Baby Changing Facilities

Do you realise there is no law in the UK and likely Europe which requires public toilets to have baby changing facilities. You very rarely find them in Men’s UK toilets and they are often in the disabled toilets or female toilets only. This sucks.

In the US, Barack Obama passed a law in 2016 which was actually passed by Congress which enforced all public places to provide baby changing facilities for MEN as well as women within 2 years.  This was in part prompted by a campaign by Ashton Kutcher of all people on which got Target and Costco to respond and support him. Assuming Trump doesn’t reverse this, it seems a pretty progressive and logical law. 

The only downside is location.  I found out while on holiday in Florida that many of the baby changing facilities I tried in the men’s toilets were in a very strange location next to the urinals and subject to splashback or near the door exposing your daughter to whoever walked in. 

That is before you then try to change baby, who is prone to wriggling and distraction on a small plastic table with a hard surface below. The feeling is much akin to the feeling you’d get changing your baby on a cliff edge. There has to be a better way. 

In the U.K. The best facilities have been at John Lewis (I work for them and probably spend a disproportionate amount of my cash there). In Welwyn for example a whole room with changing bays with lots of room are available and it is done in such a way that your baby is unlikely to dive off a cliff if subject to a quick roll. However in the main you are lucky to find a baby changing facility and then even luckier to find one that you don’t feel you need to wipe down. That’s if you can find one in the men’s toilet. 

So are there any guidelines for baby facilities? It seems there are many blog posts and thinking on this but little in the way of law. I found this on Direct365 which suggested it is good practice to have facilities which stop babies being changed on tables or floors or the nappies being disposed of incorrectly.  That’s not to say do it but you might be sued for poor hygiene otherwise. Remember though this is all for just basic provision of changing facilities and not necessarily for men. 

So one thing I am going to do while on my few months off is check out what the changing facilities are like locally in Hitchin. So local establishments be warned! This is not the last post on this. 


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