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To be annoyed that my local Sure Start Children's Centre wouldn't let me change my baby there?

(64 Posts)
Habichuela Fri 22-Mar-13 11:53:34

Yesterday I was at a cafe with a friend, I went to use the baby changing facilities but the cafe is brand new and the changing table thing was not yet attached to the wall. I then remembered that there was a local Sure Start Children's Centre very near by, so thinking that they are a "Milk Spot" and supposed to be a one stop shop for all things child-related, my friend and I popped over so I could use the baby changing.

To my dismay the receptionist refused for me to enter, saying that they don't just let "anybody in". I thought this was out of order but she refused point blank to let me in!

Am I being unreasonable to be shocked and annoyed at this?

Habichuela Fri 22-Mar-13 12:16:20

Maybe some receptionists are more lax than others?

Floggingmolly Fri 22-Mar-13 12:16:39

Why didn't you "drop in" to the baby clinic, then, instead of specifically announcing you'd come primarily to use the toilet? hmm

ThreeWheelsGood Fri 22-Mar-13 12:16:53

If it was a drop in, why not sign in and then change your baby, then leave? You shouldn't have asked the receptionist about only using the baby change. anyway, I've changed a baby on a cold loo floor (put changing mat down!), needs must, don't be precious. YABU I'm afraid.

ThreeWheelsGood Fri 22-Mar-13 12:17:42

X post with flogging!

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

Habichuela Fri 22-Mar-13 12:22:52

Thank you SCottishmerlottish. I don't have pelvic probs but I am registered, have been on several occasions for different reasons and yes, it was a drop in day.

YellowFishy Fri 22-Mar-13 12:22:55

I'm with you and think YANBU at all.
Sure start centres are funded by the public purse to provide services for the local community, with specific emphasis on mothers and babies.
Most centres struggle to get mothers through the door and therefore if they turn people people who wish to use baby friendly facilities to meet their children's needs they are isolating the very people they are there to support.
And as you are registered with them it is even more ridiculous.
If it had been me, it wouldn't have occurred to me to lie to the receptionist, but I too would have been absolutely shocked and appalled at their attitude.

mrsjay Fri 22-Mar-13 12:25:09

you cant just walk in and out of these places I think she was a bit snippy with you but really they cant let people in they are not open to the public as such you have to contact them to use them, I work in somewhere similar not a childrens centre we have had mums knocking on the door asking to join the playgroup.

firawla Fri 22-Mar-13 12:26:43

I think yanbu from all the details you've given, especially as its open for anyone to go and feed then why not just let you use the changing table?!
My childrens centre where I used to live, i went in couple of times myself just to use the toilet on the way back from the park when I was heavily pregnant and it was quite far from park to my house and they were half way- they never minded!

Habichuela Fri 22-Mar-13 12:27:03

I wasn't being precious and I would have done if I didn't think "hang on a minute, there's a drop in children's centre one minute away, the perfect place to change my baby out of the cold". You make it sound like I wouldn't dare do such a thing, I've changed him on the floor on several occasions but if I can do it in a more comfortable environment I will try to!

I didn't just sign in becuase I thought it was normal to be able use their facilities; I said " can I change my baby here", she said "no" -I am learning otherwise.

Eskino Fri 22-Mar-13 12:28:23

YANBU. You just made the mistake of asking the guard dog receptionist.

I use my sure start all the time, for bum changes, BFing, advice, its very conveniently situated next to the outdoor play area and as far as I'm aware it is a drop in centre.

If we don't use it, we lose it.

