You are planning for a new baby! Congratulations!! Now you might be starting to think about all the dirty diapers that are coming your way. Hundreds of them actually. Well actually, it will more like thousands of diaper changes from birth until your child is ready to move onto the porcelain throne. But let’s not dwell on that happy news. Let’s talk instead about equipping your Diaper Changing Station to meet all your needs.
You may think that creating a diaper changing station that is versatile enough for changing a brand new infant and later a squirming toddler is no small feat. Actually, it can be quite simple. But let’s be honest, the amount of gadgets and items available in the diapering section alone of your favorite baby store is enough to make any head spin.
If this is your first time around, it’s not as hard as it seems. If this is your first in a long while, welcome back to baby land and let me assure you, you can really simplify things for your family this time. Don’t fall into the product hype. Let me help you filter out the noise.
This is what you actually need for an efficient and functional diaper changing station from birth through potty training.
1. The Surface
Diaper Changing Table or other STURDY Table like a very sturdy low dresser. A simple changing table with open shelves will work perfectly. It’s easy to put toys or bins for extra diapers, or containers for books. Another idea is to put a laundry basket on one of these shelves to keep the footprint contained.
2. The Cushion
Diaper Pad with extra covers. I used a Serta diaper changing pad. And it is still working great. Waterproof Changing Pad Liner like these make cleanup on blowout days a bit easier, saving your pretty changing pad cover from getting it!
3. The Cart
Raskog Cart from IKEA the best $25 spent on your home organization. Buy 3! Unbeatable for different uses around your home. Put all the following supplies next to your diaper changing table to create the ultimate Diaper Changing Station.
4. The Diaper
What is a diaper changing station without diapers? Going for Paper/Disposable Diapers: Pampers Swaddlers is my choice for the first three months or more! We used Pampers exclusively until about size 4. Then we went Kirkland (Costco brand). But for overnight at 18+ months, you will want to go with overnight diapers with extra absorbency. We figured this out after 2 weeks of changing out of wet pajamas. So the clear winner is Pampers Swaddlers Overnight Diapers. Not a single leak since switching to these with 12 hours between diaper changes and no tears from wetness in the middle of the night.
To whoever discovered the potential benefits of disposable diapers for moms, dads, older sisters, and babysitters everywhere changing baby’s bottoms, we thank you! The bulk supply of diapers can stay in the closet and put a sleeve on the bottom shelf of the Raskog Cart or the Diaper Changing Table Shelf.
Going for Cloth? Girl, I cannot help you. Poop and I are not friends nor will we ever be. So dealing with removing poop from my baby’s onesies and pants due to the occasional blowout, are more than enough for me, thank you. It does come out, by the way, no need to toss those pants, give a good spray with Babyganics Fragrance-Free Stain Remover our good old-fashioned SHOUT.
Tending to the task of spraying poop off my baby’s diapers several times a day? No. I’m good. However, there are plenty of people who can stomach the cloth diaper thing successfully.
Check out Pinterest for a plethora of subject matter experts.
5. The Wipes
Pampers Sensitive Wipes that worked wonders by never irritating my sensitive boy’s skin. Safe for faces and hands too. The Ubbi Wipes Dispenser is perfect for those refill type wipe packages and my small effort at making the diaper changing process more eco-friendly. This goes on the top shelf of the Raskog Cart. Additional packages of wipes can go on the bottom shelf.
6. The Cover Up
Simple cloth washcloths to cover ol’boy if he is a geyser. Happened almost every time the first few months. Not so much after 1st years. Don’t bother with teepee covers. Trust me, keep some washcloths within arm’s reach of your diaper changing station, and prepare to develop your reflexes.
7. The Healers
Triple Paste Diaper Cream I cannot recommend this product enough. If your baby ends up with any food allergy or sensitive skin, this Triple Paste is for you.
My son developed an allergy to grapes and blueberries around the age of 14 months. When he began weaned from breastmilk, he woke up from a nap with severe sores for his bottom. I remembered Triple Paste from when my teenagers were babies and how well it worked.
The Triple Paste healed his sores in 24 hours and his skin wholly healed in 2 days. I cannot say that for the other diaper creams we received at our baby shower.
By the way, his allergies have settled, and he no longer gets these types of sores with grapes. Thank goodness, it was hard keeping those away from him while his sisters enjoyed them so often.
This is a MUST for every Diaper Changing Station.
Snappi Diaper Cream Applicator Don’t skip this little gadget, it’s worth it to avoid getting thick cream (like Triple Paste) in your fingernails, and baby’s happy about the nails being out of the cream spreading equation too.
I do not need to use diaper cream daily. Rashes should be very infrequent. I only apply cream when there is an issue that crops up. It helps a lot on those occasions.
On the top shelf of the Raskog Cart, I have a simple box that holds the cream bottles and the Ubbi Wipes Dispenser and a few handfuls of diapers.
