Congratulations! You’re expecting a baby. Naturally, you’re excited and eager to meet your bundle of joy, but let’s be honest: This season can be more than a little overwhelming.
Between the burp cloths and diapers, the crib bedding and the swaddles, it can be difficult to discern which items should make your must-have list.
While the priority of some items is debatable, you’ll definitely need a place in your nursery dedicated to those frequent changes you’ll be handling. From the middle of the night to the middle of lunch, you never know when nature might call.
Whether you’re part of the new breed of modern parents embracing traditional cloth diapers or you’re sticking with disposables, one item you can’t afford to skip is a changing table.
Today, we’re sharing how to find the perfect one for your newborn so when the time comes, you’ll have one less thing to stress over.
Ready to learn more? Let’s get started!
Your Changing Table Buying Guide
While it would be convenient if they only came in one make and model, the reality is that there are myriad options on the market. Finding the best changing table for your needs will depend on your nursery aesthetic and personal preference.
Still, there are a few features that should come standard on every one. Here are the ones to look out for.
Ultimately, safe changing tables are ones that include a basic set of rails on the edges to prevent your baby from rolling off.
These aren’t just nice-to-have features. They’re required to ensure the health of your baby. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) notes that every day, 8,000 children enter the emergency room for injuries related to a fall.
These injuries could range from the minor to the fatal and as such, it’s important to prioritize guardrails in your search for the best baby changing tables. Look for ones that have rails at least two inches high.
Today, you can buy a stationary table, one that is built into a dresser, or even a changing table with wheels.
Especially if you plan to turn a portion of your master bedroom into your nursery or make another room pull double duty, the latter is often preferred, as it allows you to move the changing table (and any associated stench) into a separate area as needed. Just be sure to transport the table and baby separate from one another!
While it’s common to buy many baby items secondhand, be wary about choosing one for a few bucks at your local consignment store. Before prioritizing price alone, check to make sure the table isn’t wobbly and that its legs are in good condition.
If it shakes or seems like it might break soon, go ahead and pass on this one and continue your search elsewhere.
Of course, even the best changing tables are unusable unless they include a great-quality changing pad.
Opt for one that is thick and includes contours that mimic the table’s guardrails. It should cradle your baby and allow him to wiggle about securely. Most will be around 32 inches long, making them usable even as your newborn grows a bit.
You already know about car seat safety, but did you know there is also a harness to consider for your changing pad? Yours should include a safety strap that you’ll latch across his belly to safeguard him even further. This should be tight but not uncomfortable and should prevent him from rolling off the changing pad.
The best changing pad will be lightweight and comfortable for your baby, and will also come equipped with a fun and colorful cover that you can customize to match your nursery decor. Yet, as squishy and cozy as these changing accessories are, resist the temptation to let your baby sleep on his changing pad.
The American Academy of Pediatrics cites that more than 39,000 children visited the emergency room from 2005 to 2016 with injuries associated with baby changing gear. Of these, seven deaths occurred, most commonly associated with suffocation or blocked airways due to sleeping on a changing table.
So, do your business and help baby get freshened up, then move on to the next activity!
Make sure your changing table has plenty of room for you to stash all your changing necessities. From diapers and balm to lotion and sanitizer, you’ll want these items within arm’s reach.
This is important because you should never leave your baby unattended on a changing table. In the time it takes you to walk across the room and grab an item, a fall could occur.
If yours doesn’t include a built-in storage compartment, keep organizer cubbies beside it so you always have what you need on hand.
The Advice You Need for All Seasons of Life
Whether you’re preparing to become a mother, prepping for that big interview or are on the quest for the next best shampoo or facial serum, being a woman is busy work.
With so much to think about and plan, it can be easy to become stressed out and distracted. This is especially the case for parents of newborns, whose days and nights are already mixed up! The changing table is only one item on a long list of things to consider.
That’s where we come in.
From beauty advice to lifestyle tips, we have you covered with the content you need to live freely and confidently as a modern woman.
When you’re ready, check out our post on the health benefits of breastfeeding. Then, take a deep breath and pat yourself on the back. You got this, mama.