Hotel Angers Moms With Sign Telling Them to Stop Changing Their Babies On Benches

Some mothers staying at the Village Urban Resort in Coventry, England, are angry after staff put up a sign in the changing rooms there asking them not to change their babies on the benches. Where people sit. People who (and I can't speak for everyone, but I'm guessing most of them) don't want to sit on even a sliver of poop.


The hotel says that it put up the signs for health and safety reasons after learning that many benches were being used for changing diapers and storing women's bags. That's legit. And certainly if I was sitting on a bench in my underwear, one of the last things I would want next to me would be poop. But the mothers who use the locker room are, justifiably, unhappy with how the hotel chose to handle the situation.

Part of the outcry appears to be about the wording of the sign, which reads: 

Polite Notice:

These benches are for bums, not bags or babies!

Thank you.

Despite the fact that it is clearly labeled a "polite notice," women are offended by both pairing of "babies" with "bags," saying that it implies that babies are a "nuisance." Personally, I would have been more offended by the fact that the hotel reserves its benches for hobos rather than its guests.

(That's a joke.)

Women prefer to be addressed as if they are grown-ups who can understand sound reasoning. Perhaps if the hotel had used adult language and made clear why it was making the request, there wouldn't be quite so much anger.

Also, a little understanding as to why this was happening in the first place would have gone a long way. Finding an acceptable place to change a baby when out in public isn't easy. No matter which spot you choose, someone is going to judge you. If all these women changed their babies on the floor, someone would have been appalled. They were doing the best they could, which is all any of us can do. 

More from The Stir: 10 Places to Never Change Your Baby's Diaper

And this was, in fact, the best they could do, as women also say that there is only one changing table in the locker rooms for the enormous number of babies who come to do their morning laps in the pool. Moms have to choose between waiting in line for the changing table or changing their babies on the floor. And if you've ever seen the floor of a locker room that's next to a pool, you know that that wouldn't be anyone's first choice.

Instead of just putting up a sign to try to solve a problem, the Village Hotel should consider the reason for the problem, which is that these women have no other good choice. Install a few more changing tables. Help your guests make better choices by giving them better options. 

And get someone else to make your signs.


Image via PhotoAlto/Corbis

Read More >