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Which is the Best Changing Pad for Baby?

When bringing home baby, there seems to be endless gear, equipment, supplies and toys that you “need” to have on hand. In reality, there are only a few key items you need in the first few months of baby’s little life. Diapers, bottles if not breastfeeding, a place to sleep and a place to change baby are all important items to consider. When shopping for diaper changing needs, you will want to look for which is the best changing pad for your new one and ensure it will meet all of your diaper changing needs.

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Important Features to Consider

It may seem pretty straightforward, you go out and buy a change pad and done! Unfortunately, there are hundreds of different types, styles, sizes and brands on the market all trying to win your purchase. When looking for the best changing pad, you should think about the size and shape in relation to where you will place the change pad, the materials it made of, whether there are safety measures included, price point and what the underside of the change pad is made from.

SIZE

Changing pads are available in many different shapes and sizes, ranging from simple flat change mats to thick, cushioned rectangular pads. It is a good idea to measure the space where you will place your change pad, such as your change table, so you can get an idea of how big or small it should be. Another consideration is the shape you wish to purchase. Some changing pads are rectangular, some have rounded corners and some are even oval. Which style fits your space will help determine the size and shape you need to look for.

MATERIALS USED

Surprisingly, there are several choices in materials used to make changing pads. You may wonder why this is such a big deal. All you will need is to have an overflowing diapering to change and you will immediately see how important the materials used are. You will want to look for something non-absorbent, ideally. This protects from germs and is easy to clean up too. Of course, you want your change pad to be durable as well, since you will be using it several times a day.

SAFETY MEASURES IN PLACE

Whether you are a first time parent or have several children already, you will always want to make sure baby is protected and safe. It is a number one concern as a parent. Choosing the best changing pad means looking for one that will have baby’s safety in mind.

Does the change pad include a safety belt? Is it adjustable for different size babies? Are the edges contoured to keep baby from rolling off the pad? These are must have features of any changing pad in order to keep baby safe and sound. Anything in addition to these features are an absolute bonus.

PRICE POINT

Not everyone has an unlimited budget when it comes to buying gear and gadgets for baby. This doesn’t mean you have to settle for less quality just because you are on a budget. The range of pricing for change pads is shockingly vast. You can find some in an affordable range, usually under $30; moderate range from $30 to $50 and upper range of $50 and up.

CHECK THE UNDERSIDE

This may seem like an odd feature to point out or even consider but let me explain why it is important. If you flip the changing pad over and have a peek at what the underside looks like, you will usually see the insides of what that changing pad is made from, or you will see if there is a non-slip bottom. These can help you decide the quality of the changing pad and whether it may stand the test of time over one or more babies you bring home.

Best Changing Pads to Consider for Your Child

The Summer Infant Contoured Changing Pad is made of durable vinyl, which allows for easy wiping and clean up if baby has an accidental overflowing diaper change and just for general disinfecting. The quilted exterior is super comfortable, adding extra cushioning for baby even under any cover you may choose. The included safety belt will adjust to fit various sizes and keep baby secure as you change them. The contoured two sides prevent your little one from rolling away while being cleaned up. On the underside there is an additional safety strap to attach to the change table, along with a non-skid bottom.

PROS


  • Contoured sides and safety belt keep baby snug and secure
  • Very affordable price point
  • 16 x 32 size fits most standard change tables
  • Vinyl outer allows for easy wipe down and sanitizing
  • Super comfortable with a 4” thickness
  • Non-slip bottom with added safety strap for the change table

CONS


  • Vinyl has a tendency to tear or crack
  • May not fit a customized size change table
  • Bulky if you only plan on using it on the floor
  • Quilted stitches may lose their waterproof/leak-proof ability over time
  • May need replacing sooner than later

Having four sides means four ways to protect your baby from falling or bumping their heads. This change pad is made of perva vinyl and has two layers to make it even more cushioned for comfort. The safety strap is adjustable to accommodate different size infants and there is a safety strap on the bottom to attach to your change table for stability. It is a standard size to fit most change tables along with its rectangular shape. The very affordable price point makes this an accessible choice for everyone.

PROS


  • Made of waterproof, wipeable vinyl
  • Interior foam padding is double layered for added comfort of baby
  • Very affordable price point
  • Safety belt secures baby to the changing pad along with four contoured side to keep baby from rolling away
  • Safety strap on the bottom attaches to the change table to prevent moving around along with non-slip bottom to keep it in place
  • Easy cleaning means no mess and a germ free change pad
  • Contoured on four sides to protect baby from all angles

CONS


  • Vinyl can rip easily and require replacing
  • May be too bulky for smaller change tables
  • Quilted stitching may be hard to clean as dirt can get trapped in the crevices
  • Contoured edges may flatten a bit over time

This is a great, stylish cover for a standard size change pad. Although it’s not an actual change pad, it is meant to accompany your change pad and keep it covered. These covers need the same consideration as the actual pads themselves. The chevron design is sleek and contemporary and fits into any nursery décor. It is also gender neutral, so you can purchase this as a gift or even for yourself before baby arrives. There are two slits to accommodate the safety seatbelt and the elasticized bottom fits snugly around the bottom to keep it in place.

