If you’re a dad who’s ever tried to change a child’s diaper by going to a restroom, you’ve likely had a hard time of it. Unless you’re somewhere that happens to have a “family restroom” you’ve had to resort to creating a makeshift changing table.
That’s because, up until now, changing tables for babies were only available in women’s restrooms. As Huffington Post reports, President Obama signed the Bathrooms Accessible in Every Situation Act, also known as the BABIES Act, into law on Oct. 7.
The legislation requires that both men’s and women’s restrooms in publicly accessible federal buildings come equipped with baby changing tables.
“Government needs to do more to ensure that public buildings are family-friendly. No mom or dad should ever have to worry about finding a safe, sanitary place to change their baby―least of all in a federal building that’s paid for by taxpayers,” Rep. David Cicilline (D-R.I.) who first introduced the bill back in April stated on his website.
This idea garnered support from dads everywhere, even celebs such as Ashton Kutcher, before it ever became an official piece of legislation. Cicilline hit the nail on the head when he called it a “common sense” proposal.
In 2015, Kutcher posted a petition to Change.org writing, “As a new dad, I recently learned an unfortunate reality about changing diapers while out in public with a child. Almost all public changing tables are in women’s bathrooms, which makes it nearly impossible to find a table that’s accessible to dads. As crazy as it sounds, many stores don’t give dads the option to change their babies’ diapers.” The webpage gained over 100,000 supporters.
According to the Huffington Post, the law defines a “baby changing table” as “a table or other device suitable for changing the diaper of a child age 3 or under” and mandates that these facilities be “physically safe, sanitary, and appropriate.”
Whether you’re a mom or a dad, if you need to change your baby, you’re one step closer to being able to do so, if you’re in a federal building, that is.
Let’s hope this is something that will spur change in buildings everywhere.
[h/t: Huffington Post]