Well, I hate to break it to the pre-fatherhood guys out there, but, yes, actually, daddies do do changing. You would never know it though, since, almost exclusively, changing facilties are situated in the ladies toilets. Occasionally, the disabled bathrooms double up with a changing table, but that is pretty much the extent of unisex changing facilties for babies.
Enlightened places like John Lewis (in London and throughout the UK) have parents’ rooms, where both mum and dad can change and feed their baby in equal comfort.
We’ve made progress (admittedly, not always enough progress) in almost every area. Women have fought to have opportunities to have education and a career as well as a baby. We now expect men to be hands on dads. Except, it seems, if the baby needs changing anywhere other than at home.
This has become a real bugbear for one particularly dedicated dad. Step forward Al, husband to my friend Eileen and father to their beautiful baby boy, George. Al deserves enormous credit for persevering with his share of nappy changes in the most unsalubrious of gents loos. Many men are not so brave.
It’s definitely time for a change (and not of the nappy variety). If you’re responsible for designing, planning, building or refurbishing a public place like a restaurant, cafe, hotel or a department store, please think like a parent for a moment. Find space for a unisex baby changing place.
Mummies (and even a few daddies) everywhere will be eternally grateful.