When shopping for baby essentials, it’s always the big ticket items that hog the spotlight. Don’t get us wrong, cribs, car seats and strollers are all necessities in their own right, but some good things — important things, even — come in smaller packages, too. Take changing pads, for example: They’re probably one of the last items you’ll add to your registry, but we guarantee these compact, cushy beds for your baby to lie on while you get them situated with a fresh diaper are going to be one of the most used items in your nursery.
Diaper duty is one of — if not the — least glamorous parts of parenthood. It’s often smelly, sometimes messy and neither you nor your baby really want to endure it. In order to make the entire process a bit smoother on both ends, you have to figure out the best changing setup for you and your little one. Your first order of business is to find a changing table that meets all your needs. Does it have enough storage space? Is it high enough? Does it match the nursery decor? Your next task is to find the best changing pad to keep your little one in place.
Don’t know what to look for? Unfortunately you won’t really know what your baby is like come changing time until after they’re born and you’ve already set up the nursery. That being said, there are changing pads with toy mobiles, changing pads with four wall contours to keep your sweetie contained and travel-friendly changing systems you can take on-the-go. To help you narrow down the options, we’ve rounded up some of the best changing pads below.
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1. Summer Infant 4-Sided Changing Pad
With four contoured walls to keep your little one contained, don’t be surprised if your little one nods off on Summer Infant’s changing pad that looks like a rectangular bassinet. The pad is made with peva vinyl to cradle your baby in ultimate comfort and features a seatbelt-like buckle to keep your precious cargo safe and secure. A security strap underneath the pad attaches the transportable changing table to furniture, while its non-skid bottom guarantees the accessory won’t budge when your baby starts wiggling. The quilted double layer vinyl is also 100% waterproof, so if bodily fluids miss the diaper, no worries — the changing pad is easy to clean and stain proof.
2. Skip Hop Changing Pad
How adorable is this changing pad from Skip Hop? The sun and mirror cloud mobile is by far the highlight of this changing system, especially for babies that require some kind of toy or song to distract them from the sudden draft or wet wipe. But the contoured pad isn’t just a hit with little ones: Moms love the water and stain-proof foam that wipes clean in a pinch, as well as the changing pad’s safety features like its non-skid base and safety belts so babies up to 30 pounds can wiggle all they want — they aren’t getting anywhere fast.
3. Keekaroo Peanut Changer
Unlike traditional changing pads that are made of cloth and require a cover that has to be laundered, the Keekaroo Peanut Changer is made from a water-resistant material that’s easy to wipe clean (it’s also BPA-, PVC-, latex- and phthalate-free). The soft and cushy pad contours to your little one’s body and has raised edges to keep him or her securely within. Not only is it durable, it’s also easy to move around the house for diaper changes wherever they need to happen until your baby exceeds 30 pounds (or is potty trained — whichever comes first).