Pictured: The Moda Dresser used as a changing table (Roomandboard.com) — love this! (Source: decorpad.com)
A ‘lister wrote me yesterday to asking me what she needed to order on Diapers.com for her soon-to-be new baby — I took that to mean, “How the hell do I stock my changing table?” and until I hear otherwise, I figured I’d write THAT up for any FTM coming around here this week.
The Table Itself
Buy a changing table with drawers — or better yet, use a great and spacious dresser that will grow with your child. DON’T BUY SOMETHING WITH OPEN SHELVES. Yeah, the IDEA of cute baskets on open shelves is grand. The reality is your kid, 6 months from birth, will be crawling around and dumping those baskets ALL. OVER. THE. FLOOR. (Also, baskets can rarely contain all you want to stuff IN THEM and end up looking messy. Far better to stuff everything into drawers and pretend it’s not a hellish mess inside them.)
If I had to do it over again, I would have bought each kid their own fantastic dresser that could grow with them, and smacked a changing pad on top. (I have long loved the Moda dresser from Room&Board, which is featured in the photo above that I pulled off of Pinterest).
Instead, I bought a changing table which all four Checklist kiddies have used, but which won’t serve much purpose once the boys are out of diapers, because it’s really not spacious enough to store much more than diaper ephemera. That said, the changing table does put the kids RIGHT at the correct height for diaper changing — you might have too stoop more for a dresser that isn’t designed SPECIFICALLY for diaper changes.
Get something four-cornered, like the Summer Infant Contoured Changing Pad
Changing Pad Covers
Buy four — kids leak and you don’t want to CONSTANTLY be doing laundry.
Buy six. You can put these ON TOP of the changing pad cover, and then only have to launder the PADS all the time and maybe save yourself the hassle of constantly changing the changing pad covers THEMSELVES.
Figure you change your newborn’s diaper every 2 hrs over the first few months — if you imagine your day running from about 6 am to 10 pm, that’s 8 diapers/day. (I personally think you SHOULDN’T CHANGE DIAPERS overnight if you can help it — you want to keep that baby settled and sleepy and NOT get her jazzed up overnight.) Now add a few more per day for good measure, and to account for the ones you have to keep stocked in the diaper bag, and in all the cars for when you get behind and your diaper bag isn’t packed perfectly. (GO GET THIS LIST FOR HELP WITH THAT!)
Anyway — let’s say 10/day, in the beginning, when babies are eating constantly and so peeing and pooping constantly, too. That ought to accomodate all that diaper-stashing I just told you to do. So now you’re talking 70/diapers a week. (Yes, this is overkill. I tend to overkill a little in all these areas — you can always donate extra diapers you’ve grown out of later to a Women’s Shelter.) And this gets better — promise. You’re not always changing diapers every few minutes. (My kids, by about 3 months, were only going through about 40 diapers a week.)
Your basic Seventh Generation NB sized diapers come in a 36-pack, so you’re looking at going through 2 packs a week. In general, you want to order diapers online, in bulk, for better prices. People like Diapers.com. I order mine on Amazon — they come by subscription, prices are competitive, and every Amazon Mom purchase you make extends your free “prime” shipping priveleges a little longer. Go sign up for Amazon Mom!
HOWEVER, DON’T ORDER THE NEWBORN SIZE IN BULK. Most babies grow really fast in the beginning and are into Size 1 very quickly. (I say “most” because my kids don’t grow that fast — but I know most other babies do, so don’t go overboard with the NB size.)
I like Seventh Generation diapers, btw, because they are dye-and-scent free. (Pampers give me a head-ache). Also, they are slightly smaller-sized, so they fit my itsy-bitsy kids better than more popular brands. If you have larger kids, they may not. Oh, and, they’re super-absorbent and supposedly better for the earth and your child, yadda yadda. I am not particularly green, and there may be something better out there for you if you are. But I’m not the right person to ask about cloth diapering. Never did it. Don’t have the time or patience, and I think the amount of water, detergent, and gas involved with diaper delivery services basically cancels out the good-for-the-earth component. Diapers in general are just pretty shitty for the earth.
Buying by the tub is more economical — but don’t START with a tub. Buy a tube of SOMETHING — anything — and then see how it works for your baby. Boudreaux’s Butt Paste worked great for Diddy, and was awful for Gaga. Gaga used Desitin. Pancake and Sausage use Aveeno. All kids’ skin is different, so don’t invest in too much diaper cream up front until you know what works. And be prepared to change brands as your kids grows … basically: don’t buy this in bulk.
Aquaphor Baby Healing Ointment
Buy this by the tub! Seriously — this stuff fixes ALL DIAPER RASH. It’s the stuff to bring on for the really bad rashes, the kind that are so tender they bleed. It’s also the stuff to use to stop the little rash from getting bigger over night (seriously: DO NOT CHANGE DIAPERS OVERNIGHT IF YOU DON’T HAVE TO!).
Aveeno Baby Eczema Therapy Moisturizing Cream
Amazing stuff. For you. For the baby. This. Shit. Works.
Buy in bulk. And put them EVERYWHERE. Changing table. Cars. Purses. Bathrooms. I like the Seventh Generation Wipes ones — they don’t smell bad, they’re not TOO wet or too dry.
Skip it. Really. You don’t need it. Unless you live in an igloo. That said — warming your wipes dries them out. Also, getting your baby hooked on warm wipes is a bad thing for when you’re not somewhere near a wipes warmer. (This is why I also try to feed my kids UNWARMED milk when they’re tiny. I can’t always guarantee I’ll be able to heat it up when we’re out and about.)
Bulb Syringe Aspirator
When you’re kid is stretched out on the changing table, you can pin him down and suck out his nose when he’s sick. So keep the nose bulb handy, and you can suck out his nose at every diaper change.
Baby nail clippers
Same logic applies. Diaper time=pinning time=nail clipping time. And you have to clip nails ALL THE TIME. Baby nails grow fast and jagged and sharp. I tend not to notice until I get swiped across the face like I’ve been in a Freddy movie. Try to be more on the ball than me. I’m not calling out a specific brand here because I think they all kind of suck equally — and they tend to disappear. So buy whatever is at your local Target or drugstore or Amazon and don’t get too obsessed with perfection — you’ll buy these again and again.
Keep a stack around for quick face clean-ups.
Mustela PhysiObebe No Rinse Cleansing Fluid
Use this with the Wash Clothes. LOVE THIS STUFF.
Onesies & Pajamas
Often you don’t know your baby needs a clothes-change until he’s already on the changing table getting his diaper changed. That’s why you need basics like onesies in the changing table, or very close by.
Have you got other handy Changing Table lists and hacks? I’d love to hear about them!