The price point is very affordable since it is just a cover, not a change pad. The 100% polyester material can go in the washing machine without issue and is fade proof and stain resistant. Everything you need in a change pad cover!

PROS


  • Fadeproof and stain resistant for longevity
  • Very affordable
  • Has slits to allow safety belt to slip through and be used easily
  • Protects the change pad beneath with a soft material
  • Standard 16 x 32 size fits most change pads
  • Elastic along the bottom hem wraps securely around the underside to stay put

CONS


  • Cover only: does not include a change pad which you buy separately
  • Could be a bit too small for the four sided change pad
  • No waterproof lining so liquids will leak straight through to the change pad
  • May fit with Summer Infant brand changing pads best; others may seem squished

Smooth, rounded edges accent this soft, cushiony change pad. It is made of a waterproof vinyl outer shell and a soft foam interior. The thickness makes this a comfortable change pad for baby to be cleaned upon. The ergonomic design is very modern and will fit most standard change tables or dresser tops. Included with this change pad are two screws to mount it from slipping and a safety belt to hold baby in place on the change pad.

PROS


  • Ergonomic, four sided design keeps baby from rolling away
  • Safety belt adjusts to accommodate babies of different sizes
  • Screws included to secure the pad to your table or dresser top for added security
  • Waterproof vinyl material makes for easy cleaning and sanitization
  • 30” size is smaller than rectangular pads, therefore fits smaller to standard size change tables
  • 4” thickness which won’t flatten out over time

CONS


  • Smaller size may leave gaps around the top of the change table if it’s a standard size
  • The quilted design can rip easily and gather dirt which may be hard to clean
  • Bottom is not non-slip like other change pads
  • Moderate price point may be out of range for some parents
  • May not fit larger infants or may need replacing as baby grows due to its smaller size

The cute, adorable monkey design is gender neutral and will fit into many popular nursery themes. It is made of 100% polyester material and is ultra-soft for baby to lay upon for diaper changes. It comes in a standard 16 x 32 change pad size, fitting most change pads on the market. On each of the four corners you will find it to be elasticized for a snug fit around the change pad. The buckle strap holes allow for all safety belts to fit through for ease of use. This cover is machine washable and the elastic corners will withstand many washings.

PROS


  • Adorable, vibrant monkey design
  • Gender neutral, therefore useable for multiple children
  • Super soft material against baby’s skin
  • Durable elastic corners to fit snugly around change pad without squishing it
  • Fits most standard changing pads with its 32 x 16 size
  • Super affordable price point
  • Holes to accommodate safety belt

CONS


  • May be too big for smaller change pads, becoming loose
  • Cover only; must purchase change pad separately
  • Once soiled, needs to be removed and washed since it is not waterproof

Making the Decision for the Best Changing Pad Products

While there are loads of other items to consider for baby, purchasing a changing pad should be one of the first few things you purchase since changing diapers will be a part of your life for a while to come. You will want the best changing pad products available to you in order to complete your nursery. From the featured products I would recommend the Summer Infant Contoured Changing Pad, with two sides contoured and included safety belt and strap to harness it down. The ends not being contoured means that taller babies will fit on this change pad longer and with its affordable price point, you get loads of bang for your buck.

In order to prolong the life of your change pad I would recommend covering it with the Summer Infant Ultra Plush Changing Pad Cover, Chevron. It is easy to suit any décor, is super soft and comfortable and will help prevent tearing of your change pad. Since it has elastic around the entire bottom hem, it won’t slip off easily and also has holes to accommodate the safety belt.

Hopefully this guide has helped address your concerns and needs when shopping for the best changing pads and changing pad covers for your baby. You want to get the most for your money and these choices will do just that while keeping your change area clean and tidy and most importantly, safe for your little one.

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Jennifer Shackelford
 

Hi, I’m Jennifer, the founder and editor of TheMamaNeeds.com. On The Mama Needs, I write about experience with pregnancy, raising kids, and nutrition for both kids and expectant moms.. I love that blogging brings parents together and lets our readers know they’re not the only ones going through these experiences. I love seeing comments on my posts that say “I thought it was just me! I’m so glad it’s not!” Being a parent is hard, but friends and blogs really help.

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