All About Babies

Could 'Potty Parity' Bills Make Diaper Changes Easier for Dads?

It's a scenario too many of us parents are familiar with: You're out together as a family, when you realize the baby needs new diaper. Since the only changing table in the place is (of course) in the women's restroom, diaper duty falls to mom. Again.

But a recent spate of laws and legislation could end the it's-your-turn-to-change-the-baby debate. Already, there are a few local laws that require certain new or renovated businesses to ensure that changing tables are accessible to men and women, reports Today. (Way to go, Miami Dade County, Pittsburgh and San Francisco.) And while there are currently no federal or state laws that address this disparity, California lawmakers are considering two so-called "potty parity" bills that would provide moms and dads with equal access to diaper changing tables, whether by installing tables in men's room or building family restrooms. The legislation has already passed the state Senate and is now with the state Assembly.

If passed, the bills would be a major score for today's fathers, who are more involved than ever with raising their children. According to a recent survey conducted by the CDC, some 90 percent of dads who live with their kids say they bathe, diaper or dress their children every day or several times a week. Similarly, Today surveyed about 1,000 fathers and discovered that more than half of them change diapers (compared to the 37 percent who say their fathers did).

Personally, I've had to change countless diapers in public restrooms, not because my husband is hands-off or lazy, but because the changing station is in the ladies room. We've started to take note of places that offer family restrooms or changing tables in the men's room, and we frequent the heck out of them whenever we can. This setup doesn't just let us take turns changing our son, it also keeps my husband from having to use a gross bathroom floor to change the diaper if he and my son are out alone. Even though I live in New York, I'll be watching what happens in California very closely. Hopefully my lawmakers -- and yours -- will be doing the same.

Tell us: How do you and your partner handle diaper changing when you're away from home?

How to Change a Diaper

Image of dad changing baby's diaper courtesy of Shutterstock