Everyone knows the basic necessities when it comes to changing a baby’s diaper, right?
First-time parents don’t always know exactly what items they’re going to need, what they can live without, and what may not be necessary, but can make changing a squirmy baby’s diaper quicker and easier. I certainly didn’t.
Now, because I knew long before I even got pregnant that I wanted to cloth diaper, I spent probably close to 2 years (prior to pregnancy and during) researching cloth diapers and all they entail. That’s a post for another time, I promise!
Even if you don’t plan to cloth diaper like me, the essentials are similar. For those that do cloth diaper or plan to, I hope I can help.
As you may already know from my post on dresser organization, J’s dresser also doubles as a changing table. The best advice I ever got! It’s such a space saver. Why clutter the nursery with more furniture if you don’t have to? I use the Hemnes dresser from Ikea in white stain (you can buy it here) or from your local Ikea.
Top of my Changing Table
On top of the dresser, I use a contoured changing pad (buy mine here on Amazon) with a belt. Sometimes you just gotta strap that squirmy baby in! I have a cute tribal print cover over the pad, which unfortunately is no longer available from Target.
One of my favorite nursery items is the 3 tier metal organizational stand that sits on top of the dresser/changing table. I bought mine from Hobby Lobby but you can also get one similar on Amazon (click here). This is how I organize mine:
Here I store washcloths. This is an item that I use less frequently and don’t really need in a hurry as long as I have one ready. Why washcloths? Well, when changing baby boys’ diapers they tend to “shower” you a little if you’re not quick enough. Throw a washcloth over their bottom half while you’re scrambling for a diaper and wipes…problem solved. No wet t-shirt for mama! My best advice, however, is to have your clean diaper open, your washcloth ready (if needed), diaper rash ointment, and a few wipes out before taking the dirty diaper off. This tip is more useful when you have an older baby; newborns tend to just lie there peacefully.
Here I store toys, small board books, and puppets. These are here so I can grab them in a hurry in hopes something will preoccupy J long enough to get a clean diaper on him.
I also store clean washable changing pads here. Most of the time these pads are covering my much cuter tribal print changing pad cover, a tip I picked up from another mom blogger. These washable changing pads are from Ikea and they’re only $5 each. They are much cuter, in my opinion than the plain terry Munchkin ones I’ve seen in most baby departments. They’re better quality too!
Here I keep Snappi diaper fasteners, extra diaper rash ointment, nail clippers, a thermometer, hand sanitizer, wipe juice, boogie wipes, a lint roller, and coconut oil.
These small items are in little rattan baskets to keep them from falling through the gaps of the organizer.
Back to the essentials…
I also have another little rattan basket (from Ikea) on the dresser that has the boogie monster (nasal aspirator), a brush and comb, a few extra pacifiers, and my Magic Stick natural diaper ointment. I use this religiously and my J never gets diaper rash. It really is magic! The great thing about it is that there are no more sticky, dirty fingers after applying it because it’s a stick. It can be used with disposable diapers too but it’s for sure, without a doubt, cloth diaper safe!! You can buy it here on Amazon.
For you cloth diapering moms and dads, I also recommend investing is a wipe warmer — your baby’s bottom will thank you. This is a great item to have, especially during the winter. How does it work? You plug it into an outlet, wet your cloth wipes and squeeze them out so they’re just a little damp, store about 8-10 wipes in the warmer and voilà! Warm wipes for babies tender little bottom. Clean and replace the interior pad as needed to prevent mold and mildew. During the summer months, you can unplug it and have cool wipes. Click here to buy the one I use.
In all of the top dresser drawers, I store my cloth diapers. Prefolds and covers are stored in the first drawer. Diaper inserts (cotton stay dry and hemp) are in the next and pocket and night diapers are in drawer 3 and extra washcloths, wipes, and bibs are in the last drawer.
Tip: The key is to keep the items you will use most frequently close and at arm’s reach. You don’t want to step away from your baby while they’re on the changing table, no matter how old they are.
Hanging from a drawer knob, I always have a wet bag for soiled diapers. At the end of each day, I empty this bag into the main dirty diaper basket that I keep in the laundry room. Diapers get washed every 2-3 days. If you use disposable diapers, keep a Diaper Genie next to the changing table.
Last but not least, if you live in a split level or 2 story home and baby’s nursery is upstairs, I recommend having a secondary changing area downstairs. I keep a small table with a shelf downstairs in my family room that has extra diapers, Snappis, washcloths, hand sanitizer, a 2nd wipe warmer, a Magic Stick, and other various essentials. You can buy the same table I use here on Amazon.
As you become more in tuned to your baby’s needs, you’ll discover what is essential for you and your baby. Happy changing and remember to watch out for the shower!
View J’s entire nursery here.
Diaper bag organization soon to come!
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Did I forget something? I’d love to know what changing table item you can’t live without.
Hi! I’m Meagan I just turned 40! I’ve been married for 14 years. She is a proud boy mom, happily navigating her way through the little boy years. She met her husband 20 years ago in high school; they got married 10 years later after graduating from the University of South Florida. Meagan currently helps run a family business with her parents while blogging about her life and love of DIY projects!
When she isn’t chasing her son around and constantly picking up Matchbox cars, she enjoys spending time with her family on a beach anywhere. She also loves decorating and organizing her home, delving into fun DIY projects, bargain shopping, and eating at unique restaurants. She also loves Barbecue anything and a good show or movie on Netflix.