Why aren’t men’s public restrooms equipped with changing tables?
Donte Palmer asked the same question. His Instagram post went viral, garnering over 8,000 likes (at the time this post was published) and for good reason.
The New York Post has more:
Donte Palmer is fed up with the lack of changing tables in men’s restrooms.
The Florida father of three took to Instagram last month after he was forced — yet again — to change his 1-year-old son, Liam, across his lap. Not unlike many other public spaces, Palmer said the restaurant he and his family were eating at lacked a changing table in the men’s bathroom.
“This is a serious post!!! What’s the deal with not having changing tables in men’s bathroom as if we don’t exist!!” Palmer, 31, of St. Augustine, wrote in a post which has since garnered more nearly 6,000 likes.
“Clearly we do this often because look how comfortable my son is. It’s routine to him!” he added.
Palmer said his 12-year-old son followed him to the restroom to help with the changing process. The young boy began to snap pictures of his dad changing the 1-year-old in a squatting position, though Palmer wasn’t aware of this at the time. After viewing the images, Palmer decided to take to social media to plead for a “fix” to this problem.
“I’m fighting for all fathers,” Palmer told Fox News on Tuesday. “It’s one of those times where society portrays these gender roles, women are supposed to cook and clean and take care of the babies — but if I truly love my wife, let me serve her and help her.”
“Dads are more than protectors and providers,” he added, noting he created the hashtag #SquatforChange to create awareness.
In 2017, legislation was passed mandating changing tables in men’s restrooms. The bill, Bathrooms Accessible in Every Situation (BABIES) Act was limited in scope and only applied to federal buildings. It was a small step, but a step in the right direction.
From Smithsonian Magazine:
Today, the thought of staying home because you’re afraid your baby will need a diaper change seems laughable—thanks in part to the availability of public changing stations. But the idea of changing tables for men has taken longer to catch on, despite the fact that, according to the CDC, nine out of 10 fathers who live with children under age five bathe, diaper or dress them daily or several times a week. A TODAY survey of fathers in 2014 found that 54 percent of dads with infants change their babies’ diapers, compared with just 37 percent of those dads’ fathers. And with a rising number of stay-at-home dads and an increasing convergence between child-rearing responsibilities, the need for public facilities for fathers with infants will likely continue to grow.