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AIBU

Men changing babies.

(86 Posts)
tanith Thu 04-Oct-18 07:36:33

Just watched a piece on the news about a man who needed to change his baby having to do it on his lap, and the video of this has gone viral with men complaining that there are no nappy changing facilities in men’s loos and want this rectified.
Whilst I agree it’s not easy but please I very often changed my babies on my lap as there were no facilities in those days it’s not rocket science and who’d want to take their baby in the men’s loo anyway.

Thoughts ladies?

Abbeygran Thu 04-Oct-18 10:58:21

Keep loos as they are and have separate baby changing facilities. And def loos just for loos, not changing clothes etc - I’m unfortunate to have a medical condition meaning I cannot wait much more than a few mins - I’ve mostly stopped going out because I cannot guarantee access to a toilet ☹️

Gaggi3 Thu 04-Oct-18 11:05:39

My son-in law has looked after his (and my daughters') boy and girl twins during the day since they were 1. He certainly needed appropriate places to change nappies etc., as do many men who spend time alone with the children of any age.

Sheilasue Thu 04-Oct-18 11:05:47

Saw the news but not the film. Not good enough, it needs to be sorted.

Witzend Thu 04-Oct-18 11:05:55

I've changed nappies on my lap, too, but it's not so easy once they're past the tiny, non wriggly stage. A lot of dads are a lot more hands-on now than they used to be - I still remember a male acquaintance of my age - with 3 children - positively boasting that he'd never once changed a nappy.

OTOH my very hands-on son in law changed their first new baby's nappy before my somewhat unsure dd did! And he always does his share. So I don't think it's unreasonable to want the facilities.

Nannan2 Thu 04-Oct-18 11:09:16

Im sure disabled loos can(physically)be used by people without a disability- but thats really what the 'other' toilets are for- for people without disability-so yes they kind of ARE reserved for people with a disability.NOT just as an extra loo if others are full. (Though of course not every disability is visible,as we know)If a disabled person was kept waiting by another disabled person then of course they'd have to just wait- same as theres queuing in ladies,or gents.But what i meant was nappy changing can be very time consuming,plus a parent may have other kids in tow.& then need loo themselves also- all that takes extra time.while a disabled person is waiting around outside.If theres a separate EXTRA disabled loo as well- without changing facilities in it then there'd be no problem.

Nannan2 Thu 04-Oct-18 11:16:55

And yes there should be somewhere people can use if they need to do injections for medical reasons like diabetes,but also people who need to administer heparin as well(for blood thinning)- maybe if we had unisex parent rooms they could be allowed privacy in those for that also?

quizqueen Thu 04-Oct-18 11:22:28

There are lots of communal baby changing rooms/loos around, this man needs to make himself more aware of them before he ventures out with small children. He could also have packed a fold up changing mat which can be put down anywhere. It's about time people stopped moaning about every little inconvenience in life and sorted themselves out without running to the media all the time with a 'sad' story..

quizqueen Thu 04-Oct-18 11:23:46

...and a 'poor me' attitude.

Nannan2 Thu 04-Oct-18 11:28:57

Some shops(mothercare mostly)and shopping malls have separate changing/breastfeeding rooms,which have a changing table AND a comfy chair- but no toilet in- which seems a good compromise- as the loo is separate but somewhere else.(which is also a good idea for people needing a quiet area for injections?)also helps with mums/dads/grandparents who just need to do quick nappy change but nothing else- leaving ALL other loos free for just using as a toilet-maybe we need more of these rooms and just label them 'parent rooms'?im sure some dads/grandads are put off by 'feeding room' or 'breastfeeding room' signs?

123kitty Thu 04-Oct-18 11:29:03

Great response quizqueen.

DoraMarr Thu 04-Oct-18 11:40:06

I don’t think it’s a great response. Surely things are supposed to be getting better, otherwise we’d still be shoving children up chimneys. I wouldn’t want to change a child’s nappy on my lap, and certainly not on the floor. Shopping malls make lots of money, so they should be responsible for making sure everyone who uses them is catered for: parents with small children, disabled people, men, women, transgender or whatever. I don’t understand some of the mean minded posts on here.

lovebeigecardigans1955 Thu 04-Oct-18 11:53:17

When my sister and I were very young and sometimes out with Dad we two had to go to the ladies' loo without a grown-up. We were scared of getting locked in. At least we could go together as we were twins but men with daughters have a problem.
Men are more hands on these days and braver about complaining. Although Dad took us out he would have drawn the line at pushing a pram.

