London has always been a leader, a trendsetter in technology, fashion, art and culture and yet is failing us on baby change stations for dads.
Recently, a friend of mine posted a video from Napoli, of the baby changing station that can be used not only by mothers but also by fathers. He has grown-up children and does not need baby changing facilities, but he well knows that this is something that needs improving to become a better standard everywhere and not just at airports.
In addition to the baby change, this facility also has two sinks and two toilets one for a parent and the other for a child
If Napoli in Italy already has a baby changing station which fathers can use, why London is so behind?
Because of the fast-paced lives, we lead today, especially as parents, it is necessary to have those basic conditions in place to do what parents need to do for small children on-the-go. We all need access to the baby changing table, without having to worry about dropping our child on the floor.
Balancing the whole operation with one hand while holding a child in the air as there is no changing table is not the situation any parents should be facing. I feel for fathers on this one, as they don’t have access to the facilities.
What bothers me also with absence of baby changing stations for Dads is that by default, mothers are placed in the role of a Mrs. Nappy Changer.
If it’s only mothers who have access to the baby changing facilities, then the message for fathers is “don’t do this job”, you are not part of it. That is wrong. There should be a socially acceptable shared nappy duty, society should not get in a way but the lack of fathers access to facilities exactly does that.
Squat for Change
I became aware of this problem as the issue was raised recently in the media when group off fathers started the campaign “Squat for Change”
What triggered the campaign was the father of three, Donte Palmer, posting an Instagram photo trying to change his child in a public toilet without a changing station. The photo went viral and other fathers got involved by sharing their own images of squatting in bathrooms while changing their babies’ nappies.
Here’s what Palmer said for the
“Fathers, we aren’t highlighted lik we should be, and I just want to bring that view and that light to us fathers, because we do matter and we do exist, and we’re willing to do more than just provide and protect.”Donte Palmer
Understanding the needs of fathers better and how they feel neglected in regard with this issue is crucial. Fathers do matter. They matter to us and to our children. Father’s solidarity but also women support is crucial if we really want to see a social change.
Do we want equality? Then, society and institutions should make us equal in providing baby change facilities for all.