The new campaign hopes to install 5,000 changing stations in men’s rooms by 2021
Hey, did you know men change diapers? Yep, that’s right! They sure do! Because dads are equally responsible for the sanitary needs of the children they help create and raise, and changing diapers is a huge part of that. And, yet, it’s 2019 and most men’s restrooms don’t have changing tables in them. John Legend is one dad who isn’t having that.
Too often, dads and babies are left with the restroom floor (gag) as an option for changing diapers when out and about and in a pinch. It’s disgusting and beyond inconvenient — even relegating dads to doing it in their cars in parking lots isn’t an acceptable solution (especially in winter).
Which is why it’s awesome that John Legend is teaming up with Pampers for their “Love the Change” campaign — they hope to provide 5,000 Koala Kare changing tables for public restrooms in high-need areas across the U.S. and Canada by 2021.
As if we couldn’t love John Legend more, he’s the perfect spokesperson for this campaign.
“It all started from an organic situation which was that Chrissy and I both shared diaper-changing duties with Luna,” Legend tells PEOPLE. “We really started getting behind the idea of dads having diaper duty and that being a part of co-parenting. Then Pampers and Koala Kare came together to say, ‘You know what? We’re encouraging dads to change diapers and be active parts of the parenting duties, but a lot of times, the facilities aren’t built for that to happen.’”
And they aren’t. Though slowly, progress is being made. On January 1 of this year, a law went into effect in New York City requiring all new and renovated buildings with public men’s restrooms to have a changing table in them. Many other cities and states have either already passed similar laws or are planning to, which is great. Long overdue, but great.
Legend says he’s surprised dads are still so left out when it comes to “diaper duty” and changing table accessibility. “I’m glad that we’re highlighting this issue,” he says. “Overall, it’s part of a movement that we recognize the duties of parenting and running the house should be shared more equally between partners.”
AMEN. A recent study has shown a huge impact on the overall health of new moms when they have shared support at home with their partners. Moms do better mentally and physically when they have a supportive adult at home to help them through the postpartum recovery period. And unfortunately, the U.S. falls last in wealthy countries that provide new parents the support they need.
All the more reason initiatives like this one, sponsored by huge companies who use relatable celebrities as spokespersons to reach people. “We want to make sure that we do our part to make that message heard,” Legend concludes. “I think making the changing stations available is gonna make a difference for a lot of people.”