The vital reason to consider when to stop using a changing table is your child’s safety – the equipment weight limit and your baby’s age are secondary. If your baby is strong enough to sit up or roll from back to front, and the safety belt is of no use to restrain your child, then it’s probably best to clean and re-box the changing table – save it for future use. Babies are unique, and they develop differently, so outgrowing the changing table will be up to them. As parents, it’s time to prove again just how we know the best for our children.
Planning the arrival of your new bundle of joy will require your energy, budget, efforts, and others, especially now that the market offers so much about baby must-haves.
Believe me, when you see baby stuff, not to mention the influence your family and/or friends made – you will undoubtedly consider most of the baby things as essential. It’s good, therefore, to come prepared about the coming of your little one.
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Things to know about changing table
A changing table is simply a flat surface mainly used for changing a baby’s clothes, diapers, and the likes. Having this is an individual decision considering, for instance – your budget and space.
Whether you have a stand-alone, or a dresser, or a desk, take note that a changing station must be safe, functional, and baby-friendly.
What to consider before buying a changing table
- Space – For common baby things like diapers and check the available space in your home or nursery room – you will need an area for it.
- Solid-sturdy legs – A must since your baby will not always behave during nappy changes.
- Guardrail or safety straps – Always remember, your baby’s safety is a priority, and these 2 will help a lot.
- Your budget – Of course, this is self-explanatory, but investing a little more for a good quality table will lead you to big savings down the road.
Some of the everyday essentials found in a changing table
- Diapers – Stack them neatly for easy use.
- Baby wipes – You’ll need this more than you think; it’s good to buy in bulk.
- Creams – Basic for any diaper rash, you can stock up hypoallergenic moisturizers.
- Pacifiers and soothers – No doubt, there will be times when your baby will resist diaper changes, so be prepared; soothers or pacifiers are the best choices.
- Extra changing pad – For backup purposes.
- Nail clippers – Baby nails grow fast; keeping them short prevents scratching.
- A pair of baby clothes or bodysuits or onesies.
- Diaper bins or plastic bags – To keep the dirty diapers, sanitation is important.
Advantages of using a changing table
- This will prevent knee and back pain from bending down to the floor or bed or any lower flat surface you use as an alternate changing place.
- You can stand upright, not slouched over like in bed, or sit on the floor.
- This will allow you to organize everything you need in 1 place, thus making the changing process easy.
- Lesser mess – you can’t really avoid the mess, thanks to your squirmy little one, but using changing table will save your mattress, carpet, or other precious linens.
- This may be beneficial for your baby too – taking your baby to a similar place helps create habits; your baby understands what to expect when brought to the changing station.
- Some, if not all, can serve another purpose. Most tables are re-usable.
- Other moms say bathing is also possible using the changing table. You can put the baby bath essentials on top of the table – it makes bathing easier indeed!
Disadvantages of using a changing table
- Babies can get hurt if they fall off the changing tables.
- This may hurt your legs while standing and tending to your baby – too long.
- An additional expense.
Safety tips while using the changing table or station
In all the things we plan to use for our little ones, safety is our top-notch priority. It would be helpful to know and understand the following safety tips.
- Keep the changing table clean.
- Use the safety belt at all times.
- Never leave your baby unattended, even if they are secured.
- Always keep 1 hand on your baby.
- Keep baby supplies within your reach – but out of your baby’s reach.
- Stop immediately when you see any reason to stop using the changing table.
Reasons to stop using a changing table
There are toddler or adult changing tables with special considerations to children with special needs – sturdier tables designed for special needs. Otherwise, please note the following reasons to stop changing table use.
- Weight limit specified by the manufacturer of your changing table – obey the recommendation for safety reasons.
- You have a hard time lifting your baby on and off the changing table.
- Your baby learns new skills, rolling from back to front and vice versa, sitting up, crawling, in short – you may not be able to contain your baby easily.
- When your baby grows bigger, you may notice your baby’s legs are hanging off the end of the table.
- Your baby starts fighting diaper change – can’t remain still.
- If you see any signs of damage or weakness – stop and get rid of it to avoid accidental usage by others.
My son and I did not have any changing table; we used changing mat instead and stopped using it when my son was around 6 months. Afterward, we used clean towels on our bed whenever I need to change him.
By the time he learned to stand firm and can already walk, I can change his clothes and nappy with him standing facing me. We enjoyed the experience.
Alternatives of changing table or station
I made use of our bed, floor, and any flat areas in the house – I just needed to bring the changing mat or pad with me, and as long as my baby and I are comfortable – we’re good.
