Let’s cut straight to the point. Baby changing facilities for dads in the UK are an absolute joke.
Despite the fact that there are nearly 700,000 new fathers made every year in this country (and a further million dads with kids under two), only a fraction of men’s toilets in the UK have baby changing facilities. In fact I’d go as far as saying that, as a dad, locating somewhere while out and about to change your baby, that is both private and hygienic, is about as easy as training your wife to leave the loo seat up.
According to a recent poll from The Dad Network, nearly half of the dads surveyed revealed that they have had no choice but to change their children’s nappies in their car. Shockingly 1 in 10 have even had to resort to using the floor of a public toilet to change their baby’s nappy because of the lack of facilities available for dads.
Adding salt to the wound, the UK is way behind other countries when it comes to baby changing facilities for dads. Take the US for example, where outgoing President Barack Obama, as a parting gesture, has introduced a new law ensuring that every public male toilet in the US will have a baby changing facility going forward. Serious progress from our pals across the pond…
But I’m pleased to report that change is coming to our fair shores, thanks (in no small part) to two high profile influencers; Sudocrem, the leading nappy cream brand, and Al Ferguson, the veritable king of the UK dad bloggers, who hit the headlines earlier this year with his campaign – #dadsforchange – to overturn this outdated dad discrimination.
“It’s crazy that baby changing facilities are normally in the ladies’ toilets,” said Al. “It feels like a throwback to the fifties, when men weren’t expected to change a nappy or take an active role in parenting. We want more facilities for dads everywhere and that’s why we’ve joined Sudocrem to campaign for change.”
Since 2012, Sudocrem has also campaigned for change in this area with an award scheme to recognise the importance of good nappy changing facilities – The Sudocrem Care & Protect Baby Changing Room Awards.
This year there are four award categories: Retailer, Restaurant or Café, Family Hotel or Holiday Park and, in partnership with The Dad Network, a special award for best Dad’s Toilet!
And this is where you can get involved, by nominating a business, shop, hotel or restaurant that has seriously impressed you with the quality of their changing facilities, either for parents or specifically for dads.
In timeless tradition, the winning baby changing rooms will receive an engraved plaque and use of the Sudocrem Care & Protect Baby Changing Room logo to promote their business.
What’s more, everyone who nominates their favourite changing facilities will also be entered into a prize draw for the chance to win one of several prizes, including a short break at Knoll House, Britain’s original family friendly hotel (the usual Ts and Cs apply!).
There are loads of ways that you can cast your vote:
- Head over to Sudocrem’s Facebook page and nominate a baby changing room of your choice (including a photo of the facilities, if you can);
- Pop over to Sudocrem’s website and nominate; or
- Email your entry and photos to firstname.lastname@example.org
The closing date for entries is 31st January 2017 and the winners will be announced by the 28th February 2017.
So what are you waiting for? Get involved and let’s throw our collective weight behind this amazingly inclusive campaign to give dads and their babies the rights they deserve!
Are you a parent who has been caught short while out and about with your baby? If so, we want to hear from you! What is the strangest place you have had to change a nappy because of the absence of proper baby changing facilities? As always, please do share your stories and thoughts in the comments section below!