To find the public sniffing of babies' bottoms/nappy changes undignified?

(88 Posts)
gail734 Wed 10-Apr-13 12:41:40

Even though I have one of my own now, I still try to avoid the "lift and sniff" nappy check technique. If I do it, I try to be very subtle about it. It's always made me uncomfortable, don't really know why. Also the public "I don't have to go anywhere to change this really rotten nappy. I'll just do it here while you eat your scone," school of thought. I always go away somewhere, not because my child's nappies are horrid, (they're not, they smell like Angel Delight) but because I think it's more dignified for the baby. Babies deserve some privacy, no? My two SILs do both of these things all the time and I'm silently judgey, but they have six kids between them so maybe IABU?

KansasCityOctopus Wed 10-Apr-13 12:42:53

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

silverangel Wed 10-Apr-13 12:44:07

What Kansas said!

I would always take them somewhere to change a dirty nappy though.

I do the lift and sniff but I wouldn't change a baby anywhere other than a changing room or the car/house.

Sirzy Wed 10-Apr-13 12:45:08

Nothing wrong with sniffing.

Pooh should be changed somewhere discrete simply because of the smell.

Sirzy Wed 10-Apr-13 12:45:56

And I don't think babies care too much about privacy, they are happy if they have a clean nappy'

5madthings Wed 10-Apr-13 12:46:16

Meh the sniff test is the easiest way to check.

Changing nappies in public you need to give a clearer example. Ie in a place where people eat ie cafe they are unreasonable.

But if out at the park etc and no changingfacilities or its an emergency i will lie a mat on the floor or lay the pushchair flat and do it there.

Privacy for babies? They dont care, hell i have to persuade my five yr old to wear clothes, he seems to be a natural.naturist!

Yes to rather lift n' sniff than shitty fingers. no to changing willy nilly, shit stinks after all grin

thebody Wed 10-Apr-13 12:48:00

Not edifying but I did the sniff test.

Like Kansas says have had the shitty finger and not nice.

Change discreetly though.

ComposHat Wed 10-Apr-13 12:51:03

Lines I never I thought I'd hear my friend of 30 plus years say - hoists his infant son in front of me and says 'can you sniff his arse for me and see if he's shat his nappy I've got a cold and more than one sniff will look like I'm doong it for pleasure'

fishybits Wed 10-Apr-13 12:52:59

Lift and sniff here but always change away from others and never ever where people are eating.

JumpHerWho Wed 10-Apr-13 12:53:15

I always lift and sniff! Doesn't everyone?! Everybody knows babies wear nappies, everybody knows you need to check them for poos - what's the problem?

Wouldn't change a nappy on my knee in public though, DS far too wriggly.

TiggerWearsATriteSmile Wed 10-Apr-13 12:54:03

I lift and sniff or bend myself and sniff.
I have never seen anyone change a nappy where food is been eaten, Be that in a cafe or in someone's home.

squoosh Wed 10-Apr-13 12:54:55

I really don't think babies care a whit about privacy, it's just not nice at all to inflict the stench of a shitty nappy on other people.

kinkyfuckery Wed 10-Apr-13 12:55:39

Changing in a place where food is served/eaten is rank.

Don't see what the harm is with the sniffing though?

Also don't see the relevance of your SILs having six kids? confused

TheCunnyFunt Wed 10-Apr-13 12:56:39

Lift and sniff, always! How else are you meant to check? confused

I always went somewhere discrete to change DD though, especially if people are eating close by. It's just common courtesy isn't it?

BabyRuSh Wed 10-Apr-13 12:58:14

It is undignified, but as other posters have said, better than a shitty finger! If DS is wearing a t shirt instead of a peppered vest, I tend to peek down the back instead of lift n sniff, but if its a best, lift n snif is quickest! Yes to changing somewhere discreet though. I can't stand the smell myself, and don't want to subject innocent bystanders to it!

AmandaPayneAteTooMuchChocolate Wed 10-Apr-13 12:59:28

How else are you going to check if they need a change? I'm not going to rush off to the toilets every time a child is wandering around toddler group with a stinky bum. I want to check whether it is my child.

But I agree on public changing. I will happily do a nappy places like the edges of playgrounds where there are no facilities. But in rooms where others are eating is just totally rank.

