This week, New York City legislators passed a bill requiring changing tables in men’s bathrooms. This helps women by taking a stand against the idea that changing diapers is the moms job—and it helps dads who don’t have to resort to changing a stinker on their laps or the floor.
City Councilor Rafael Espinal introduced legislation after he noticed a dad changing his baby girl on the only available surface in a public washroom.
“It was terrible to see a father changing his child’s diaper on top of a public sink where hundreds of people wash their hands after using the restroom,” Espinal told the Huffington Post. “Parents should be changing their children’s diapers with a little more dignity, in a space that’s sanitary.”
As a mom, I cannot agree more. Having to change your baby in an area that’s not really intended for that is rough on everyone.
When Espinal (who doesn’t have kids himself and hadn’t experienced the dearth of change tables firsthand) started talking to his constituents about what he’d seen, parents advised him it was a problem for dads, and for moms, too, in some cases.
According to the Huffington Post, Espinal didn’t get any pushback from builders because the cost of adding change tables to a bathroom build is really low—which makes you wonder why developers just don’t do it in the first place. As per the legislation, the changing tables will be required in renovated men and women’s facilities.
Although New York is the first major American city to legislate public access to diaper changing station, it seems we’re moving in the right direction: Last year, President Obama signed the Babies Act into law, which mandates changing tables in the men’s and women’s restrooms of federally owned buildings.
So, when in doubt about where you can change that next blow out, your local post office may be the best bet for moms and dads. And baby, of course.