A recent photo of high school teacher Donte Palmer went viral as he struggled to change his son’s diaper in a public restroom without a baby changing station. Donte’s plight reignited a movement by fathers who want more baby changing stations in public places.
Palmer said the photo, taken by his 12-year-old, as he changed his infant son’s diaper wasn’t meant to be anything more than a silly social media post showing he had nailed his squatting technique. His post, calling for #squatforchange, soon exploded once shared by well-known accounts and news outlets.
Palmer said 80% of the conversations he has had about the picture were from other fathers who felt the same difficulty as he did when changing diapers in public. Dads are in agreement that more baby changing tables are needed in male restrooms. Palmer’s Instagram, 3boys,1goal, is full of pictures from other dads in public washrooms as they change their children’s diapers.
Other dads are doing their part in fighting for legislation that would require restaurants to include baby changing stations in men’s restrooms. Online resources are popping up too, like www.dadswhochangediapers.com, which identify public locations that offer fathers a place to change diapers. Millennial families trend towards equal parenting and public spaces which do not cater to hands-on fathers risk losing brand loyalty.
A PR Win: How to Win Customer Appreciation From Millennial and Gen X Dads
Families have long argued for a change in baby changing station policy, yet public places are slow to react. If you do a quick Google search for “dads changing diapers”, you will certainly find funny videos and articles. You will also discover an increasing number of stories from fathers who struggle to find places where they can conveniently and hygienically change their children’s diapers in public.
How can public establishments make life easier for dads and win their loyalty? Parenting isn’t a one-person job, yet many establishments lack baby changing stations in male restrooms. Some locations may lack baby changing stations entirely or only provide them in the women’s restroom, alienating single dads or fathers who are alone with their little ones in public. Installing baby changing stations in male restrooms, or having a family restroom open to both men and women with small children, can help alleviate these stressful situations.
Fathers energized by the #squatforchange movement actively call out establishments which have baby changing stations in male restrooms. This photo, which received over 3,000 likes on Instagram, features Palmer posing with a restaurant General Manager to thank her for the changing station in a family restroom. “Although I am excited by the Eagles win today, this made me scream for Joy! @southkans has a beautiful setup for fathers. The General Manager said, ‘I heard about your movement and agree with you 100%.’” Social media provides a unique publicity angle to establishments who show their support of modern parenting practices.
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