Did you do a double take? Was your reaction “Awwww Loooook! A dad changing his son's diaper. How sweet! Whoa! Wait a minute? Is he squatting in a bathroom?” At least that should have been your reaction. September 23 Donte Palmer, a Jacksonville, FL school teacher, husband and father of 3 posted his frustration about doing what he normally does... change a diaper. However, that’s pretty hard to do when there’s no changing station. When he posted about it he also created the hashtag #squatforchange to encourage other dads (and mommies) who experience this in public restrooms.
Now, as a mom of 3 with my youngest being a 7 year old, it’s been a while. But I can remember being out and about, asking my husband to change our son’s diaper only to have him return and have me do it because there’s no changing table in the men’s restroom. Listen, my husband isn’t the “squatting” type but he’s had to be pretty creative when mommy wasn’t around.
Actor Ashton Kutcher got so fed up he started a petition in 2015 that received over 100k signatures, sparking change for both Costco and Target issuing a statements to committing to add changing stations in all of their public restrooms for their newly remodeled and newly built stores (Now, I’d love to run to the nearest Target men’s restroom to fact check but I don’t want to get weird stares. So if you are a male and happen to be a Target, be a dear and run in there for me to see if it’s true and comment on this post. THANKS!!)
Rules, laws, and regulations
Okay, all is not lost. In fact President Obama signed the BABIES Act in October 2016 requiring all government run public buildings to have baby changing stations in their restrooms. This is a big step! But it’s only the first step. And we have seen many of the venues we partner with promoting family restrooms and with (so I hear) many of them having changing stations IN the men’s restrooms. If you are one of our awesome venues that have changing stations for all members of the family please comment on this post! We want to give you kudos!! There are a lot more public restrooms that need access to changing stations. Now, as event child care providers, this is a big deal for us. We meet so many amazing families with daddies who are just as involved as mommies. And we are HERE. FOR. IT!! WHY? Because our job is to bring as much as the family experience on site so that guests can continue to enjoy themselves stress free at events.
So, what can we do? Let’s keep bringing awareness. We are in not affiliation with Koala changing stations but we happen to see them often in the public restrooms we visit. If you are a venue that may not have access to changing stations in both restrooms, you can purchase one for as little as $300. If you do add a changing station, we’d love to see it!! Send us your photos of it being installed. So let’s it going. Help the cause. If you so happen to be out and notice no changing table in a public restroom take a photo #squatforchange and then ask a manager if they are aware of this issue. They might be able to share with you what they offer to families, or they might say, “Thanks! We didn’t realize that! One thing I’ve grown to notice as a business owner is to never assume anything. Your sweet reminder might be just the thing to get that changing table in there so mommies AND daddies can share in the joys (or not-so-joys) of diaper changing!