In any nursery, the change table is a hub of activity. Not just for nappy changes, its where most of your baby’s personal care will take place, it’s where you’ll dress and undress them, apply creams and lotions and dry them after bath. After the cot, it’s the most important spot in your baby’s room.
But … babies wriggle! You can’t leave them there unattended, you definitely can’t go in to the next room to grab something you’ve forgotten, and as soon as they start to roll you’ll need to learn to do everything with one hand. So having your change table set up properly with absolutely everything you need is essential.
We’ve put together this handy guide for assembling all the change table essentials, to ensure you’re one super-organised mama with a happy bubba.
Don’t forget to save our handy checklist to your phone (details at the bottom).
1. Changing Table
The changing table is where it all happens, and more often or not, it’s where everything goes. The only question is, do you want it all on show? Or would you rather baby’s bits and bobs be tucked away into cupboards and drawers? If you’re looking for a change table, consider the storage areas already in baby’s nursery and remember, there’s no such thing as too much storage (trust us).
Of course, nappies are a no brainer for a change table – but there are some things to consider here. Firstly, you’ll need to decide whether you’re going to go for disposable nappies or modern cloth nappies. If it’s the former, you have the option of eco-friendly or regular styles; if it’s the latter, you’ll need to decide between all-in-ones or other styles that require snap-in boosters and liners.
3. Baby Wipes
If you are buying commercial wipes, you’ll need a wipes container that can be opened with one hand – and some mamas in cool climates swear by a ‘wipes warmer’ to prevent tears. If you’d rather avoid store-bought wipes, you can always use a water-filled spray bottle and a washcloth for wiping.
4. Nappy Rash Cream
A good nappy rash cream is a change-table essential, although you might need to try a few before you find the right one for your bub. Options include barrier creams, soothing ointments, antiseptic creams, Paw Paw ointment and coconut oil. Ask for some samples from the chemist or from your health nurse.
5. Change Mat
Nappy changes occur at all hours of the day. Whether it be at first light or right before bedtime, baby’s comfort is key. Often cushioned or with a contoured shape so bub is nice and snug, they’re also great for protecting little ones from falls. A good change mat should keep wriggly worms in place while parents do the… ahem… dirty work.
It’s often assumed that all babies have perfectly smooth and unblemished skin, when in fact dryness and flaking (among myriad other skin conditions) can be common in the early weeks and months. A hypoallergenic, sensitive-skin moisturiser is definitely worth having on hand to soothe and nourish Bub’s skin after bath time.
7. Hand sanitiser
With a baby on the change table, you won’t be able to dash to the bathroom to wash your hands, so make sure you have a bottle of hand sanitiser at the ready to disinfect when required. A pump-style bottle is perfect because you can operate it with one hand.
8. Face washer
From wiping faces and bottoms to mopping up all those spills, face washers have countless uses when it comes to caring for babies. Mamas of boys tell us they’re particularly useful for throwing over boy parts while the nappy to prevent a wee spray!
These organic cotton muslin face washers from Purebaby are gentle on babies’ delicate skin.
9. Talc-free baby powder
Keeping baby’s bot nice and dry helps keep irritation at bay, and few things work as well (or as quickly) as baby powder. Made from natural ingredients that are gentle on bubba’s skin, talc-free powders are a convenient way of getting rid of any moisture left on the skin. Perfect for nappy changes and babe’s bathtime routine.
10. Terry towelling
If you’re wondering why stores still sell old-style cloth nappies (which are essentially large squares of terry towelling) it’s because they are just so versatile. Absorbent and soft, they’re fabulous as burp cloths, for mopping up spit-ups and they’re handy for laying over change table mats. In fact, cloth nappies can be used for almost anything you’d use a towel for, but their size and shape makes them easier to use and wash than a large bath towel.
11. Hairbrush or comb
Bubs might have very little hair…or they might have a lot! The change table is often a good spot to give little tufts a going-over so that they’re looking darling and dapper.
