London dads fight for diaper change tables in men's washrooms

A London organization for fathers is challenging family-friendly businesses to install diaper change tables in men’s rooms.

London dads are circulating a petition to get local businesses to install baby change tables in men's toilets

A typical men's bathroom with no baby change table. (Donald McArthur/CBC News)

A London organization for fathers is challenging family-friendly businesses to install diaper change tables in men's rooms.

The move comes after several members of the Dad Club of London have been stuck with babies with dirty diapers and nowhere to change them.

"People still aren't in tune with the work that dads do," said Jeremy McCall, the club's co-founder and president.

He also has kids aged four, two and five months.

"We're saying if you're a business that's known as family friendly, you have high chairs and kids menus and cater to families, but you only have change tables in the women's washrooms, we want you to install them in the men's washrooms," McCall said.

"If you do, we will host an event at your place of business. We have 1,700 members. And if you can't afford to do it but you want to, we can try to help."

The diaper change tables cost about $330.

Set-up in ladies room a 'great experience'

London dad Frank Emanuele has two kids, aged three and one, with his husband, Norm.

The two were out at a new sushi restaurant in the city's south end in May when they needed to change a diaper.

"They had to clear out the ladies room for us, and they had one of the staff members stand guard while Norm changed our son's diaper," said Emanuele.

"It was a great experience! They have high chairs and they were really nice to our kids but after we left, I sent them a note to say 'if you're going to cater to families, you should have a change table in both (washrooms).'

The Sushi restaurant, 168 Sushi Asian Buffet, installed a diaper change table in the men's washroom after Emanuele wrote the email. 

"We were happy to do it. It's the modern day and we can't assume that diapers are just women's work," said Mars Situ, a worker at the restaurant. 

Petition for change 

The Dad Club has asked members to flag family friendly establishments without change tables in the men's room, and the club will approach those businesses with its challenge.

A petition, named Dads Change Diapers Too, to support the project has about 650 signatures.

"There's huge generational change with dads being involved with wanting to be with their kids (and) with wanting to stay home," Emanuele said.

"The dad who wants to change diapers and share that time with their child, he should be able to."

Listen to the interview here