 06-05-2013 - 4:06pm

Even if you put a change mat down, I don't think you should change your baby on a restaurant table. If baby is poopy, you should not change the baby on the seat either. It really needs to be done in the washroom.

However, if you are out, have no vehicle to go to and there is nowhere in the restaurant washroom to change the baby, it does make it difficult. I am not sure what I would do in that case?

Community Leader
Registered: 04-07-2008
Thu, 06-06-2013 - 9:28am

I definitely think there are places off limits for diaper changing. I once saw a lady lay her daughter down on the sidewalk in front of a grocery store and change her daughter's poopy diaper. With 4 children and a grandchild of my own, I definitely understand the need for an emergency diaper change, but sidewalks and tables at restaurants are not on my list of acceptable places. 

I would not want to sit and eat at a table where someone had just changed a diaper. Ick!

Community Leader

iVillage Member
Registered: 04-11-2012
Fri, 06-07-2013 - 8:22am

I personally don't find the employee's actions wrong. I have seen people do the most grotesque things in restaurants and if it takes an employee pointing out the obvious rudeness/inappropriateness of the patron then so be it. I wonder what would happen if I threw my baby up on my lawyer's desk, mechanic's work bench, or my doctor's operating table and changed a poopy diaper. I'm willing to bet it wouldn't be addressed with politeness.


iVillage Member
Registered: 01-23-2013
Fri, 06-07-2013 - 9:52am

I understand where the mom is coming from, but I really think that diapers should not be changed in a restaurant out in the open.  It wouldn't bother the mom or dad, but I know I would be a bit put off if I saw someone else doing it.  The situation could have been handled better for sure... but yeah, keep the diaper changes off the tables please! 

Avatar for elc11
Community Leader
Registered: 06-16-1998
Fri, 06-07-2013 - 1:46pm

Ewwww. Even though the diaper change seems to have been on a chair I still don't think its acceptable to do it in an area where food is served. Most people would not want to smell or see a diaper change while eating; and there is a sanitation issue as well. I raised two kids so I understand about emergencies but I also was always aware that other people didn't have the same level of tolerance for my kid and his bodily functions, tantrums, etc. Its inconvenient but sometimes a parent has to take the kid out of the store/restaurant/wherever to deal with an issue, its not fair to subject a crowd to what is a personal matter.

I don't blame the employee for saying something, regardless of tone of voice; I'm surprised that none of the patrons said anything. For the parents to then respond by pouring coffee on the floor was immature. 

iVillage Member
Registered: 01-16-2013
Fri, 06-07-2013 - 6:01pm

I don't get why restaurants don't have changing stations these days. It just seems so anti-family not to have a suitable place to change a baby's diaper. I bet the restaurant in this article might get more young couples in to eat if they had the proper facilities.

Avatar for elc11
Community Leader
Registered: 06-16-1998
Fri, 06-07-2013 - 9:11pm

Phyllis, it was in a Starbucks. Their corporate spokesperson said some of the stores have changing stations but not all. When my kids were in diapers (25+ years ago) those changing stations were just starting to appear so it was always a pleasant surprise when there was a designated place to change a diaper, but I didn't expect it. I guess I don't think of Starbucks as a "family restaurant" anyway.

Avatar for lizmvr
iVillage Member
Registered: 06-06-2001
Fri, 06-14-2013 - 7:13pm

Ugh. I didn't see that on the news and I live in the Denver metro area. I'm disgusted by the parents. For goodness's sake, take the child somewhere more private, put down a pad that you as a responsible parent should have, and change the child away from areas intended for consumption of food and drinks. Geez.

How could the adult father be so ridiculous as to pour out his coffee?! He acted like he was more of an age of wearing diapers himself than being able to parent a true child.

I feel much more sympathy for those Starbucks employees.


Clinical Research Associate