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Bring your quarters.

If You Want to Change Your Kid at Nordstrom, Bring a Stack of Quarters

I don’t have children, and have changed a limited number of diapers over the course of my life. But “charging money for bathroom changing tables” brought up a limited number of Google hits—mostly this exchange on a BabyCenter message board about a Walmart—so here we are.

I took this photo recently in a men’s room at the Nordstrom in the Galleria. What you see is a $1.00 fee to change your kid on the changing table. Other, free options, should you find yourself quarter-less with a less-than-crapless child:

– strip your kid naked, bath bottom half in the sink
– change diaper on the floor of the shoe section
– Leave? I don’t know. Again, I don’t have kids.

Does this seem completely unreasonable to others? Or am I just overreacting? Or am I completely misunderstanding this and a genie pops out and lends a hand for a buck?

UPDATE: I’m an idiot, as we all expected. Comment:

Hi there, Emily from Nordstrom here. We saw your post (and your tweet) and wanted to follow up. What you’re seeing here is actually a diaper dispenser (we offer those for $1). Our changing tables are located next to the diaper dispenser and are free for moms and dads to use in times of need! Hope this clears up any confusion.”

  • Keith

    With their everyday low prices, they can’t afford to allow you to use their changing table for free. Economics 101.

  • lawyermom2

    I think that machine is to buy a diaper for $1 not to use the changing areas. It’s like a tampon machine in a ladies’ room. As a veteran of Nordstrom “mothers’ rooms” I can assure you they don’t charge to use the diaper table.

  • BradfordPearson

    I thought that, too, but I tried the handle and it didn’t work, and there was no separate changing table that I could see. User error is a possibility, though.

  • lawyermom2

    maybe take some quarters next time and solve this mystery once and for all? I’ve never tried to buy a diaper from them but I could see a dad who arrives unprepared being grateful for having that option…

  • Brett Moore

    That is ridiculous.

    However, since the little stick figure is wearing a skirt, and this was taken in the men’s room, I applaud the management and custodial staff of Nordstrom’s for being so accepting of alternate lifestyles.

  • ItsMe

    alternate lifestyles nothing, this pay table is obviously being marketed towards the Scottish – the stick figure is clearly wearing a kilt.

  • Nicky Martinez

    If it’s for buying a diaper, no problem. If it’s for use of a changing table, then I’m laying my kid out on the checkout counter and changing the diaper there. In my experience, that’s probably more sanitary anyway.

  • Dubious Brother

    It is in the mens room so it must be a condom machine. The little picture is a warning of what happens if you don’t use one.

  • doug

    I think that’s a diaper machine, which is actually a very positive thing to have in the men’s room. Did you look around to see if there was a separate changing table somewhere in the room, perhaps in the handicap stall. Bet there was.

  • LJT

    No, that is for a diaper changing kit. Nordstrom was the only place I would change my baby except in an emergency. They have lovely padded changing tables – not the filthy, flip down from the wall stations seen elsewhere.

  • BradfordPearson

    I will report back next time I’m there.

  • Emily

    Hi there, Emily from Nordstrom here. We saw your post (and your tweet) and wanted to follow up. What you’re seeing here is actually a diaper dispenser (we offer those for $1). Our changing tables are located next to the diaper dispenser and are free for moms and dads to use in times of need! Hope this clears up any confusion.

  • Dubious Brother

    Is there a diaper dispenser in the ladies room as well or are Dads assumed to be the ones that would be without?

  • RangerGirl

    I’m having trouble typing because I’m laughing so hard at your “UPDATE”! YAY Nordstrom!

  • #puzzled&confused

    I was told about this article by a fellow Nordstrom shopper and felt obligated to respond. First, there needs to be some level of intellect that must be possessed by people before being allowed to write any article to avoid this kind of ridiculousness. Second, at least check your facts first. The picture that you posted is of a dispenser of a diaper “kit” that provides someone in need with the supplies to address an emergency. The picture on the dispenser is an internationally recognized symbol and I would hope not too complicated for one to understand or “overthink” it. The actual changing table is located next to the dispenser and can be used by anyone in need for no charge ( I know because I have used at this store). People are certainly not obligated to purchase a diaper to use the table, and frankly, to think so is ludicrous. I hope in the future, you are more thorough in you preparation, don’t be afraid to ask a question, I’m sure anyone that works at that store would have been more than happy to clear up your confusion.