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October 22, 2022

A restaurant worker who refused to let a mom change her baby’s diaper on a chair at her table has won the backing of the internet for intervening.

The server’s insistence that the woman use the facilities at a nearby public toilet drew an angry response from the new mother, but many online felt he was within his rights to speak up.

Changing diapers may not be any parent’s idea of fun, but the way it’s approached can have an impact on how their child sees the world. That’s according to Amy Hunter, assistant professor and children’s mental health specialist at Georgetown University’s Center for Child and Human Development.

A waiter and a baby.
A file photo of a man waiting a table with a baby present. A server has been commended for stopping a mom from using a chair to change her child’s dirty diaper

“Diaper changes are part of how babies and toddlers learn about relationships, about themselves, and their bodies,” she told “They take those lessons throughout their whole lives. So if you take the time to make the diapering routine a tender, caring, gentle experience, then babies will start to learn that that’s what the world is like.”

There was little “tender” or “caring” about the way one attempted diaper change played out for one baby during a recent visit to a restaurant, though. And while the waiter may have been the one disrupting the harmony, many online felt the mother was ultimately the one to blame.

Sharing his version of events in a Reddit post written under the handle WilliamMedhurst, the server explained that while the restaurant he works at has no baby changing facilities, there is a set of public restrooms “no more than 50m away” that includes “multiple baby changing facilities.”

Despite the proximity of these facilities, however, one family decided to take matters into their own hands after realizing their young infant had soiled their diaper.

Though they were informed of the situation regarding the lack of baby changing facilities and the nearby public restrooms, the server said the mom said it was “okay” and then “proceeded to change the child right on the chair in front of me.”

Shocked at this, the member of staff said he told her she was “disturbing the other customers” and said it “isn’t sanitary, especially as we have fresh pastries and cakes on display.”

He said the mom went “ballistic” in response, claiming “it’s the law that we need to let her change her child wherever she wants if we are unwilling to provide her with suitable changing facilities.”

The server stood his ground though, reminding her of the nearby facilities. Her family duly left with the mom calling him a “sexist bigot.”

But although she appeared assured of the fact she had behaved correctly in the scenario, the vast majority of those commenting on social media sided with the server.

“That’s gross,” Proud-Marketing7431 said. “It’s like the equivalent of wiping your own a** in the middle of the restaurant.” Palinedromer101 was similarly stunned, writing: “the entitlement of some parents these days is just jaw-dropping.”

FrogMintTea, meanwhile, branded it “a health hazard” with Additional_Quiit adding: “Apart from being unsanitary from a general/legal point of view, it is incredibly rude.”

‘No Rule Book’

Commenting on the incident, parenting expert Fi Star-Stone told Newsweek she found it “really sad how it’s acceptable these days to parent-shame” rather than “simply offering support or guidance privately.”

“There’s no rule book when it comes to parenting. While it may seem obvious to many that changing a nappy in an eating establishment is both unhygienic and inappropriate, some new parents may just not realize,” Star-Stone said. “A gentle, kind reminder, a little support and help would’ve been far nicer than publicly shaming and humiliating this mum who was just doing what she felt was right for her baby.”

“I always say to my young children – ‘always choose kindness and always do the right thing.’ It’s a real shame we have to remind so many grown-ups of this too.”

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