Friday, July 30, 2010

Parent Room roll call #2 - Victoria Gardens

Maybe this can be seen as a community service, but I reckon Parent's Rooms (PRs) should be held up to some sort of review process. They are used incessantly, can be a haven for brand-new mums or refuge for strung-out experienced ones so we need to know where the good ones are!

I can remember when Lucas was very new, I felt a little alien getting back out amongst it with a newborn so having somewhere to go where a) it was warm (Lucas is an August baby) and b) had somewhere I could run to in case he started screaming/I started having a meltdown - so large shopping centres with their fully equipped and comfortable Parent's Rooms were the destination of choice, even if the sad line-up of clothing chains were all the same - it's not like I was going to fit my post-baby arse into a pair of Dotti jeans any time soon.

Vic Gardens Parents Room
So it was we ended up in the PR at Victoria Gardens in Richmond today. A long room with family loo at the end (equipped with adult and kiddie loo for simultaneous pees!) We are toilet training at the mo so this is the facility we utilised today - and all good. Lucas loved the kid-sized seat (he's still a newbie at this - I was very impressed with accident-free shopping trip, and we even went to Ikea). Large cubicle so we could fit the pram in as well. Only gripe would be maybe including a kid-sized handbasin as well so he could wash hands on his own (or else a stepping stool provided).

The boys suss out the kids facilities
The room itself is comfortable, providing a good kids corner with table & chairs for kiddies who are waiting, and includes a cute bug-lamp installation on the wall above. There are 2 sofas for feeding, as well as 2 feeding booths with curtains. I have used these booths for feeding before and I have to say I did find the harsh lighting a little much for bub, plus the fact that, being a long room, the booths are along the wall on the way to the loos and found all and sundry traipsing past to get there a little distracting too (booth doors are pretty but flimsy Ikea curtains), this might be OK if you are all good with the feeding gig but if you're having difficulties with it all as I was, it could get a little off-putting.

Feeding booth (bright lights!)
Other than this, the room is good, 2 change tables (probably could fit more) and  microwave for bottle heating. Ideally located beside the dining space at Vic Gardens too. I find this shopping centre a good size, as it is well equipped but not too big - really important when you have toddlers who love to run - I can't help giving him a little freedom, esp in winter it's hard to get to the park for wide open spaces...

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