Tell Butlin’s what you would change about swimming pool changing rooms - £300 voucher prize draw! NOW CLOSED

(516 Posts)
AngelieMumsnet (MNHQ) Wed 30-Sep-15 12:31:12

Butlin's is redesigning one of its swimming pools and needs your help to make it as family-friendly as possible. In particular Butlin’s wants your help to understand what it’s like as a parent using a swimming pool changing room – and your input will genuinely help inform the new design and build on resort.

Why the changing room? Butlin’s have done research which shows that most parents love going swimming with their children – until they get to the changing room. From the wet floor, the often-freezing temperature, the small cubicles not suitable for a family to the fact you can never get your child dry – there’s a lot to be desired! Which is why Butlin’s wants the opinion of Mumsnetters to identify the biggest issues you face – and your ideas on how to solve them.

So two important questions:

What do you find particularly frustrating when using changing rooms at the swimming pool?

In an ideal world, can you think of anything which would make your life easier and solve these problems?

Everyone who posts on this thread will be entered into a prize draw to win a £300 John Lewis voucher!

Thanks and good luck,

OP’s posts: |
MissFitt68 Wed 30-Sep-15 16:32:47

They need to make disposable ( eco friendly) mats available for changing rooms!

Fluffyemenent Wed 30-Sep-15 16:39:48

In a ideal world a large family cubicle with a lock that the kids can't reach (inadvertently flashing the whole changing room is not an experience I want to repeat) some comfy benches to sit them on whilst I get changed, a heated floor would make a huge difference. Not that I want the moon on a stick or anything!

GrizzlebertGrumbledink Wed 30-Sep-15 16:54:18

A pool local to me provides changing mats (and wipes to clean them) and has a travel cot in the corner of the room so you have somewhere safe to place your baby as you get changed. It makes a massive difference!

FeelingSmurfy Wed 30-Sep-15 16:58:59

Separate changing rooms, the rooms just do not work when you have kids! Cubicles can contain them (well...they make it easier...) Otherwise its a nightmare if you have more than one little one or are trying to get changed yourself

Iamnotloobrushphobic Wed 30-Sep-15 17:01:38

Butlins have some of the worst changing rooms from a family friendly point of view. I have been to Butlins numerous times and the swimming pool changing rooms are definitely one of the worst thought out things at the resorts.
The lockers are far too small. Butlins do have a handful of slightly larger lockers but these are used up very quickly and they need more of the bigger ones. We usually end up using 3 small lockers (for a family of four) despite taking as little as possible to the pool with us.
The changing cubicles are also a problem as there are very few family sized cubicles. We usually have to split into two pairs and use two small cubicles which is a real faff as the small cubicles are only really suitable for a single person and they are certainly too small for me to change my disabled child properly.
The changing rooms are also usually quite cold but I can just about live with that, it just means that I need to get changed very quickly.

Smize Wed 30-Sep-15 17:02:07

Hate when there's nowhere safe to put my one year old while I'm trying to dry and dress myself and my 4 year old. Family cubicles with small play pens would be great.


VoodooLooloo Wed 30-Sep-15 17:03:54

I find it so frustrating to herd myself and the children into a too small changing room and attempt to get us all warm and dry.
Family changing rooms are few and far between at our local pool.the floor is always filthy looking and the temp is just above artic cold!

In an ideal world...
Bigger changing rooms/more of them
Somewhere to hang things
Somewhere apart from the wet floor to rest bags and used towels. The floor is generally filthy and wet.
Somewhere to sit/stand small children on to dry them.
Changing table plus disposable mats.
David Tennent to rub me down and offer me sips of warming brandy..

scrivette Wed 30-Sep-15 17:06:18

Somewhere for children to sit whilst they are being dried, a small playpen for a young child, pegs to hang up bags, wet towels but most importantly clean (and ideally dry!) floors.

OooooohMissDiane Wed 30-Sep-15 17:15:05

Clean, dry floors. Heated changing area, dressing gowns as you leave the pool...ha ha!

BornToFolk Wed 30-Sep-15 17:23:19

Top priority for me is that changing rooms are clean. The ones at our local pool are grim, visibly dirty and smelly. Lots of (working, large) lockers too please, and plenty of changing rooms in all sizes. I usually just go swimming with 7 year old DS and we are happy to squeeze into one cubicle.
When he was a toddler I found a playpen to be really handy to keep him contained while I got dressed.
A drinking fountain would be nice.

