Toddlers: 12 - 24 Months

Changing diapers on an airplane?

We're looking at traveling this summer with the boys, but the last time I fly I only had one, and he slept the whole time. Where do you change diapers? Is there a table in the bathroom? I'd be by myself with 2 kids, is there room for 3 ppl in the bathroom?

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Re: Changing diapers on an airplane?

  • Yes and yes, but barely. Usually there's one that flips down. If not, I'd still do it in the bathroom.

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    E 09.08, V 08.11, J 04.11
  • Use the changing tables in the bathrooms but bring a disposable changing pad and plastic changing pad. These public changing tables are gross
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  • image icoelho:
    Use the changing tables in the bathrooms but bring a disposable changing pad and plastic changing pad. These public changing tables are gross

    I disagree b/c I think you should minimize what you are carrying on as much as possible. Carrying changing table pads = waste of space to me.

    I've never seen one that is visibly gross nor have my kids ever gotten sick from one. Are they sterile? No, but it's really not some disgusting thing either.  


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    E 09.08, V 08.11, J 04.11
  • You all are talented!  There is no way I would have been able to change my son's diaper in the plane bathroom.  He freaked out when I shut the door, so I didn't even try.  I can see changing an infant but not a toddler and I really don't think there's room for another body.

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  • Like PPs have said, one of the bathrooms will have a changing table that flips down.  There is typically a sign on the outside of the bathroom with a little baby on it so you know which one.

    The thing is small as hell but at least provides some surface.  Unless you are 100% sure it's just pee, I'd always change the diaper in there.  We have the entire row to ourselves on our flight to SFO and I changed a pee diaper in the seat after I thoroughly checked that there was no poop.  

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  • image LalaMama81:

    image icoelho:
    Use the changing tables in the bathrooms but bring a disposable changing pad and plastic changing pad. These public changing tables are gross

    I disagree b/c I think you should minimize what you are carrying on as much as possible. Carrying changing table pads = waste of space to me.

    I've never seen one that is visibly gross nor have my kids ever gotten sick from one. Are they sterile? No, but it's really not some disgusting thing either.  

    Dude... changing table pads are as thick as a few sheets of paper.  That is the last thing that I would worry about bringing on the plane.

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  • image HilarityEnsued:
    image LalaMama81:

    image icoelho:
    Use the changing tables in the bathrooms but bring a disposable changing pad and plastic changing pad. These public changing tables are gross

    I disagree b/c I think you should minimize what you are carrying on as much as possible. Carrying changing table pads = waste of space to me.

    I've never seen one that is visibly gross nor have my kids ever gotten sick from one. Are they sterile? No, but it's really not some disgusting thing either.  

    Dude... changing table pads are as thick as a few sheets of paper.  That is the last thing that I would worry about bringing on the plane.

    Well, I've never bought the disposable ones b/c I think they're dumb anyway. But seriously, no matter how small they are taking any unnecessary thing is also dumb, to me anyway.  I just flew to Europe w/ both kids alone, it was enough to get them into the bathroom w/ a clean diaper. 


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    E 09.08, V 08.11, J 04.11
  • I just flew with both my daughters without any help. I did notice on the one plane that there was a really small changing table in the bathroom. I actually think that most planes don't have a changing table. I changed DD2 on my lap one time, however another time when I realized she had a dirty diaper I didn't know what to do. I ended up waiting until we landed to change it. I didn't want to change it on my lap... she is too wiggly and I didn't want to overwhelm people with the smell. And then with no changing table in the bathroom it seemed too tough. When DD1 needed to go potty, I left DD2 in her seat.  I got DD2 her own seat, and kept her in the car seat for safety. It wasn't ideal, but I figured at 20,000 feet no one could run off with her.
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  • There are tables in the airplane bathrooms...there's barely enough room for you and child..so it would be hard with 3 people, not impossible I'd guess. Maybe a flight attendant can help you if you need to do that by keeping an eye on the other child, or standing outside the lavatory with the other one for you.

    I recommend changing prior to boarding...maybe with a nighttime diaper...so you just have to worry about a poopy one on the plane. And then...just make a small bag with a couple of diapers and wipes so there's less to try and fit/lug.

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  • uhh...the ONE time i had to change the worst diaper ever was when LO was 4 months old and the changing table was dirty. I actually balanced lo on MY LEG and changed it. Dont ask me how i did it...but i did...

    Im going to be flying with LO end of the month and was just thinking how hard it would to do that with him now that he is so squirmy. Not looking forward to that.

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  • Most of the time, there's a table in the bathroom.  Unfortunately, there's no guarantee that will be available; when we flew with DD (5 months at the time) over Thanksgiving, the bathroom on the small regional jet was out of service and we couldn't access it.  Of course, that's when she had a blowout, so we changed her on the seat, with lots of contortions, as best we could.

    We survived the experience :) and we've done three more roundtrips since.  We always change DD before the flight and we always bring a changing pad.  We've been fine-and we've found that flight attendants are usually super-helpful, so they may keep an eye on your oldest while you change the diaper if you can't all fit in the bathroom. 

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  • OMG, please do not change poopy diapers in the seats. That is so disgusting to everyone around you. I wouldn't even do a pee diaper unless I had the whole row, I don't think, but a poopy one? No way. Do it on the toilet seat or ask the flight attendant if another bathroom has one. 

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    E 09.08, V 08.11, J 04.11
  • image FemShep:

    Of course, that's when she had a blowout, so we changed her on the seat, with lots of contortions, as best we could.

    Um.... you changed a blowout just in the seat?  Did you say the airplane's bathroom was out of service?  Because in any other scenario aside from the airplane's bathroom being out of service, I cannot fathom changing a poop diaper in the seat.

    This is like changing a poop diaper at the table at a restaurant.

