Congratulations! You’ve managed your baby’s nap and feeding schedules; provisioned the pushchair for every eventuality; and finally gotten into town for some adult company or a well-deserved dose of retail therapy. All goes swimmingly - until baby needs a clean nappy. This is the moment of truth. Find a place to clean your darling, and you get to stay out and about. No place for a change, however, means a hasty retreat home.
When I moved to Cambridge five years ago, I knew no one (other than my partner and three-month-old daughter). Getting out was essential for my sanity, and I was eager to see my new hometown. So, like every other new parent, I gradually built a mental map of good places to change (and sometimes also feed) my baby.
If you look diligently, there are surprisingly many places to change babies in the centre of Cambridge. Several spots, however, soon became clear favourites. John ‘Loo-is’ out-shines all other baby-changing facilities in town; it’s worth making a detour for them. (One caveat: the deafeningly loud Dyson hand dryers tend to provoke wails.)
For me, fold-down nappy-changing shelves or tables were not essential. The critical things were lifts (even the swankiest loos wouldn’t induce me to lug a pushchair up steps), cleanliness (a clean floor trumps a filthy changing table) and an adult toilet nearby. And I had no compunction about using university toilets if the situation was urgent (as it can so compellingly be when toilet-training starts). Unless a college is closed, it’s fairly easy to get past the porters; just look purposeful and move quickly. Almost everyone loves a baby, and in a pinch, remind yourself of this and ask for help. Then add your finds to our list.
The best baby-changing locations in Cambridge:
John Lewis, Downing Street (-1 and top floor, which includes feeding area, two changing stations & child toilet; caution: the extremely loud Dyson hand dryers tend to provoke wails)
Fitzwilliam Museum, Trumpington Street (use the modern, new entrance)
Central Library, Lion Yard (designated toilet on main floor)
Heffers Children’s Bookshop, Trinity Street (use side entrance to avoid internal stairs; adults alone are not allowed to use the toilet)
Marks & Spencer, Market Square (top floor; includes feeding area)
Marks & Spencer, Beehive Centre (go here even if you’re shopping at ASDA next door)
Michaelhouse, Trinity Street
University Centre, Granta Place, Mill Lane (bear left on ground floor & use accessible toilet; also baby-changing areas in men’s & women’s toilets on landings between first and third floors; lift available but necessary to climb half staircase)
Waterstone’s, Sidney Street (changing area upstairs; lift available)
And some other good options...
BHS, Grafton Centre
Boots, Petty Curry (upstairs; elevator at rear of shop)
Boots, Cambridge Retail Park
Caffe Nero, Fitzroy Street (ground floor)
Caffe Nero, Mill Road
Cambridge Railway Station
Corn Exchange, Wheeler Street
Debenhams, Grafton Centre
Emmanuel College, Front Court, St Andrew’s Street (bear left in the first court; for bonus, visit the duck pond afterwards)
Grand Arcade (top floor)
Mothercare, Grafton Centre
Starbucks, various locations
Waitrose, Hauxton Road, Trumpington