Babies are precious, but babies pee and poop. A lot. In their diapers (and without diapers too). That means you’re going to end up changing a lot of diapers over the course of your wee one’s life. As such, finding the best changing pad is pretty important, and we’ve got some tips and suggestions to help you do so.
When you find out you’re about to have your first (or fourth, even, it makes no difference because all babies poop and new baby items come out every day) baby, you start thinking about what you’ll need.
You may hop on to the mama forums and do the Google searches for “What are baby must-haves?” and you’ll probably find the debate about whether a baby needs a changing pad or not to be surprisingly juicy.
Because there is debate.
Many mamas say, “No, thanks…the sofa’s just fine,” and we are all in with them.
But we’re also all in with the mamas who prefer a set place and a comfy pad, or want to have something for when they’re out and about and their sofa’s not available.
In general, we’re all in with all mamas doing their best.
But back to changing pads.
The reality of a changing pad is that it is not necessary, of course, but it sure does come in handy keeping little baby bums safe and clean (not to mention other surfaces that you prefer to stay poo-pee free from!). Today’s changing pads range from little more than a cloth to high-end gadgets that mamas swear they can’t live without. We’re going to share our favorite picks here.
The thing about changing pads is that there really are a ton of different diaper pad designs. Interesting considering the function is pretty much the same– a safe, clean place to change your baby while protecting the surrounding from baby’s business.
First Things First: Changing Table Or Dresser Top?
When you’re thinking about diaper changing, you’ll probably come across two options: a designated changing table or a dresser surface for which you’d put a changing pad.
It’s really up to you and the space you have and the vision you have. Some parents opt for both a standard dresser and a changing table because they like the specific spaces many changing tables have. Some parents like buying double dressers so they get that extra storage and surface area for a changing pad, but when baby is out of diapers, the dresser still serves a purpose. It’s a space saver, for the most part, but again, totally up to you and your wants.
Why would you want a standard changing table?
A standard changing table is designed with the sole purpose of making sure baby doesn’t roll off and stays safe. The side rails or edges on standard changing tables gives that stability, and can give an advantage over a dresser which almost never has anything but a flat surface on top.
A standard changing table also helps keep the things you need to diaper baby near and organized but out of your little one’s reach. If a dresser is doing double duty as a changing table, your little diaper Houdini may find it super fun to knock all the wipes, creams and other diapering items off the dresser top.
Why would you want a changing pad on a dresser?
Many parents love the idea of a combo dresser/changing table in their baby’s nursery. The basic purpose of combining the two is that you can use that space for other things…sometimes nurseries are small and you could have play corner or glider where that changing table would go. Combining the two makes space sense.
Additionally, moms love that there’s dual purpose in a dresser that doubles as a changing table when your baby needs one. Buying a quality dresser that doubles as a changing table during diaper days is sustainable–the dresser obviously still can fit the bill for baby once she outgrows the need for diaper changes. A changing table is pretty much all it says it is–a changing table. A dresser with a carefully chosen changing pad is a dresser and changing table and then a dresser when that’s all she needs.
Moms also love the hiding factor that a dresser offers with its drawers. With most changing tables, the perk is the open accessibility of items mama will need when changing a diaper. With a dresser as a changing area, you’ll be able to keep diaper stuff in the drawers and keep the ‘look’ of the nursery tidy and neat.
Whatever you go with, make sure it fits your style and your needs, and it’s okay to think short-term and long-term when making the decision.
Finding The Best Changing Pad: What’s Your Type?
Most changing pads you’ll consider fall in the standard changing pad category. They’re sort of like little mini-baby mattresses and they typically have curved-up edges on either side of where you lay the baby. Standard changing pads can be used just about anywhere, but are typically bought for the purpose using with a changing table or a dresser surface.
Often standard diaper changing pads can be slipped right into a changing table as it is designed for such a changing pad. Standard diaper changing pads often also come with hardware for you to securely attach them if you want to have a dresser do double duty as a changing table. Standard diaper changing pads come with covers that are removable so that you can protect the pad, and wash when there are accidents.
I’ll take mine to go, thanks.
You obviously need to change diapers away from your home, your nursery or your standard diaper changing pad. And, they’re just too clunky and chunky to take with you wherever you go. Sure, some mamas will take a standard changing pad on vacation with them, particularly if they’re driving, but for most ‘out-and-about’ diaper changes, a travel diaper changing pad is the thing you’ll need. They’re lightweight, easy to fold and take up hardly any room.
They often just fold up, and don’t really offer much storage for wipes, diapers or anything else. If you’re just wanting to have something convenient to stick in the diaper bag for wherever you go? Portability is key.
