Saturday, February 21, 2009

Updated ranking of baby care rooms in Singapore

This is an updated and expanded survey of baby care facilities in major shopping complexes in Singapore. Mum has now had almost 10 months to conduct her investigations; the original ranking was drawn up last November.

Mum's assessment system:
Three pacifiers: Clean, spacious, full facilities. Shopping centre is almost worth visiting just to luxuriate in the baby care room. Space for at least two mothers to nurse.
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.

Top-flight facilities

1) Tangs: There're two nursing rooms near the cashier at the baby department on the top floor. These are the only baby care rooms in Singapore where one will find steam sterilisers, along with instructions on how to use it pasted on the wall, are provided. Each room also has a comfy chair, sink, hot water flask, cheery kiddy pictures and even a toy mobile atop the nappy changing station, presumably to distract the little one when you're wiping his bottom (though the batteries were out when mom used the room). The only grouse is that the lighting is too dim, then again, maybe the idea was to put baby in the mood for nursing. Three pacifiers

2) 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

3) Raffles City Shopping Centre: There's an award-winning baby care room on the third floor, where there are four baby changing stations, nicely designed with a trash bin and thoughtful roll of toilet paper provided under each. There's also a sink, some seating - including mini chairs for toddlers - but just one nursing room with a slightly uncomfortable-looking chair. In case more than one mother needs to nurse, there's another baby care area in the basement in the toilet near Shokudo. There's a shared sink, paper and two nursing rooms with sofas. There's even a family room nearby, with toilet facilities for the whole family - a general wash-up area, a kiddie loo and separate large adult toilet. Three pacifiers

4) Suntec City: Baby care room on third floor in tower where all the baby shops are (kids' mall). Brightly lit with sink, changing area and two nursing cubicles with comfortable sofas and separate sinks. Three pacifiers

5) 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

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. Three pacifiers

7) Velocity, Novena: On the third floor there is a baby care room with two nappy-changing station, hot and cold water dispenser and two nursing rooms with comfortable sofas. Paper napkins provided. Three pacifiers

Acceptable facilities

1) 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

2) 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

3) Wheelock Place, Orchard Road: Nursing room next to toilets on ground floor near the lifts. The long room is decorated with kiddy pictures, sink, a fold-down changing station and two comfortable chairs - that can seat two nursing mothers if needed. Two pacifiers

4) Marina Square: The renovated shopping mall has various individual baby care rooms (near toilets where signs show there is baby changing area) littered around - at least two on the ground level. Each is roomy with a comfy bench, sink and baby changing station. The rooms can't be locked but the doors have occupied/vacant sign to allow parents to indicate usage. Two pacifiers

5) IMM: There are at least two baby care rooms: One is near the second floor toilets opposite Best - it is rather small, with just a small bench seat, baby change station and sink; another is in a sectioned room next to the toilets near the mama magazine shop on the ground floor - it's much more spacious, with the same facilities plus a hand dryer. Two pacifiers

6) 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

7) City Link: Near Godiva Shop. You'll have to get the keys from the information desk opposite New York New York restaurant before HMV. Otherwise, a nice private room with sink and separate nursing cubicle. Two pacifiers

8) Thomson Shopping Centre: Baby care area on the top floor, next to the toilets near Swensen's. Section for nappy changing, a huge toilet and a nursing room with bench and uncomfortably hot lamp. Two pacifiers

9) White Sands Shopping Center, Pasir Ris: Baby care area near toilets in basement. Sink, changing area but only a pull-curtain to draw when using single sofa for nursing. Two pacifiers

10) Parkway Parade, Katong: There is a baby care area inside Isetan that's very nice - two spacious nursing cubicles, two diaper changing stations, hot-water dispenser and sink. Rather crowded though on weekends. Also a baby care area in the basement, with a rather stuffy nursing room and two diaper changing stations. Two pacifiers

11) 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. Two pacifiers

Substandard facilities

1) 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

2) 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 adjacent to the toilets in the new Northpoint annex. Hot-water dispenser and two cubicles, supposedly for nursing - once the chairs arrive. So far, only the family room on library level has chairs. One pacifier

3) Plaza Singapura, Doby Ghaut: One nursing room on level 3, with two nappy changing stations - one in the room and another just outside in case room is used. Not enough for such a large shopping centre. Parents can be heard waiting outside for turn. One pacifier

4) IKEA, Tampines: Baby care room on cafeteria level. It's very small but comes with a chair for nursing, changing station and sink. Another well on Level 3, but more a toilet. Not enough facilities for such a huge family-oriented shopping complex. One pacifier

Baby care facilities in public but non-shopping areas:

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: Lots of baby care areas in T3. The one on arrival floor is spacious with sink, hot-water dispenser and pull-down changer; and a comfortable separate nursing cubicle. Terminal One has only one, a new room near toilets on western end of arrival wing that is of similar design with the one at T3. 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. Inside T1, a baby care area up the escalator near Harry's that is complete with TV area with sofas that have in-built speakers, playground and of course, two or three nursing rooms and changing area. Also other baby care areas scattered throughout the check-in areas.

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.

Other places with nursing rooms (but 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...

This is great and very useful! I absolutely love the review.. Thanks very much for sharing this.. Look forward to seeing more malls on the list!

Cloudsters said...

Cheers, Fi. Mum'll try to keep the rankings as current as possible. If you have any tweaks to suggest or updates to offer, just give us a holler now!

Anonymous said...

Not sure if you're still updating this site, but there is a huge nursing room on 3rd floor in centrepoint (next to the hairdressing salon, some talent agency and some skin care shop). they have 3 or 4 changing mats, but nursing room is shared with 2 benches (seats i think 3 mums each). there is also a bench at the area where the changing mats are.

century square also has tiny changing rooms, but they are not that clean (sometimes you see footprints on the cushions or floor is wet) and the position of the benches are awkward and wierd. the position of the changing mat is even wierder. but at the end of the day, better to have some private space than none at all.

Cloudsters said...

Thank you for your feedback, which we shall feed into the next update of our list. We are currently 'on sabbatical' but have every intention of reactivating the blog once a few pieces of our family jigsaw puzzle come together.

Muzzammil said...

Thanks for sharing :)

much helpful for our South East Asian trip with our little angel!

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