Overall: BEST PARENT ROOM IN THE NORTH-WEST!!!!!!!!!
Good Points: Lockable, clean, comfortable feeding rooms; Microwave and bottle warmers; Separate sinks in food prep area and also nappy change area; Soap dispensers in food prep area and nappy change area; Filtered water; Interactive fenced play area; Complimentary: toys, change mats, nappy wipes (in a nappy wipe warmer!); Hanging mobiles above each change bay; Emergency buttons; Clean toilets.
Bad Points: No bed for a nap – that’s the only thing missing!! Or a coffee machine – but then there is a Gloria Jeans/Donut King/Michel’s etc outside.
Hands down this is the BEST place I have seen so far. The Parents Room is amazing, there is loads of Parents-with-Prams parking, plus travelators, good-sized lifts and wide wide walkways. Yay!!!!!!
Another great point – very few pesky kids rides. You know what I am talking about. Those lovely rides with lots of lights and music, that require at least $2 a go and usually end with your child chucking a huge fit because you have to leave and get some shopping done.
Hot tip for those rides – only Grandma’s money works on them (doesn’t stop your little one from climbing all over the ride, but it does save you loads of $$$).
For North-West Sydney, Stockland Baulkham Hills is probably my favourite place to go shopping with my lil princess. It’s easy to get to, parking is a cinch, and all the supermarkets we need are there in the one place. Aldi, Woolworths, Coles -all your grocery catalog shopping in the one centre. Thank goodness!!!
And not a Maccas to be seen – double yay!!
Most of the parking sections have Parents-with-Prams parking bays, right near the shopping centre entrance. Soooo good. No need to take you and your bubs life in your hands dodging crap drivers in the car park as you make your way to the shop entrance. If you’re coming into Stockland via the Old Windsor Rd entrance, just drive straight to the back of the car park, follow it around to the right, then just past the sliding doors to the shopping centre you’ll need to turn right again and there you’ll find about 10 Parents-with-Prams parking bays. Clearly sign-posted on the walls and also on the ground, they’re hard to miss.
What I absolutely love about these parking spaces – they are HUGE!!!! Extra wide spaces for each car, with added line markings for extra extra space so you can get bubby in and out of the pram and car without worrying if you’re going to damage the car next to you.
Getting from the carpark into the shops is easy peasy. You can use the Lift, Travelator, or ramps and travelator combined if parked on the LG Level. I know I am rabbiting on, but this is the best place I’ve found so far for shopping with little ones.
The absolute best thing about Stockland Baulkham Hills is the Parent Room. OMG this place is wonderful!! When you get out of the lift on Level 1, or get to the top of the Travelator next to donut king, turn to your right and you’ll find the Parent Room (or Family Room, as they have called it). Spacious yet cosy, extremely well appointed, loads of wonderful extras (a complimentary warm nappy wipes dispenser!!), and lockable feeding rooms.
Entry to the room is a breeze. Great big green button next to the frosted glass sliding door – just hit the button and Hey Presto!! The door opens. Little ones loooove whacking that button. To get out, just get your precious pixie to whack the big red button next to the door, and the door will softly slide open. Inside, the room is instantly inviting. Lovely natural colours make this room so comfortable from the moment you walk in. Greens, tans, beechwood colours and gentle lighting help to calm mum and bub. The room is clean, with lovely prints on the walls, and everything you and bub need to have a comfortable visit.
Even if you just need a break and don’t want to be forced to buy a coffee to be allowed to sit down at a table for a few minutes, this room is the perfect spot for you. Two soft bright green chairs are against the end wall of the Parent Room, with a little table between them loaded with glossy gossipy magazines. And opposite this little nook, literally within a step and arm reach away, is the kids play area and high-wall mounted TV! So you can sit down, rest, flick through a trashy mag, drink your cup of coffee while it is still hot, and all at the same time as your little ones are happily entertaining themselves in the play area. Perfect perfect perfect.
The play area is fenced, with a child-safety gate as the entry point. The walls are covered a great backyard/bushland mural, and the two interactive wall-mounted play centres are pretty fun. If this is not for your bub, then there is the little set of table and chairs which has more toys and fun things to keep little ones happy and mum too. You’ll definitely get to drink all your coffee here. Probably even eat a blueberry muffin too (might need to hide it from little people though).
Okay, so I’ll move on now. How about the nappy change area? Prepare to be dazzled!!! Mums, if you have forgotten wipes or change mats….don’t worry. This place has provided it all for you. Yay!!!! The change bench has 3 grooves for lil people. At the head of each groove is the roll of disposable change mats. It’s true!!!
Check out the photo above. The long slot at the head contains a roll of paper which you pull out to fit the length of the bench groove. You no longer have to bring your own change mat, or wipe down the area beforehand. Just whip out some of the paper roll provided and changing can commence. Now if you’ve forgotten to bring nappy wipes (which I have on very rare occasions), again you can breathe a sigh of relief. There is a nappy wipe dispenser, which keeps the wipes warm! I love it!! And so will your little one’s bottom. Warm wipes have to be alot nicer than cold ones – especially now it’s getting into winter.
Honestly, the list goes on with all the awesome features of this Parent Room. The lovely round sink plus soap dispenser in the middle of the change bench. Funky mobiles hanging above each change groove, so your little one can be entertained while you get to business changing nappies. But if the mobiles don’t do the trick, you can always grab one of the cute complimentary cello-wrapped bath toys. This visit, we picked up the cutest orange hippo. Oh, the important part – nappy bins are located in pull-out draws under the change bench, or in grey nappy-bins against the opposite wall.
Next topic: toilets. The toilet room is good. Much like any other parent room, with the exception that this one is clean and sparkling. Big loo and little loo – check. Big sink and little sink – check. Sanitary bin AWAY from the little loo – check. Soap dispenser for each sink – check. Lockable door -check. Emergency button – check. It’s clean, it has everything you need for you and your little people who are using the loo. I have to say I love the idea of the emergency button in there. Honestly, that is a great thing to have.
For those mums who need a bit of quiet time or want to feed your baby in privacy, you are going to love the individual feeding rooms. Each has a lockable sliding door, high wall mounted TV, comfy chair plus small side table, and a wall mounted play centre. Plus the all important big red emergency button on the wall. Being able to lock yourself in a room, just you and your baby, in a public place is such a dream come true. You don’t have to worry about any one opening the curtain, because there isn’t one. I have had that happen to me at other centres, with other curious little darlings peeping in right at the worst moment too (trying to get bub to latch on for a feed). You can feed here in privacy, feeling comfortable and secure.
For the finale, we come to the kitchenette. Microwave present, clean and in working order – check. Two sinks: one with filtered water, the other with regular tap water – check. Soap dispenser – check. Two bottle warming units – check. Rubbish bin, disposable cups, ABA information, bench space -check.
Writing this I am beginning to wonder why I just don’t spend every day at this place with my little girl. Someone else does the cleaning, it has almost everything we need……ahhhh I just realised what is missing – a bed!!!! Now this is probably the only area for improvement I could suggest. If this fantastic, exceptionally well fitted-out Parent Room had a bed for naptimes……then yes, we probably would spend the majority of each week day here. So until that happens, we’ll just visit every now and then when we do the grocery shop.