Nappy changes are one of the messier parts of parenthood, but if you prepare the change table essentials, you'll be a pro in no time. Change table time can even be bonding time with your little one, so it's not all bad!
Stock up on these items to lend your future self a hand with nappy changes:
Baby wipes – You can never have too many baby wipes! Not only are baby wipes your best friend when it comes to your little one's bum, but they make all sorts of appearances when it comes to sticky hands (yours and baby's), food spills, and freshening up faces.
Choose baby wipes with no fragrance. Your little one's skin is particularly sensitive and prone to dryness, so find a sensitive brand you and baby-like.
Nappies – An obvious one! Nappy needs are easy to underestimate; overdo it! Infants can get through 8-12 nappies a day, so you'll be running low before you know it.
Keep nappies within arm’s reach at your change table set up. Always keep an eye and a hand on your little one when they're on any elevated surface. Being able to reach out and grab a nappy without even looking will help changes run smoothly.
Nappy Bin – Keep close! Consider finding a bin with a foot pedal so you can open it without using mucky hands. Scented bin liners can be a good investment here.
Barrier Cream – Sensitive skin can suffer from being rubbed and dried and nappy-coated almost all day. Check your little one's nappy area thoroughly each change; look for redness, dryness, or any sign of inflammation or rash.
A sensitive moisturizer or barrier cream may help calm irritation or prevent nappy rash. Zinc creams can be useful for treating dryness and rash. Talk to your pharmacist about your barrier cream options.
Distractions – Busy hands stay away from messy bums! You might notice your little one reaching for their nappy area and soiling their hands. Keeping change table-specific toys nearby can give the baby something else to do.
Visual distraction can help too – try a mobile (safely secured) above the changing table. Visual stimulation could minimize wriggling and help with an infant's brain development.
Change table cover – Something nice and soft for baby to lay on, and removable and washable to make your life easier. Terry cloth is excellent material here.
Terry cloth – Old-school cloth-nappy material. Thick and fluffy, terry cloth is good for wiping spills, skin, or over the shoulder as a burp cloth.
Disinfectant wipes – Get into the habit of wiping down the changing table after every use. Disinfectant wipes can make this super quick and easy.
Sanitiser – You may want to sanitize mid-change. One of those handy terry cloths might come in handy for wiping off poo or wee so you can sanitize and use clean hands on the fresh nappy.
Tissues – Just good to have around!
Changing mat – Depending on your setup and available space, you may prefer a change mat instead of a changing table. Change tables are handy for storing all the above essentials, and standing can be easier for you than crouching down. Changing mats are great for when baby needs a nappy change when you’re out and about.
Change time is a great opportunity to check in with your little one. How's their temperature? Are their nails getting a bit long? Are their eyes clear and bright, or are they a bit crusty and sleepy? Not every change is calm enough for the whole pamper routine, but if you have time, you'll thank yourself for keeping a few optional items in your change table set up:
- Nail clippers
- Eye wipes
- Nasal aspirator ('snot sucker')
You might feel grossed out by or sick of changing nappies. That's normal and doesn't reflect badly on you as a parent at all. Remember your little one won't be in nappies forever, so try to enjoy the time when they're tiny and soft.