Habichuela Fri 22-Mar-13 12:29:07

Yellowfishy- this was exactly why I went there! Thank you for understanding my POV

puddock Fri 22-Mar-13 12:29:31

If you're registered there I think the receptionist was being a bit unreasonable and I'd mention it to another staff member next time you're down there - sure they don't want people being scared off..
But... our local Sure Start centre has stopped providing full changing facilities (you are welcome to change your baby there but must take nappies home with you) because of budget cuts - it costs a lot to get nappy bins emptied apparently - I wonder whether the same thing might be happening at yours, which might be behind the receptionist's attitude?

mrsjay Fri 22-Mar-13 12:29:35

I dont think you were being precious at all and I think the receptionist was really snippy with you but sometimes they have regulations about privacy in these places. I would email the manager about it,

ElliesWellies Fri 22-Mar-13 12:30:07

YANBU - you are registered there, they had a drop-in going on, and you are allowed to go in to feed your baby. So I don't see why you couldn't nip in to use the baby changing facilities. You should have said I'm not just anybody, I'm a regular here.

Habichuela Fri 22-Mar-13 12:31:03

Eskino, likeFirawla and Yellowfishy -we are on the same wavelength!

Fakebook Fri 22-Mar-13 12:32:35

If they started allowing everyone in to change nappies, they'd have a very messy toilet and every Tom, Dick and Harry wanting to come in to change nappies. It's like the BHS in our city centre: you're not allowed to use their toilets without a receipt to prove you've purchased something grin.

Habichuela Fri 22-Mar-13 12:33:41

Puddock, that's interesting, perhaps that is what lies behind it. I suppose I should have questioned as to why I couldn't change my DS there..

Mumsyblouse Fri 22-Mar-13 12:37:50

So what if lots of people started going there and changing nappies? That way they might get lots more people in who don't normally go there (the 'hard to reach' mummies) to look at the stuff on offer, perceive there to be helpful and welcoming staff etc. SureStart have often had problems with recruiting in the local community- I don't see how the odd nappy change is going to be a huge big extra workload for them as the facilities have to be cleaned all the time anyway.

And, even if they weren't 'meant' to, they could have done so just to be kind. My children's school has let me in a few times to use the teacher's loos if I get caught at drop-off/pick-up.

drjohnsonscat Fri 22-Mar-13 12:41:39

sounds totally jobsworth to me.

What harm would it have done? I can't imagine local women queuing round the block just for the joy of using their babychanging facilities! Really can't imagine why there have to be rules and regulations about this and even if there is some reason why there are rules and regulations, couldn't someone employ a bit of common sense and kindness?

Tubegirl Fri 22-Mar-13 12:46:09

That's weird. I was specifically told at my local centre I could nip in any time they were open to use the facilities. Mind, there are rumblings about closing it so perhaps they are attempting to get more people in.

Havingkitties Fri 22-Mar-13 13:06:04

YANBU, but it looks like you've enraged some of the 'mummy martyrs' who feel you should change your baby on a cold skanky pee dribbled on loo floor just because if they suffered so should you, rather than try to use a publicly run service's baby change facilities.
The surestart centres near me are happy to let you drop in whenever they are open, to play, meet mums, feed, have the odd class on and BF group, so I can't see the problem in asking to change your baby there.

Cripes, offer to take the nappy home with you and give the change area a wipe down if it really means that much to them. You could write to them and highlight the unwelcoming attitude and ask them to clarify their purpose.

bassingtonffrench Fri 22-Mar-13 13:10:29

YANBU and I can't understand why people think you are.

it is not a big ask for an institution which is meant to be about catering to the needs of local children.

changing your baby on your knee is not a good idea.

Pigsmummy Fri 22-Mar-13 13:12:08

YABU it isn't a drop in centre and there vulnerable people there. They are very security conscious for that reason. I would have popped in somewhere else, weatherspoons are good for letting you pop in or I would have gone back to cafe and used the floor. There are changing mats that you can buy for your bag or parenting magazine are giving a free one. Just a small mat for a quick change when no facilities around.

hb84 Fri 22-Mar-13 13:16:41

I don't have a child and I often think people are being totally unreasonable and demanding when it comes to baby changing, but I really don' t think you are being unreasonable in this case. I'm surprised so many people on here think you are. The receptionist was totally rude. If it had been a cafe and you went in to use the baby changing room without buying anything I would have said you were being unreasonable, but you went into a place designed specifically for mothers with babies. Next time don't tell her why you are there. Just sign in and go for it, then leave.

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