Monday 21 October 2019

Where are the baby changing facilities for dads in Ireland?

Stock photo
Stock photo
Geraldine Gittens

Geraldine Gittens

Earlier this week, US singer John Legend hit the headlines when he starred in a marketing campaign about the scarcity of unisex nappy changing facilities.

The father of two said he shares nappy changing duties with his wife Chrissy Teigen.

But he said “a lot of times the facilities aren’t built for that to happen.”

“‘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.’”

“I think making the changing stations available is gonna make a difference for a lot of people,” he said in the Pampers ad.

“Without changing tables in men’s restrooms, many dads who are taking their children out on their own are forced to “improvise” when it comes to changing diapers, often in places that are “not built for it”.

John told People magazine: “[For me], sometimes it’s on airplanes. A lot of times, they’re not built for it. You just find a spot and you want the kid to be comfortable because some of these spots are hard and uncomfortable, and they’re freaking out. You just wanna get it done in any way possible, by any means necessary.”

Last October, a 31-year-old father-of-three became the face of a gender-equality debate when photos of him attempting to change his son’s nappy in a toilet cubicle went viral.

Donte Palmer from Augustine, Florida, was in a local restaurant with his wife and children when he realised Liam’s nappy needed to be changed.

In the photo which was shared globally, he was seen squatting down, delicately balancing Liam across his legs in the toilet cubicle because there were no nappy changing facilities in the men’s toilets.

While our own Simon Delaney, actor and TV presenter, highlighted the issue two years ago when he said that public venues needed to up their game when it came to facilitating dads to change their babies’ nappies.

“The majority are in the ladies’ toilets, which is awkward when I’m out on my own with the baby,” he said at the time.

We decided to put the feelers out and find some of the venues across Ireland that have nappy changing facilities for dads. The list is growing, no doubt:

Áras an Úachtarán

The facilities are only for invited guests only, of course, but it's useful to know if you ever get a beckon to the residence of President Michael D Higgins.

"We have a separate baby changing facility which is also wheelchair accessible," a spokesperson said.

Arboretum Garden Centre, Carlow

Blanchardstown Shopping Centre

Bloomfields Shopping Centre, Dun Laoghaire

This shopping centre has a unisex parent and child room with baby change facilities and a large toilet cubicle.

Brown Thomas

Unisex nappy changing facilities are available in all four stores - Dublin, Cork, Limerick and Galway.

Draíocht Arts Centre, Blanchardstown, Dublin

Dublin Airport Authority

All baby changing rooms at Dublin Airport are unisex. 

"We have 41 in total across both terminals," a spokesperson said.

Dublin City University

Unisex baby feeding and changing facilities are available on every academic campus. On the Glasnevin Campus it's in the U (DCU's student centre), a spokesperson said.

Dundrum Town Centre

IKEA

There are nappy vending machines and pull down changing tables in both male and female toilets, with separate changing facilities available.

Kildare Village

Located in the bathrooms beside Starbucks and also at the bathrooms behind the restaurant, Dunne & Crescenzi.

McDonagh Junction in Kilkenny

A spokesperson told Independent.ie: “We have three private separate rooms which are all unisex. We feel in today’s modern society it is important to cater for all our customer’s needs.”

National Gallery of Ireland, Dublin 

All of the National Gallery of Ireland’s toilet facilities, male and female, contain changing units.

"In addition, we have one of the few fully fitted ‘changing places’ units in Ireland, containing facilities both for infants and adults with accessibility needs," a spokesperson said.

Yummy Cafe Market, Tralee

"Men can do it too," says the Yummy Café Market which has baby changing units in both the male and female toilets.

Do you know any unisex nappy changing facilities which haven't made our list? Email ggittens@independent.ie.

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