Last year, my son and I went undercover in the restaurants and cafes of our hometown, to find out what baby change facilities there were available to me, as a dad. I was horrified to find that 4 major companies failed to provide me with a safe & clean place to change my baby's nappy.
The video we made received a lot of attention and 1 of those major restaurant chains pledged to make baby change facilities available to dads in every one of their restaurants nationwide.
Since then we've been on Good Morning Britain & BBC Radio to discuss the issue as well as thousands of parents add 'dad-friendly' change facilities to our interactive map.
We're not done with this, however. With the political eruption from across the pond, President Barack Obama will say farewell to the White House and, as a parting gesture, has introduced a new law so that every public male toilet in the US will have a baby changing facility. A small step perhaps, but one we hope will be repeated in the UK.
A tiny fraction of men's toilets in the UK have baby changing facilities, yet almost 700,000 men become fathers each year and a further 1 million have children under two. That means this is an important issue of equality amongst parents. At what point was it acceptable to provide baby changing facilities for mum, but not dad.
Since 2012, leading nappy cream brand Sudocrem has campaigned for better baby change facilities with an award scheme to recognise the importance of good nappy changing facilities in public places and this year, the Sudocrem Care & Protect Baby Changing Room Awards has a new category for male toilets. Finally!
There are four categories for this year's award scheme:
- Family Hotel/Holiday Park
- Dad's Toilet.
The dads baby changing facilities take centre stage, and it's about time! It's crazy that baby changing facilities are normally in the ladies' toilets and genuinely feels like a throwback to the fifties when men weren't expected to change a nappy or take an active role in parenting.
Let's hope this changes sooner rather than later!