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Taking your baby out in public is good for parents and little ones, and means you'll be changing your baby's diaper while away from home. It's not unreasonable for parents to expect that family-friendly spaces will have a changing table available, but all too often, one segment of parents finds there's no table they can access.

Dads are calling for more changing tables in men's rooms. Father of three Donte Palmer is the latest dad to call attention to the issue through a now viral Instagram post.

The photo (snapped by Palmer's older son) shows the proud dad balancing in squat in a restaurant restroom stall, trying to change his 1-year-old son's diaper on his lap because there was no changing table available. "Clearly we do this often because look how comfortable my son is," he wrote in his caption. "It's routine to him!!!! Let's fix this problem!"

Seriously, Palmer is so right, and unfortunately, he's hardly the first father to draw attention to this issue. In 2015, Ashton Kutcher started a petition calling for changing tables in men's rooms.

"As a new dad, I recently learned an unfortunate reality about changing diapers while out in public with a child," Kutcher wrote on Change.org back then. "Almost all public changing tables are in women's bathrooms, which makes it nearly impossible to find a table that's accessible to dads."

The next year the Bathrooms Accessible in Every Situation Act (the BABIES Act) was signed into law in the United States, requiring changing tables in all men's' and women's restrooms in public federal buildings, but there's nothing requiring public buildings like malls and restaurants to install changing facilities in men's rooms.

That's why dads like Palmer have to get creative when changing their children, and it's not cool. One father, Christopher Mau, went viral earlier this year after sharing a photo of how he had to change his daughter on the floor of a public bathroom. It's not exactly the kind of surface any parent wants to put their baby (or even their blanket) on.

"It's 2018; dads change diapers," Webb told CBC News.

The stats back these dads up. Today's fathers spend three times as much time with their children as men did two generations ago, and they are changing a lot more diapers, too. Back in 1982, 43% of fathers admitted they'd never changed a diaper. Today, that number is down to about 3%, and that's great, because research indicates that when dads dress, diaper and bathe their babies, the father-child relationship grows stronger.

Dads like Palmer, Mau and Webb are bonding with their babies while they change diapers, and they need changing tables to do it, and yet, it seems many businesses and internet commenters feel they don't.

Palmer told Yahoo Lifestyle that some have questioned why his wife couldn't just change the diaper in the women's restroom. "People have commented that my wife is 'lazy' for not changing our baby's diaper or that I could have changed him in the car but why should I?" he explains.

The world needs to learn what this father of three already knows: It's not always mama's turn to change the diaper.

Here's too all the dads like Palmer who go to extremes to change a diaper. We see you. 👏

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Back when my husband and I were creating our wedding registry, it was a fun, low-pressure opportunity to select some new dishes and linens. After all, I knew a thing or two about stocking my home and making the "wrong decision" with thread count was the only thing that posed any risk to my sleep at night.

Fast-forward a few years to when I created a baby registry before the birth of my first child—and I found the experience to have a much steeper learning curve. Unlike those sheets, it felt like a bad swaddle or bassinet selection would be catastrophic. Unsure of what to expect from motherhood or my baby, I leaned heavily on advice from friends who already ventured into parenthood. (Starting with their reminders to take deep breaths!)

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Now a mom of three little ones under the age of four, I'm happy to be in a position to pass along some baby registry wisdom.

Go shopping with a veteran parent

As first-time parents, my husband and I barely knew the difference between a bouncer and a swing, let alone what specific features we would want. So when a mom friend recommended we head to Walmart to build my registry together—because she found them to carry the trendy brands she loved AND make registering a breeze during her pregnancy—I leapt at the chance.

By walking through the aisles together and actually getting to see the products, I was much more confident in my registry selections. Thanks to that quick, in-store tutorial from my friend, I understood exactly how to match a perfect infant car seat with an extra base and stroller—which is something I would have been clueless about on my own.

Include items at a variety of price points

When it comes down to it, a registry is really a wish list. So, while I had a personal budget for a stroller if it had to come out of my own pocket, this was an opportunity for me to ask for the stroller of my dreams. And, wouldn't you know it? A few family members went in on it together, which made a bigger price tag much more manageable.

At the same time, it's nice to include some of the smaller ticket items that are absolutely essential. I can't even begin to tell you how grateful I was to skip buying my own diapers for those first few weeks. (With super cute patterns, these are also surprisingly fun to give, too!)

Think about the gifts you would like to give

The first time I bought a mom-to-be a gift after my own child was born, I knew immediately what to look for on her registry: a diaper bag backpack, which I had come to have very strong opinions about after battling falling straps with my first diaper bag. This allowed me to feel like I had a personal touch in my gift, even if I brought one pre-selected by her.

I also appreciate it when my friends clearly incorporate their style into their registry choices, like with adorable baby outfits or nursery decor—and there's no sweeter "thank you" than a picture from a friend showing your gift in use.

Ask for things to grow with your child

Even though it's called a baby registry, there's no need to limit yourself to gifts to use before their first birthday. (To this day, I still have people who attended my baby shower to thank for the convertible bed that my oldest child sleeps in!) Knowing that, I would have included more options with long lifespans into my registry—namely, a baby carrier that can be used during the newborn months, baby months and well into the toddler years. A well-designed baby carrier would have saved my back from serious pain because it would have allowed me to comfortably and ergonomically carry my toddler as she made her way into the 25lb+ club. One brand that's designed to grow with your baby and accommodates 7-45 pounds (up to about four years old) and offers both inward and forward-facing positions is Ergobaby. With several different design and style options, you can easily find one that caters to your parenting needs. From an all-in-one carrier, like the Omni 360, that grows with baby from the newborn stages into the toddler years or a newborn-specific carrier, like the Embrace (and don't worry you can later upgrade to a carrier for an older baby, I recommend the 360 Carrier). The best part? All ergonomic designs are supportive and comfortable for both baby and parent, offering extra lumbar support with breathable, lightweight mesh styles. Everyone (even grandparents!) can get a kick out of babywearing, which is a nice and welcomed break for parents. Having one of these on my registry would have certainly made those first few years so much easier.

Motherly is your daily #momlife manual; we are here to help you easily find the best, most beautiful products for your life that actually work. We share what we love—and we may receive a commission if you choose to buy. You've got this.

This article was sponsored by Ergobaby. Thank you for supporting the brands that support Motherly and mamas.


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