All of that and a bag of chips too. If you want.
A diaper changing pad travel kit is sort of the best of both worlds for mamas who are diapering littles. A diaper pad changing kit is a portable diaper changing pad but it’s also designed for you to have a mini-diaper changing station on hand. It has space for a couple of diapers, some wipes and even pockets for keys, phone or money. It often is its own accessory, with a clutch or carabiner that will allow it to be attached anywhere. Mamas love these because they can often take the place of a diaper bag, particularly if you’re nursing your little one and they’re still tiny enough to not need toys or much of anything else. Grab your diaper changing pad kit, your kiddo and go.
One and done is all I need.
Best Diaper Changing Pad For Diaper Change Needs
The Moonlight Slumber Premium Little Dreamer has a removable organic cotton cover. It’s comfy and cozy and wraps smoothly around the pad’s contours. It’s machine-washable (super important for a diaper pad) and water, stain and odor resistance. The quick-release safety strap is a little bit of peace when diaper-changing feels like wrestling an oiled porcupine. Many mamas like the included hardware that allows you to turn just about any dresser into a changing table using the Little Dreamer, and the two-sided design is a fit for newborns and bigger babies too. The Moonlight Slumber Contour Changing Pad is UL GreenGuard Certified and a non-toxic solution for diaper changing needs, protected by antimicrobial covering that has a lifetime warranty against manufacture defects.
This contoured changing pad is made with medical-grade foam. We love the sustainability of the Sealy Baby Soybean comfort because the soybean enhanced foam uses soy oils instead of crude oils when it’s made. The foam is CertiPUR-US certified for indoor air emissions, durability and other toxic chemicals you don’t want near your little one. The pearl-embossed cover gives waterproof protection from all the poops and pees that tend to somehow make it on the pad despite your best efforts, making it easy for quick clean-up. The waterproof binding prevents any ick from getting into the inside changing pad cover so that helps prevent mold and mildew. The binding is a thick lock-stitch that won’t easily unravel.The safety-restraint strap helps mamas who wrestle and the 3-sided design gives cushioning at baby’s head too for more comfort. You can also anchor this to dresser, changing table or wall with the included anchor straps. It’s made in the USA, too.
The Naturepedic Organic Cotton Contoured Changing Pad is really a nice step-up from typical changing pads in that the organic cotton is comfy, cozy and safe for baby. It’s easy to clean with a 100% clear food-grade waterproof coating that also helps it be non-toxic as it protects from stains, dust mites and other allergens. The filling for the changing table is organic cotton that is undyed, unbleached and grown without any synthetic herbicides, pesticides or chemical fertilizers.
The firm support gives your little one some stability and comfort, featuring Air Core. Air Core Is a non-toxic support layer that’s made from 100% food-grade polyethylene in a network of closed cell air pockets. Think of a comfy mattress that gives you firm support without toxic properties or concerns about latex rubber and that’s what you have in the Naturpedic Organic Changing Pad. It meets or exceeds GREENGUARD Gold emissions standards and UL/GREENGUARD Formaldehyde-free Standards.
The LA Baby 4-sided square corner style changing pad is a blended organic cotton mix. It has a non-skid bottom that prevents it from moving and sliding while changing baby, and that makes it super transportable from room to room. The deluxe blended organic cotton fabric cover is waterproof, non-toxic, hypoallergenic and feels super soft on baby’s body. The safety harness is a quick-release buckle that’s secure for baby but easy for you to snap and unsnap. The LA Baby is made in the USA and has a one year warranty.
Like we said, sometimes you’ve gotta change the baby in less than ideal conditions. There’s no sofa/chair in sight and the floor? Well, let’s just say you’re not super excited about walking on it, much less changing your baby. That’s when a changing pad like the MoBaby Portable comes in super handy. We love that the pad is a clutch made from super soft Impala that feels great for baby but folds easily to go any and everywhere you need it to. It’s padded, even, and the headrest makes changing your baby a little more comfortable in any place you change her. The zippered pockets and pouches keep all the things you’ll need to change baby on the go: diapers, wipes, creams, etc., and even has room for you to keep your keys, money and phone so it really could be all you need on a quick-trip out, especially if you’re using disposable diapers. The Impala is durable, but Oeko-Tex certified, so you can feel safer having it under and near baby as much as it is. We love the carabiner that lets you attach it to backpacks, strollers or whatever you’re taking with you for easy portability, and many mamas like this changing pad as their go-to in their homes as well for it’s minimalistic but luxurious functionality. It’s easy to wash (machine washable) and keep clean.
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