WestieMamma Wed 10-Apr-13 13:02:01

I was shocked recently to find people defending this mothers actions (on another parenting forum):

Potty training in a busy restaurant

Flobbadobs Wed 10-Apr-13 13:04:51

I would never change a nappy newr anyone eating but do the lift and sniff if needed. Your SIL's having 6 between them probably just means that they got over judgey attitudes to it long ago grin

squoosh Wed 10-Apr-13 13:06:03


I don't care if the shit is dropping out of a toddler's bottom or a tramp's arse, shit is shit and there is never a reason to shit at the dinner table. How extremely vile and colossally inconsiderate.

Pigsmummy Wed 10-Apr-13 13:08:05

YABU about sniffing, that's normal, but I am with you re changing in cafe

CodandLobster Wed 10-Apr-13 13:08:06


I do not like the lift and sniff in public, especially in cafes, etc.

I just don't think you need to draw everyone's attention to the fact that your baby has just done a poo.

A friend does this - holding the baby right up in the air at the lunch table - I just think it's unnecessary. I thought so before having children and I still think so after having two of my own.

I think if you're suspicious you can usually tell in a more discreet way by just subtly moving down towards the nappy area, without practically announcing it.

Also somebody from my antenatal group once changed her 3 month-old baby's nappy in their pram at the table of a restaurant, which was a small local place, as she didn't want to go upstairs to the toilets. I was astonished....

AThingInYourLife Wed 10-Apr-13 13:10:41

Mmmmm peppered vest

L O L @ discreet nappy sniffing grin

We all know you're doing it!

Might as well just invert and stick your nose in.

CodandLobster Wed 10-Apr-13 13:12:11

Yes, I think maybe the idea is that the pepper masks the smell of the poo!

givemeaclue Wed 10-Apr-13 13:13:14

Yanbu in either respect.

Booyhoo Wed 10-Apr-13 13:14:08

undignified? to smell your child's nappy? oh please. take a run at it and jump over yourself.

KansasCityOctopus Wed 10-Apr-13 13:14:13

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

MiaowTheCat Wed 10-Apr-13 13:15:06

I'll sniff if required but now she's on solids you can normally check DD1 for a suspicious lump just by feeling her backside. Mind you with the purple poo faces she pulls it's usually blooming obvious and only hiring a neon sign with "having a huge cack right about now" would make it more so.

Changing near people eating is just not on though.

DorcasDelIcatessen Wed 10-Apr-13 13:18:53

I used to sniff or have a quick peek if circumstances allowed it. God. So we're not allowed to sniff our kids arses now? Take all the fun out of parenting why don't ya? hmm

Bibs123 Wed 10-Apr-13 13:21:33

I think nappy changes should be done as discretely as possible... poo can be smelly and can offend people. I think the most reliable way to check if your baby has done a poo is to sniff, I don't care whether it's a great big obvious sniff or a discrete one!

MyPlugInBaby Wed 10-Apr-13 13:24:45

I lift and sniff, only to detect a poo though not to show off that my dearest has done a fantastic whiffy shit. How else would I know he'd pooed? It's not always obvious.

No changing in public unless no other option though.

My DD - just potty trained - likes to go up to the toilet if we go out for lunch/tea and come down and shout to anyone that'll listen "I'VE DONE A WEE AND A POO ON THE TOILET!!!"

That's always fun.

abbyfromoz Wed 10-Apr-13 13:29:30

I lift and sniff... And often regret it confused
Pooey! No surprised that DD's first sentence was something along the lines of 'yucky...poo poo! Errr yuck!'

I must admit to changing her wherever possible though. Once in her buggy whilst in a queue to get into Wimbledon (I didn't want to lose my place!) but if there is a change room or somewhere private i will always opt for that!!

everlong Wed 10-Apr-13 13:32:52

Changing a baby's dirty nappy in a cafe is really quite vile.

ChocolateCoins Wed 10-Apr-13 13:37:20

I do the lift and sniff but try and do it discreetly. I don't mind other people doing it though, I just feel uncomfortable doing it in front of people. I don't know why.

I wouldn't ever just change DD anywhere though.

ChocolateCoins Wed 10-Apr-13 13:39:51

To be fair, I don't need to do lift and sniff much any more as DD has taken to crouching, grunting and turning red.

recall Wed 10-Apr-13 13:42:31

Discreet sniff

Change poos away from other people

Change wet nappies on knee, very quickly and discreetly. Use a hand gel after, or wash hands if possible.

