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If you’ve ever spent time caring for a baby, you may have wondered how such a tiny human could produce so much waste.
Fortunately, having a great changing table can make the diapering process more bearable.
You don’t have to squat on the floor or kneel on the bed to change your little one. Instead, you place your baby on a nice piece of furniture — a handsome table that’s engineered to the appropriate height so you don’t strain your back — that also serves as a storage area.
There are hundreds of changing tables on the market, however, and not all of them are worth the money. How do you find a quality model that fits your needs?
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The above product matrix contains brief descriptions of our five top choices in changing tables. Please refer to it at your leisure.
If you’d like to learn even more about changing tables and how to select the right one, please continue reading this guide.
It's true that humans survived perfectly well for thousands of years without changing tables. They also survived without TVs and running water, but we’re not about to start hiking to the nearest well to get fresh H2O.
There are many compelling reasons why you might want to buy a changing table. Here are just a handful of them —
Baby changing tables help you avoid knee and back pain associated with regularly kneeling or bending to change diapers.
Most changing tables have built-in storage, so you'll be able to keep everything you need on hand. No more wondering where the diaper rash cream has gone.
Many tables include guardrails, straps, or other safety features to help prevent your baby from rolling off the table.
Frequently bending down to change diapers can cause nasty back and knee pain, especially for taller adults and those prone to joint problems. A changing table helps ameliorate this.
The market offers several different types of changing tables. The three most common are open-shelf, dresser-style, and wall-mounted tables.
An open-shelf table features two or three open shelves below the platform on which you change your baby.
Open-shelf tables tend to be more affordable than dresser-style varieties.
If you're buying your changing table flatpacked, an open-shelf table is usually much easier to assemble.
Because items are out in the open rather than stashed inside drawers, some people find it easier to keep track of their diapering supplies.
If you're not a tidy person, an open-shelf changing table can end up looking messy, since everything you store is on display.
Open-shelf changing tables usually include plenty of room to store your diapering supplies. But they can end up looking messy if you try to fit too much on the shelves.
A dresser-style changing table features a changing platform above and a number of drawers below. In addition, some dresser-style tables may sport one open shelf.
If the drawers are spacious — and they often are — you can easily load them with clothes and blankets as well as diapering supplies.
Many people find this style more appealing and attractive than the others. After all, it looks like a regular piece of bedroom furniture.
Some models allow you to remove the guardrails or changing platform from the top so you can use it as a regular chest of drawers when the child grows older.
Dresser-style changing tables tend to cost more than other changing table options.
Dresser-style baby changing tables are often larger than other varieties. Make sure you have ample space to accommodate this type of furniture before you buy one.
A wall-mounted changing table is similar to what you might see in a public restroom. But in spite of their commercial applications, some people find them handy for home use, too.
These tables consume little space and can be folded flat against the wall when not in use.
You'll often find hooks to hold you diaper bag and built-in wipe dispensers on wall-mounted models.
You don't get any storage space to speak of with a wall-mounted changing table.
If you don't have much floor space, a wall-mounted changing table is a great option.
There's no standard height for a changing table, and they can vary by as much as five or six inches between models. If you're especially tall or short, it could be difficult or uncomfortable for you to use particularly low or high changing tables, respectively.
We recommend that you check the height of your chosen changing table in the product specs before making a purchase.
Parents who stand very tall (or very short) may appreciate a wall-mounted changing unit, especially if they’re having a tough time finding a freestanding changing table of the right height.
Different models offer different types and amounts of storage space. As mentioned above, open-shelf tables generally offer two to three shelves for storage whereas dresser-style tables usually offer two to three drawers and perhaps an open shelf. There are more novel configurations, too. One of our favorite changing tables has three small drawers plus a hamper for dirty laundry. In truth, it’s up to you to decide how much storage space you need in a changing table.
As well as storage space below the changing platform, there should be ample top shelf space to fit your baby and all the changing supplies you need. With everything at arm’s reach, you won't have to take your hands or eyes off the child during the changing process.
Wall-mounted tables typically don’t offer any storage space, although they may include a built-in dispenser for wipes or clean diapers.
Many parents establish a theme or color scheme for their nursery. If you’re one of those parents, you'll probably want a changing table that fits with your chosen decor.
You can buy individual tables in a range of beautiful colors, from espresso to cherry to white. If you’d like your child’s changing table to be part of a cohesive set, this is possible, too. Many manufacturers make matching cribs and chests of drawers to go with their changing tables.
If you love a piece of furniture but not its color, you could paint it. Just be sure to use non-toxic, baby-safe nursery paint.
When you consider that you may only need it for a couple of years, a changing table isn’t the cheapest piece of furniture. That said, if you plan to have more children, you’ll get more use out of yours. And some models can be used as general storage after you’re done with diapers.
Tables in the $75 to $100 price range sit on the lower end of the spectrum. They’re often slightly smaller than average and may not give you as much top shelf space as some other products. In addition, they might be a bit low for taller parents.
In the price range of $100 to $150, you can get a decent open-shelf changing table or a basic wall-mounted model.
Once you go above $150, you should be able to find a range of dresser-style changing tables, as well as some high-end open-shelf varieties.
If you're concerned about spending a lot of money on a changing table you'll only use for a short time, look for a model that could be used as a regular chest of drawers once your child is potty trained.
Make sure you gather all your supplies on the top shelf before placing your baby up there for a diaper change.
Ideally, you should have one hand on your baby at all times when he or she is on the changing table. That's why top shelf space is important; you don't want to have to bend down to retrieve anything from a lower shelf during the diapering process.
Q. Where should I place my changing table?
A. For safety reasons, changing tables should always be positioned up against a wall, as this means there's only one open side your baby could potentially roll off of. For extra stability, consider placing it in a corner. This way, two sides are positioned against walls.
Q. Is there a weight limit for my baby changing table?
A. Yes, all changing tables have a maximum weight limit. This tends to be around 30 pounds, but it varies between makes and models, so it's always best to check the manufacturer's specifications.
Q. How can I keep my baby safe when using a changing table?
A. Changing tables are safe if used correctly, but you should always exercise caution and common sense.
It probably goes without saying, but you should never leave your baby unattended on a changing table, even if the table has safety straps or a guardrail. Safety features like these are great as a backup, but they don't make it safe to leave your baby up there unsupervised.
Ideally, you should have one hand on your baby at all times. It takes only a second for a child to roll off a table, and if your child were to fall, he or she could sustain serious injuries. So be vigilant!