Change Table Buying Guide

A baby change table can help organize your nursery and make diaper changes quick, safe and easy. This change table buying guide outlines some of the key features and benefits to consider.

Change Tables 101

Your little bundle of joy will require a lot of diaper changes, so it's important to choose a baby change table that meets your needs and baby's too. The ideal change table (also called a changing table) offers a safe, clean and convenient place to change a diaper. Many models also offer storage to help organize your diapering supplies. Look for safety features such as contoured changing pads and safety straps. If space is limited consider a foldable change table. And if you travel frequently, portable change stations are also available. Diaper duty is demanding, but the right baby change table can ease the stress and make diaper changes a more pleasant experience for your baby.

Types of Change Tables


Dresser-Drawer Change Table

A dresser-drawer change table combines storage space for clothing and diapering essentials with a convenient surface for changing your baby. A key benefit of this type of change table is that stored items are concealed from baby's view when the drawers are closed. This makes it less likely that your child will attempt to climb up and explore the items inside. Some models convert into full-size dressers or bookshelves that can provide years of additional use as your child grows.

Open Shelf Changing Table

Open-shelf baby change tables feature handy shelves that offer easy access to diapering essentials. You can store items on their own in the shelves, or place them in decorative wicker baskets or fabric bins for added convenience and style. You'll appreciate having everything you need to change your baby, including diapers, wipes and rash ointment, within easy reach. However, keep in mind that once your baby becomes mobile, open shelving can become a climbing hazard. Be sure to anchor your changing table securely to the wall with furniture straps. Also, consider removing storage bins to avoid creating an unnecessary attraction for curious little minds.

Change Table & Dresser Combo

Changing table and dresser combos feature a contoured changing pad fitted securely on a dresser top, along with drawers or cabinets (or both) for storing clothing and diaper essentials. These versatile, space-saving units are also known as high-low dressers and combination changing tables and dressers. Some models can be converted to dressers to accommodate your child's storage needs well beyond their baby years.

Portable Change Stations

Portable changing stations are all-in-one kits that include a washable mat and storage space for diapers, wipes and creams. Some of these handy units come with their own carrying caddy, while others are small enough to stash in a diaper bag or glove compartment. Whether you’re travelling far or just switching rooms in your home, a portable change station allows you to be prepared at all times for a diaper change. 

Contoured Changing Pads

Contoured changing pads are removable cushioned surfaces that can be attached to the top of a regular dresser to convert it into a temporary change station. Look for a changing pad with safety features such as four contoured sides, restraining straps to keep baby safe and hardware to attach it securely to a dresser. The sides should be at least 10 cm high and made from a rigid material, rather than soft foam. Choose a dresser that's low and wide, rather than tall and narrow, and anchor the dresser to the wall by properly installing furniture straps. This will add stability and prevent tipping during diaper changes. 

Playpen Change Stations

Many playpens come with built-in changing stations that fit securely over the top rails. This allows you to change your baby at a comfortable height to avoid muscle strain. When not in use, the changing station can be removed to give baby extra space for playing or sleeping. Some models have storage pockets to stash diapers and wipes, but make sure baby can't reach them. A playpen changing station is a practical option if you're short on space or have a limited budget. And since playpens are portable, it gives you the added convenience of changing your baby wherever you've placed your playpen.

Change Table Buying Tips:

• Look for safety features such as barriers on all four sides and safety straps
• Choose wood over particleboard for greater strength and stability
• Consider the height of the changing table surface to ensure it's convenient for mom and dad
• Look for recognizable certification seals to ensure the changing table is safe to use
• Consider your storage requirements

Change Table Features

Materials +

Change tables come in a variety of sizes, styles and materials. Top-quality changing tables tend to be made of birch, beech or maple, but you can find good-quality units made of particleboard or composites. If your budget allows, or if you plan to use your change table for more than one child, choose solid wood construction for its added durability, strength and stability. Also, a change table made of solid wood generally can be anchored directly to a wall to prevent tipping. With particleboard tables, it may be necessary to first attach pieces of solid wood to the table and then attach the anchors to the solid wood.

Construction +

Look for a sturdy, well-made change table strong enough to hold a baby up to 30 pounds in weight. Growing babies become increasingly mobile. Your change table shouldn’t easily wobble as a result of your baby's ordinary movements. Look for a table that's a good height for both parents to diaper their little one. Drawers, shelves and cabinets should be within arm's reach so you can access diapers and other supplies without leaving baby unattended.

Convertibility +

Size up your space, budget and lifestyle before investing in a change table. If you choose a model that converts into a full-size dresser, bookshelf or desk, you might be able to justify paying more for higher quality construction. Convertible changing tables tend to be more expensive than traditional models, but they will give you years of extra use. If you like the idea of a convertible changing table, you should consider buying other matching convertible nursery furniture, like a convertible crib and a convertible armoire.

Storage +

Change tables come with various storage options, including open shelving, drawers and cabinets. Open shelving gives you easy access to your nursery needs. You also have the choice of storing items right on the shelves or concealing them in bins or baskets. Beware that open shelving may eventually become a climbing hazard because older babies will go after things that are visible on the shelves. Drawers and cupboards are an alternative solution that keeps stored items out of sight and can be latched shut with childproof locks.

Changing Pad +

A changing pad is a cushioned surface that can be placed on a dresser, bed or the floor to keep your baby comfortable during diaper changes. Vinyl changing pads are a convenient choice as they can be wiped clean with soap and water. Machine-washable cotton and terry cloth covers are another easy-care option. They feature a waterproof layer that fits over the change pad to keep it clean and sanitary. Look for a changing pad with four contoured sides to prevent your baby from rolling, adjustable safety straps to keep baby secure, non-skid backing to prevent slipping and a mechanism to secure the changing pad to your dresser. Avoid changing pads that are too thick for your dresser's guardrails.

Safety rails +

Many change tables are outfitted with a wood barrier or guardrail on all four sides to help protect against falls and injuries. The barrier should be high enough to prevent your baby from rolling off the table. But keep in mind that you should never leave your baby unattended as guardrails alone aren’t enough to keep your little one safe.

Safety Straps +

Many changing pads come with safety straps and a safety buckle to keep your child restrained during diaper changes. Your changing pad should also have security straps on the bottom of the pad with easy-snap screws to keep it attached securely to a dresser or changing table.

Wheels +

Some changing tables come with wheels so they can be moved easily from room to room. Ensure that at least two of the wheels have lockable brakes to keep the change table stable and stationary when parked, and be sure to lock the wheels whenever you change your baby.

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Change Table Safety Tips:

• Always use security straps to prevent falls
• Stop using your change table when baby is two years old or weighs 30 pounds
• Keep baby oils and powders out of baby's reach
• Place the change table away from heaters, windows, drapes, blind cords, pictures and shelves
• Anchor change tables to the wall with furniture straps to prevent tipping
• If your changing table has wheels, you should avoid rolling it while your baby is on the table.

Change Table Diapering Tips:

• Never leave your baby unattended, and keep one hand firmly on your child at all times
• Always change your baby from the side to prevent rolling
• Place diapering essentials on the change table opposite your baby's head and out of reach
• Give your child a calming toy to hold during diapering
• Keep diaper pails and hampers within arm’s reach
This article is intended as general information. Always be sure to read and follow the label(s)/instruction(s) that accompany your product(s). Walmart will not be responsible for any injury or damage caused by this activity.



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