Change Table Buying Guide
Change Tables 101
Types of Change Tables
Dresser-Drawer Change Table
Open Shelf Changing Table
Change Table & Dresser Combo
Portable Change Stations
Contoured Changing Pads
Playpen Change Stations
Change Table Buying Tips:
• 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
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.
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.
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.
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.
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:
• 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:
• 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