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8 min read | 9 September 2019
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A well-organised and functional change table can streamline nappy changes, making it easier and more efficient. Your baby’s change table is also the perfect place to give your little one some personal care – use it to clean them, brush their hair and trim their little nails and even treat them to a spot of baby massage.
When preparing your nursery for the arrival of your little one, spending some time setting up your change table in just the right way will ensure you’re ready for all those nappy changes. It’s important to have everything you need within arm’s reach to ensure you don’t leave your baby unattended on the table. Whether you’re a first-time parent or simply looking to update your nursery setup, our change table checklist will help you create a changing area that meets your needs while ensuring your little one has a comfortable and safe space for nappy changes.
The number one thing that every change table needs is a stack of nappies. Whether you opt for disposable nappies, or prefer to use reusable ones, you’ll need lots of them on hand, especially in those early days where you might use up to 10 in a single day!
Baby wipes are your best friend at change time! You’ll go through lots of wipes as you change dirty nappies. Look for wipes that are nourishing, moisturising and high in water content, and free from ingredients that might cause irritation like alcohol and fragrances.
Nappy change creams help to treat and prevent nappy rash, which can occur if your baby’s sensitive skin is exposed to a wet or dirty nappy for too long. However, not all nappy change creams are created equal, so you may need to try a few different types before finding the right one for your little one’s skin.
Once you’ve removed your baby’s dirty nappy, pop it in a nappy bag to keep things nice and tidy around your change table and help hide any bad smells.
A nappy bin is a life saver for those times you can’t get straight to the rubbish bin. Large enough to store several dirty nappies, a good nappy bin helps to keep your change area clean and hygienic and can also hide the smell of dirty nappies.
For some babies, having their nappy changed isn’t an enjoyable activity and they may become unsettled or resistant. A teething toy or comforter can provide both distraction and comfort for your baby during nappy changes, making the process smoother and more enjoyable for everyone involved.
Nappies are generally pretty good at holding everything in, but every now and then an explosion can occur! Having a couple of sets of baby clothing close to your change table will ensure that you can easily swap out what they’re wearing when accidents happen.
Keep your baby change area nice and clean by giving it a good wipe down with disinfectant wipes at each change.
Hand towels are perfect at change time due to their size and absorbency and are useful in several ways. They can be placed underneath your baby’s bottom to catch any unexpected leaks or spills and provide added comfort and warmth to your baby while they’re on the change table. They’re also perfect for quick clean-ups of accidental spills and messes.
Muslin wraps and bunny rugs can be used for so much more than swaddling. Have a couple on hand to mop up spills or use them as a makeshift change mat.
Nappy change time can be uncomfortable or unsettling for some babies. If your little one likes using a dummy, having one or two within easy reach can help soothe and distract them, providing a source of comfort and calm whilst having their nappy changed.
Babies have sensitive skin which is often prone to dryness, particularly in the cooler months. A hydrating baby lotion will help to keep their body soft and smooth.
Giving your baby a massage is a great way to connect with your little one while calming and soothing them and moisturising their delicate skin. Opt for baby massage oils designed especially for infants that are free from harsh chemicals and fragrances.
Keeping a thermometer on your baby’s change table is useful for quickly checking your little one’s temperature during nappy changes and identifying any signs of fever or illness.
Even if your little one doesn’t have hair yet, brushing their head with a soft-bristled baby brush is a great way to massage their scalp and can help to relieve dry skin and cradle cap.
You’ll be surprised by how quickly little fingernails grow (and how sharp they get!), so having a pair of nail clippers or a baby nail file within reach at change time is useful. Keep your baby’s nails short and smooth to prevent scratches.
Aside from being useful for your baby’s sponge baths, muslin facewashers are also handy for cleaning up little spills and accidents on the change table. You can also use a damp facewasher to clean your baby’s gums and first teeth.
Bibs are useful for protecting your little one’s clothes from food spills, drool, and messes, keeping them clean and dry.
After a relaxing bath, wrap your baby up in an organic cotton hooded towel.
A nappy caddy or basket with smaller compartments is a great way to keep everything organised and allows you to easily transport your essentials between rooms or take everything you need with you when you go away.
