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Forbes spoke to Adrianna Bravo, MD, FAAP, pediatrician, and senior medical advisor for Inspire Diagnostics, about some factors to consider when purchasing a changing table.
Parents need to keep three words in mind while shopping for a changing table – safety, storage and hygiene, says Bravo. “Once you meet those three criteria, the rest is up to personal preference.”
If there’s one constant in parenting it’s messes—specifically in the diapering arena. In the newborn phase, diaper changes feel like they’re on a never-ending loop. Regardless of your baby’s age, you’ll need one of the best changing tables for both the sake of sanity and safety. After all, once your baby is mobile, diapering get more complicated, once they’re in the toddler stage, well, good luck chasing them down. Having been through several years of it myself, I can personally attest to this fact, and I’ve done the research on the best changing tables so you don’t have to.
Before purchasing a changing table, consider the amount of space you have available, parental height and your family’s specific set of needs. You’ll need to consider safety features, too. “Having a changing station in the nursery is an excellent idea for several reasons,” says pediatrician Dr. Adrianna Bravo. “The number one reason is safety, safety, safety. Ensure your changing table or pad has guardrails or raised sides at least two inches high. That will act as a deterrent for the baby rolling off the table. Parents should also make it a standard practice always to keep one hand on the baby.”
She also notes that having a changing table helps to “establish a routine for parents and babies. A changing table will be where parents change diapers, prepare the baby for bath time and dress the baby. Regularity can be essential to create a soothing daily routine.” It’s also, she notes, a more hygienic option than diaper changes on the bedding or rug.
Here are the eight best changing tables to shop right now. After perusing this list, don’t miss the best changing pads, the tested best diaper bags or the best diaper pails proven to contain odors.
How We Chose The Best Changing Tables
When it comes to selecting options for parenting “best” lists, I rely upon expert advice or suggestions, recommendations from fellow parents and reviews. I spoke with two pediatricians ahead of gathering changing tables for this article.
In an effort to make sure that these sections continue to be the best options for parents, we update this article regularly. This piece was most recently edited in November of 2022. Forbes also has a rich history of reviewing and testing baby gear, both for the nursery and on the go. You may also be interested in reading the following stories:
What Is The Safest Changing Table?
Bravo points out that purchasing a safe changing table, partly comes down to where you plan to place it. Ideally, parents should place the changing table in a “space free from anything the baby can grab or become entangled in” and be mindful about having supplies close at hand, so you aren’t leaving baby unattended while you grab another diaper. “Simply put, parents need to keep three words in mind while shopping for a changing table: safety, storage and hygiene. Once you meet those three criteria, the rest is up to personal preference,” she says.
Bravo also pointed out earlier that it’s ideal to look for a changing table or pad with raised sides or guardrails to minimize baby rolling off. We’ve also pointed which changing tables come with anti-tip kits and other important safety features, such as drawers that won’t tumble out or all at once, as well as those certified to be free of certain chemicals and off-gassing. If your changing table has wheels, keep them locked to prevent accidents, too.
Is It Worth Buying A Changing Table?
As the pediatricians I spoke with noted, the best changing tables offer a safe and hygienic place to change your child’s diaper. It can also be a leaping off point toward establishing daily routines with your baby.
Dr. Rebekah Diamond, pediatrician and author of Parent Like a Pediatrician, also notes that having a changing table is helpful from a convenience standpoint “since you don’t have to bend down or move around a changing surface. There’s definitely an appeal from a nursery design and aesthetics perspective which is totally OK.”
However, many of us are short on space or constrained by budget concerns, especially when considering all the stuff suggested to stock a nursery for your baby’s first year of life. That’s why a changing table-dresser combination make deliver the most value for your family, or you may prefer a more inexpensive, temporary solution for use just during the busiest of diaper seasons: the first year. The key is to consider your space and individual family’s needs.