A Platform for Change: Baby Changing Stations
Throughout March, we're celebrating Women's History Month to honor women and their accomplishments worldwide. One of them was reshaping the landscape of restrooms for families globally.
Before the 80s, parents didn't have many options outside the home to change their infants. Baby changing tables were nowhere in sight. Often, mothers limited their activities away from home, partly due to the uncomfortable diaper changes. It took decades for changing stations to become a standard feature in a public space, especially for dads.
Having access to this restroom fixture might seem like a small design decision. However, their availability relates to the change in larger patterns of care and work. In the last century, access to baby changing stations is linked to American parenting trends. A rise in single parents and dual-income couples meant more women joined the workforce, and family norms were forever changed.
Family time also evolved with tightened schedules as parents had more to do before and after work. Parents were less inclined to leave their children at home as they ran errands and found it to be a new opportunity to spend as a family. If parents couldn't find a babysitter when they wanted to go to the movies or out to dinner, it meant bringing the kids. So, more small children began accompanying their parents to public spaces. Facility owners and product manufacturers now had to operate together to meet the growing demands of parents.
The solution? A standalone product that could fold down from the wall for use and even fit in small restrooms. Baby changing stations were born in the late 80s, and with them a need for more child-friendly facilities. These offerings became a positive and even a requirement for some industries. It impacted parents' decisions on where they spent more time and money.
As of today, family norms have changed once again. Based on a Today survey, 54 percent of fathers change their children's diapers compared to 37 percent of their dads. Many retailers are now installing these stations around the world in both women's and men's restrooms. Just like wheelchair-accessible stalls, a baby station is a symbol that shows a business cares about its customer. Learn how DryBaby® can get your facility parent-approved.