MummyPig24 Wed 10-Apr-13 13:47:51

I do the sniff test but would take the baby elsewhere to be changed. At stay and play the other day a woman was trying to change her rolling baby in the middle of the carpet where children were playing. A friend said "there's a changing room that has a table with a strap, it might be easier to change him there" but we knew what she was really meaning "we don't want to smell or see your child's shit, change him in the changing room"!

I do sniff, I try to be discreet. I don't know a better way of finding out, apart from the finger test. Yuck.

I always change nappy away from other people. I do get a bit flustered with public nappy changes. Don't need an audience. Have a very wriggly child.

gail734 Wed 10-Apr-13 13:49:44

5madthings - the example I'm thinking of wasn't actually in public, just with an audience (me). I was 8 months preg and feeling a bit gruesome. My cousin, who keeps a changing at under the coffee table in the middle of her living room, changed a particularly disgusting nappy at my feet while I sat having a coffee with her. Don't flame me, I know she can do what she likes in her own home, but at that moment I thought, "Right, I will never do that." Mummies think their own child's poo smells like Angel Delight, but it doesn't. This child was teething and his smelled like vom.

kinkyfuckery - I mention the SIL's six kids because I thought, well, maybe I'm being a bit PFB with DD. I only have one so compared to one SIL who has four, I have all the time in the world for social niceties. I went on a caravan holiday with a friend who totally shocked me by repeatedly changing shitty nappies directly on the carpet of the nice, rented caravan! I have changed my own in the boot and the back seat of the car, in emergencies.

As for the sniffing, I think it reminds me of dogs??! I do use the technique, I'm just very surreptitious about it.

Eskino Wed 10-Apr-13 13:50:04

This is why we need a 'like' button.

grin at ComposHat

gail734 Wed 10-Apr-13 13:50:17

changing MAT

5madthings Wed 10-Apr-13 13:54:14

Eww boak at that. I will change a nappy in the living room if its just wet but a pooey nappy in front of guests in the living room, nope!!!

gail734 Wed 10-Apr-13 13:57:26

booyhoo - UNDIGNFIED FOR THE CHILD! For heaven's sake, I gave birth nine months ago. I have no personal dignity or inhibitions left! I do not want my DD to meet someone at the age of 16 who says, "Oh yes, I remember you. Your mum used to whip your nappy off in the middle of the prayer circle and treat us all to your diarrhoea."

crashdoll Wed 10-Apr-13 13:57:40

Discreet sniffing obviously fine. Lady in Nandos who passed her (very cute) newborn around for a couple of other people tol lift n' sniff is not fine! Yes, I know, totally my fault for going to Nandos but their chicken is bloody good!!

Mumsyblouse Wed 10-Apr-13 14:10:12

I also hate the lift and sniffing display, I found it really disgusting to watch! I just used to put my child on my knee or hover above them, that told me all I needed to know, or take them off and check.

I hate the lift and sniffersa and the people who know full well they have a full and pooey nappy but carry on for at least ten minutes not dealing with it while the stench is filling the room. Get on with it if you notice it!

Booyhoo Wed 10-Apr-13 14:23:37

"I do not want my DD to meet someone at the age of 16 who says, "Oh yes, I remember you. Your mum used to whip your nappy off in the middle of the prayer circle and treat us all to your diarrhoea." "

how many people have you met in your life that have mentioned how your nappy was changed when you were a baby?

catch a grip.

also, my comment was about the sniffing.

gail734 Wed 10-Apr-13 15:18:01

Nobody has ever mentioned how my nappy was changed when I was a baby, because it was never changed in front of anybody!

SatsukiKusukabe Wed 10-Apr-13 15:20:49

I have two babies, I will not bugger off to the toilet every time one if them gas a bit a of wind and might have pooped. I will give it 2 minutes and then do a good bum sniff to be sure. I'd never leave toilet otherwise.

SatsukiKusukabe Wed 10-Apr-13 15:27:15

how did you know Gail? have you actually gone to effort to confirm with your parents?

Booyhoo Wed 10-Apr-13 15:28:43


How on earth would you know?

mummytime Wed 10-Apr-13 16:01:35

I can't imagine ever been so crass as to mention to any of the now teens I know that I've seen their nappy being changed.

