Babies go through an estimated eight to 10 diapers per day. That’s a whole lot of pee and poop. Which is why, along with a crib, a car seat and a stroller, a changing table ranks as one of any parent-to-be’s top baby registry items. Depending on your budget and needs, you can choose an affordable, straightforward baby changing table with open shelving (you can repurpose it later as a bar cart!), a changing table topper that you can attach to a piece of furniture, or a baby changing pad.
- Always supervise your child on the table, even if they’re buckled in. (This goes for newborns too, who can roll off with enough help from momentum.)
- The top of the table should be lower than the sides, and there should be a guardrail the entire way around.
- Your diapers, wipes and cream should be close enough that you can easily grab them, but out of reach of babies and other children.
- This should be obvious, but even if your baby dozes off on her changing pad, never allow her to sleep on it.
And here’s a little reality check, dear parents. Babies shit where and when they want. And they don’t really care if there’s a changing table nearby. That means you’ll be changing diapers on couches, on the floor, and on your bed.
Which is why you’ll get the gear, but will end up using portable changing mats. Believe it. Our favorites are below. They are all easy to clean, cushioned enough to keep your baby comfortable, and portable when needed.
The Best Changing Table
If you're going to spring for a proper changing table, get this one. One Fatherly editor has had it for nine years, and it's going strong as a working piece of non-baby furniture. It's made from New Zealand pine, and has a removable changing tray that you can dump when your kid is potty-trained; it fits a 31 x 16 inch changing pad. When your kid is finally out of diapers, it'll last for years as an actual dresser.
The Best Changing Table Toppers
If you have a perfectly good dresser, just get this changing pad, which attaches securely to it. Summer Infant's go-to diaper changing pad has tall contoured sides with a quick release buckle, with a security strap to help prevent your baby from rolling. The pad is super-soft and has anti-slip rubber feet. And it's machine-washable.
This one comes with secure grips, safety straps and contoured sides keep your baby secure. This changing table pad is designed to fit most changing pad covers, dressers and changing tables. It's also waterproof, and has rubber strips that stop it from moving around during diaper changes.
This changing pad is waterproof, so it won't absorb nasty liquids. It has a safety belt to keep your tot secure, and has a non-skid base so it won't move around. This baby changing mat is recommended for babies up to 30 pounds, and is 31.5 x 18.2 x 2.6 inches in size. It's PVC-free and phthalate-free and has a mobile to keep your baby occupied during diaper changes.
The most hard-core of the changing table toppers, this one is impermeable to fluids. This thing doesn't need any other pads or sheets. It doesn't crack. And you just wipe it down when done.
This topper is made without the use of any flame retardants. The filling is organic cotton, while the waterproof coating is made from non-GMO sugarcane. It comes with snap screws to secure the pad to a dresser.
The Best Baby Changing Pads
This changing set features a wipe-clean, zip-off changing pad, built-in pillow and wipes case. The padded pillow is a nice touch, and the fact that this thing is so portable means you'll be using it. A lot.
This portable changing mat has a Velcro closure, so you can open and close this one-handed. This pad is waterproof, has a memory foam head cushion, and surfaces that you simply wipe clean.
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