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Creative Child

Baby: The Happiest Place on Earth (For New Moms)

by Mollie Twohig

When people say that your life changes when you have a kid, boy oh boy do they mean it. For new moms like myself, this most certainly applies to something as simple as making a trip to the place-formerly-known-as my "happiest place on earth": The Mall.

What used to be a spontaneous outing, beginning with simply grabbing my bag and running out the door, has transformed into an epic production that requires thoughtful planning and packing. I might as well be going away for a weekend: stocked diaper bag, stroller and wrap, paci, change of clothes, wipes; all for a 1-2 hour event perfectly coordinated with naptime. Yep, it's no longer a day-long getaway from my hubby and dogs involving endless shoe shopping and lengthy checking-and-rechecking-how-my-butt-looks-in-those-jeans fitting room sessions. Instead I'm rapidly sizing up the difference between 6-9 months and 9-12 months onesies.


And, believe it or not, my absolute favorite place in the mall is no longer a store, sales rack, or Starbucks. It's the Family Room, and I'll tell you why in 2.5 words:

Eat. Poop. Waaaaaaaa!

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If you are dealing with any of the above, the last place you want to be is the mall. All you want is some space and privacy for just a few short minutes so that you can tend to that mud pie before it creeps up your poor baby's back. And that's what these family rooms are for and give you all of that and more: diaper changing stations, bottle warmer, microwave, mini sinks and mini toilets, fun and colorful decor, interactive toys, diaper disposal, and my favorite, nursing cubbies with comfy chairs and curtains for privacy. Oh yeah, dads are more than welcome in the family room too, which is another plus!

favorite place mall baby how to poop eat crying family room

I admit that pre-baby, I barely noticed the family room when I went to the mall, probably because I was bee-lining around from one store to the next, but if you're a new mom, be on the lookout for these little oases. They are usually marked on mall directories by a restroom symbol that includes a female, male, and child figure. Besides malls, large department stores may also have their own family/nursing room, and amusement parks, sports stadiums, and museums usually have designated areas for this purpose as well. Call or research ahead of time to find out if they do and so you can map out the location, which will help make your life a wee bit less stressful.

favorite place mall baby how to poop eat crying family room

You may be reading this and looking at the photos and thinking, where the heck is that? I live in LA, and I'm lucky to have these amenities at the malls near me, but what if you don't have something like this? One thing I've learned as a new mom is that improvisation is key, and you don't really need all the bells and whistles in the end. The great thing is we have everything we need right in our back pockets. The back seat of car or a dressing room is just as good a place as any to wipe up that little bum or whip out a boob or bottle (and please don't feel like you need to hide doing any of these either! Anywhere is perfectly fine in my eyes when it comes to taking care of your little one). Another thing that I've learned, but equally important, is that people really don't care as much as you think. They're so busy with themselves, their kids, shopping lists, and own agenda; that they really could give two (you know whats) about you!

So not to worry, but if you do have access to these family rooms, use them! And from now on, while the term "the happiest place on earth" will surely conjure images of an oversized mouse in red britches and white gloves, your old "happiest place" will be a bit more pleasant again (and less stinky!) with the help of the family room.

Related Article: The One Baby Item That I Could Not Live Without

Bio coming soon.

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