It’s fair to say as a woman who is partial to a good cup of coffee (ok some might frown upon my choice of ‘mint mocha’) and a regular shopping fix, that ‘desire’ doesn’t change when you become a mum. In fact, if anything, it becomes a flat out necessity – a sanity check.
But given that it’s not always easy to escape sans baby these days, a good baby changing room when you’re out and about can make or break your day out. And being the dedicated shopper that I am, I’ve become a tad familiar with what’s going down in changing rooms across Hong Kong – which of course aren’t just for changing nappies. The right one can be a relaxing spot to breastfeed or give a bottle, and can even be a welcome refuge (ok, hiding spot) for when the wee one is having a wee public meltdown.
In order to give other shop-loving mamas a little extra help on the retail therapy front, here’s a look at some of Hong Kong’s best changing rooms – all which I personally visited or have gotten the full scoop on from a very trusted source – and how they rate out of 5 stars according to cleanliness, space and ease of use.
So without further delay… The list!
ELEMENTS, KOWLOON: 5 stars
-The main changing room is located on the Ground floor opposite La Creation bakery just around the corner from Zara and H&M.
-Spacious enough for several strollers and has a long comfortable bench seat to rest those weary legs.
-Has four changing table spots plus a high chair.
-Includes a lockable private room for feeding and settling. (There are even magazines mums!)
-Bottle warmers plus nappies and wipes are available on request.
-A second changing room on the first floor is located next to Brooks Brothers along from Starbucks. Though not as spacious, it does have two changing tables plus a private room and highchair.
TINY FOOTPRINTS, CENTRAL: 5 stars
-Located on the 10th floor at 1 Duddell Street in Central.
-A mini oasis downtown, the calm nook here channels a chic nursery room corner and has all the essentials.
-Comfy chair behind a curtain offers a nice private place to nurse.
-Room comes complete with hooks for your bags, a mirror so you can straightened yourself up, and swanky handwash and room spray to leave you and the room smelling nice and sweet when you leave.
-Love the sweet fluffy clouds on the walls that keeps bub entertained!
OCEAN TERMINAL, HARBOUR CITY, TST: 4 1/2 stars
-Located outside Toys ‘R Us, this special designated space has 3 private rooms here, plus several changing tables.
-A small play area…and bottle warmers!
-Clean and plenty of space.
-As it’s hard to find any decent baby changing rooms in the main shopping area of Harbour City, Ocean Terminal is the place to go.
OLYMPIAN 3, OLYMPIC CITY, KOWLOON: 4 stars
-Located between Bon Bon Tea and Chicks.
-Lots of space – 2 changing tables plus a private room.
-Very clean, but no where to sit in the main area.
PACIFIC PLACE,WANCHAI: 4 stars
-There are two, one next to Lane Crawford Home on the ground floor, and one on the 2nd floor which is a little hard to find but this changing room is a little pod of calm.
-Very futuristic feel, small with one changing table and a chair, very clean.
-The only drawback is the size which allows just one person to use it at a time.
PRINCES BUILDING, CENTRAL: 4 stars
-Brand new with a cute and comfortable couch and 2 changing tables.
-Not overly spacious but enough to fit a stroller or two in.
-Loses a point for not being totally accessible when I went as I had to wait for someone to come and unlock the room for me in case of vandalism. It was quite new when I went so this may have changed.
TIMES SQUARE, CAUSEWAY BAY: 4 stars
–Not so easy to find – the first is on the 3rd floor opposite Zara and is combined with the disabled toilet, so this is not somewhere you can relax.
-But thumbs up for the toddler sized toilet!
-Venture up the 9th floor and you’ll find a much bigger baby changing room with two changing table areas, a private room with a comfy chair and a bottle warmer.
MEGABOX, KOWLOON: 3.5 stars
-Check out Ikea’s baby changing room which is decked out like a proper bedroom – it’s a lot of fun!
-Lockable door for privacy and you can always have a quick lie down and recharge for the next shopping round.
IFC, Central: 3 stars
-Two baby changing rooms here, but the most accessible one is located on P1 in the women’s toilets.
-Overall it’s not ideal as it’s a small room next to the toilets and is often hard to get through the queue of women if you have a stroller.
-While it’s nearly impossible to get the stroller in and shut the door, it is extremely clean once you’re in.
OLYMPIAN 2, OLYMPIC CITY, KOWLOON: 3 stars
-Ground Floor location next to women’s clothing shop Bershka.
-Spacious and reasonably clean with two changing table sections.
-Not overly comfortable with plastic chairs, but it does the job.
TUNG CHUNG OUTLETS, TUNG CHUNG: 2 stars
– On Level 1 next to Calvin Klein Jeans, the changing room is a tiny cubicle off the corridor to the women’s toilets.
-Don’t expect any privacy here at all, as those queuing have a nosy while you’re changing bub’s nappy.
-Not overly clean and it’s a tight squeeze.
BUMPS TO BABES AND EUGENE BABY, CENTRAL: 1 star
If you’re in Central and desperate and can’t make it to Tiny Footprints, don’t forget Bumps to Babes and Eugene Baby both have cubicles to do a quick change and/or feed.
NEW TOWN PLAZA, SHA TIN: 1 star
– There are a couple baby changing rooms scattered around here, but it’ll be a pretty long wait before you get to use one. There are hundreds of shoppers and just one baby changing table in each of the areas.
– There is no separate room for changing either so if someone happens to be feeding their baby in there for 20minutes or so you’ll just have to wait!