Changing a baby’s diaper in a public place is no joke. You often have to wrestle the child to stay still on the itty-bitty table, while one (or both) of you is crying by the end. And you just never seem to have enough hands to deal with the baby, the diaper and everything else you’re carrying.
So what do you do if the restroom does have a changing table at all? Well, one dad got creative.
As the dad explained on Reddit, he was out for his first quiet meal since the arrival of his new baby. While still at the restaurant with his newborn, he was doing his best to change his son’s diaper when he realized the men’s restroom didn’t have a changing table. He opted to go into the women’s restroom instead and his choice did not go unnoticed.
The dad posted about his diaper-changing woes on Reddit and Twitter, telling his followers that shortly after preparing to change his son’s diaper, a hostess came in and told him that the men’s room was down the hall.
Explaining the situation, the father said the hostess told him that his presence was making some people in the bathroom uncomfortable and that he would have to leave. She noted that his wife could go into the women’s room instead to change the baby, but because he was there by himself that wasn’t an option.
Is Dad Wrong for Using a Women’s Restroom to Change a Baby?
One of the women who was using the restroom at the time offered to change the baby for the flummoxed father, who told the woman and the hostess that he wasn’t comfortable leaving his baby with a stranger.
He reported that another woman jumped in, saying, “Then go home and change him at home or lay your changing pad on a counter surface in the men’s bathroom.” And another woman reportedly said, “Cisgender men aren’t entitled to violate our space this way. You’re making people uncomfortable, you need to respect that.”
In the end, the dad finished changing his baby and left the bathroom. The responses to his plight were generally supportive, with many people noting that it is incredibly frustrating that there aren’t more changing tables in men’s restrooms.
“I understand he needed to change his kid, but he also should have announced himself. The fact that there aren’t baby changing stations in guys bathrooms has affected me greatly a lot of times as a father and I get it, but I’m also not going to barge in without announcing,” said one @AITA_reddit follower.
“If I saw a man in the woman’s room changing a baby I’d leave or just go about my business. Especially knowing that most men’s rooms don’t have a changing station. I can’t believe they suggested that he just hand his child to a stranger. Put changing stations in men’s room,” said another.
Many commenters agreed there should just be changing tables in men’s restrooms, or at least a family restroom, to eliminate this issue altogether.
“NTA but the restaurant that doesn’t have a gender-neutral changing facility or a family restroom is definitely the asshole here,” said one. And another commenter agreed that it was the restaurant that was truly at fault for the situation.
“NTA. I suspect there will be lots of hate directed at the complaining women, so let’s be clear – the villain of this story is THE RESTAURANT. We wouldn’t tolerate a restaurant that said to a woman who was paying, ‘Hey honey, did you check with your husband.’ Same situation,” they said.
When I’m not hanging out with my three-year-old and husband in Brooklyn, I’m busy writing stories for Mamas Uncut and managing PR + Marketing for Magnolia Bakery, based in New York City. On weekends, you can usually find me at a local park or playground pushing my daughter on the swings, “researching” the best almond croissants in Park Slope or launching into impromptu family dance parties at home, the sidewalk or, every once in awhile, a restaurant bathroom. I’m still trying to master the whole parenting thing, but I have learned that copious amounts of coffee, humor and humility are involved on a daily basis.