Lift and sniff is crucial at toddlers when you are not sure whether it is your little one or someone elses. It also works well to get other people to check theirs.

5madthings Wed 10-Apr-13 16:13:51

Well my eldest is a teen, he had his bum changed in front of many people and by many people. No one has ,mentioned it to him!

My parents have numerous naked pictures of me as a baby, they would come out occasionally when I was a teen and we had family etc visiting. I was never bothered. Nor is ,y ds1 by his...I actually have a picture of me holding him with poo up his back after a particularly explosive nappy, it went all down my jeans as well and dp finding it hilarious took a photo!

SquirrelNuts Wed 10-Apr-13 16:24:44

I sniff my babies bum in public, like others have said its better than putting a finger into a nappy full of shite. Have never changed my babies in public though

Snowgirl1 Wed 10-Apr-13 16:38:43

I'd rather do the sniff test than end up with DD with nappy rash

Amykins Wed 10-Apr-13 16:38:52

Lift and sniff is better than putting "no?" at the end of a sentence.

mrsjay Wed 10-Apr-13 16:41:07

I dont think a baby is all that worried about dignity the lift and sniff method is over in seconds I saw somebody lift sniff and change once in the middle OF BREWERS FAYRE shock now that is disgusting

Madmum24 Wed 10-Apr-13 20:29:20

I do a very discreet sniff, I hate people who are constantly sniffing (the air) and making announcements like "I smell a dirty bum-bum!"

I also cannot stand public nappy changes, I was in a restaurant and a women lay her baby on the table and changed a well plastered nappy in full view of everyone. Discusting.

XBenedict Wed 10-Apr-13 20:31:48

Better than a finger dip wink

OhLori Wed 10-Apr-13 20:38:55

YANBU. I have always found the "sniffing" thing very undignified and gross. It always felt like the parents were boasting in some way that they were a parent and had to change nappies, and need to show the 'dirty work' of parenthood to an audience.

megsmouse Wed 10-Apr-13 20:43:54

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

mumofweeboys Wed 10-Apr-13 20:45:59

I wish for the days of lift and sniff. You can smell my nearly 2 year old from 10ft away lol.

Mine usually changed in the sittingroom but did nearly throw when my friend changed her 3.5yr old decided to change her sons poo nappy in my sittingroom (I was suffering ms at the time).

halcyondays Wed 10-Apr-13 20:50:47

Nothing wrong with sniffing, I wouldn't have changed a nappy in front of people who were eating.

Of course nappies shouldn't be changed where someone else is eating and not for the sake of the baby's privacy grin!

MrsRV Wed 10-Apr-13 21:01:58

In the space of 2 weeks I have a. Got a pooey finger from trying to peek in the side and b. made my SIL smell my DD's nappy in a room full of family members as a vile smell seemed to be following me around. Sister in law happily buried her head in my LO's nappy & confirmed no poo but probably a wee. Turned out, the vile smell was some milky sick that had dried into the carpet without us realising.

I lift and sniff (for efficiency). Agree about privacy though, particuarlly MIL who changes DS's nappy in the middle of the living room. I don't agree to the point where i'd get off the sofa and do it myself if she offers to do it though (efficient at lazyness too).

edwardsmum11 Wed 10-Apr-13 21:20:01

I have lifted and sniffd but always change somewhere private when out anywhere but family's houses.

Time2Nap Wed 10-Apr-13 21:31:45

I have no problems with the sniff check, some people's kids toilet a lot and you can't always tell without sniff or check!

I used to hate people changing their baby in front of me but now mine is nearly 2 I find myself doing so, but usually when we are around friends with kids. i do tend to get ot of the way with other people, although i find some people dont seem to want you to stop conversation to go and change baby ( i dont think you can win).

I think after changing several a day you just ge the job done and not think bout it.

What I do find disgusting is the fact people don't wash their hands after changing dirty nappies, It might be your baby but it is still shit!

Time2Nap Wed 10-Apr-13 21:32:37

Oh and out in public places I always use changing facilities smile

comelywenchlywoo Wed 10-Apr-13 21:35:59

Changing a pooey nappy near people eating: disgusting!
DBIL once took all the nappy changing paraphernalia from the bathroom TO the living-room and changed the nappy there, where we were eating our take-away on our laps. It was korma.

The lift and sniff is the best only way I know to check if DS has filled or not.


