Becoming a parent means life gets better in indescribable ways — and also crappier in extremely literal ones. Your baby is a veritable poop machine, and as with any piece of delicate machinery, you want to operate it with the utmost efficiency in the safest possible environment. Which is to say, you’d better outfit that nursery with an optimized changing station. This list has everything you need to get started. You can worry about turning it into a rocket ship playhouse after you’ve endured your first accidental redecorating.
The centerpiece of the changing station is the changing table, a piece of furniture you’ll think is superfluous until you remember you’ll change upwards of 4,000 diapers before your kid figures out how to sit on your favorite piece of furniture. This one is JPMA certified for your kid’s safety. It’s also stylish, has plenty of storage for all those diapers, and comes in Espresso Cherry. Which coincidently is the drink you’ve been banned from ordering at Starbucks.
Delta Children Eclipse Changing Table ($98)
It’s pricey for an unglamorous item (get used to that), but you want your changing pad all natural for your baby to lay on au naturel. Naturepedic is made of non-allergenic, chemical-free cotton fabric, filling, and support foam (no vinyl, polyurethane, PVC, phthalates, latex, or wool). It exceeds federal flammability standards with no added toxins, and has a food-grade polyethylene coating. Finally, a changing pad so clean you could eat off it! (Note: Don’t do this.)
Naturepedic Organic Cotton Contoured Changing Pad ($100)
You wouldn’t buy a mattress without a mattress cover. You sure as hell won’t get away with changing your kid’s mess on an uncovered pad. This one is tailored for a snug fit, ridiculously soft yet durable, and comes in a variety of patterns to suit your baby’s discerning taste.
Aden + Anais Classic Changing Pad Cover ($23)
However much you wish you could bottle that “new baby smell” is also how much you’ll wish to confine the “terrible baby smells.” Put it in a literal steel trap. Ubbi is The Nightlight’s best-in-class pick for capacity, ease of use, and keeping nurseries from smelling like bus terminals. Before you skimp, remember, this is a 2-to-3-year investment unless you pay someone else big bucks to potty train your kid … or move to Vietnam.
Ubbi Steel Diaper Pail ($60)
This part of your kid’s life is all about comfort. Nothing is softer to the touch than a wipe made of 99.9 percent purified water. Yes, that’s 100 percent true, although zero percent of parents can figure out how. WaterWipes were awarded the National Eczema Association Of America Seal Of Acceptance and can be used on all of your baby’s sensitive skin, not just the bum. Feel free to test the comfort yourself.
WaterWipes Sensitive Baby Wipes, 9 Packs Of 60 Count ($23)
Boudreaux’s diaper rash products are designed by a pharmacist and father of 4 — so you know it’s been field tested. It’s an effective, gentle zinc oxide protectant that’s free of harsh ingredients. Keep your baby irritation-free as you perfect your speed technique, because you’ll want to spend as little time applying butt paste as possible.
Boudreaux’s Butt Paste, Original, 16-Ounce ($15)
If you stopped here, you’d have the world’s most luxurious, but useless, diapering station. You need diapers, sir. Bambo Nature won BabyGearLab’s Editors’ Choice Award for Best Diaper for its superior absorption and baby- and eco-friendly materials. The one knock is the cost. But, as you’ve learned, diapers cost more than food no matter what. Might as well buy the best.
Bambo Nature Premium Baby Diapers, 6 Packs Of 33 Count ($56)
Save the cloth vs. disposable debate for another day — for now, just understand your options and remember you’ll still have to buy inserts for these reusable ones. Rumparooz G2 are the BabyGearLab Editors’ Choice winner in the cloth category because they’re comfortable, absorbent, easy to use, and customizable. So many colors! Just like your kid’s poops!
Rumparooz G2 Cloth Diaper Cover ($14)
You’ll have to change tons of diapers away from home, and while options abound, the XLR8 has designated space for everyone’s vitals: Diapers and wipes in the interior pouch are kept separate from your laptop, tablet, and charging cables. Insulated pockets keep bottles and food fresh. There’s even a 7800mAh power bank for juicing up your devices. Consider yourself a one-man child-rearing army, ready whenever duty calls. Sorry, that joke was crappy.
XLR8 Connect And Go Charging Backpack Diaper Bag ($114)