EldonAve Wed 30-Sep-15 17:23:23

Best swim changing rooms I have been in were here
Shoe racks as you go in and a bench to take the shoes off on = clean floors

Wheelable play pens to put the kids in

amazonqueen Wed 30-Sep-15 17:33:20

Large enough cubicles to take a whole family at once . Having to get dressed and undressed in relays makes the whole process stressful.

Shelf space to put bags that need to have things taken out and put into them.

Hanging space for bags etc that arent needed right now.

Sitting space for older children to wait on to be dried and dressed and then wait some more for everyone to be ready to leave.

A baby space to keep small children in one safe place .

Floor space so that pushchairs and wheelchairs can be used within the cubicle but dont take up the whole free space.And doors wide enough to get through with bashing delicate chair parts (or childrens bodies) on.

Locks high enough to keep small people from making a break for freedom.And large enough so that wet hands dont lose their grip and break every fecking nail in the process

Regularly (several times daily) cleaned ,maintained and policed. No good having a lovely space that is too dirty or broken to use. And it must feel safe too. People who lark around in confined spaces make people with babies feel exposed and nervous.

ThomasRichard Wed 30-Sep-15 17:36:46

Yes to locks too high for toddlers to open. It sounds silly but it's really stressful trying to get changed with one hand and using the other hand and a foot to keep the door closed while my 2yo DD tries to open it.

Enough hooks for bags and towels.

Playpens/fold-out wall seats for babies/small toddlers. I don't mind communal single-sex changing rooms if they have this!

Lockers that work and are big enough for a family's towels.

Family changing rooms with enough space for parents to look after their older children with SEN. Some children are too old to be in changing rooms for the other sex but unable to get changed by themselves.

Clean, with nappy bins that are emptied every day.

asuwere Wed 30-Sep-15 17:44:28

Agree with most of what has been said. Def: shoes left at entrance, large changing rooms, hooks to hang bags, large lockers, pull down chair with harness is great for keeping toddler safe while I'm changing, or a playpen. Easy to access toilets.
Our local pool have spinners - like big salad spinner, to dry costumes, its quite handy as they end up nearly dry to take home, also DC enjoy using it so keeps them happy while I pack everything up smile
Anti-slip flooring.

katienana Wed 30-Sep-15 17:46:44

My ds hates the shower which makes things tricky. Perhaps a removable shower head that can be brought down to child height would make things easier.
Also those spinning things to dry swimwear are useful. Loads of hooks in cubicles maybe even a high shelf.

turkeyboots Wed 30-Sep-15 17:48:07

Clean changing rooms are important. Too often changing rooms any pool are filthy and smelly. Doesn't inspire me to take off my clothes!

Beyond that a cubicle big enough for 1 adult and two children to comfortably get changed in together.would be good. And free locker idea, so I don't have to scrabble around for change. And lockers which can be locked and unlocked multiple times, as my DC always forget something. Fancy electronic keys you can only use once or ones that eat your coins are very frustrating.

Snoopadoop Wed 30-Sep-15 17:53:53

What wouldn't I change about them? I'd change everything!

They'd be large enough for a family of 4 at least, or 1 adult and 3 children. There would be a bench that at least 2 children could sit on while the other child could be dried. There'd be a shelf and hooks so stuff could be kept dry. They'd be warm! Most of all they'd be CLEAN and WELL MAINTAINED! There would be plenty of lockers! There'd be plenty of mirrors, hair dryers and a water fountain.

In answer to your specific questions.

What do you find particularly frustrating when using changing rooms at the swimming pool?

Dirty, small poorly maintained cubicles.

In an ideal world, can you think of anything which would make your life easier and solve these problems?

Everything I've said above!

MegBusset Wed 30-Sep-15 17:54:13

Yy to heated floors!
More space and seating in changing cubicles
Shelves to put stuff and hooks for towels
Decent sized lockers
Private shower cubicles

Merrilymerrilymerrily Wed 30-Sep-15 18:16:07

Clean! Hooks for towels, bags, dry clothes etc. Somewhere dry to contain small people while others are changing

RueDeWakening Wed 30-Sep-15 18:27:29

Family cubicles, with a lock at normal height and a lock up high where the kids can't reach it.

