In the homes of families with babies, a well planned baby changing station is essential. In the early months baby and carer will spend a lot of time there, day and night. It is worth investing and planning to get it right, but it does not need to be expensive.
Why Do You Need a Baby Changing Station?
To those with no experience of babies or back trouble, a changing mat on either the bed or the floor may seem like a reasonable place to change baby’s nappies. The changing routine could take place more than 8 times a day in the early months, bending over will be hard on the body of the adult doing this chore over and over again.
A table at the correct height and with all the equipment to hand will make caring for baby far more comfortable. This is arguably one of the most essential piece of equipment, along with the washing machine, for a baby’s early months.
How to Choose a Baby Changing Table
Consider the space available and measure it carefully, the height and the budget. When the baby is on the table, the mother will need everything within reach: on a shelf above or below or at the end or side of the table.
Items she may need at various times include: nappies and wipes; cotton wool and water; creams, ointments or lotions; a change of clothes; and a place to put the soiled nappies and clothes.
In addition to space, other things to consider include:
style of furniture required, should it have shelves or be above a cupboard, or coordinate with the nursery;
baby safety when baby starts to roll and move.
Baby Furniture in a Small Room
Baby changing tables can be above cupboards or shelves, both provide valuable storage space.
Instead of a stand alone table there are over cot changers, also called cot top changers. These are specially designed tables which fit over the top of a cot and are easily removed when baby goes to sleep. They generally cost between £50 to £80 in the UK, where there are a range of them available from Mothercare.
Graco also produce a crib top diaper changing table which comes as part of the whole set with some of the Graco Pack ‘n Play Playards.
Diaper Changing Stations, Twins, Triplets or Other Children
The space must be safe and secure, especially if there is more than one child. Whilst attending to the baby on the changing mat a toddler could be tempted to feet grab the discarded, soiled nappy or anything else that is within reach. Changing stations with neat shelves underneath will be a joy for toddlers who will pull everything off if they can.
How Much Will a Baby Changing Table or Changing Station Cost?
In the UK, typical prices are between £90 to £200. At just £25, Sniglar from Ikea must be one of the cheapest nappy changing tables. It is sturdy, with a storage shelf and dimensions which are on the small side.
In the US, the price range is from $60 to $150, with Walmart offering some of the cheapest diaper changing units.
When thinking about the expense and the lifecycle of the product, parents should remember that young children are typically over two years of age when they develop toilet skills. If suitable, the nappy changing unit could be used for about 2 years and be passed on to younger children. A more expensive piece of furniture could be sold, a cheaper table might continue to be used as a toy table.
Preparing the Nursery for a New Baby With a Nappy Changing Table
A baby changing station is required from birth and so a table should be a priority purchase in preparation for the new baby. The table should function as part of the household furniture, providing valuable storage space. Infants require a good deal of space for their clothes, nappies, wipes, blankets, sheets and so on.
The table does not have to situated in the nursery be should be in a warm room away from drafts, it should be a safe and convenient place to change baby most of the time.
New babies are born every day so there is a big market for second hand baby furniture if kept in good condition.