Friday, 12 February 2016

Why are there no baby change facilities for Dads?

During our most recent overnight nephew sitting stint, I was disgusted – in more ways than one, two being the operative number – to find no changing facilities I could use.

There were no baby-changing facilities in the mens toilets.  These were only available in the ladies and the disabled toilet areas.  The disabled area was actually locked, and I hadn’t the right genitals to access the other.

This at a soft-play centre, where you’d have thought men with children wasn’t a unique phenomenon.

I ended up doing a ‘stand up’ change in a gent’s toilet stall.

Not being a regular nappy changer these days, I was under the naïve belief that we’d made progress in accepting that parents come with all shapes and sizes.

I didn’t give it a moment’s thought when I set off to find the baby change facilities.

10 years ago when I was changing nappies all day everyday baby change access was mixed.  I can remember one occasion where I was forced to use the facilities in the ladies toilets, and that I got a very mixed reaction from the females also using the facilities that day.

Get out of the ladies toilets!

Changing a child’s nappy in the wild of Consumerton can be a stressful experience at the best of times, it doesn’t need to be made more blood pressure increasing with accusations of being a pervert.

It’s ridiculous that the world has not moved with the times, but I’m delighted to learn that a fellow parent blogger is doing something about it.

Al, who set up The Dad Network, is so fed up of, erm, crap baby-changing facility access for men, he's started a campaign to get it improved.

Check out his real life experiences with this video.

Finding Dad friendly facilities

He’s also created an interactive map of all dad friendly venues, and dad unfriendly facilities throughout the UK.

You can add any places you find that are dad friendly or unfriendly, and I’ve added mine.

This should end up as a great resource, and also as a great tool to add pressure to for all to operate a better fits all carers model when it comes to installing baby change facilities.

I hope Al’s efforts have a positive outcome and as a result men up and down the country are better able to change nappies when they are out for the day with their little ones.