Changing Table Essentials

How to Stock Your Changing Table

Diapering: We all know it’s part of the parenting gig. They poo. We drag our sleep-deprived bodies out of bed to restore those adorable, little cheeks to their former, feces-free glory. Still, while there’s no escaping diaper duty, there’s more to taking care of your little poo-monkey than juggling diapers and wipes. Wondering what else you’ll need? Stay on top of all your changing table essentials with this handy checklist.

Diapering Essentials:

  • Diapers: A well-fed newborn can blow through an impressive 10-12 diapers in a single day! If you want to avoid making a last-minute diaper run, you’ll need a decent stock on hand. That said, your little one will likely bump up a size in just a few short months, so don’t pack away too many of those teeny, tiny newborn diapers.
  • Wipes: Buy these babies in bulk, and stash them everywhere. You’ll use them for everything from diaper changes to cleaning your car. (Creative wipe use is a must-have mommy skill.) TIP: Skip the wipe warmer.
  • Diaper Rash Cream: Every bottom is different. Before you commit to a huge tub of anything, try experimenting with a couple different brands. Found something you like? Stock up. You’ll need it.
  • Diaper Pail or Trashcan: Not sure which way to go? Check out this helpful list of diaper pail pros and cons.
  • Changing Pad Covers: You’ll need three. One for the changing pad, one for the laundry, and one for emergencies.
  • A Splash Guard: Have a little boy? You’re standing in the splash zone. If you plan on staying dry, you’ll need some kind of wee-wee barrier. TIP: Pass on pricy, purpose-made products like the Pee-Pee Teepee. A Dixie cup or clean washcloth works just as well.
  • Hair Ties/Clips: Love those long locks? You might want to tie them back before you get down to business. The only thing harder than trying to change a messy diaper through a curtain of hair is trying to push it aside using your single, uncontaminated pinky.
  • Plastic Bags: Perfect for dealing with diaper blowouts and poo-soaked laundry.
  • Sanitation Supplies: Want to keep your nursery germ-free? Stock up on hand sanitizer, disinfectant wipes, and paper towels, and clean up as you go.

Baby Care Essentials:

  • Lotion: Choose a mild or fragrance-free formula.
  • Vaseline: This must-have, multi-purpose product is perfect for moisturizing and protecting your little one’s most sensitive skin. Use it for everything from chapped lips and sore noses to irritated bottoms. You’ll also need it for post-op care should you decide to have your baby boy circumcised.
  • Baby-Safe Cotton Swabs: Keep those sweet, little ears clean using kid-friendly, safety-approved cotton swabs, designed to prevent parents from inadvertently injuring baby’s ear.
  • Infant Gum Brush/Sterile Gauze: It’s never to early for good oral hygiene! Give those gums a daily once over with a purpose-made silicone brush or a clean piece of gauze.
  • Nasal Bulb: Used for clearing obstructions in baby’s nose or throat. TIP: You’ll likely be given one of these at the hospital.
  • Nail Clippers or Safety Manicure Scissors

Medicines and First-Aid Supplies:

  • Antibiotic Cream
  • Anti-itch Cream
  • Alcohol Pads: Used for cleaning minor cuts and scrapes and for treating your newborn’s umbilical stump.
  • Small Bandages
  • Thermometer: Since newborn ear canals are too small to accommodate an ear thermometer, the American Academy of Pediatrics recommends using a rectal thermometer to record your newborn’s temperature. Once your little one reaches six months, it should be safe to make the switch.
  • Painkiller/Fever-reducer: Acetaminophen is an excellent newborn fever-reducer, but be careful to follow your doctor’s instructions and administer the correct dose. Ibupforen is generally a better choice for babies suffering from teething complaints but should not be used before six months.
  • Saline Spray: Relieve your infant’s stuffy nose using a quick spray of saline and a nasal bulb or aspirator.
  • Gas Drops: Great for settling troubled tummies.
  • Medicine Syringe and Spoon

Other Must-Haves:

  • Clothing: Keeping baby basics like onesies and pajamas within arm’s reach will save you time and effort and ensure you never have a reason to leave your little one unattended on the changing table.
  • Sanity Savers: Keep a few pacifiers and small toys on hand to distract your little wiggle monster during diaper changes. You may even consider installing a mobile over the changing table. (You’ll get more use out of it there, especially since the AAP recommends removing mobiles from the crib area before your baby learns to sit independently.) Nursery soothers featuring flashing lights and music are also a good choice.
  • Paper & Pencil: Most pediatricians recommend keeping a diaper log during the newborn phase. It may seem silly, but your baby’s bowl movements are an excellent indicator of their overall health during those first few crucial months.