Dad Is Forced To Change Son’s Diaper On His Lap In Public Bathroom, And Photos Spark Outrage

by Kim Wong-Shing
Kim Wong-Shing is a staff writer at LittleThings. Her work spans beauty, wellness, pop culture, identity, food, and other topics. She is a contributing writer at NaturallyCurly, and her work has also appeared in HelloGiggles, Lifehacker, Wear Your Voice Magazine, and other outlets. She grew up in Philadelphia, attended Brown University, and is now based in New Orleans.

If you’re a parent, you’re probably familiar with the struggle of changing your child’s diaper in a public place.

And if you’re a dad, the struggle is even more real.

Many establishments have gendered bathrooms — one for men, and one for women. Often, only the women’s restroom has a changing table.

The lack of changing tables in men’s restrooms is problematic for a number of reasons. For one, it implies that diapering is the sole responsibility of moms. For another, it leaves solo dads and two-dad couples out of luck.

One father of three, Donte Palmer, called attention to the issue in a recent Instagram post.

He often has to change his son’s diaper while crouching on the floor of the men’s room, since there’s no changing table available for him to use.

“This is a serious post!!!” Donte wrote. “What’s the deal with not having changing tables in men’s bathroom as if we don’t exist!!”

Donte went on to point out that, sadly, his son has become used to the unusual diapering process.

He wrote, “Clearly we do this often because look how comfortable my son is. It’s routine to him!!!!”

The photo was taken while Donte was at a Texas Roadhouse for lunch with his 12-year-old son, Isaiah, and 1-year-old, Liam.

Liam needed to be changed, so Donte and Isaiah went to the bathroom to tag-team the process. The duo’s squatting skills came in handy, because there was no changing table in sight.

At this point, the father of three says he doesn’t even look for changing tables in men’s restrooms anymore.

“Honestly, I’ve been in enough places that didn’t have them so now I don’t even bother to look,” he told Scary Mommy.

He added that for a long time, dads have been looked at as “being absent in our children’s lives.” He wants to prove that not all dads are like that.

He continued, “Taking care of children has been a job deemed necessary for women. At times society complains about the presence of fathers not being involved but in all actuality there are a ton of fathers willing to step up to the plate.”

He tagged The Shade Room in his Instagram post, which subsequently reshared Donte’s photo and received over 500,000 likes.

Donte’s words really resonated with other dads (and moms, too). The photos sparked a discussion about how prevalent this issue is, and how frustrating it can be for families.

Even some celebrities, like Tyrese, joined the conversation.

Many people, of all genders, agree with Donte’s point.

And they see how much of a pain this becomes for fathers like Donte.

One commenter applauded Donte for “improvising in the face of adversity.”

Another commenter recalled a time when she saw another dad struggling to change multiple babies.

The conversation also stirred some controversy, however.

Some people feel that family bathrooms are a better solution than adding changing tables to men’s restrooms.

While others pointed out that, if moms aren’t forced to use family bathrooms, dads shouldn’t have to, either.

Although some men’s restrooms do have changing tables, it’s not as common as it should be.

And that’s just not fair. Do you know any dads who have gone through this?