These baby hairbrushes from Purebaby are soft and gentle on Baby’s head.
12. Nail clippers and file
Use change table time to trim and check baby’s nails so as to avoid scratched faces. Both files and clippers can be used from birth.
14. Cotton pads
You can never have too many cotton pads with a bub in your life! Use them to gently apply nappy cream on sore spots, clean between all those chubby-bubby skin folds, or even to wipe Bub’s comb or nail clippers.
The cotton cleansing pads from Gaia Natural Baby are highly absorbent and made from organic cotton.
Symptoms of fever are often spotted when babies rise after their sleep, and given that the change table is usually the first place you’ll take Bub when they wake up, it’s a good idea to have your baby thermometer stored there for a prompt temperature check.
Hetaida infrared no-contact thermometer reads temperature accurately to within 0.2 degrees.
14. Nasal drops and aspirator
Speaking of illnesses, as soon as babies get their first cold (and we regret to inform you this will happen eventually) you’ll suddenly know how essential saline drops and a nasal aspirator can be.
15. Hooded Towels
Babies are extra sensitive to changes in temperature and can get cold quickly when taken out of the bath. A hooded towel not only looks adorable wrapped around a freshly bathed bub, but it keeps little noggins snug as you dry off that tiny body.
These organic cotton hooded towels from Purebaby have an inbuilt hood to keep babies’ heads warm after a bath.
16. Massage oil
Massage can be a lovely way to bond with baby and it’s great for relaxing tiny bodies before bed. Keep some massage oil handy on your table so that you can give Baby a rub-down after a bath, before bed or between changes.
17. Nappy sacks
You may wish to use a nappy pail or another nappy disposal method, but lots of mums use biodegradable, odour-neutralising nappy sacks to wrap up dirty nappies – and stop the stink!
18. Nappy bin
You’ve never smelled anything until you’ve caught a waft of a day-old soiled nappy – but don’t worry, a good nappy bin will not only store all of those stinky bundles until you find the time for a rubbish run, it will help to hide the smell.
19. Change pad covers
The surface of plastic change mats can be quite cold, especially in the middle of a winter’s night. Prevent a shock to tiny systems by using a cloth change mat cover, and always keep a spare in your change table drawer.
Some babies love looking up into Mummy’s eyes as she coos and smiles during change time, while other babies are not too happy about the experience at all! Having a spare dummy within reach to soothe and placate littlies will help you get the job done.
21. Spare clothes
It happens to all of us: you’ve just finished dressing baby on the change table (in an outfit you likely spent forever selecting) only to be met with an errant and almighty spit-up! Don’t get stuck carrying a soggy bub back to wardrobe – have some spare onesies stashed for quick changes.
22. Disinfectant wipes
Cleaning wipes are super handy for giving the change table mat a once-over after accidents, or just to keep germs at bay. Look for plant-based, non-toxic wipes.
23. Nappy caddy
The change tables can get very full and you’ll need a way to keep it all organised. While you might have a couple of drawers or a shelf to use, a nappy caddy is ideal for keeping the must-haves within reach: nappies, cream, wipes and nappy sacks. The caddy can also be grabbed and moved from room to room if you need to do a quick change in another part of the house.
As bubs grow, they become increasingly curious – and impatient! To keep littlies calm and stimulated through nappy changes and other personal care routines, we suggest keeping some toys on the change table for Babe to tinker with. Links are great, so too are small rattles and other sensory toys.
25. Cot mobile
Tiny tackers find themselves lying on the change table countless times each day. Try placing an engaging mobile above the table to distract and entertain them. Some mobiles come with moving parts and sound effects, other traditional styles simply sway and delight.
And there you have it – the perfect change table setup!
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Save to phone
Simply press and hold this change table essentials checklist image and click ‘add to photos’ to save it to your phone.
Super handy when you’re at the shops!