• Erika Springer-McCaffrey

Baby Diaper Changing Stations

In the 2021 Intervening Code Cycle Updates “Baby Changing Stations” became “Baby Diaper Changing Stations” in section 11B-226.4.

“Ok and this impacts me how?” You’re asking.

Well changing the name may not impact your design work but the reason may.

PLUS it gives us the chance to talk about an interesting difference between laws and codes in California and how you may be seeing more baby diaper changing stations in your future projects.


In 2017 California passed legislation requiring baby diaper changing stations and

signage to go along with them, which we will discuss below, however, these laws have not been adopted into the CBC {yet}, but the wording of the CBC has been changed to match the wording of the new legislations. So currently, it is legally required to have them in certain buildings but AHJs work off the CBC so no one is really


enforcing this new requirement yet.


Similarly, California passed a law in 2015 requiring adult changing facilities. Then, the Access Code Collaborative provided input on the language for those codes before it went into the review and adoption process and was implemented in the 2019 codes. We will likely see the same thing happen with baby diaper changing stations (the accessibility portion) in the near future to integrate the new requirements into the CBC. {We recently sent out an email to our subscribers about the Access Code Collaborative needing new members, so if you're interested in being a part of that process you can apply online.}


Since we're here, here's a refresher of the current codes and requirements,


starting with what is existing in the CBC:



11B-309 lists requirements for operable parts and 11B-902 lists requirements for dining and work surfaces. 11B-902 requires the baby diaper changing station to have clear floor space and for the top of the work surface to be between 28” and 34” above the finished floor. This section also states the changing station must NOT be in the accessible stall and cannot block the accessible route within the restroom.


However, according to CA law the following is required:

(AB 1127 2017-2018: 2017-10-13 - Chaptered by Secretary of State - Chapter 755, Statutes of 2017

An act to add Sections 15805 and 50535 to the Government Code, and to add Section 118506 to the Health and Safety Code, relating to public accommodations.)

  • A baby diaper changing station must be installed in a restroom serving women and a restroom serving men or a restroom that serves both men and women in the following buildings.

  • Public building owned in part or in whole by the state or a state agency and has at least one public restroom.

  • Public building that is owned by a local agency or in part by a local agency and has at least one public restroom.

  • Public accommodations including: A theater or movie house, grocery store, health facility, convention center, sports arena, auditorium, cultural complex, exhibition hall, library, passenger terminal, permanent amusement park structure, restaurant with an occupancy of at least 60 persons, as determined by the State Fire Marshal, shopping center of more than 25,000 square feet, tourist attraction, or retail store of more than 5,000 square feet

  • Except bars or nightclubs where patrons under 18 years of age are not allowed.

  • Applies to all new construction and any restroom renovation estimated over $10,000 unless a local building inspector determines the installation not feasible or would result in failure to comply with ADA codes and providing access to a person with disabilities.

  • Each station should include signage at or near the entrance and if a central directory is provided it should list which restrooms include baby diaper changing stations.

  • The baby diaper changing station must be maintained and cleaned as regularly as the rest of the restroom.


As designers and even as Certified Access Specialists, it is our role to design to the CBC however, if you are designing one of the above mentioned facilities it is important to note that while not required in the CBC, baby diaper changing stations are required by law in California.


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