There are so many good products to choose from, and I received many as gifts. However my favorite ended up being Eucerin Baby Body Lotion which I tried from a sample at my pediatrician’s office. Eucerin Baby Body Lotion hydrated my baby’s skin and made it nice and soft without being heavy with perfumes, and it is fragrance-free. I liked this and the accompanying Eucerin Baby Wash & Shampoo 2-n-1 Tear-Free Formula.
8. The Cleaners
Mustela No-Rinse Cleansing Water for Face and Diaper Area Use this No Rinse Cleansing Water to freshen up baby’s skin in between baths. Also great for food stains on the face. Pasta for dinner, anyone? Last but not least on the top level of the Raskog Cart: Babyganics Alcohol-Free Foaming Hand Sanitizer and Babyganics Fragrance-Free Stain Remover. Because Diapers, Pee, Poop, enough said.
9. The Stench
Diaper Pail. If I told you not to bother trying to find a diaper pail that contains funk would you believe me? What if I suggested that you toss them in a bin situated outside your home each day, would you do it?
That’s what we do now that my son is a toddler eating people food. Nothing could contain that funk, people. Let’s be real. But I do have a simple small step-on wastebasket that I toss wet only diapers in. When that dirty diaper comes into the scene for the day, I grab the entire pail insert, wet and now dirty diapers, and toss them all into a garbage pail outside. This works for us. Find what works for you.
If you do not like this option or live in a place where you can’t just step outside the door to toss your dirty diapers, try this. I have heard some good things about the Ubbi Diaper Pail. Do not, however, bother with a Diaper Genie that is from my previous experiences.
10. On the Go
For the Portable Diaper Changing Station, I present the best option out there: Skip Hop Baby Pronto Portable Changing Station This Pronto Portable changing station makes any surface a diaper changing station. Back seat of the car, the cargo area of your SUV, grass, sofa, questionably clean folding diaper tables in public restrooms. Now you can breathe because your baby can be changed anywhere there is a flat surface and all your supplies (diapers, wipes, cream, and tiny hand sanitizer) and you are ready to go.
If you travel mostly in a car: Keep a plastic shoe box container or gallon-sized ziplock bag with several diapers, an extra package of wipes and a change or two of clothes.
By the way, this entire Diaper Changing Station list is just another reason you may want to Get Amazon Prime. Check out my post about the benefits of doing so while your baby is young. 10 Reasons a Family with a Newborn Should Get Amazon Prime
Do not do this with your Diaper Changing Station
Decorate the walls directly above the changing table.
Don’t decorate your diaper changing station with anything delicate or that can be pulled off the wall. This will not be an issue when your precious is 0-9 months old. After 9 months, your peanut will now be interested in standing a bit and reaching for this and that, and by the time he is 1 year to 18 months he will be ripping whatever you have on that wall off. That beautiful elephant wall hanging lost the middle elephant not months after this picture was taken.
So take a look through Pinterest at beautiful nursery setups with books over the diaper changing table or baskets screwed into the wall, and then keep scrolling because that set up will not work in the real world.
Clearly, it’s been a while since that stylist has had children or perhaps they never have. Either way, don’t frustrate yourself or tempt your child with a reason to stand up and go for that thing. Please, do yourself a favor.
Don’t get a changing table that has your baby’s feet facing your stomach.
This is a very impractical way to wipe down a baby. Plus, is that the view you want of your baby 4-5 times a day? Wouldn’t you instead look at her sweet face and have the opportunity to give her soft round belly a raspberry? These can be bonding times. When her head is way on the other end and your only view is feet and bum? That’s no fun for either of you. That would encourage her to sit up to see you. Not what you want when you are working to clean up.
Never mind the alligator phase. I swear from 14-19 months changing my son’s diaper has been like wrestling an alligator. One that spins too! So being able to reach to hold down a torso once in a while is advantageous.
So, speaking of moving babies/toddlers. Be thoughtful about the dresser drawer/changing table idea. If I have to get clothes out of the drawer because my baby had a blowout, I’m not sure I would have liked having to pull my body back to take one hand to open the draw, while stretching out to hold him down with the other hand. That is awkward.
The way I have it set up, the changing table is at a perpendicular line to the dresser on the right. So I keep my left hand on my son and reach over and grab a new onesie, socks, pants for him with my right. Sure the ideal situation is to have that all pulled out first, but if he messes while I am changing, then if I need to grab something from the drawer, I can.
Experiment with the table you are considering and think about these things. Put a baby doll on it and pretend you are trying to wrestle and reach and pull down and all those things. Does it feel okay? Then go for it.
Well, I hope this guide has been useful in planning your new Diaper Changing Station and helps make this task a bit easier for you.
Chandra is the chocolate-chip loving mother of 2 teenage girls who started over again with a baby boy in her 40’s! She is the author of The Mom’s Playbook to Conquering Softball Season. She gives other moms the tools they need to prepare their daughters for real life. Her content is centered on helping girls grow up to be well-rounded, equipped, expressive, confident, intelligent, capable, kind and independent.