New York Senator Brad Hoylman is fighting to have a baby changing table in every men's room. With celebs like Ashton Kutcher rallying the cause, could it happen?
There's nothing worse than being in a public place when your baby does his business and finding out that the only bathroom available doesn't have a changing table. It's awkward, messy and stresses you and your screaming, wet child out. Though it's common to harp that hubby doesn't do the diaper dirty work as often as you do, he could have a good excuse. When he's out with your kid alone, chances are there won't be a changing table for him to work with.
Democratic New York State Senator Brad Hoylman wants to change that. (Ashton Kutcher does, too.) The majority of men's restrooms—nationwide—don't have an area for changing nappies, and it makes it difficult for dads who take care of their babes. As Hoylman told BuzzFeed News, he is sick of he and his husband having to change his 4-year-old daughter on a "pee-covered floor next to a urinal."
Not only ick—but that's kind of dangerous, and unsanitary.
He recently finished drafting a bill that will be introduced to the New York State Senate on April 17, which would require all new buildings or largely renovated bathrooms in New York state to have changing tables in both men's and women's restrooms—at the expense of the business. If it passes, there will be much work to be done: Dad blogger, Greg Allen, compiled a list of the NYC restaurants that currently have changing tables in restrooms accessible to men and it's not impressive. He wrote about this frustration in the New York Times, explaining that often, the only option is to use the women's room on the sly and have a waitress watch the door.
Not only is Hoylman's campaign for more men's room changing tables about safety and making it a bit easier to care for children, but the senator also insists it's about encouraging men to "pick up the slack in parenting." We're with him on this and hope the nation follows suit. Two similar bills are being considered in California, but the rest of the country is mute on the subject. Kutcher's Change.org petition had some success, with both Target and Costco promising to set up universally accessible changing rooms in their stores nationwide.
When the average cost of a changing table is around $200, it doesn't seem like too much of a price to pay for dads to clean up poop in peace.