New parents are always very excited to decorate the nursery for their newest family member. A new crib, new soft toys and a cute mobile are often at the top of the shopping list. But let’s face it – no one gets excited thinking about dirty diapers! The changing table is often an afterthought but there are a variety of reasons why it should be considered an important part of your nursery.
Why Purchase A Changing Table?
When the time comes to change your baby, some parents simply opt for using the floor or other hard surface. But consider this purchase carefully. You will be changing your baby’s diaper 10 to 15 times a day for one to two years. The crouching and stooping while performing this task on the floor can wreak havoc on your back. It’s best to choose a baby changing table that is the correct height for you for the comfort and safety of both you and your baby. Plus a changing table adds convenient storage for everything you need to make your baby dry and comfortable again.
The first and foremost consideration when choosing a baby changing station is safety. Guard rails are featured on many changing tables. Usually these are used on three sides of the table but some versions feature them on all four sides. Many changing tables include a changing table pad with attached safety straps. Safety straps can also be purchased separately if your table or changing table topper does not include them. These are designed to hold your baby securely in place to help prevent your baby rolling away from you or falling. Both safety straps and guard rails are designed to prevent any accidental falls. However it is still important to never leave your baby unattended. While a newborn baby will tend to stay put, older babies can roll easily. It’s good to start creating a safe habit early on by securing your baby each and every time you use the changing table.
When changing the baby, always keep one hand on your child for additional support. If you need to leave the room, take your baby with you. It’s always worth it to be safe even if your child is wet and crying.
It’s also a great idea to choose a trusted manufacturer for your changing table. A Babyletto, Stork Craft or DaVinci changing table will offer peace of mind. Sturdy construction is not only safer but will also stand the test of time. After purchasing your changing table, be sure to register it with the manufacturer. That way you will be informed of any potential product recalls.
Stop using your changing table when your baby reaches the manufacturer’s age or weight limit which is typically 30 pounds or 2 years.
A changing table is not only more comfortable for baby but it’s more comfortable for parents too. It’s important to choose one that is the right height for the caregiver. Your changing table should be at waist height so that you can move comfortably without straining or bending. 36 inches is the most common changing table height but they are available in heights from 36 to 44 inches high. If you are taller, then be sure to purchase one at the higher end of the scale.
Cost considerations are always a consideration when it comes to baby furniture. Some people hesitate at purchasing a baby changing table because they think it will become redundant within a few years. While that might be true, many baby changing table dressers can be repurposed as normal dressers later on.
If budget is still a concern, many of the open shelf types of changing tables offer a significant cost savings compared to closed types of changing tables. But depending on your other existing furniture pieces, sometimes a simple changing table is all you need. Whatever style you end up choosing, try to look for one that includes a changing pad with straps to get the most value possible and the best changing table for your money.
Storage & Organization
Changing tables are available in a number of stylish and functional configurations. Some parents prefer the convenience of open shelves. Open storage provides quick and easy access to your talcum powder and wipes, but on the other hand it won’t disguise any mess.
Other parents prefer closed storage. A changing table dresser will keep your items out of sight and are useful for storing small baby clothes or other items. A changing table with cabinet doors is also an option. Some consider cabinet doors easier to maneuver open than drawers. However a changing table with drawers is also easier to repurpose as a dresser down the road.
For the best of both worlds, consider a changing table with a mixture of open and closed storage. These changing tables offer both convenient access to your most used items and still have plenty of space to store away extra bedding or clothing. Some changing tables also feature a hutch for even more added storage.
Choosing The Right Style
Most new parents plan to repurpose their changing station as a dresser down the road so take that into consideration when making a purchase. Other parents will want to reuse the same furniture for any more potential children. Carefully consider the future use of your changing table before making a purchase. However if you have your heart set on a pink changing table for your new little girl, repurposing it as a dresser is a great way to make sure you get your money’s worth.
If you are starting from scratch, consider purchasing a crib set which includes a matching crib with changing table and a nightstand. This makes it easy to get a cohesive look for your space. If you have parts of your nursery furniture already, pick a changing table that blends in with your existing scheme. Fortunately, there is a huge variety available today which makes it easy to find one that will work for you.
Traditional changing tables feature the same classic details as other furnishings: scrollwork, bun feet, rich finishes and embossed paneling. Graceful curved lines and intricate details that recall past eras are the hallmarks of this design style.
Country style is a bit more casual than traditional style which makes it a great fit for many nurseries. Chunky knobs and feet and beadboard detailing are hallmarks of this diaper changing station style. Milk-painted finishes or stencilled details are often seen in this design style.
A contemporary look for a nursery is increasingly popular among new parents. A modern changing table is often sleek and spare. They often feature square or rectangular lines and simple but sturdy hardware. The clean pared-down look provides a restful element to a room that can often be a bit chaotic. A Mission-style changing table with simple spindles is a classic and timeless look. Consider a deep espresso changing table for some sophistication or a crisp white changing table for a lighter look.
Cleaning & Maintenance
Most changing tables of wood or plastic are designed for easy maintenance. Just give your diaper changing table a quick wipe-down after every use. That way it will stay fresh and clean for the next time. If you have a fabric changing table pad cover, don’t forget to launder it on a regular basis.
A changing table or a dresser changing table is an integral part of any nursery. Welcome home your new baby in comfort and style.