Big lockers.

Places to hang stuff up in the cubicles so it's not all over the floor as we're getting changed.

Heating - ds2 gets cold quickly and it's hard to warm him up if the changing room is cold. I love the idea of a heated floor!

BoffinMum Wed 30-Sep-15 18:56:30

1. Just get rid of other people's hairs and plasters. Enough already with the filth of massed humanity. There need to be permanent cleaning staff in big facilities doing hourly tours of duty of every single thing (this happens in Germany but rarely in the UK - they even remove and replace the toilet seats in their entirety and soak them in something).
2. Stupid lockers where your clothes get all crumpled and wet. This is because it's impossible to put them in nicely without dropping half of them on the wet floor. You invariably end up just using 1 or 2 lockers per family because either you haven't got enough pound coins, which makes things a lot worse. Or you use more, but they are all spread out all over the place because it's busy, and your heart sinks because you just know you won't be able to supervise widely distributed locker loading/unloading in an organised manner whilst coralling small people, or even remember where the hell all the lockers are (because everyone forgets locker numbers). <sob> Basically everything to do with lockers. Reduces me to a gibbering wreck every time.
3. Changing rooms with gaps underneath the walls where other people's children muck about and start gawping at you whilst you are changing and commenting on things like your nudity and how funny it is they can gawp at you. Yeah, hilarious.
4. Bloody stupid hairdryers that are either expensive to use or are just pipes with random hot air or both, meaning you look horrific as you come out, with hair like you've just had an electric shock. Along with the red eyes from all the wee in the water reacting with the chlorine, this is not a good look.
5. Showers that need pressing about 50 times during the hair washing process, set up to turn off automatically to save water but in fact primed to reduce the user to extraordinary levels of frustration. Could all be avoided if there was a foot button to turn them on rather than a wall button, as they would detect when the user had moved away.
6. Showers that are tepid, meaning you come out a fairly cold pool and can't adjust the temperature to suit your preferences and needs.
7. The whole process where you get out, go to your locker, mess up your tidy arrangement, get your toiletries, go to the shower, the toiletry bag then drops on the floor and gets wet as there is nowhere to put it, you then get washed, you then go back to the locker very wet, pull out the rest of your stuff, drop half of it, try to find a changing room, shout at the children for various misdemeanours .... lockers again.

I also would like:

Spin dryers for costumes
Plastic bag dispensers (I sometimes forget one for our wet stuff).
Staff who smile and reek capability and cheerfulness rather than the usual 16 year old lifeguards who look bored witless and are less useful than the average toddler in solving issues.
Swimming nappies, deodorant, combs, costumes and goggles for sale (again, easily forgotten)
Towels for hire (ditto)
Coffee shop nearby
Instant and very cheap blow dry service for mothers' hair nearby with free creche (OK, I am being a bit silly now but actually I would go swimming three times a week if that was on offer).

DesertorDessert Wed 30-Sep-15 19:11:27

Find a way to have dry floors at all times.
Bigger cubicles, with wider benches
Bigger lockers.
I like the centre parcs model of a dirty side and wet side, so 2 doors.
Toddler proof locks.

BettyOctopus Wed 30-Sep-15 19:18:29

We went to a pool on holiday that had a seat attached to the wall that little one could be strapped into once changed so that we could change without holding the lock/stopping her from slithering under the door/sitting in wet puddlessmile

DurhamDurham Wed 30-Sep-15 19:27:51

I think that the biggest change for the better would be for the changing rooms to be dry areas so it's actually easy to dry yourself and your children. There isn't anything worse than walking in to a changing area with dripping wet children and finding that there's puddles on the floor, the benches are wet, there's nowhere to hang your clothes to keep them dry while you try to dry yourself off. On some particularly grim trips to a swimming pool I've actually given up and got dressed while still damp after dropping my towel in to a puddle of water that gathered in the changing area. ( do you know how hard it is to put a pair of skinny jeans on while you are still wet grin)

Better drainage and staff available to keep changing areas clean and dry would be a huge step forward for families. Swimming is great, it's healthy and fun for the while family. Getting dry afterwards is never fun, it's a chore which must be endured so whatever can make it better would be a definite plus for me.

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