change table in a public bathroom
Leah Berenson
Leah Berenson
June 16, 2024 ·  4 min read

This Dad Called For More Change Tables in Men’s Rooms. Have We Made Progress?

Although few public places are designed for people with children, women have a surprisingly easier time in public than their male counterparts. For example, women have changing tables in their restrooms to easily change diapers while shopping or running other errands. However, it’s far less common to find change tables in men’s rooms. While not the only father to encounter this obstacle, Donte Palmer, spoke out, calling for action to provide the same resources for dads too.

Calling for Change Tables in Men’s Rooms

Dante Palmer was a teacher and father of 3 when he brought to light an issue. One that he’d been facing for some time. In 2018, while living in St. Augustine, Florida, he and his family went out to dinner. They opted for a popular restaurant chain, Texas Roadhouse, when Liam, 1-year old, began to get fussy. “That’s when I realized he was either hungry or needed a Pamper change,” Donte explained. “So, I did what any parent does and took him to the bathroom.”

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A post shared by Donte M. Palmer (@realdontepalmer)

Older brother Isaiah also accompanied the pair to the restroom. A frequent “family affair” as it’s not common to find change tables in men’s rooms, and Donte often needed an extra set of hands. Isaiah snapped a picture of the whole ordeal. They got back to the table, and Isaiah showed them the picture.

Read: Boy Gives Dad A Shirt He Sewed Himself And The Precious Exchange Has Gone Viral

A Movement for Change Tables in Men’s Rooms

Although it came across as a little comical, it certainly created a movement to incorporate change tables in men’s rooms. Donte’s wife jokingly pointed out something worth highlighting. “We as women, we don’t have to come up with creative ways to change a diaper, and you have to get a ninja squad to change Liam.” She told him. The image went viral, sparking the #SquatforChange movement. Donte now has nearly 10,000 followers and has gone from being a teacher to a self-published author and motivational speaker.

Following the wave of responses supporting change tables in men’s rooms, another father from Montreal, Canada, pointed out his own struggles. His frustrated pleas inspired Tim Hortons to put change tables in men’s rooms all throughout Canada. Meanwhile, New York announced a law that took effect on New Year’s Day of 2019. Meaning all newly built or newly remodeled buildings must include change tables in men’s rooms.

The importance of installing change tables in men’s rooms, otherwise known as the #SquatforChange movement, drew in even more attention as dads also want to spend more time with their kids, sharing parenting responsibilities like diaper changes, but also bonding with their children through these acts.

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A post shared by Donte M. Palmer (@realdontepalmer)

Partnering for Change

In 2019, John Legend partnered with Pampers and Koala Kare after they presented him with their campaign to encourage more dads to change more diapers. “We really started getting behind the idea of dads having diaper duty and that being a part of co-parenting,” he explained. “They came together to say, ‘You know what? We’re encouraging dads to change diapers and be active parts of the parenting duties, but a lot of times, the facilities aren’t built for that to happen.’” The campaign included a plan to install 5,000 change tables in men’s rooms all across America by 2021.

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A post shared by Donte M. Palmer (@realdontepalmer)

Before the end of 2019, more than 600 had been installed. Although it still hasn’t become a nationwide requirement, change tables in men’s rooms have become increasingly more popular, including an alternative that in many places is called a “family bathroom”.

Things have changed over the past several decades. Consequently, dads enjoy more time with their kids than they once did. According to one 2016 study, the average is about 8 hours more per week. Some of the most common reasons for this spike in quality time may include stay-at-home dads, shared custody, or dads working from home. As such, it’s becoming more important that fathers to have access to resources, such as changing tables in men’s rooms. Moreover, for dads in crisis or seeking community support, the Child Welfare Office has a website full of local programs.

Keep Reading: After His Son Is Called A ‘Monster,’ Idaho Dad Teaches Bullies A Brutal Lesson

Sources

  1. Changing Tables.” Pampers October 29, 2019.
  2. Pampers pledges to install 5,000 baby changing tables in men’s restrooms across the U.S.CNN Scottie Andrew and Saeed Ahmed. June 11, 2019.
  3. A Dad’s Instagram Has Gone Viral For Showing The Struggle Of Not Having Changing Tables In Men’s Restrooms.Buzz Feed. Tanya Chen. October 1, 2018.
  4. John Legend Wants Dads to Be ‘Active’ in Diaper Duty by Adding Changing Tables in Men’s Rooms.People. Joelle Goldstein June 11, 2019
  5. New York law requires changing tables in public men’s bathrooms.USA Today. Ashley May January 4, 2019.
  6. Are changing tables in all public men’s restrooms now?Healthy Children. Dipesh Navsaria