Dads launch revolution for more diaper-changing facilities in men's rest rooms
Changing diapers is not just the job of moms, but dads who want to pitch in on the messy work sometimes get frustrated by the lack of facilities for them to do so. Women's public rest rooms usually have changing tables, but that's not always true in men's rooms.
Some fathers are fighting back, and lawmakers in several states are helping them.
Ten-month-old Emma needs to be changed. She knows it and now, thanks to her loud wailing, her father knows it, too. So he pops into the men's room at a department store.
"All right Emma, there's no changing table here," he said.
It was the start of a frustrating day. A restaurant bathroom did not have a changing table, and neither did several other locations. Most men's rooms don't have them, although many women's rest rooms do. Is that really fair? Modern dads are forced to get creative.
In this case, Emma's dad placed a packable changing station on a bathroom floor to change his daughter's diaper.
"It's pretty crazy," he admitted.
Dads across the country are sounding off, from Facebook where "the rookie dad" calls it "incredibly frustrating" to blogs like "Dads who change diapers" where someone writes, "let's stop the madness and just frequent the places that cater to our ever-growing needs."
Some public places are getting it right. A pizza restaurant in Dallas, Texas has a baby changing table in the men's room.
"This is completely about equality on multiple fronts," said Ricardo Lara, a California state lawmaker who just introduced legislation to mandate changing tables in men's rooms in all new public buildings.
"We should be able to provide a safe, clean space for both men and women to be able to change their children," he said.
He's not alone. Similar bills have already been passed in Pittsburgh and Miami.
Moms are in full support of this dad revolution.
"It's not fair that I'm always the one who has to change the baby when we are out shopping or at a restaurant," said Samantha Braid, mother.
Inside NBC headquarters at 30 Rock in New York, only one men's rest room has a changing table.
The bill in the California legislature is up for a vote Tuesday.