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  1. ITV Report

Dads call for baby changing units to be available in all men's toilets

For parents of young children, finding accessible baby changing facilities is something high on the priority list when venturing out, but many dads say it can prove to be a difficult challenge because most facilities are only available in women's toilets.

Matthew McCarthy often struggles to find accessible facilities to change his daughter. Credit: ITV Cymru Wales

Fathers from Caerphilly are calling for more suitable changing facilities that can be used by both men and women in high-street cafes, businesses and restaurants. Dad, Matthew McCarthy, says the responsibility shouldn't always be on mothers.

"There are very few places where I can take my daughters in to change their nappies. You go into any male toilets and there are no baby changing facilities in the toilet so more often than not on a lap or take them back to a car to change them.

If I'm out with my wife and it's my turn to change its a case of go up there and 'sorry Joanne - you're going to have to do it because there are none in there.' It makes it harder because I wanna take them out more often but on the off chance they do - it's difficult to change them"

The #SQUATFORCHANGE post has gone viral on social media. Credit: Instagram/3boys_1goal

Campaigners across the UK are also calling for change.

Last year the #SQUATFORCHANGE hashtag gained momentum after young dad Donte Palmer shared an image of himself struggling to change his child. The Instagram post shows him crouched on the floor, leaning against the wall for support, whilst his one-year-old lays across his lap. The picture has since gone viral on social media.

Tony and Matthew have both had to do make-shift baby changing units because of the lack of available facilities. Credit: ITV Cymru Wales

Tony Esposti has also struggled with baby changing access when out with his two-year-old boy.

"There are times when I don't take him out because I don't want to deal with the faff of having to change him, especially when its a day like today when you want it can be awkward and embarrassing" he says.

"If my wife and i are going out i don't want to rely on her because that's not fair on her either. It's not as if she's the only parent in the family."

Tony has tweeted about a number of incidents where there have been no appropriate changing units. On one occasion he said he was forced to change his son on a park bench in Saundersfoot because the restaurant only had changing facilities in the ladies toilets.

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An online petition calling for high street coffee shops to add baby changing facilities in the men's toilets has already gained more than 60,000 signature since the start of January. The petition was set up by Al Ferguson, who runs the group Dadsnet.

This online petition has already gained more than 60,000 signatures since it was created at the start of January. Credit: Change.org

Watch Alexandra Hartley's report: