Tag Archives: baby change room

Westpoint Blacktown (Level 3 Food Court) -17 Patrick Street, Blacktown NSW 2148

Overall: Better than Level 4. Good. Nappy change, rest, feed, play.

Good Points: Push-button auto-slide door. Private feeding cubicle with Play Panel. Separate bench for food prep, including sink and soap. Microwave and bottle warmer. Separate bench for nappy changes, including sink and soap. Disposable change mat liners. Nappy bins underneath change benches.

Bad Points: Doorway too narrow for double prams. No paper towels. Bland boring walls and ceiling. Curtain for privacy on feeding cubicle. Marked and worn fittings, paintwork and furniture.


After checking out the horrendous Parent Room on Level 4 at Westpoint Blacktown, I really didn’t have much hope at all for the Parent Rooms on the floors below. Thankfully I found that the Parent Room on Level 3 in the Food Court is loads better than Level 4. It’d want to be, that’s for sure. At the same time though, it still doesn’t get the ‘five star’ rating Westpoint reckons it should have. 

The Parent Room on Level 3 is pretty easy to find. Head to the food court (follow the signs hanging from the ceiling), and down the hallway next to Subway is the Parent Room. The sign on the wall says ‘Baby Change’. Easy! The push-button, auto slide door is always a great start, but it’s not the widest doorway and could be tough for a double pram.

The interior is immediately inviting, but that feeling really doesn’t last long. The room isn’t really well maintained and while it has some handy features it really misses out on some other things. A good thing is the private feeding cubicle, but it has some negatives. There’s only one cubicle, with two comfy club chairs, a side table, curtain for privacy and a Play Panel. Curtains are pretty standard in most Parent Rooms these days, but if a place is promoting ‘five star’ facilities, then there should be proper locking doors on the feeding cubicles. Unfortunately there aren’t any additional powerpoints in here for mums needing to express. Thumbs down 🙁

Back on the good side, there’s separate sinks for food prep and nappy changes. Yippee!!! This is a great feature of all the Parent Rooms reviewed at Westpoint. The nappy change sink is in the middle of the change bays, with a soap dispenser in arms reach. The food prep sink is on a separate bench with the microwave and bottle warmer. Having both a bottle warmer and microwave is pretty rare, giving this room another tick.

On the down side, for drying hands there’s only an automatic hand-dryer. Paper towel is much more hygienic and convenient. I’d like to see the hand-dryer removed and have paper towel units installed in its place. My little one hates the sound of hand dryers, and I’m guessing other kids have the same reaction too. So why not get rid of them? 

The nappy change bench has two change bays, with the sink smack in the middle of the bays. There’s a good amount of bench space on either side of the bays – perfect for keeping all your shopping and nappy bag off the floor. Disposable change mat liners are available from a pull-down unit attached to the wall (great if you’ve forgotten to bring a change mat like I have done on occasion, oops!). It’s a great space and the liners are a nice touch, but without paper towel for drying hands, or artworks/mobiles to distract little people while they’re being changed…….it’s just another regular change bench.

The toilets are pretty good. Cleaner and in better condition than what’s on Level 4 & 2. The door is lockable from the inside, there’s both adult and child size toilets, but the toilet paper roll is a little high for most little ones to reach. And again, for drying hands a hand-dryer is on the wall. Please, some paper towel!!! 

So the room is not awesome, but it’s definitely better than Level 4. I’d be happy enough to change nappies here and use the microwave or bottle warmer for heating up bubs food, but I wouldn’t be comfortable breastfeeding here. It just took the one time at Westpoint for a little kid to whip open the curtain when I was feeding my bub to be turned off curtained cubicles forever.

Westpoint Blacktown (Level 2) – 17 Patrick Street, Blacktown NSW 2148

Overall: Overrated. Westpoint Blacktown website promotes its Parent Rooms as being ‘five star’, but it just a veneer and it’d be more accurate to say they are 2 – 3 star. Nappy change, feed, rest, play.


Good Points: Auto-slide push button frosted glass door. Spacious main room. Separate food prep bench with sink, soap, microwave, bottle warmer, and hand dryer. Wide change bench with two change bays, sink and soap dispenser in the middle. Disposable change mat liners. Nappy bins underneath the change bench. Two private feeding cubicles with Play Panels, curtains and armchairs. Adult and child size toilets, with locking door.


