Baby Care

It’s Now Illegal To Have Men’s Bathrooms Without Change Tables

OK, don’t get too excited. It’s only in the state of New York, USA right now. But listen up Australia – men can and do change nappies and they deserve proper facilities. And this movement is growing.

From 1 January 2020, all new public men’s bathrooms in New York must have change tables for babies. Restaurants and shopping centres must retrofit change tables into existing bathrooms too.

What’s even more exciting for New York mums is THE BLOKES pushed for this change.

Dad’s change nappies too

It started with a hashtag on social media #squatforchange. Frustrated dads posted pictures of their struggle to change kids without change tables. Many found they were squatting down on the floor and lying their child across their knees. Others tried to put a blanket on the floor. Either method is gross and totally unfair.

Donte Palmer, is the New York Dad who started the #squatforchange movement. It was photos like this one, posted to Instagram that inspired other dads to share their frustration.

Dads change tables #squatforchange
New York dads have won the right to have change tables in men’s bathrooms. Photo: Donte Palmer

He was quickly joined by other dads.

The dads started fundraising to install change tables and to for policy change. The did viral squatting challenges and media interviews.

Companies and lawmakers take notice

Soon nappy companies and changetable manufacturers got on board. In 2019, lawmakers finally acted. Now at least one public bathroom in every building must have a change table that is easily accessible regardless of gender.

“There must be at least one changing table accessible to both genders per publicly-accessible floor. Building owners or managers must post clear signs directing the public to the location of the nearest available changing table,” the Mayor’s office stated.

What about Australia?

In Australia many shopping centres often have family change rooms – but not always. And restaurants, if they do have a change table, will likely put it in the women’s bathroom.

Perhaps it’s time our blokes squatted for change?

Ps. Donte, we salute you.

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Avatar of Alison Godfrey

Alison Godfrey has worked as a journalist and editor for more than 20 years. She loves coffee, wine, skiing and spending time with her husband, two children and their dog. But she's still not sure about the cat. He's pretty cranky.

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