Saturday, November 8, 2008

Baby care rooms in Singaporean shopping centres


[This ranking was updated by Mum in February. Please click to visit the new, expanded version]

Having lugged and strollered Sonny all around Singapore for over six months, Mum has investigated the baby care facilities at a good number of shopping centres. Here's how she ranks ten places that she's visited.

Mum's ranking system:
Three pacifiers: Clean, spacious, full facilities. Shopping centre is almost worth visiting just to luxuriate in the baby care room.
Two pacifiers: Adequate facilities. Maintenance could be improved or otherwise short of nursing perfection.
One pacifier:
Sorely lacking. Better than nothing in a crunch, but not good enough in these family-friendly times.

1) United Square, Novena: At the ground floor baby care room, there are multiple changing stations with two sinks for easy cleansing. There is a hot and cold water dispenser for mixing milk formula (or a quick drink), three nursing rooms - each of a good size with comfortable chairs - as well as a bench for fathers to relax on. The place is clean, spacious and brightly-lit, but can get quite busy on weekends when parents throng the shopping centre with kids in tow. Elsewhere in the shopping centre there are standalone changing areas. Three pacifiers

2) Causeway Point, Woodlands: Two good-sized nursing rooms with comfortable chairs, three changing stations, a sink and two chairs in an anteroom for fathers to chill on. However, heavy usage on weekends means you may have to queue up with wailing baby. Three pacifiers

3) Ang Mo Kio Hub, Ang Mo Kio: On the floor that boasts many shops selling baby-related products, there is a baby care room with three spacious nursing rooms equipped with comfortable chairs. Multiple changing stations. No sink, though. Three pacifiers

4) Forum Galleria, Orchard Road: Baby care room on the ground floor. Two good-sized nursing rooms. Three changing stations that looked a bit grubby, possibly due to heavy usage. Two pacifiers

5) Paragon, Orchard Road: Two baby care rooms on different floors. On the fifth storey, the baby care room has one nursing room (a bit tight for space), changing stations and a hot and cold water dispenser. No waiting chairs for dads. Gets really crowded on weekends. Two pacifiers

6) Takashimaya, Orchard Road: Baby care area near Children's Section. Large changing area with plenty of chairs for fathers, but only one nursing room that is meant to be shared by three or four mothers at the same time. Two pacifiers

7) Centrepoint, Orchard Road: Feeding room at Mothercare outlet. One nursing cubicle with a changing station and chair inside. Convenient and clean, thought a little cramped. [A reader wrote in anonymously to inform us that there is also a baby care room on - for some reason - the sixth storey]. Two pacifiers

8) IKEA, Tampines: Two baby care rooms, on cafeteria level and check-out level. The one near the cafeteria level is very small but comes with a chair for nursing, changing station and sink. The other one slightly larger, but is more a toilet. Not enough for such a huge family-oriented shopping complex. One pacifier

9) Junction 8, Bishan: At least one nursing room next to the toilet on one floor. Very cramped, with a bench to sit on and a changing station. One pacifier

10) Northpoint, Yishun: On Basement One near the toilets in the older building. Brand-new nursing room with changing station, but already cramped and shabby-looking. New family rooms on nearly every floor to be ready soon near the toilets in the new Northpoint annex. Mostly, with hot-water dispenser and two cubicles, supposedly for nursing - once the chairs arrive. Hopefully, better than the one presently available. Half a pacifier

Additional notes:

a) Botanic Gardens: Nursing room near the cafe is a cramped broom closet-sized area, perpetually wet but with many cute baby pictures.

b) Changi Airport: One nursing room at Terminal Two, Departure Lounge. Spacious changing station and waiting area for father. Baby care room at Budget Terminal is only available to passengers who have gone through Immigration: Small basic room with pull-down changing station and sink. (Terminal One and Terminal Three should also have facilities).

c) Singapore Immigration and Checkpoints Authority (ICA): We were surprised to find baby care facilities at all. Spacious room with changing station and nursing room. Hot and cold water dispenser and big sink, but with staff and cleaning crew frequently walking in to use facilities.

d) Wheelock Place: Nursing room with two comfortable chairs, sink and fold-down changing station next to toilets on ground floor.

Other places with nursing rooms (which Mum has yet to use):
- Isetan at Shaw Centre: Nursing room behind cashier at baby section.
- John Little (opposite Somerset MRT station): nice-looking and little-used changing and nursing stations)
- Woodlands library (a spacious room with comfortable-looking chairs for feeding: No other branch library seems to have any baby care facilities at all)


Anonymous said...

the baby care room in centrepoint is on the 6th floor. accessible by lift.

Cloudsters said...

Thanks, Anonymous. We've amended the original text to reflect your input.

Unknown said...

There's a v big and spacious Baby Care room at Bugis Junction's BHG. It's on level 3 children's dept. Saw it by accident.

Cloudsters said...

Thanks, Esther. We visited the facilities you tipped us off about yesterday: Very decent. The rankings will be amended accordingly.