Bad Points: Dirty areas everywhere. Corners in entry way are very difficult for larger prams. Grubby main room. No paper towel for drying hands. Toilets used by people who aren’t with little children. Doors to nappy bins are unlocked. Play Panels are missing a few parts. Dirty armchairs and carpet. Curtains instead of doors to feeding cubicles. No side tables in feeding cubicles. Soiled toilet paper on floor in the toilets, no paper towel, and marked/stained fittings. Empty, broken and dangerous toilet paper unit for child toilet (exposed sharp metal teeth). Sink in toilet is too high for little children to reach.


I am getting a little wary with the statements businesses make on their websites about the quality of their Parent Rooms. It’s more than annoying when facilities are well below promoted expectations. And this is what I found during my recent trip to Westpoint Blacktown. 

What a huge let down!!! Westpoint Blacktown says on its website the Parent Rooms are ‘five star’. Well this accolade could only be for overrated, dirty, broken, basic facilities and nothing more. Westpoint needs to get a big fat reality check on what five star Parent Rooms are really like.

The Level 2 Parent Room is just down the corridor next to Big W. There are signs showing you where it is (one good thing). And the hallway leading to the room is wide enough for prams. The door is an auto-slide push-button frosted glass door, which seemed so promising! These doors make getting in and out of the room such a breeze. Inside the doorway, however, the room just goes downhill.

Immediately faced with a wall and a corner to walk around to get to the main area, I was very happy to be pram-free on this particular trip. I watched another mum leave the room later with a pram, and it took some shifting and shoving to get it around the corner and finally out the door again. Not fun!

The main room is pretty spacious and has undergone a makeover since my last visit about 12mth earlier. But it’s basically just a cover over the same crap that’s always been there. The nappy change bench is on the left side of the room. It’s wide, with two change bays, sink and soap dispenser in the middle. At either end of the bench mounted on the walls are rolls of paper to be used for lining the change bays, in case anyone has forgotten to bring change mats with them. Underneath the bench are nappy bins, but the doors to the bins are unlocked. This is not good enough, especially with curious little people about who like to open doors and see what’s inside them. Incredibly unsafe and unhygienic!!

I was happy to see a separate area for food prep. It has a sink, soap dispenser and hand dryer (but no paper towel!) plus microwave and bottle warmer. Now this is probably the only five star feature of the room. Having all these things in a parent room is, sadly, quite rare. But it’s not enough to make me want to spend any more time in here than is absolutely necessary. The rest of the room just doesn’t cut it.

On the right side of the room are two private feeding cubicles. Since my last visit, these have had a coat of paint…….and that’s about it. The carpets are still badly stained. The Play Panels are missing pieces. The armchairs are grubby. And the curtains……well little children still like to whip open curtains to see who is hiding behind it. Not a great experience if you’re a mum trying to feed a baby in private.

And then there’s the toilets. Just like my last visit, these ones are also visited by people who don’t have young children with them. If you don’t have little children with you, why come and use the toilet in the Parents Room? There were a few of us mums waiting with our children, desperately needing the toilet, while it was occupied with adults. This is just rude and not at all appropriate. How about these people help clean up the messes little ones end up making because they can’t get to the toilet in time? That might make them use the regular male/female toilets in future.

Looking at the pictures, I don’t think anyone who works for the centre cares at all about the state or use of the toilets. It’s just disgusting. Even early in the morning, there was soiled toilet paper on the floor. The fittings were marked and broken, and apart from the child size toilet, the rest of the room was not at all suited to small children. The sanitary bin was beginning to overflow. The toilet paper dispenser next to the child toilet was empty, broken and had exposed sharp metal teeth. Extremely dangerous!!
The sink is too high for little ones, and there’s no paper towel (again!!!). There is a hand dryer, but it’s at just the right height to scare the life out of little ones who happen to stand underneath it. Just don’t have one in the toilets! It’s not hygienic, so just get rid of it!

Phew, this one was actually a bit exhausting. I think tomorrow I need to write about a nice lovely parent room. The only challenge with that is finding one. 


 

Centro Seven Hills (Coles end) – Cnr Prospect Hwy & Federal Rd, Seven Hills NSW 2147

Overall: Below average. Nappy change, rest, feed (no microwave), play.


Good Points: It’s easy to find. Well sign posted from the moment you enter the shopping centre. Clean change bench with three change bays. Nappy disposal bins at change bench. Separate sink, soap and paper towel for baby change table and food prep bench. Auto-slide push button door. One wall mounted activity centre. Extra powerpoints at food prep bench. Separate waste paper/general rubbish bin. Adult and child size toilets. Locking toilet door. Toilet door big enough to fit a pram.


Bad Points: Very bare. Plastic school chairs for feeding. No privacy in feeding area. No side tables. No additional powerpoints. Difficult to navigate feeding area with a pram. Snug fit in main door for a double side-by-side pram. No microwave or bottle warmer. Lid not sitting properly on the sanitary bin. Tap in the toilet sink is too hard to activate for little kids.






















