The team at Child Friendly Solutions have recently completed a refurb of a parent room at Eastland. The before and after photos are wonderful! If you live in or near Ringwood, then make sure you check out the parent room now when you’re out with the little ones. If they love In The Night Garden, they’ll adore the room.
Overall: AMAZING!!! The new benchmark in parent room excellence. Nappy change, feed, rest, play, toilet……..in fabulous style.
Good Points: Everything!!! Brand new. Easy to find (well sign posted). 5-Star rating from Australian Breastfeeding Association. Secure play area. Adult and kid-size toilets. Three private feeding cubicles. Toys, clock, high chair and comfy armchair in each feeding cubicle. Powerpoints in each feeding cubicle. Separate food prep area with sink, microwave and hot water. Gorgeous interior. Three separate baby change stations, each with it’s own sink. Paper towel dispensers at each baby change area. Nappy bins under each baby change station (pull the handle!). Plasma screen television in the play area, streaming cartoons for kids. Cute orchard-themed murals to distract babies while they’re being changed.
Bad Points: Ummmm…….no coffee machine! Really, we can’t think of any bad points. This place is fabulous!!!!
So who wants to move to Melbourne? After seeing the photos of this new parent room in the Eco Mall at HighPoint Shopping Centre, I’m about to pack up the house and move us down there! For those who do live in Melbourne, you guys are very very VERY fortunate to have access to such an amazing parent room. Wow!!!!
Yeah, we’ve seen some pretty great parent rooms over the years we’ve been running this blog, but the bar in parent room excellence has just been raised to an incredible height. If you’re not sure, then read on!
Finding a parent room is often the first challenge faced when out with the little ones. The creators of the new Eco Mall have thought about this and, as a result, have made sure there are signs throughout the centre directing you to the toilets and this beautiful new parent room. That’s the first big tick!
Once you get to a parent room, unless we’ve reviewed it, you don’t really know what you’re going to find on the other side of the door. Is the room going to be inviting and clean? In this new parent room, not only is it clean and inviting, but it’s beautiful too. The designers of this parent room wanted to make sure parents were able to enjoy being out with the kids in the shopping centre. When you see the photos, you’ll agree this has definitely been achieved. You’ll want to come back to the Eco Mall again and again, once you’ve experienced all there is to offer in the parent room. Why go back to the centres that have scungy, smelly, broken down parent rooms, when you can go to a shopping centre that has put so much effort into providing such a beautiful sanctuary for parents and children? If you don’t live nearby to the centre, but are in Melbourne, get in the car and head over to check it out anyway. You’ll be glad you did.
So when you walk in, expect to be rendered speechless. Think of an apple orchard from the viewpoint of a child. It sounds like a fairy tale, right? Giant apples, astro-turf to simulate grass, butterfly and apple mobiles, stepping stones and more. It’s almost tempting to bring a picnic rug rather than a change mat, LOL!! Second tick!
Now for the important, business-end of the parent room – the change area and feeding cubicles. There are 3 baby change stations, separate to the food prep area (yay!!!!). The best part is you don’t have to share a sink with the food area either. Each baby change station has it’s own sink, with a nappy bin underneath in a pull-out drawer, plus paper towel dispenser, and murals to keep the little one distracted while they’re being changed. Third tick!
The feeding rooms are just as fabulous. Soothing and comfortable, they’re equipped with pretty much all you need to feed your baby in comfort, while being able to look after the bigger kids at the same time. Each private feeding cubicle is equipped with the following: powerpoints (great for mums who use electric pumps), a big comfy red leather chair, toys, a clock (so you can keep an eye on how long bub has been feeding for), and a high chair! W-O-W!!! Fourth tick!
Finally we come to the food prep area. It is separate from the nappy change area, which is so good to see. Far too often these areas are one and the same, with the microwave being above change tables or the one sink being shared. Yucky yuck! This is not the case in this parent room. The food prep area is separate to the nappy change area. It has it’s own bench, which is quite spacious. There is a clean and working microwave (yay!!!) plus a separate sink with hot water ready to go. Fifth tick!
Really, this place is amazing. Why put up with grubby, below-par parent rooms in shopping centres that obviously don’t care too much about families, when you can visit the Eco Mall at Highpoint Shopping Centre and know you’ll have a first-class experience in the parent room. When so much thought, care and attention to detail is put into the parent room – how amazing must the rest of the centre be?!!
Go and see it for yourselves. You will L-O-V-E it!
Overall: Basic yet clean and easy to find. Nappy change and toilet only.
Good Points: Ramp access to the centre. Well sign posted. Clean bathrooms. Wall mounted fold out change table. Toilet with assistance rails. Sink, soap and handryer. Nappy disposal bin.
Bad Points: No private feeding area. Safety strap missing from change table. Push to open doors make it difficult for both parents with prams and also people with disabilities.
We’ve been to the MCEC a few times over the years for various events, and finally remembered to take some photos of the baby change facilities during our most recent trip.
There’s a few baby change tables in the disabled bathrooms, located along the main walkway inside the MCEC. There’s ramp access into the centre, and ways around the inside where you can avoid stairs. The bathrooms are easily found as they’re well signposted. Note that ‘LH’ means the door opens from the left side, and ‘RH’ means the door opens from the right.
Now the door is where I struggle a little. I can open it without a problem, if I don’t have a pram in tow, otherwise it’s kind of tough. These are push-to-open doors. These doors are not easy when you have a pram to get through the door. I can only imagine how hard it is to open the door if you’re in a wheelchair, or on crutches, use a walker etc. These doors really need to be push-button, automatic-open doors. On the bright side, the doors do lock from the inside.
Inside the bathroom there’s a toilet with assistance rails (very handy for little ones learning to use the loo on their own), sink and soap dispenser with a hand dryer nearby. On the opposite wall is the baby change table.
The wall-mounted, fold-out change table is clean and in pretty good condition (although it is missing a safety strap). The nappy bin is located underneath, just at the end of it, so it’s within easy reach of the table.
If you’re at the MCEC for some event and you have the little ones with you, let us know what you thought of the baby change setup.