Using the floor is undoubtedly the safest way against falling hazards. But of course, keep in mind to prepare everything you need before every diaper change.
Although, I honestly have moments when I wished I had a changing table. As you may know, I had my son thru a caesarian section, and those of you who have similar sutured lower abdominal cut would probably agree – the pain is excruciating.
Don’t get me wrong, I managed without it. It would have been easier and less painful if I don’t need to bend, adjusting to the height of our bed every time I need to change my son’s clothes and nappy.
Some other alternatives
- Folding changing table – best when you have limited space.
- Crib changing table – some crib has a changing table on it, you can buy it on a combo.
- Add a changing mat or quilted pad on your existing desk – this will do.
- Portable changing station – you can carry this around just like your diaper bag.
- A simple changing pad with belts – affordable and convenient to use.
This for sure can be challenging at times, especially for new parents, but if you come prepared, the first few nappy changes may take longer – but you’ll become experts without you realizing it. You will learn and improve in every single diaper change.
Consider diaper change a time to bond and connect with your baby, make eye contact, smile, talk, sing, and respond to your child lovingly. Make every diaper change a special time for both of you.
Changing a diaper, like breastfeeding and sleepless nights, is an unavoidable task when you finally become parents.
- If you happen to see your baby’s first poo – it will be a thick, greenish, and tar-like substance; it’s called meconium. Don’t worry, this is normal.
- It’s important to check diapers frequently, change every after a poo, and on average of every after 4 hours – even the diaper is not soiled. Don’t save on the expense of your baby – I’m sure you’ll not want your baby suffering from infections later, right?
- If you have a baby boy – don’t expose his little reproductive organ to the open air during a diaper change. This is to prevent surprise pee-shower to yourself or worse, his face – sharp-shooting to his mouth. We don’t want this kind of incident to happen. Imagine my horror when I experienced this, my son’s pee directly to his mouth – it concerned me. Don’t let this happen to you too.
- If you start to experience frequent leaks, then it’s time to upgrade your baby’s diaper size.
Is a changing table necessary?
The answer this time is no. A changing table is not particularly necessary but somehow improves the daily care of your baby hence useful.
All you need is a safe area where you can access the must-haves of your baby. It’s again up to you to decide of having a changing table or not.
Does a changing table pose falling hazards?
Yes, it does when you leave your child unattended on the changing table.
Assuming your child’s safety is a very dangerous act. You will never know when your child can easily roll off the table, so always be mindful of how to prevent falling hazards.
Again, when preparing for the nappy change, always ensure that everything you need is within your reach. Sommer McCann said, “You never know when the baby will start moving or rolling on its own, it might be the few seconds when you leave to grab a new diaper.”
Safety experts and pediatricians mostly recommend avoiding changing table-related accidents – babies should be changed on a changing mat on the floor or mattress instead.
Does the height of the changing table matter?
Yes. Hip height is a great option – you don’t want to bend over for a lower table or strain your arms and shoulders for a higher table.
Bending can hurt your back, and diaper change is a repetitive task, so regular height table matters.
A standard table height is 28-32 inches plus a 6 inches’ barrier; this will reduce back pain and prevent falling accidents.
How can I encourage cooperation during a diaper change?
Your baby may get wild at times – you may not be able to stop your baby from rolling off the changing table. Involving your child in the diaper change is important. The following may help make your child stay still during diaper changes.
1. Consider giving your child special toys – the toys they love.
2. Talk to your baby, play with them, make your baby feel secured and love.
3. In the absence of special toys, you can offer something for your baby to play with – make sure your baby is safe with it. Some of the things you can offer are a piece of diaper, soother, pacifier, colorful onesies, and others.
A formal changing table may not be necessary but helpful, especially if you have back pain, knee pain, and post-operative cesarean section pain.
It would be great to designate a common place where you can arrange all the baby-must-haves – for your convenience and a safe station where you can clothe your baby or do diaper changes easily and safely – making the experience favorable for you and your little one.
You will definitely need to stop using a changing table when your child already moves a lot and grown bigger – for safety reasons. It’s harder than you think diapering a growing, active baby – it’s safer to do the task on a pad or towel on the floor or any flat surfaces.
Your baby’s safety is essential, at all times, so decide when to stop using a changing table considering the existing risks. As parents, you’ll know what is best for your baby.
I hope this article helps you somehow. Let me know if you have other tips and recommendations about changing table use.