Centro Seven Hills is a nice little shopping centre. All on ground level, easy parking, and no steps to navigate with a pram. It’s just perfect for parents with prams (although I didn’t see any dedicated parents with prams parking spaces. Maybe they are in the undercover parking area?) and it seems like there’s different fun activities for kids during school holidays. On this trip there was a fabulous jumping castle in the middle of the shopping centre for kids. It cost $2 per child for about a 10-15min session, just the thing to help little ones burn off excess energy. It was there for a week during the Easter holidays, and proved very popular with all children (especially mine!). Although it wasn’t a fun task trying to get my little one off the castle when it was time to go. The joys of trying to reason/bribe a toddler.


There’s two parent rooms at Centro Seven Hills. One down the Coles end, and the other up the Woolworths end. The best thing is both are incredibly easy to find. That’s often the biggest hassle for parents, so it’s good to find parent rooms that are well sign posted and a cinch to get to.


This first parent room is at the Coles end of the shopping centre. From the moment you walk into the centre, there’s signs hanging from the ceiling directing you to all the main areas. From parent rooms to Australia post, there’s clear and regular signage so you can’t get lost.
To get to this parent room we headed left past Gloria Jeans and then right down the hallway, between the hairdresser and nail salon. We walked all the way to then end of the hall and found the doorway on the right. It’s a frosted glass auto-slide push button door – my favourite way to start a review. On this occasion, sadly, it ended up being the best feature of the whole parent room.


The doorway is going to be a snug fit for a double side-by-side pram, but once inside there’s loads of room. The website for Centro Seven Hills describes the parent rooms as being ‘pleasant’. Well if quiet and bland equal pleasant, then I guess the description is spot on. It’s a very stark, clinical white room with terrible feeding areas.


The feeding area is disgusting. It’s clean, for sure, but that’s probably because nobody wants to use it. It’s promoted as being a ‘private feeding area’ but it’s not private AT ALL!! First up, there’s no chance of fitting anything more than an umbrella stroller in there as the corners are stupidly tight to get around in order to eventually reach the chairs. Which leads me to the next ridiculous thing – the chairs!!!!!! What a joke!!! Some local school is missing a couple of chairs, because there are two hard plastic school chairs here instead. I remember how uncomfortable and plain old thoughtless!! I don’t know of any parent at all who would want to sit on one of these chairs these things were back when I was at school. I cannot imagine how any parent would be able to comfortably spend any length of time sitting on these to feed a baby. It’s just disgusting. And ‘private’???? It’s not at all private!!!!! There’s not even a single lousy curtain to give privacy, let alone a door. I don’t know how an open area with a plastic chair can be classed as ‘private’. Seriously, is there some parent room template these companies use to just copy-paste a blurb in to fill a gap in their websites. How about checking the information on the website for Centro is actually representative of your facilities?!!!


At least they haven’t said they provide a microwave, because there isn’t one. Inside the room, along the left wall, is an empty bench with a sink, soap unit, paper towel unit and additional powerpoints. Maybe there was a microwave here at some point, but I’m thinking all signs lead to No! So if you need to warm up a bottle or baby food, try your luck with one of the coffee shops in the centre.


Now in the far right side of the room is the change bench and it actually meets my expectations. Yay!! Something that’s finally decent. What a relief. It’s not stunning or anything, but it’s clean, functional and has all the essentials. There’s a couple of change bays, with the sink and soap dispenser at the end of the bench. The nappy disposal bins are placed at either end of the bench, but they’d be much better placed in the cupboards underneath the bays. 
Opposite the change bench is a regular open top rubbish bin for waste other than nappies. And just next to this is an old looking wall mounted activity centre. 


Finally, there’s one more adequate element to this room which is the toilets. The toilet room is big enough to fit a pram, has both adult and child size toilets, and the door can be locked shut. Maybe this is where the centre expects parents to feed if they want privacy (I am so mad about that!!!!). It’s not been overly well maintained, with the lid half falling off the sanitary bin. The tap is one of those smash-the-knob-down which produces water for about 2 seconds before needing another whack. These are hard enough for grown ups to use let alone little children. 


I had pretty good hopes for this Parent Room, but I’m very sad to report it’s unimpressive. It’s definitely better than what Blacktown Hospital has to offer just up the road, but it’s not anywhere near as good as it could and should be. The least Centro should do is make sure its Parent Rooms actually match the description they offer on the website. Big fat FAIL on that part!!!