Nominate your favourite facilities in the Sudocrem Care & Protect Baby Changing Awards
When you’ve been looking after baby all day, your partner coming home from work is an event to look forward to. In fact you’ve probably counted the hours since lunchtime. I suspect I’m not the only new mum to hand over baby with a sigh of relief as soon as Daddy walks through the door.
In our house Tall Dad takes a very hands on role with the parenting. It’s not something we ever decided, it’s just how it is. We created our little person together and looking after him is our joint responsibility.
That being said, nappy changing is a task I will willingly pass on whenever the opportunity arises.
I am confident that most, if not all, of my friends who have children, share parenting in a similar way to us, which sees dads needing to use baby changing facilities on a fairly regular basis. And that’s before I think about families where dad is the sole parent. So, why is it that baby changing facilities in men’s toilets are hard to come by?
Many establishments put baby changing in the disabled toilet but, as the familiar symbol for baby changing that I have selected as the feature image for this post confirms, it’s all too common for baby changing facilities to be in the ladies’ toilets.
It’s an issue that Barack Obama addressed as a farewell gesture to the United States as he prepares to hand over his presidency. As a parent in the UK, I am sure I am not alone in hoping that the idea to promote clean changing facilities in men’s toilets takes root on our side of the pond as well.
To highlight the issue, Sudocrem Care & Protect invited me to write about the nappy changing awards. For the first time, this year’s awards include the best changing facilities in a male toilet.
Nappy changing awards
Research carried out amongst 500 dads for Sudocrem Care & Protect highlights the difficulties that men face when trying to keep their babies clean and dry. A fraction of men’s toilets in the UK have baby changing facilities, yet almost 700,000 men become fathers each year and a further 1 million have children under two.
The survey findings conducted by The Dad Network may come as more of a surprise to those without children than to parents on a regular hunt for changing facilities but that doesn’t make them any less shocking. Nearly half (47.5%) of dads surveyed stated that they have had no choice but to change their children’s nappies in their car. 1 in 10 (9.9%) have resorted to using the floor of a public toilet and 60% waited until they got home, leaving baby in a dirty nappy for up to 4 hours!
Top 5 Alternative places for dads to change their babies
1. Boot of the car
2. Back seat/ front seat of the car
3. Floor of the men’s toilet
4. A patch of grass on the floor
5. On a picnic table
Al Ferguson, founder of The Dad Network said: “It’s crazy that baby changing facilities are normally in the ladies’ toilets and feels like a throwback to the fifties, when men weren’t expected to change a nappy or take an active role in parenting. We want more facilities for dads everywhere and that’s why we’ve joined Sudocrem to campaign for change”
Since 2012, leading nappy cream brand Sudocrem has campaigned for change with an award scheme to recognise the importance of good nappy changing facilities. The Sudocrem Care & Protect Baby Changing Room Awards, this year in collaboration with the Dads Network and the NCT, hopes to highlight the need for baby changing facilities for dads with its new category ‘Dad’s Toilet’
“Having a baby isn’t easy especially when everyday activities like shopping bring restrictions. It’s the simple things, like being able to change a nappy that make a huge difference and we’re delighted that President Obama has highlighted the need to make places more accommodating for mums and dads,“ says Nick Lang, Sudocrem Senior Brand Manager.
Nominate a nappy changing facility
There are four categories for this year’s award scheme: Retailer, Restaurant/Café, Family Hotel/Holiday Park and, in partnership with The Dad Network, Dad’s Toilet.
Nominate a changing room for the award and explain why you think it is worthy, preferably with a photo. Entries can be submitted on Facebook, on the Sudocrem website www.sudocrem.co.uk/social-hub or by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org. Entries will be judged by the NCT’s CEO Nick Wilkie and Sudocrem.
The closing date for entries is 31st January 2017 and the winners will be announced by the 28th February 2017.
The winning baby changing rooms will receive an engraved plaque and use of the Sudocrem Care & Protect Baby Changing Room logo.
An incentive to take part
Aside from raising the awareness of the importance of good nappy changing, everyone who nominates their favourite changing facilities will be entered in to a prize draw for the chance to win one of several prizes, including a short break at Knoll House, Britain’s original family friendly hotel*.
*Terms & Conditions apply
I have to confess that I’ve frequently changed Tall Boy in the boot of my car, finding it to be a convenient flat surface when I’m out and about and a lot less risky than the car seats! Of course there will always be times when facilities are hard to come by, but that should be the exception reserved for say long walks in the countryside and not everyday trips to the shops.
How great would it be for a Manchester based venue to win an award. These days that would be enough to earn my custom.