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  • I use public changing tables and don't worry about the germs as long as it's not visibly gross. 

    Most planes we have been on do have a changing table that folds down over the toilet in at least 1 of the bathrooms onboard.  I have had to wait for that specific one to open before.  We usually buy DS his own seat too, so I have also changed wet-only diapers in his seat.  I have been on 1 plane that didn't have a changing table, so I put the toilet seat down, wiped it off, put a liner over it and used that.  Not ideal, but you make do!  

    There would be space for another small child to stand behind you by the door in the bathroom probably, but it will be very congested. 

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  • image HilarityEnsued:
    image FemShep:

    Of course, that's when she had a blowout, so we changed her on the seat, with lots of contortions, as best we could.

    Um.... you changed a blowout just in the seat?  Did you say the airplane's bathroom was out of service?  Because in any other scenario aside from the airplane's bathroom being out of service, I cannot fathom changing a poop diaper in the seat.

    This is like changing a poop diaper at the table at a restaurant.

    I agree with you. Unfortunately, this was a small regional jet, with only one bathroom, which was completely out of service. DD had a blowout early in the flight, and leaving her crying, in a poopy diaper that was leaking out, wasn't an option. Since it was a 2x2 plane, no one else had to see it, and we took it to the flight attendant immediately.

    Sometimes,  you gotta do what you gotta do.  And you shouldn't assume you will always have access to a bathroom if you have a flight on a smaller plane. 

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  • On our last US Airway flight there was NO changing table anywhere on the plane.  I even asked the fight attendant.  Shocking, inconvenient and annoying.  I managed to change DD on the toilet seat cover, holding on to her so that she didn't slip off.  It wasn't easy but you do what you have to do.  Changing her in our seats wasn't really an option.
  • My advice:  put a small number of wipes, a changing pad, and 1 diaper in a large ziploc.  I did that while flying to London with my 1 year old and it was all i took to the bathroom with me.  Then, when I got back to my seat, I put a new diaper (and new wipes if needed) into the bag for next time.  SOoo much easier in those little bathrooms!
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  • Depends on the type of aircraft. The flight attendants typically will be helpful if you ask for one to watch outside the door. I wouldn't take 2 young kids in the lav.
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  • Is it a long flight? If its 4hrs or less I would change DD right before we loaded the plane and coat her in diaper rash cream so I wouldn't have to change her on the plane. Now if she had a BM I would change her "standing up" in the bathroom. Stand her on the changing table and change without laying down.
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  • The ones that flip down are surprisingly great, no issues here and I changed at least 3 on our last trip on the airplanes.
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  • My daughter had three poopy diapers- bad stomach from something she ate on the 4 1/2 hour flight home from Mexico. Fun times. There was a changing table and she screamed bloody murder every time. So, it cant be as bad as my experience. I was with my husband who stayed with my 4 year old but i would have asked the flight attendant to watch her if I was alone. Those bathrooms are TEENY.
  • OMG, please do not change poopy diapers in the seats. That is so disgusting to everyone around you. I wouldn't even do a pee diaper unless I had the whole row, I don't think, but a poopy one? No way. Do it on the toilet seat or ask the flight attendant if another bathroom has one. 
    My first thought is ask attendant if there is another place to change the diaper, but if there is no table (or no way a toddler will fit on the table) if my DS had a poop and we had 3 hours left of a flight, damn straight I would change him where ever I could, even if that means if the seat or on my lap is the ONLY option! I would not let him sit in it and get a painful awful rash! Now that he is standing I could attempt to do it with him standing in the bathroom, but I am not going to make him suffer... people can hate me all they want if the plane stinks for a bit
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  • chicsahm said:
    OMG, please do not change poopy diapers in the seats. That is so disgusting to everyone around you. I wouldn't even do a pee diaper unless I had the whole row, I don't think, but a poopy one? No way. Do it on the toilet seat or ask the flight attendant if another bathroom has one. 
    My first thought is ask attendant if there is another place to change the diaper, but if there is no table (or no way a toddler will fit on the table) if my DS had a poop and we had 3 hours left of a flight, damn straight I would change him where ever I could, even if that means if the seat or on my lap is the ONLY option! I would not let him sit in it and get a painful awful rash! Now that he is standing I could attempt to do it with him standing in the bathroom, but I am not going to make him suffer... people can hate me all they want if the plane stinks for a bit
    Ok, plane bathrooms are small, sure, but it is not impossible. Challenging? Sure. But I cannot fathom a situation that would require doing it right in the row. I would ask the flight attendant to do it on the floor in the back or front w/ the curtain closed before I'd do it next to other passengers. 

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    E 09.08, V 08.11, J 04.11
  • I was actually thinking about the same thing. Check SeatGuru.com. This will tell you if there will be any changing tables in the plane. Just pick your carrier and the type of plane you will be flying on. I just did, and there are not changing tables. Since its 3 of us, we have ht whole row, so I might just flip up the armrest and change him on two seats. I just feel sorry for the people around us if he has poop...woah boy is he a stinker.
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  • DH usually does all the changing DD on planes.  Somehow hes great at it.  Im flying with DD alone tomorrow.  Thankfully its only an hr flight so I probably wont need to change her on the plane (I hope I didnt just jinx it).  DD is SCARED of the change tables at the airport.  Weird, but she freaks out and holds on tight to the side, or my arm with this "Why are you doing this to me.  HELP ME" look on her face.  But at least there theres enough room.  I dont know how she would react to the airplane ones. 

    One time she had a BLOW OUT (leaking and everything) right before we landed but it was too late to go to the washroom..  It smelled so bad, but we couldn't change her at the seat (too bumpy).  The couple behind us kept reaching for the fan thing.  After we landed I apologized to them and they were really understanding.
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