Dad's campaign results in 5,000 baby change tables installed in men's public bathrooms

Donte Palmer's viral 2018 photo (left) and singer John Legend, a Pampers spokesperson (right).
Donte Palmer's viral 2018 photo (left) and singer John Legend, a Pampers spokesperson (right). Photo: Donte Palmer / Pampers / Instagram

When an image of Florida dad-of-three Donte Palmer crouching on a restroom floor to change his son went viral last year, multinational company Pampers took notice.

It's a dilemma millions of dads face around the world - the lack of baby change facilities in men's public bathrooms - and now it seems, change is happening.

Palmer's 'Squat for Change' campaign mobilised fathers to take similar photos and post them to social media with the hashtag #SquatForChange, and now Pampers has promised to install 5,000 baby change stations across the US and Canada by 2021. It is hoped the move will inspire lawmakers to include change stations in all men's bathrooms in the future.

In 2016, then President Barack Obama promised funding for all public men's restrooms to be equipped with a baby change table, however it appears that plan has not been realised under President Trump.

Of the success of his campaign, Palmer told Essential Baby, "I am truly excited and honoured about the progress we have made. This is the happiest I've been in my life and I owe that to my wife and 3 boys. They are the reason why this campaign has grown fast. Also, a huge thanks to Pampers for hearing my cry and responding to the call".

Pampers found in a study, that 90 per cent of fathers have encountered public restrooms that did not have a baby changing station, so the company partnered with baby change station manufacturer Koala Kare to identify areas of most need. The first 500 baby change locations have already been identified, with installation imminent.

Shared community spaces such as parks, libraries and community centres will be among the locations to benefit.

Chrissy Teigen's husband, John Legend - a Pampers spokesperson - has put his star power behind it, collaborating with Palmer and Pampers to publicise the initiative. He appears in the promo video below with his son Miles.

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Andre Schulten, Vice President and General Manager of Baby Care North America at Procter & Gamble said in a statement, "We know that dads want to be able to bond with their children by taking them out and about, and that means the inevitable diaper-duty no matter where they are. In many instances today, instead of it being an easy, straightforward task it's a moment that causes angst because the facilities needed are not always available".

He added, "We are proud to announce our commitment to provide 5,000 changing tables for installation in public restrooms by 2021 to help address the inequality hands-on dads face when it comes to taking care of their babies".

It's an issue that has struck a nerve globally, with Palmer sharing photos from Korea and England - just to name a few - to illustrate the same problem. Australian dads are also no strangers to the lack of baby change facilities in male restrooms - it's clear we need a local campaign.

The dad of three boys posted his excitement to Facebook, writing that he hopes "...to show my sons that you can always make a difference".

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

@bowtierob sorry you had to experience this! We will push until change happen! #squatforchange ❤️❤️❤️

A post shared by Donte Palmer (@3boys_1goal) on