So how is Bring the Baby going to take shape? And what are we setting out to do?
It’s a grand vision but we want to change the face of baby friendliness in this country. There seems to be such huge inconsistencies in baby friendliness, not just between our high-street businesses, but within those businesses themselves. Research (that’s a loose term for cyber-stalking the parenting forums) has thrown up enormous differences between baby changing and feeding facilities in supermarkets and the big high-street names (even those whose main focus is the baby and parenting market) in towns just a few miles apart.
But it’s not all doom and gloom. There seem to be some places out there that are bounding ahead with their parent-friendly facilities – some of the larger out of town shopping centres for starters and Ikea for example seem to score highly.
So the first steps are to continue gathering information and use Bring the Baby to centralise it all so that we can start to identify what the key issues are that parents would like to see addressed. Number one appears to be combined baby changing and breast feeding facilities (such an obvious no no!), followed by overflowing and smelly nappy bins and dirty nappy changing facilities. Please add your comments to this list so that we know what the issues are that you want to be taken forward.
Thereafter, the plan is to contact companies about their policies and to flag the concerns raised by the Bring the Baby community. But we’re not going hell for leather for just the bad guys – I strongly believe that you can effect change by highlighting best practice and encouraging others to follow suit – so I think there should a combination of carrot and stick. But this is your campaign too, so if you have any thoughts or ideas, please share them.
Thanks to everyone who has joined Bring the Baby in its first week. Please continue to spread the word.