With hot coffee poured out in anger, cross words exchanged and a call to police, this was no ordinary diaper change. But what went down in a Denver Starbucks this week has parents discussing: Are there some places where you should never change your baby’s diaper?
As the NBC affiliate KUSA/9News in Denver reported, Ruth and Alex Burgos were out for a coffee run at Starbucks when they realized their son Thiago needed a clean diaper. Ruth Burgos took him to the bathroom, where there was no changing table.
So, she brought him back and changed him in the seating area, telling 9News she “just kind of wiped him off, cleaned him off as quick as I could.”
Alex Burgos says a Starbucks employee threw them a rag and asked them to wipe the seat when they were done. He found the employee's tone demeaning and fired back by pouring his coffee on the floor. An argument ensued and police were called, but no arrests were made, 9News reports.
Starbucks spokeswoman Jaime Riley declined to comment on the actions of the Denver store’s employees, and said the company apologized to the couple and hopes to welcome them back.
“We’re really concerned to have learned about their experience,” Riley told TODAYMoms. “We think everybody needs to be treated with the dignity and respect that they deserve.”
Riley did not know how many of the company’s more than 10,000 U.S. stores have changing tables, and said the company is looking at the issue.
“It’s definitely something that is not taken lightly and something that people are continuing to discuss here,” she said. “We’ll determine the appropriate action if there is any needed.”
And while the Burgos couple told 9News that they “hope that other families don’t get treated the way we did,” they have mostly been criticized for their diaper changing actions.
“Why would anyone want to change a diaper in public where food is being served?” one commenter wrote on the station’s Facebook page. “I used to change my twins in the car or in the restroom on my diaper pad.”
Another commenter said: “GROSS. People are eating and drinking within feet of the diaper change, and between the smell and the mental image, what a way to ruin everyone else's experience.”
Most parents can relate to tricky diaper-changing situations and weighing the options: Do you do it on the bathroom floor? In your lap? In the car? Do you let the dirty diaper wait? And the issue often comes up on airlines, with some people against diaper changes on seats, or even tray tables.
What do you think? Was it OK for this couple to change their baby’s diaper in public? Where is the craziest place you have changed a diaper? Share your experience on our TODAY Moms Facebook page.