Jang Thu 04-Oct-18 11:53:45

three children later ( including a set of twins) always changed them on my lap so much easier anywhere. - except the gets loo!

goldengirl Thu 04-Oct-18 12:02:32

I do wonder sometimes what century I'm in. Surely in the 21st century we should be more inclusive? Dads do a fair share of childcare these days but the dire lack of facilities to enable the fairly simple - and VERY common - need to change a baby is ignored; as is the provision of public toilets in general!! But don't get me started on THAT topic angry

mary51 Thu 04-Oct-18 12:10:07

Minerva, I have Type 1 diabetes and have blood tested and injected in public toilets all over the place. As long as they are clean (usually in stores ) there is no problem at all. You can just sit down, check things and inject. No problem at all. Always carry hand gel for afterwards. I know this is slightly off topic!

trisher Thu 04-Oct-18 12:10:23

Unisex loos with proper changing facilities should be everywhere. A dad should be able to take his children to the loo and/or change a baby without having to spend an hour finding out where he can do it. How can we expect men to take equal resposibility if we don't give them the facilities?

mabon1 Thu 04-Oct-18 12:20:26

Equality is the word. I can't see anything wrong with a man wanting changing tables in the gentlemen's lavatories. Have you never thought that the gentleman concerned might have been a single parent? On which planet are you living it is 2018 not 1960's things change (excuse the pun)?

PECS Thu 04-Oct-18 12:25:48

Great solution Gabriella except that facility was not available which is why the issue was raised 🙄
Times change and expectations too! We now would like to be able to change a baby's nappy with some privacy in a suitable environment. Many forward thinking places do provide a non gender specific space for a parent/ carer to change nappies. Too many places still assume it will be a female doing that task.

Sparklefairydust Thu 04-Oct-18 12:36:48

My son looks after his daughter full time, maybe it depends where you live but where they are there really aren't many places he can go to change her nappy and what about when she is a bit older and needs to use the toilet, it's either take her into the mens or use the disabled toilets.

sweetcakes Thu 04-Oct-18 12:39:54

This is not a new problem, when our daughter was a baby 25 years ago my husband was out and needed to change her, he was in mothercare so peeking in the "Mother" and baby room to make sure it was empty he went to go in and was promptly turned away by staff saying couldn't go in! He said it's empty but the woman said what if a woman wants to feed her baby! My husband was furious he wasn't going to be long but no so he came home. Things haven't changed much I believe. Men are so much more hands on now. I don't think changing facilities should be in disable toilets there should be parents changing rooms. For both sexes.

Legs55 Thu 04-Oct-18 12:42:41

Just on another note about disabled toilets, some can only be used if you are in possession of a RADAR key so it would not be appropriate to put baby changing facilities in those. I am "ambulant disabled" so can use ordinary toilets if they have the appropriate cubicle included (most don't) otherwise I'm searching for a disabled toilet. The lack of provision of public toilets is another problem.

CrazyGrandma2 Thu 04-Oct-18 13:26:59

To answer the OP's question - a father out on his own who needs to change his baby's nappy and or use the loo?

Just back from Belgium and France where mixed loos appear to be common - all done sensitively. Seems to me it's us that have the hang ups. Personally my biggest concern is that the facility is clean.

tanith Thu 04-Oct-18 13:34:55

That was my point about not taking a baby into men’s loos as they are often disgusting and pretty smelly (so I’m told).
Some good suggestions on solving the problem but in an emergency a lap/knees is I think a reasonable alternative.

grandtanteJE65 Thu 04-Oct-18 14:33:10

Here in Denmark we usually do have changing rooms for babies where both mothers and fathers can change their babies' nappies.

If that isn't possible there probably is a table in the gents' as fathers are expected to take just as much responsibility as mothers for looking after their children.

As to who would want to take a child into the gents' the answer is obviously any man, father, uncle, grandfather, older brother out with a baby, as he can't go into the ladies', can he?

Here men take their small sons and daughters into the men's changing rooms at the public baths if the children's mother isn't with them. Once girls are about 7 the father will usually ask a female attendant to keep an eye on her in the women's changing room.

Fathers commonly bath toddlers by sharing the shower with them. One man I know bought a non-slip bathmat for the shower, after his two year old slipped and grabbed the part of Daddy he could reach and which was dangling at his eye level. OUCH!

Happysexagenarian Thu 04-Oct-18 15:49:53

Oh Grandtante Your last paragraph made me smile!

I think there should be totally separate baby changing facilities, with a toilet, which can be used by either men or women.

DS1 was at a motorway service station with his just-3 year old daughter who was desperate for a wee, so he went into the Ladies with her. She went into the cubicle alone while he stood to one side. He explained to the next lady to come in why he was there and nobody complained or thought it at all odd. He said men would have been far more 'put out' by a woman entering their domain, and the mens toilets are rarely clean enough to take a little girl into.