It’s 2019, and dads change diapers. Unfortunately, the nation’s restrooms have yet to catch up with modern parenting.
New research by diaper manufacturer Pampers revealed that 9 out of 10 dads have used a public restroom lacking a baby changing table. This leaves dads and babies squatting and — ew — even using the restroom floor when desperate times call for desperate measures.
Singer, songwriter, and dad of two John Legend is hoping to change that, pun intended. In support of other dads — and let’s face it, any mom who doesn’t want to be the sole diaper-changer when the family is out and about — he is working with Pampers on their Love the Change campaign, which will provide 5,000 Koala Kare changing tables for public restrooms in high-need locations across the United States and Canada by 2021.
Legend is a hands-on dad to Luna, 3, and Miles, 1, and acknowledges that he and wife Chrissy Teigen are able to live and travel with privileges others might not have. However, parenting is a great equalizer, and he knows firsthand the importance of a changing table when dealing with diapers — especially now that he has a son.
“It’s a little more dangerous; You have to shield yourself. I just caught a little spray the other day,” he laughed.
“There’s been a lot of times when there just isn’t a place to change them,” Legend told TODAY Parents. In the facilities available, he said, it’s clear that women are the ones expected to take care of babies, not men, and that is no longer reality.
“Daddy diaper duty is a real thing,” he said. “Daddies should be involved, and overall, we should be involved in the parenting responsibilities as much as we can. It’s time for society to say it’s time to change this kind of thing.
“We don’t want to just talk about it, we want to do some building.”
The lack of access to diaper changing resources came to the companies’ attention in part because of viral social media posts from dads like Florida’s Donte Palmer, who posted a picture of himself squatting and changing his child across his thighs on a restroom floor in 2018.
“What’s the deal with not having changing tables in men’s bathrooms as if we don’t exist?” Palmer wrote. “Clearly, we do this often, because look at how comfortable my son is.” Palmer’s post has over 9,300 likes on Instagram and gained national attention, spurring him to start a #squatforchange campaign to put more changing tables in restrooms designated for men.
Pampers and Koala Kare have already identified the first 500 locations for the new changing tables, with installation planned in the coming weeks.