Tag Archives: parentrooms

Carlingford Court, Ground Level (near Bakers Delight) – Cnr Pennant Hills Rd & Carlingford Rd

Overall: Pretty good. Clean and quiet. Nappy change, rest, feed.

Good Points: Three private feeding cubicles. Auto-slide push-button door. Adult and child toilets with matching sinks. Paper towel dispensers. No hand dryers. Separate food prep area. Microwave and additional powerpoints. Clean change bench with three change bays. Built-in fold out change tables in each feeding cubicle. Comfy armchair plus sidetable in each feeding cubicle. Quiet and clean.

Bad Points: Tricky corners for prams immediately inside the door. Toilet roll unit for little toilet a bit out or arms reach. Taps on toilet sinks are a bit hard to activate. Shared sink and soap for nappy change bench and food prep area. No nappy bins underneath the main change bench. Full and overflowing nappy bins in the feeding cubicles. Curtains for privacy 

It’s taken forever, but my little one and I finally made it back to Carlingford Court to check out the last parent room. I mean, it’s only our local shopping centre so you’d think we would have knocked it over first. Nope! Instead we’ve been running around Sydney like headless chooks, thinking we’ll always pick up this one on the way home. Too funny. Ah well, it’s done now. I have to say, it’s pretty good too. A couple of flaws, but pretty good.

This Parent Room is down the hallway between Bakers Delight and the health food shop. Just follow the signs, down the hallway, around to the left, and the door is on the right. Hit the big green button to make the door whoosh open. Easy peasy at the start, but just inside the door you have to twist and turn around a pesky narrow entry way and around a corner to get to the main part of the room. Bad design. It’s fine if you’re doing a walk-in, but it’s not easy with a pram in tow.

The toilets are the first thing you see. The door is lockable from the inside (always a good thing!). There’s enough space for a pram. There are two toilets and sinks, one each for both parent and child. I don’t think it’s a very good idea having the toilet paper roll attached to the back of the door. It’s a little out of reach for little ones. The best part of these toilets is there’s no hand-dryer!! Yay!!! I’m so happy about this. There’s a well stocked paper towel dispenser, and no hand dryer. Great hygiene, especially with winter about to hit. Loving it.

Past the toilets are the feeding cubicles and the main part of the room. Each of the three feeding cubicles has a curtain for privacy, a built-in fold out change table, nappy bin, side table and armchair. It’s great! And you can fit a pram inside too (but I’m not sure about double prams. Please tell me if you’ve had a go at getting a double pram in here). This is a big bonus for us mums who want privacy and security. The only real downside to the cubicles – there aren’t any additional powerpoints, and the nappy bins were overflowing very early in the morning. 

The main part of the room is very spacious. It doesn’t have a couch like the Parent Room up on Level 1, but it’s very roomy. There’s a separate change bench and food prep bench. Now this would usually be a good thing except there is only one sink for both areas. Not so good for hygiene. Also there aren’t any nappy bins near or underneath the change bench. The only nappy bins are in the private feeding cubicles. What are you meant to do with soiled nappies if the cubicles are occupied?

The food prep bench has loads of room. The microwave is clean and working. The sink is clean, with soap and paper towel right there too. Really, it’s a nice quiet Parent Room. It’s missing extras like Play Panels, a separate sink for the change bench plus extra nappy bins, but other than that it really is a nice Parent Room. And I’m now very happy to report that all the Parent Rooms at Carlingford Court have now been reviewed. Phew!

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.