Whether you call it a bathrom, restroom, or loo it’s a room we all need at some point. It’s annoying enough at home having to yell, “honey, can you grab me some toilet paper from the hall closet?” Being in a public restroom and having the same experience is worse.

Of course, there are other supplies a person could need in the restroom. Obviously you need soap and some way to dry your hands. But there are other things you might need. Hand lotion is common because hand washing dries out the skin. Less common but very thoughtful items would include menstrual supplies and baby supplies. I know my meeting provides these, and the offices I’ve worked in have had menstrual supplies.

I’m actually writing this because I had the unfortunate experience of suddenly needing menstrual supplies while visiting a different meeting. The bathrooms did not provide. Immediately after meeting, I begged a pad from a stranger. It took a while to find someone who had one. And in case anyone who doesn’t menstruate is confused by the urgency: you can’t just hold it in. It’s like a sudden nose bleed that lasts several days.

Now imagine a parent with a screaming baby suddenly realizing they forgot the diaper bag at home. Imagine it’s their first time at your meeting. Many people are self-conscious about their baby crying, especially with unprogrammed worship. Wouldn’t want them to be embarrassed and not return. So put baby supplies wherever your changing table is.

Including baby supplies and menstrual supplies shows you’ve considers the needs of a range of ages.

So, a starting list of supplies to stock in the bathroom:

  • toilet paper
  • hand soap
  • hand lotion
  • tampons
  • pads (don’t cheap out—the thin ones feel less diaper-like)
  • diapers in several sizes (a few adult ones like Depends wouldn’t go amiss either)
  • baby powder
  • wet wipes

And if you’re a meeting which aims to include transgender people, keep in mind that some men menstruate. If you have gendered restrooms, put some pads and tampons in the men’s room too.

Readers: anything else you’d suggest having available?