Sunday, December 22, 2013

The secret room at the mall

Maybe everybody knows about this secret room at Mirdif City Centre. Maybe nobody does. But it is the best gift a mall has ever given to me.

Tucked behind a discreet sliding door (it blends in with the wall) in the women's restroom area near the food court at Mirdif City Centre is this room:


It's for nursing your baby, or changing his diaper, or having yourself a nice sit-down on a couch while your toddler plays with toys at his/her level.

It's also for going to the bathroom in the same cubicle as your child. For whatever reason (we've all been there).

Everywhere is big enough for a stroller. There are sinks in all the places you need them. There are garbage bins in all the places you need them. This room is exactly what you want when you are at the mall with a baby or small children. Christmas shopping day was today and this little oasis gave me just the breather I needed to get through it.

In the other restrooms at MCC, there are smaller nursing/changing/toilet rooms. They look like this (changing table out of frame to the left; toilet out of frame to the right):
Not as luxurious, but it gets the job done.

Mirdif City Centre is in Dubai. I don't know if they have a specific, universal goal for baby-friendly public spaces, but Sharjah does: Sharjah Baby Friendly. Considering some of the crazy places I have had to nurse babies in this world (including a maintenance shed at the Jordan River in Jordan, where I just prayed that a dude wouldn't walk in while I was there), I am so glad to have proper facilities every once in a while. The secret room at MCC is my favorite.

13 comments:

Sherwood family said...

That is the most amazing public restroom ever! They need those at airports. I could just spend the entire layover locked in the restroom.

Jeremy Palmer said...

That is nice!

karina said...

One time when I was visiting the Muhammed Ali mosque I saw a veiled woman nursing her baby right there. Sitting on the floor surrounded by all her kids and her husband. That's the only time I've ever seen a Muslim woman nurse in public - the thing is - no one looked twice (except us Americans who were entranced - we had the BYU study abroad kids with us). I've always wondered what other women do when they need to nurse their babies. Maybe they all go to Sharjah!

Bridget said...

I've seen women breastfeeding in public here, but only fully veiled - like black abaya, black hijab fully veiled. I wonder if - much like the professions of taxi driver and policewoman - it's something you can only do in what others consider to be a respectable manner if you're veiled. Hmm.

(I've breastfed in public a few places here - a restaurant in Dubai and a hospital in Sharjah, and at a ward council meeting. No one has said anything to me about it.)

Jen said...

America is so backwards.

Glenda The Good said...

Our old mall had those bathrooms with the tiny toilet and the bigger toilet. My kids used to say, "mommy go to the bathroom at the same time I am." Ok great :) Breastfeeding, I have so many mixed feelings about this. I've never had anyone say anything to me or even look at me weird but every time I breastfeed in public I'm always so freaked out about it, like I'm just waiting for someone to yell at me or give me a dirty look that I can never really relax. Meanwhile at home it is boobs out anytime the kid ask, so you'd better watch out if you come over :)

Amber said...

For some reason, the first thing that came to mind when I read about this room is the Room of Requirement from Harry Potter! Maybe it is the secret nature of the room, or the fact that it seems to be perfectly suited to the needs of a mom of young children. Although I am a huge proponent of nursing in public when you need to, there is something to be said for just having a comfortable place to relax while your nurse your child and your other children are not getting into tons of trouble and are able to be occupied. Cool room.

Suzanne Bubnash said...

We've come a long way in the US of A nursing-wise, but I have never seen a room like that here!

Lucia- insert creative nickname said...

Lincoln remembers that room from when we first moved here and he was not quite potty trained. He still asks to go play every time we are in the vicinity. I think there are 2 at MCC.

Bridget said...

Ooh, where is the other one?

Liz Johnson said...

THAT IS AMAZING. I would never shop anywhere else.

Cait said...

I love the rooms with a tiny toilet and a big one. So convenient. I am also loving all the play areas in the airports. I breastfeed both my babies in public everywhere in Egypt and Morocco and it seemed to me that everyone was respectful and not offended. But maybe I was blind to how culturally inappropriate I was being! But then again I suppose it is culturally inappropriate in Utah too.

I was at the children's museum in Ogden yesterday and it didn't even have so much as a rocking chair in a corner, a children's museum! I like to hide away with my older nursing toddlers because I think that can legit make people uncomfortable but had no choice but to pop it out in front of all the Utah men. Oh well,

Cait said...

And by yesterday I mean three days ago. I was not there on Christmas.

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