Baby changing facilities - dads need to use them too!(19 Posts)
help1 i'm trying to be a hands-on dad and finding it hard as many baby changing facilities i've found are in ladies loos.
not much use to me, or junior!
anyone got any recommendations for good listings or even an app or something for this?
no. but can i encourage you to raise this with every store or shopping centre/ recreation centre/ public facility where you find this is a problem?
the more men that make a noise about it the better imo. and write to your council.
if only women whinge about it, nothing will ever change. and far too many dads hand over the baby and changing bag with a gleeful grin as this is a great cop out and proves the 'women's work' point.
ask at every information centre you see for a dad friendly baby change.
if it helps, most of the newer shopping centres do tend to have a separate family room for changing etc now. but it still needs to be made clear.
There is an nct baby change app that's free.
Go in anyway! I often see blokes changing nappies in wherever the change table is - I figure if it's OK to change nappies in the disabled loo if there's a change table, then the same applies to ladies/gents toilets.
I know it's a pain - the only time I've posted in AIBU was when my partner was told he wasn't allowed to change ds's nappy as the change table was in the ladies.
Eventually got a letter from Pizza Express saying they were putting more change tables in. No apology or vouchers though.
To the OP.
I feel your frustration there. When my girls were younger I often found the same issues as you. As a stay at home dad who was often shopping and doing things with the kids there was no other option but to use whatever changing facilitys were available. I got sworn at, threatened, praised and even taken out to lunch. Sometime as a hands on dad you will need to be pretty hardheaded and stubborn ..... But the effort is more than worth it to be able to have all those precious moments with your children.
Definitely go in anyway! It's only the prudery of the Victorians that means we have separate facilities and it's not like you're going to be barging into a cubicle where some poor lady's got her pants round her ankles! I'm certain that not a single woman in any ladies' loo you went into would object to a man coming in to change his baby's nappy.
The disabled loo is often doubled up as the baby change (which is a whole other thread and wrong IMHO as then we baby changers are cluttering up facilities needed for baby changers). Be like Richard E Grant in Jack and Sarah and go in anyway, demand to see the store manager if anyone makes a fuss.
I really feel for men in this regard, I had to call some poor new father (his first baby, only 3 weeks old - we got chatting) back into the baby room at John Lewis a couple of weeks ago - I was BFing and he went puce and tried to leave when he saw me. I told him we all needed to do what we needed to do and he had to get used to it.
FFS... just go into the ladies' loo. It's just a loo. The women there are taking a dump not frolicking about in the buff. No-one in their right mind is going to start screaming or anything. In extremis I've used gents loos in the past.
Unfortuantly on ocaision you do get the odd woman who will scream shout and swear(by personal experiance). On the other hand most Women are either not fussed or happy to accomodate the changing of a baby by a male carer.
Just use the ladies then. That's what I tell DH as I hand over the change bag
with glee. You won't see anything, we're all peeing behind cubicle doors.
My local John Lewis & Mothercare both have baby changing rooms. When we're out together DH nearly always does the nappy changes, unless the changing facilities are in the ladies' loo. Starbucks, Costa etc often seem to have unisex loos with babychange facilities.
But yes, please complain when this isn't the case. It's completely unacceptable and men need to make it clear that they will use babychange facilities.
Lots of places have 'Parent and Baby' rooms with chairs, change mats and loos for kids plus space for buggies. There is a marked improvement on these facilities being introduced.
If you go somewhere without a Parent room or without changing facilities in the mens loos then use wherever the changing facilities are
I know if I walked into the ladies loos and there was a bloke in there changing his baby, Id be well impressed, and probably have a winge with him about the lack of suitable facilities. It would not put me off using the loo.
I'm going to buck the trend of the advice you've been given here and say you shouldn't use the ladies. It is indeed wrong that there are insufficient dad friendly changing places. And please do complain to everywhere you find non dad friendly ones. But do not take the words of a few MNers as gospel and think peoPle won't mind seeing you in the ladies as there are people who will. Hopefully the app will help(and maybe you could start a specific dad friendly one!) One thing I've tried when looking for somewhere quiet to feed ds is going into a clothes store fitting room, you could do the same for nappy changing. And also avoid the mistake my dh sometimes makes- always leave the house/wherever you've last been that has decent facilities with an clean nappy on baby! You will minimise outside nappy changes this way...
Muslimah28, may I ask why you would be unhappy with a man using changing facilities in the ladies', I personally see no problem with this given that cubicles are provided for privacy and all he would see would be women washing their hands at the open sink area.
I imagine, given her name that she is muslim and might want to adjust her headscarf and not been seen doing this by a man? Maybe?
But she could do that in the privacy of a cubicle or wait until the man has finished changing his child and left.
pipoca is right, its about me taking my hijab off, not just to adjust but also to do ablutions if i need to pray while out. however i'm not saying that a man shouldn't go into a toilet just because a muslim woman may be in there as i wouldn't impose my religious beliefs on others like that. this is a much wider issue as i hinted at in my post- there are many people who will be offended by this. until we have unisex toilets everywhere which i can't see happening, then ladies toilets are for ladies and mens for mens. see here if you want to see a more mixed representation of views, rather than the one sided view here.
to get back to the original point there are other solutions. i mentioned one above. i've also done nappy changes on a car seat. and i would happily do one on the floor of a public toilet if it was clean (using my portable nappy change pat), or on the floor of a quiet corridor. and again, planning is key, doing nappy changes before its full if necessary if you've found a good place to change a nappy. also worth remembering that a changing table is not an essential piece of nappy changing kit...
To the OP. There is lots of good advice on this thread. However, even though changing facilities are becoming better and easier to find I have still been to plenty of restaurants and pubs where there are no proper facilities of any kind - space issues in the loos often.
I have found that usually where this is the case the staff will try their hardest to find you somewhere you can go to change your baby - I have used the floor of a storage cupboard before now, and staff in a pub once let me use a cubicle area with a table - it was away from the other customers. Sometimes it is best to look around yourself for a quiet place and then ask the staff if it is ok as they won't necessarily come up with ideas themselves, especially if they don't have children - no reason why they should.
In all these cases, a decent changing mat is your friend and preferably one with its own storage bag so that if the floor is dirty you don't have to put it back into your bag loose. If you don't already have one, the Boots free changing bag comes with such a mat (in black/grey so good for men) so, if you haven't already considered joining the Boots Parenting club, it might be worth doing so.
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