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Top 10 Essentials for Baby’s Diaper Changing Station

January 2, 2012

Diaper changing is the least glamorous and most repetitive task of caring for your baby. You will change baby’s diaper approximately 8,000 times over the course of 3 years! (98% of children are potty trained by the age of 3)

(11 diapers x (3 months x 30 days/month)) + (9 diapers x (3 months 30 days/month)) + (7 diapers x (30 months x 30 days/month)) = 8,100 diaper changes over 3 years

The primary location for all of this fun is baby’s diaper changing station. A baby’s diaper changing table essentially functions as a parents’ “home-work station” during the diapering years. Since you will spend insurmountable time here wrestling your sweet baby into a clean diaper, it’s worth the effort to properly configure. So here is what to buy, where to find it, and why these items create a convenient diaper changing station for both you and baby. Followed by a list of diapering products to stock it!

What to buy

#1 Long Dresser w/Removal Changer/Topper

#2 Simmons Contour Changing Pad w/ Fabric Cover

#3 Changing Pad Covers

#4 Boppy Changing Pad Liners

#5 Boon Stash Organizer

#6 Medium Storage Basket/Bin

#7 Diaper Dekor Plus Disposal Pail

#8 Mirror

#9 Family Photo

#10 Handheld Toys

Where to buy

For the items in today’s list, I shopped at, Babies R Us,, The Land of Nod, Pottery Barn Kids, Restoration Hardware Baby & Child, and buybuy Baby (Bed Bath & Beyond). For more about where I like to shop for all things baby, check out Where to buy.

Why to buy

#1 Use a long low profile dresser with a removal changer/topper instead of a traditional changing table. It is far more practical to keep baby’s essential items next to her on the same level (or above) and in clear view versus tucked away in a basket below. Baskets on open shelves look cute, but are like putting your hand in those holes at nature centers where you’re supposed to guess whether it’s rabbit or fox fur. Do you really want to play this game in the middle of the night? The only items that needn’t be displayed are baby’s diapers; put those in the top drawer. The first photo shows a small dresser with the removable top, but subsequent photos depict the long dresser I’m describing. If you buy a separate top for use with an existing dresser, confirm that the two may be securely attached via screws and metals tabs on the back of the dresser. And make sure the removable top has felt on the underside to prevent scratching the dresser’s surface for future use.

#2 Consider a non-vinyl ergonomically contoured changing pad. Otherwise keep an eye out for tears in the pad’s vinyl surface and swap as needed. I just replaced my non-toxic but vinyl pad with the Simmons Kids Beautyrest Beginnings Contour Pad with Fabric Cover.

#3 Read the fine print to ensure the changing pad covers fit the pad. It’s just like buying fitted sheets for your own mattress. Buy a minimum of three covers. I have covers from Boppy, The Land of Nod, Pottery Barn Kids, and Restoration Hardware Baby & Child and like them all.

#4 Waterproof liners for baby’s changing pad are a must. I was skeptical at first, why cover a cover with another cover? But diaper changing is a messy business and these are much easier to remove and replace with an undiapered baby on the changing table than the entire cover. Preserve the waterproof material by air drying. Oddly the liners that come with the covers as a set are better quality.

#5 Yes, the Boon Stash is yet another piece of plastic baby gear, but I love it.  If it’s aesthetically not for you, use shallow shelves out of baby’s reach to store items.  If you live in an earthquake zone, do not hang anything above baby’s changing table, crib, or rocking chair!

#6 Maintain one medium basket/bin on dresser to hold tissues, wipes, and hand sanitizer – see list below. Include burp cloths too, space permitting.

#7 For disposal diapers, the three most popular pails are the Diaper Dekor Plus, Platex Diaper Genie, Baby Trend Diaper Champ – with the Munchkin Arm & Hammer also in the running. None of them satisfy all of the diaper disposal” issues” – odor control, hands-free, brand exclusive bags, minimal plastic waste, minimal gross factor – squishing a full diaper through a tight opening..ugh. I use the Diaper Dekor because it’s hands-free with a foot pedal – important with a wriggling baby on the changing table, and may be emptied at any time without wasting a full bag. It does not truly contain odor and requires special refill bags. A trash can with a foot pedal like this one from simplehuman would also work.

#8 Hang a mirror on a adjacent wall where baby can see himself while seated. He won’t recognize himself for months, but will still be thrilled to smile and coo at his new ‘friend!’

#9 Entertain baby with a picture of his favorite people, his family! Hang a black and white family photo above baby. Newborns cannot distinguish color and are drawn to black and white images. Again, if you live in an earthquake zone, do not hang anything above baby’s changing table, crib, or rocking chair.

#10 Rotate special toys at baby’s changing station. You will rely on these distractions to change a squirming baby. My son typically stays occupied with anything that makes noise, and in times of desperation, I break out finger puppets.

Once you’re diaper changing station is all set up, fill it up!

#1 Diapers – Huggies Pure & Natural or Earth’s Best

#2 Wipes – Huggies Natural Care Baby Wipes, Fragrance-Free or Earth’s Best

#3 Method Squeaky Green Diaper Cream or Desitin Rapid Relief Creamy Ointment – Method as needed, Desitin for a serious diaper rash

#4 Baby Powder – cornstarch, NO talc! – an as needed moisture barrier to prevent diaper rash

#5 Earth’s Best Organic Everyday Lavender Lotion

#6 Baby Clippers

#7 Nasal Aspirator – choose a soft vs. stiff one

#8 Little Noses Saline Spray/Drops – use with aspirator

#9 Johnson’s Safety Swabs (Q-tips) – great for ears and noses

#10 Braun Thermoscan Ear Thermometer – IRT3020 or IRT4520

#11 Comb/Brush

#12 Tissues

#1 Huggies Pure & Natural diapers do not leak. However, after searching for diapers Not Tested on Animals at, I am switching to Earth’s Best TenderCare Chlorine Free Diapers. Of the diapers produced without animal testing, Earth’s Best received the best parent reviews on If you purchase diapers on, check out their Subscribe and Save program – it’s less expensive than Target.

Items #2-15 are self-explanatory.

Enjoy the diapering years with your little one..once he’s out of diapers, he’s not a baby anymore!

2 Comments leave one →
  1. Jane permalink
    December 8, 2012 1:07 PM

    Thank you so much, this was extremely helpful and the changing station set up is so attractive


  1. All You Should Know About Changing Baby Diapers | Cloth Organic Diapers - changing diapers

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