Nursing Rooms in South Korea
Originally published at travel.joogostyle.com.
“Where can I feed my nursing toddler?” That was the question pressing on my heart before our trip to Seoul. Jeju is easy because I can just latch her in the car we rented for our 4D3N trip. I searched online and found very little information about nursing rooms in South Korea.
Hence, to help fellow nursing mothers, I have listed all the nursing rooms I visited in Seoul and Jeju airport. These rooms have adjacent diaper changing stations, and in some cases, cots for your baby to nap in! Few of these rooms even provide breastfeeding pillow.
Nursing Rooms at Nami Island
Having said that, my hubby and I think that Seoul is not a baby friendly travel destination. We see the efforts made to accommodate baby travel, but sometimes they feel half-hearted. That’s a story for another post!
For now, a good tip for travelling with an infant or young toddler is to plan ahead. Find out on where you can nurse and change diaper so you wouldn’t waste time searching for these places at destination. Sometimes, it can be hard to find. Of course, there will be last minute feeds and changes. In that case, just ask where’s the “baby room” and most Koreans will get you.
Diaper Changing Stations at Lotte Department Store
Jeju Airport (Departure)
- Departure Hall: I went to the nursing room at the domestic flights wing and it’s near an escalator. According to Jeju Airport’s website, you can find their two nursing rooms on the 3rd Floor:
- Domestic Flights Wing: To the left of the Departure Entrance
- International Flights Wing: Within the Isolated Waiting Room (I’m not sure what this means)
- Checked-in: We wanted to change diaper before we boarded the plane. Good thing we found a baby room (without nursing area) near our departing gate. It is in between the male and female toilets with no directional sign. (Photo below)
Incheon Airport Terminal 2 (Arrival)
- Arrival Hall: Once you collect your luggage and exit the gate, you should find it on your left. There’s a big Pororo decal on the glass entrance.
Gimpo airport (Arrival)
- Arrival (Luggage Belts): At the area where you collect your luggage, the nursing room is near the toilets.
There is a nursing room at every subway station, though I can only verify for those I visited. This is a good attempt by the government to promote breastfeeding, albeit seemingly a hasty campaign. Some looked as if they were converted from other rooms instead of made to be nursing rooms. They do appear at awkward places, like inside the management office. Nursing rooms in big stations can also be so blended in or hidden that you have to search for it. That explains the banner display to direct mothers.
At City Hall Station
Not only that, rooms are locked all the time! That probably explains why these rooms are under-utilised. People might have assumed someone is inside and taking a long time. Or like me, I thought the nursing room is not for use when I first tried to open a station’s nursing room.
In my second attempt, desperate this time, I asked the cleaner who was nearby to open the door for me. Turned out, you have to approach the train station staff for the keys! And mind you, these staff or their office can sometimes be hard to find! There’s intercom for the one at City Hall Station though.
As such, very few people use these rooms. I can’t recall a time when the nursing room was in use, or had someone queuing after me. And a few rooms feel dusty even! Hence I totally agree with the findings in this article, ‘Little Traffic at Nursing Rooms in Korea‘.
- City Hall Station: Beside the management office. Intercom at door. Staff will open from the inside. Sofa, diaper changing station, cot, and microwave.
- Itaewon Station: Inside management office. Sofa, diaper changing station, and wash basin.
- Seoul Station: We wanted to use the nursing room but remembering the article by sg.theasianparent.com, “nursing rooms in THIS place are dirtier than toilet lids“, we decided to wait out till we reach our next stop, Shinsegae Department Store. Good move.
- Yongsan Station: Refer to above article.
- Gapyeong Station
- Gimyujeong Station
Malls and Tourist Attractions
Nursing Room at Lotte Department Store
Nursing rooms at malls and tourist attractions are cleaner and more well-equipped, with more parents and babies around too. My favourite baby lounges are in the department stores. Yes, lounge is a befitting word for them. It’s more than wow and better than any you can find in Singapore. For starters, there’s a staff stationed at the entrance to greet and guide you and attend to your needs.
Diaper Changing Stations at Shinsegae Department Store
- Lotte Department Store (Level 7)
- Dim out nursing room
- Diaper changing stations with liner for the mat (provided at the side)
- Room with cots for baby to nap in
- Pantry with microwave, hot water, UV sterilizer, air filter and B&B washing products.
- Baby chairs for feeding
- Sofa for parents to rest
- Baby food restaurant and play area outside the baby lounge
Cots at Lotte Department Store
- Shinsegae Department Store (Level 7)
- Individual nursing rooms
Diaper changing stations with individual wash basin, shower head, and other baby products
Pantry with hot water, B&B washing products, etc.
Baby chairs available for feeding
Sofa for parents to rest
Baby High Chairs at Shinsegae Department Store
- Nami Island
- 1 Nursing Room Outside the Island: Customer Service Center
- 5 Nursing Rooms On the Island: Tourism Bureau, The Song Museum, UNICEF Hall, Picture Book Library, and Hotel Jeonggwanru.
- We went to the one at picture book library, 2nd floor. A nice place for toddlers (we saw teenagers) to play around in the indoor playground and, read books from the library.
- Children’s Grand Park
- Coming from the subway station (there’s one at the station), the nursing room is near the information center.
- Many others peppered around the park.
Diaper Changing Stations at Nami Island
- Around Gyeongbukgung (Palace)
- National Palace Museum of Korea: The room is at Level 1, you have to go down one level from the main entrance. Hot drinking water and wash basin available.
- National Folk Museum: The room within the children’s museum. Simple set up for nursing and diaper change. No wash basin available.
- National Museum of Modern and Contemporary Art: Opposite one of the palace entrances. Diaper changing table inside handicap toilet.
Play area outside Lotte’s Baby Lounge
Please let me know if you want to add on to this list or if you spot any discrepancy. I tried my best to record the location details while visiting these rooms. However, I might have missed out some information because of the active baby on hand!
For more about my travels in Seoul and Jeju, be sure to bookmark my Itinerary of South Korea.