The changing table has become a completely essential piece of furniture. To make the most effective use of your changing table, follow these tips and nursery ideas.
Why Have One?
A changing table is a great tool which keeps all the necessities of infant hygiene in one place. Diaper changing is time-consuming enough without having to traipse all over the house to locate diapers, wipes, creams, and fresh clothing in case of diaper failure.
The changing table is designed to take the strain off your back and knees by elevating the changing surface to a comfortable standing level. The mess is also minimized because it is much easier to toss the changing pad in the washer or wipe clean a smooth, soil-resistant surface than it is to clean other surfaces such as the carpet or couches.
A Place for Everything
A proper changing table is an all-in-one pit stop for baby’s needs. Organize the drawers to your satisfaction with smaller containers or neatly-folded rows of supplies and make sure to include the basics. The bare necessities of diaper changes include: diapers, wipes, ointments, and a spare outfit.
Other items that are good candidates for keeping in those changing drawers are extra changing pads, trash can liners, plastic bags to double wrap especially large messes, lotion, baby powder, and bath things such as soaps, towels, wash cloths, and extra clothing.
Location, Location, Location
Where is the best place for your changing table? That is up to you. Stereotypically the changing table is located in the nursery. If the nursery is in an out of the way location making it impractical to haul your tot to the west wing of your home with each messy diaper, then the table will most likely become a dust collector.
A large bathroom or closet in the main living area might be a better location. Good nursery ideas do not have to be confined to the nursery itself if your needs are better met elsewhere. Don't worry about what's “traditional” if it doesn't make sense for you and your baby. You have enough on your plate already without having to worry about that. Do make sure that the old diapers are disposed of in a way that isn't going to offend guests, however.
The Unsung Sidekick
A changing table is a great place for you to change your baby, but where do you put the left over, used-up refuse when finished? The convenience factor of a permanent changing station is dramatically undermined when a proper garbage receptacle is not located nearby.
There are many products on the market designed to handle the smells and mess of used diapers. They each have their own pros and cons, but their common downfall is an inability to accommodate other kinds of trash. If mom wants to toss a tissue used to dry little tears or wipe a runny nose, she may not want to go through the hassle of bagging and tagging each hanky every time.
A simple trash can with a lid that can be opened at a touch of the toe is great. Keep the size small so diapers don’t accumulate and create an unbearable smell. Another alternative is to place a second, smaller pail nearby for such trash.
No matter what kind of diaper pail is used, there will be a certain amount of displeasing aromas rising from the primary activities conducted atop the changing table. No one’s nursery ideas include a foul smell. To minimize their effect (and duration), equip the changing table with an odor eater of some sort. Spray deodorant products are great, but not your only option. You can also choose odor-absorbing trash can liners, odor-neutralizing candles, or frequent emptying and cleansing of the pail itself.
Having a can with a lid is critical here. A can without a lid will allow all of the smells inside to escape and drift throughout the room. Scented trash bags are a great option if you can't find odor-absorbing ones. They are not enough to allow you to have a lidless can, however.
If your nursery has a window, open the window when the temperature allows to help air it out. Not only will this allow nasty smells to escape, but it will bring in fresh air for your baby. Fresh air will help keep your baby happy and healthy. It can also give mom and dad a breath of fresh air while changing diapers, literally. Just make sure the window is shut and locked before leaving your baby alone for the night.
The image featured at the top of this post is ©iStock.com/Lyudmila Chernetska.