Every parent can understand the burden that is changing diapers. Whether that burden is the smell, the mess, or even the place you have to change your baby’s diaper… it has to be done. This is all the more reason why it can be a frustrating task for dads like myself when out in public with the little ones.

This past weekend, like a lot of families, ours went out to eat to celebrate the amazing holiday that is Mother’s Day. Most moms would agree that for Mother’s Day, mom doesn’t want to be tasked with doing too much if anything at all. So, while we were waiting for our names to be called in the restaurant waiting area, my 1-year-old needed to be changed. I took the liberty of grabbing the diaper bag of my sweet baby girl and proceeded to the men’s room where I intended to change her.

Photo by Chris Cardenas/TSM Boise
Photo by Chris Cardenas/TSM Boise

I walk in, ready to freshen up our sweet girl, and… no changing table in the men’s room. I searched the bathroom stall, thinking “Okay, perhaps this fine establishment put the changing table in the ‘bigger’ stall so we would be privileged to some privacy?”


I had the idea of changing her on my lap in the “bigger” stall but knew that if I did that, my daughter and I would be creating quite the mess; one that other restaurant-goers likely wouldn’t appreciate. Frustrated yet stoic, I walked back and passed our baby off to mom who took her back to the restroom to change her. Could I have changed my daughter in the car? Maybe. Did we forget the “changing mat”? Absolutely. Regardless… shouldn’t more Boise restaurants think about dads when installing changing tables? What if it was just me with our kids and I had to resort to making a mess?

I've encountered this problem on multiple occasions in the Treasure Valley before but being that this was on Mother's Day, I found myself really annoyed. Upon doing some research, there doesn’t appear to be any specific “law” on Boise restaurants being required to have a changing table in the men’s restroom. There is, however, a law that says federal buildings must have a changing table in both restrooms.

Do lawmakers feel that it should be only women changing diapers in public places? Surely not, so what gives?


Several other states have laws requiring changing tables in ALL restrooms according to KoalaBear.com… so why not, Boise? Why not Idaho?

If I’m wrong in my research (which can happen, no one in the media is perfect), I invite you to correct me with any city ordinances or laws I may have overlooked so I can at least advocate for our fellow dads when encountering this issue again.

If you don’t see the issue and you’re the type of person who thinks “men shouldn’t be changing diapers in the first place”, then perhaps you’re a part of the problem. Let’s change that and give dads a chance to… well, be dads.

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