After a change, you might not be able to wash your hands with soap and water straight away. Having a bottle of hand sanitiser nearby means you can easily disinfect your hands after you change your little one.
Cotton pads are useful at change time as they can be used for gentle cleaning of the baby's delicate areas during nappy changes, providing a soft and absorbent surface that is safe for their sensitive skin.
Babies can’t blow their noses, so a bottle of saline spray or drops can help to relieve congestion, allowing them to breathe a little easier when they’ve got a cold. Use saline drops at change time, when your little one is calm and still.
A laundry basket placed near your baby’s change table is useful for conveniently (and hygienically) storing dirty items clothes and nappies until you’re ready to do a load of washing, keeping the area organised and minimising mess.
Middle-of-the-night nappy changes are inevitable, especially in the early days! A night light or dimmable lamp placed on or near your change table will give you enough light to change your little one, without having to use a bright overhead light.
A sponge bath is a good way to keep your little one clean between baths. Fill a small bowl with warm water and use a muslin face washer to gently clean their face and body while on the change table.
Download the Purebaby Change Table Checklist so you can refer to it when setting up your changing area.
Babies will need changing multiple times every day, and while they can be changed on the floor or another flat surface, a change table certainly makes life easier! Aside from giving you a surface to change your baby on at standing height, many change tables also have space to store all your changing essentials and personal care items so they’re within easy reach.
Some parents opt for a specifically designed change table with an integrated changing mat, nappy caddy and storage pouches, while others prefer to use a dresser or other piece of furniture with a flat, wide top and a changing mat placed on top. Ultimately the type of change table you buy will depend on your budget, space and style preferences, but whatever you decide, make sure it’s safe and stable.
Choose a change table that allows you to change nappies comfortably without having to bend over excessively. Most change tables are around 90cm in height, which is considered comfortable for most adults, however, it’s important to consider your height and personal preferences when selecting your change table - some people may find that a slightly higher or lower height might be more suitable for them.
The length of time you use a change table for will vary depending on your child's development and your own personal preferences. Generally, you can use a change table from birth until your little one is around 2 to 3 years old, which is when most children transition from nappies to going to the toilet on their own.
However, every child is different, and some may be toilet trained earlier or later than others. Additionally, some parents may continue to use a change table beyond the toddler years for other things, such as dressing or organising clothes. Ultimately, the decision of when to stop using a change table is up to you and your child's needs. As your little one becomes more independent and capable of standing and dressing themselves, you may find that a change table is no longer necessary.
A general rule of thumb is to keep the most essential items as close to your changing area as possible. Things like nappies, baby wipes, nappy cream, nappy bags and a spare change of clothes should be within easy reach at change time to make things quick and convenient. Look for change tables with compartmentalised storage, or stock up on baskets or bins to keep everything neat, tidy and organised. A nappy caddy or basket with smaller compartments is a great way to keep everything organised and allows you to easily transport your essentials between rooms or out and about.
Many parents decide to put their change table in the nursery where babies often sleep and play, making it a convenient spot for nappy changes. Some parents find that setting up a secondary change area, for example in their bedroom when their little one is sleeping in their room, makes things easier particularly during the night. Other parents prefer to have everything they need in a nappy caddy that they can transport to different rooms of the house.
There is always a risk that your little one could fall from a change table, so it’s important to set it up and use it safely. Choose a table that is stable and secure, and select one with a safety strap or harness if you can. These tips can help keep your child safe at change time:
Make sure all your changing essentials are within arm’s reach before laying your little on the change table.
Always stay with your baby while they’re on the table and keep a hand on them to stop them from falling.
If your change table has side pouches or compartments, be sure not to overload them to prevent the table from toppling over.
Teach older children to keep off the change table.
A baby change table is a valuable addition to any nursery or baby room. It provides a dedicated and safe space for nappy changes and makes this part of the daily routine more comfortable and convenient. By setting up a well-designed changing area, organising it efficiently and stocking it with everything you need, changing your baby can be a pleasant and stress-free part of your day.
Don’t forget to download our change table checklist to refer to when you’re preparing your changing area. Shop our collection of premium baby changing accessories, including change mats, cloth wipes and much more at Purebaby.
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