Every public restroom should have a changing table.
We’ve all been there: you’re out shopping or eating and your baby has a huge diaper, but you walk into the restroom and… horror. There’s no changing table. What do you do? You can either change your baby somewhere they shouldn’t be changed — ew, don’t be that person — or you can hightail it back to the car and try to squeeze them in the backseat, which is so not happening if you have more than one car seat in there. Not having a place to change babies is a major inconvenience, and if this new app is any indication, people are getting pretty damn sick of it.
According to Babble, parents Shelby Gull Laird and Jacob Smithers are raising money to develop an app that helps parents find places in their area that have changing tables, family restrooms, and nursing areas. The app will be built using data they’ve collected on their website, Changing Table Locator, where parents can see an interactive map of 7,000 places with changing stations and even submit new locations. Oh, the app will also be able to tell you if a place has changing tables in both the men’s and women’s restrooms, since some business owners apparently think only moms know how to wipe butts.
Changing tables have become kind of a trending issue in the parenting world. Last month, a dad got his local Macy’s to install a changing table in the men’s room after he went shopping and had no where to change his baby. Before that, celebrity dad Ashton Kutcher petitioned Costco to add changing tables to their restrooms. Not having a place to change a diaper is something parents deal with all the time, and it really adds a layer of inconvenience to family outings that are — let’s be honest — already kind of a pain in the ass.
While parents might not start choosing a restaurant based on which places have changing tables, a locator app could pressure more businesses to get their shit together and add changing stations to their bathrooms. There are places where it makes complete sense not to install a changing table. A bar, for example, probably isn’t going to have many baby customers swilling back stiff martinis. A casual dining establishment or a grocery store, on the other hand, will be frequented by families, so why the hell wouldn’t the powers that be include a place to take care of a baby’s bathroom needs?
A quick search on Amazon shows the average commercial changing table you’d see in any public restroom costs between $150 and $200. These things are not that expensive. Sure, there are probably some labor costs involved with hanging the table on the wall, but it’s not like purchasing a set of changing tables is going to eat up all of a restaurant’s profits for the month. Most established places can afford to not leave their baby-toting customers up shit creek without a paddle.
Babies can’t help it when they have to pee or poop, and they’re as much a part of the general public as anyone else. If your business is family-friendly and has a public restroom, there’s no reason it shouldn’t include a space for changing babies too.