We were coming back from my sister's wedding. It was the second of two flights from Nelson to Tauranga when I felt what I thought was a familiar abdominal clenching from our four-month-old boy, who was otherwise happily sitting on my lap.

It's a short flight (about 20 minutes) from Auckland to Tauranga, so there isn't long between take-off and landing.

Because I couldn't tell for certain and we were starting the descent where you can't walk
about, I decided it would wait the five or ten minutes until landing.


Then, an unmistakable stench.

I was almost gagging. What the hell has happened to my baby? Mortified and mulling over my options, I then got a glimpse ahead. It was the child in front.

A couple was changing their baby's pooey nappy right there in the seat in the middle of the plane. I don't know what that kid had eaten but it smelled like Satan made it. I sort of feel like poo is definitely a toilet or bathroom situation.

Unless you're at home or a friend's house - who most likely is in the baby stage too and says it's okay to change them elsewhere - you take it away.

Especially if the child is on solids because even if it comes out of a tiny bum, you're basically dealing with adult poo in a public place.

It didn't smell like they had a bag for that stinker either and so we had to just sit there
inhaling poo stench and knowing everyone else on the plane would probably assume it was my baby.

I don't care much for the scorn of strangers but this felt personal. Another time I watched a mum at a playground changing her baby's dirty nappy on a square platform that people sit on but also use like a picnic table.

Is it weird that I don't have a problem with a nappy change on the grass beside it, because
that's out of eye level? People can look around and see you hunched over your baby and assume what is happening without getting an eyeful.


Worse than any of that, there was a perfectly good change table in the public toilets just
metres away.

It seems as though some parents think their babies are too precious for public toilets. I'm no angel on the public nappy change myself, having changed my babies' bums on my
own car seats and in my car boot, strategically trying to cover the view using my body so no poor person has to be subjected to anything gross as they innocently walk or drive down the street. But that's slightly more discrete and out of everyone else's space.

I don't know the plane couple or their situation.

Giving them the benefit of the doubt, maybe the kid's nappy was a leaker and they were
forced to act before things got even worse. But as soon as you open that nappy, you're taking a three-row stench to row 16.

Anyone with kids will know about the "surprise poos" that sometimes happen. Who knows
how long they have been there?

It's not the end of the world to let your baby take one for the team for the sake of 50 other people and let them sit in a dirty nappy for 10 minutes. No, it's not going to be great for those closest, but it's a hell of a lot better for everyone else.