M0naLisa Wed 10-Apr-13 21:54:34

I do the lift and sniff and then change in a baby changing room
If I can.

Fakebook Wed 10-Apr-13 21:56:46

I always take a quick sniff whilst pretending to hug and kiss ds. It's not like you sit there and take a deep intake of shit smell and savour the moment. Yabu.

RatPants Wed 10-Apr-13 21:58:58

I don't think it bothers the babies. grin

Possibly wouldn't do it to a teenager though...

LimeLeaffLizard Wed 10-Apr-13 22:36:51

YABU and precious. There is no better way to test.

5318008 Wed 10-Apr-13 22:46:38

sniffing is better than 'looking with your fingers' innit

MrsMook Wed 10-Apr-13 22:47:23

No need to lift and sniff here. My toddler has such a distinctive and pungent brew, you KNOW from the opposite side of the room. Nursery can always identify the brand without an investigation.

BelleEtLaBaby Wed 10-Apr-13 22:52:56

Ah, bollocks. There's supposed to be dignity in parenting?? [shocked]

Ozziegirly Thu 11-Apr-13 08:10:44

Well a couple of my friends are potty training and so I have been subjected to their children straining out a crap on a potty placed in the room at our playgroup. One of them has "performance anxiety" and I do feel like saying to the mum "maybe he doesn't like dropping a turd in front of a room full of people?".

Plus, my god, it stinks. So gross.

I do the lift and sniff though on baby DS2, but DS1 goes to the loo in the toilet, even when he was (briefly) using a potty.

NumericalMum Thu 11-Apr-13 08:26:23

I have changed my DC in Starbucks. She was particularly good with timing and I had just got a coffee and was about to feed her. The toilets were not in the coffee shop so I would have had to leave coffee, pack up pram, belongings etc and trek to the loos. She was about 2 months old and BF and there were 3 other people in the shop max. I am pretty certain nobody including her cared or noticed.

Is your PFB very young? Do you not go out much?
Oh and by the time my daughter was 2 and I had done 30,000 nappy changes I changed her wherever I liked in my own house

NumericalMum Thu 11-Apr-13 08:27:29

I agree with ozzie on the potty thing. If your child needs a potty every 30 seconds he or she is not ready for potty training. Just a thought.

NumericalMum Thu 11-Apr-13 08:27:43

I agree with ozzie on the potty thing. If your child needs a potty every 30 seconds he or she is not ready for potty training. Just a thought.

MiaowTheCat Thu 11-Apr-13 09:20:41

Good god I'd never change a baby in Starbucks - that's just rank and disrespectful to everyone else in there (and I don't give a shit if it's breast/formula/fruit shoot/unicorn tears and pixie dust fed) - I'm waiting for the "AIBU to check with the woman changing her baby two tables down from us is breastfeeding cos that'll make the whole thing acceptable" thread... or the "AIBU to be pissed off a formula feeder is changing a nappy on the table across from us" one.

Ask the staff to stick your coffee behind the counter and go do it somewhere less disgusting.

Rank, utterly selfish and just giving parents a bad name - it's not the smell that's the issue - it's the whole excrement somewhere people are eating factor.

lljkk Thu 11-Apr-13 09:36:28

There is no dignified but reasonably convenient way of checking a baby's nappy.

Lift and sniff normally, but have been known to pull back nappy for a peek.

Always somewhere discreet for a poo-change if possible. But not for a wet one.

mrsjay Thu 11-Apr-13 10:36:13

there was a toddler at work yesterday good gawd there was no need to lift and sniff at all she was erm ripe , we had to open the windows she is the sweetest most angelic looking baby i have ever seen how could she smell so bad grin

Agree mrsjay - LO is currently teething, and his dirty nappies make my eyes water when I open them. I don't understand how this gorgeous child can make such a hellish stench.

mrsjay Thu 11-Apr-13 10:41:14

I don't understand how this gorgeous child can make such a hellish stench.

I know right how can it be so bad ,

Beamae Thu 11-Apr-13 11:07:25

Definitely sniff. My MIL whips down their trousers and has a good rummage around, no matter where she is. She has done it on a table in a busy cafe. I was quite shocked. Quick sniff, then off to baby changing.

Join the discussion

Join the discussion

Registering is free, easy, and means you can join in the discussion, get discounts, win prizes and lots more.

Register now