How to Set Up a Diaper Changing Station Like a Parenting Pro
There are so many fun things to purchase, assemble, and decorate when you’re expecting a baby. A diaper changing station probably doesn’t stir up the same level of excitement as, say, adorable nursery artwork or a dreamy baby mobile. But considering that babies go through roughly 2,000 diapers in their first year, you’ll want to be prepared with a well-stocked diaper changing station in your home.
Even though setting up your changing station may not seem as glamorous as picking out a stylish crib, there are so many ways make your changing table not only organized and functional, but easy on the eyes, too. (Who would’ve thought?) Here’s all the info—and the best gear—you’ll need to pull off the perfect diaper changing station.
Choose your changing table spot.
Where you set up your baby changing station is all about your family’s preferences, but convenience and ease are key. Your setup should make your life as seamless and low-stress as possible, so a high-touch spot is best. Some families choose to create the changing station in the baby’s nursery or the parents’ room close to the baby’s bassinet. For others, the living room or another central room is best.
You know your living space best and what will create convenience and flow. If your home is on two levels, consider setting up a main changing hub in the nursery—or nursery nook within your room—and then a smaller version downstairs. You’ll likely be changing Baby into their daytime clothes and PJs at this changing station too, so keep that in mind when you pick a location.
Set the stage for fuss-free diapering.
You’ll need a few basic furniture pieces and large-scale accessories to make the shape of your diaper changing station. Once these are secured, you can add the fun stuff, like cute wall art to hang above it!
- Changing table or dresser top: A traditional changing table provides a space to change Baby as well as a spot to stash diapers, wipes, and ointments below it. They can typically get new life as toy or book storage later. Alternatively, you can have your child’s dresser serve dual purpose by setting up a changing area on top of it.
- Diaper pail or sealed garbage can: Diapers stink, and busy parents don’t get a chance to take them out to the curb after every change. A high-quality diaper pail or a lidded garbage can is imperative for keeping the area funk-free.
- Laundry bin: Dirty clothes and towels should be easily dropped into a waiting basket or bin right by the changing station.
- Hanging hooks: Accessories like hats, as well as wet towels after the bath, should be hung nearby for convenience and daily ease.
Organize your changing table stash.
In addition to the furniture, you’ll need all the tiny trappings that make changes go off without a hitch. Baby needs somewhere comfy and safe to be laid down and you need all your supplies on hand. Everything should be organized in a way that looks good and is easy to restock.
- Changing pad and washable covers: These come in a standard-issue size, so you can mix and match brands without worrying that the cover won’t fit your pad. Or opt for a wipe-down pad that does not require a cover.
- Storage baskets and bins: Whether you go for acrylic or metal for a modern look; or hyacinth or rope for something more boho; small rectangular baskets and a compartmentalized bin are clutch for keeping everything you need within arm’s reach.
- Drawer storage dividers: If using your baby’s dresser top for the changing station, it’s a good idea to free up at least half of the top drawer for diaper supplies. This reduces clutter and creates a clean, visually pleasing space that makes even the most stressful times less harried. Everything from the diapers themselves to creams can be stored right there and divided accordingly.
Stock up on diapering supplies.
You can’t change a baby without diapering mainstays. A well-stocked baby changing station always needs:
- Diaper cream
- Skin moisturizer / ointment
- Baby nail file or clippers
- Toy or small mirror to distract fussy baby
Get a diapering go-bag together.
Your changing station has you covered at home– morning, noon, and in the middle of the night. But when you need to get out and about with Baby, it’s a great idea to have some stuff ready to go. Keep a Ziplock bag in or near your changing station containing a few diapers, a small pack of wipes, and a spare onesie so you can grab it on your way out the door and place it in your diaper bag without having to worry about constantly loading and unloading the whole thing.
Make a mini station.
In addition to “the hub,” many homes benefit from a second, smaller changing station in addition to the nursery setup. A pack-and-play or travel bassinet makes a fantastic miniature change station for the living room or another downstairs, high-traffic area. Or, you can look at local vintage or consignment shops for a small, sturdy secondhand changing table to use in this area.
For the smaller changing station, you won’t need as many supplies, but a similar set-up works. Keep the following items corralled in one compact bin and place rolled-up swaddle blankets and other baby needs beside it for a one-stop baby shop that will have you feeling relaxed and ready for anything:
- 1 pack of current size diapers
- 2 packs of wipes
- 1 tube of diaper cream
- 2 spare pajamas or onesies
- 1 spare daytime outfit
… And when in doubt, buy extra wipes. Trust us, you’re gonna need ‘em.
Get more nursery organization tips:
- Toy Storage Solutions to Cut Clutter
- How to Fold and Store Baby Clothes
- Nursery Ideas That Will Grow With Your Baby
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Disclaimer: The information on our site is NOT medical advice for any specific person or condition. It is only meant as general information. If you have any medical questions and concerns about your child or yourself, please contact your health provider.