Sidmouth dads rally town to provide more baby changing facilities in men’s loos

PUBLISHED: 07:01 11 January 2019 | UPDATED: 18:11 11 January 2019

Nigel Maeer (front centre) is calling for more baby changing facilities. Ref shs 02 19TI 7995. Picture: Terry Ife

Nigel Maeer (front centre) is calling for more baby changing facilities. Ref shs 02 19TI 7995. Picture: Terry Ife

Archant

Sidmouth dads are calling on the town to lead the way to provide more baby changing facilities in men’s toilets.

First-time father Nigel Maeer is among many dads across the country trying to raise awareness of the lack of changing places without accessing women’s or disabled loos.

The 38-year-old, who is dad to four month old Alfie, says he enjoys being hands-on and that it should not fall to his wife Hannah or other mums to carry out the duty.

He said he has become ‘slightly disgruntled’ about the issue and is looking to his home town to lead the way.

Nigel said: “A baby does not chose when to do its business so inevitably you will be out and about when their nappy needs changing – which is where the crux of my issue lies.

“It is pretty frowned upon for a male to just walk into the ladies toilets, however what choice do I have?

“We are now living in the modern world and times have changed from the days where it was down to the mother to be a child’s main care giver.

“Times are changing and it’s time to embrace it. It’s about changing terminology from mother and baby to parent and baby to allow dads to take the baton and take one for the team, or more usefully fit some tables in men’s toilets.”

Parent bloggers last week called on the government to review rules surrounding the provision of the facilities.

Nigel himself says he has had experience of being told to change Alfie’s nappy on the men’s toilet floor.

The Balfours resident said: “I want to be able to do it. It shouldn’t be left to Hannah. If we can do something about it for our area, it would be nice if Sidmouth could lead the way and say we are going to make a change.”

Nigel has written to East Devon MP Sir Hugo Swire about the issue but says he will continue to be hands-on, whatever the outcome.

He said: “If nothing changes I will still be going into ladies toilets to change my son.

“Any disapproving looks will be ignored and any tuts will be drowned out by my son’s crying.

“Being a dad is possibly the best job in the world.

“Pre-fatherhood, I would have rolled my eyes at that sort of comment but it couldn’t be more fitting.”

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