Parenting Equality: The Need for Changing Tables in All Men's Restrooms

Parenting Equality: The Need for Changing Tables in All Men's Restrooms

The changing table dilemma

As we approach Father’s Day this year and appreciate everything fathers do throughout the year, it’s important to look at one area where the deck is still stacked against dads - changing tables available to men.

There are still plenty of businesses that don’t provide any changing tables at all. And the ones that do often forget about the men’s restrooms. All the dads out there know exactly what I’m talking about.

So why does this continue to happen and why are businesses so slow to adapt?

The simple answer is that large chunks of society are stuck in the past.

A past where traditional gender roles are the standard.

A past who  believed changing dirty diapers is "women's work." 

A past where it wasn’t the dad’s “job” to change diapers. Modern dads do so much more and that includes taking their turn changing diapers. In fact, they might change more diapers than their wife, something that would have been unthinkable in previous generations.

Why is this still a thing in 2024?

Men’s restrooms are the last to get changing tables because it’s assumed that Mom will always be there to change the diaper, so there is no reason to hurry and put a changing table in the men’s restroom.

But that simply isn’t true any more.

Dads will take their kids out alone to give Mom a break. Or they may be stay-at-home dads who care for their kids while their wife works. They might be a single dad or part of the same-sex couple. Or they could just want to give their wife a break from diaper duty.

There are many reasons that changing tables are badly needed in the men’s restroom. But why in 2024, changing tables still lacking in men's restrooms? 

Calling for a change

This is not a new problem and not something that has gone unnoticed. In 2018, Donte Palmer, a dad of 3 went viral with his photo of awkwardly changing his son on his knees in the men’s room because there was no changing tablet at the restaurant. This led to him starting the #squatforchange movement that gained national recognition and led to him joining up with singer John Legend in the Love the Change campaign that helped put thousands of the changing stations in men’s restrooms across the midwest.

Before Dante, there was dad Scotty with his Dads Who Change Diapers support group. Plus, many other dad blogs like Overthinking Dad have written up about the lack of changing tables in restrooms throughout the years.

In 2015, Hollywood star Ashton Kutcher also spoke out on the issue calling on big retailers like Costco and Target to place changing tables in men’s restrooms.

Some success, but...

These movements have gathered great support over the years and there have been some success stories. You’re more likely to find changing tables in men’s restrooms of large chain businesses and restaurants and also more likely to find family bathrooms to use. But it is far from being a normal occurrence for most dads.

Will this cycle continues and future generation of dads create new movements because their public diaper changing needs are not met?

You betcha. 

So what do dads do when there’s no changing station?

Well there’s many options, none of them good.

Some dads decide to take control of the situation and go into the women's restroom to use the changing table there. Women are often understanding but that doesn’t change that it creates an awkward or surprising situation to be in.

Others will choose to squad like Donte; choose another undesirable option like the car or decide to just let them sit in their dirty diaper or worst... the bathroom floor as shown here by Matt Howard.

Personal experience

Hello! My name is Matt Hines and I co-founded Chikiroo Baby with my wife, Siska.

I’ve personally experienced this dilemma on many occasions with my two daughters. In fact, that fateful night that inspired my wife to invent Chikiroo was because I already knew that the restaurant did not have a changing table in the bathroom. Being a fan of craft beer and supporter of small businesses, changing tables are often hard to find. Those small business owners have to watch every expense and we completely get that. But we choose to support local, independent businesses despite that and we think you should too!

Chikiroo Baby family

That’s where Chikiroo fits in. Chikiroo allows you to not worry about choosing places that are “diaper change friendly” and go to the places you want to support. Chikiroo attaches to your body and allows you to change your baby wherever you stand. That could be in the bathroom, outdoors or just about anywhere. If you prefer to squat or sit while changing them, Chikiroo can also be used on your lap. Not only that but it can also be used on any flat surface in place of a changing pad.


Game changer for dads!

For me Chikiroo is a game changer for parents, especially dads. It puts you back in control of your choices rather than hoping that business owners will provide you with a safe diaper changing option. As a dad, Chikiroo allows me to take my turn changing diapers and be an equal part of the parenting team!

Shop Chikiroo Wearable Changing Station now!

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