How to set up an efficient changing station
Find out how the right set up and supplies can make diaper duty easier.
Newborn babies can easily go through 10 diapers a day, so before your baby arrives, it’s a good idea to make sure you’ve got all the supplies you need and a safe, functional, baby-friendly area set up for diaper duty.
Be strategic about location
Set up your changing station in a central area of your home. If you have a larger home, you might want to have one main station and several smaller stations. That way, you’ll always be within easy reach of diapers, wipes, cream and a changing pad.
Choose your surface
You don’t need to use a changing table. The bed, a dresser or even the floor will do. The floor is safest for your baby because there’s no way to fall off it but it isn’t the most comfortable for you. We recommend picking a surface at a comfortable height that doesn’t require you to bend over. Your back will thank you.
Whatever you decide on, make sure it’s sturdy and stable. There’ll be lots of wriggling happening on it. You also want to make sure you have lots of storage space, preferably out of the reach of curious little hands. Either have a larger surface so you can place things like dirty diapers and cream out of your baby’s reach or have a smaller dresser top, shelf or table nearby.
Changing pads are a handy tool to have since they provide a cushion for your baby and have straps to keep them from moving too much. But you can also use a towel, blanket or disposable pad.
Stocking your station
- Diapers- Take your diapers out of their plastic packaging and stack them neatly. That way you won’t have to wrestle with the pack one-handed while you hold your baby. Stock up on diapers so you don’t have to worry about running out. Huggies® Ultra Newborn are specially designed for newborn babies, so you might want to start with 4–5 large packs. Click here so you can find the diaper that best suits your baby.
- Wipes - You’ll go through these quickly too because they’re handy for more than just diaper changes. You can use them on pretty much any mess your baby makes, so buy them in bulk. Huggies® Gentle Care baby wipes are all natural, don’t contain soap, alcohol and fragrances and are clinically proven to be gentle enough for your baby.
- Creams - Huggies®diapers are clinically proven to prevent diaper rash but a basic zinc oxide diaper ointment or petroleum jelly is an additional defence against diaper rash. Find out more about preventing diaper rash here. You might also want some hypoallergenic moisturisers for your baby.
- Extra changing pad covers - Invest in a few waterproof changing pad covers and use two of them at the same time. That way if the top cover gets soiled you can whip it off quickly and still have a clean one underneath to change your baby on.
- Distractions - Some babies like being changed but most will squirm and fuss. Make changing time a little easier by placing mobiles or pictures around your changing station. It also helps to have special toys that your baby only gets to play with during changing time. Babies love the colourful prints on Huggies®diapers so you can use them as a distraction too.
- Small towels - Use these to cover your baby when you undo the dirty diaper so you don’t get an accidental pee shower.
- Dustbin - You can use a diaper disposal system but plastic bags and a simple dustbin work just as well. Choose a bin with a foot pedal so you don’t have to use both hands to throw away the dirty diaper. Always keep one hand on your baby.
- Hand sanitizer - Keeps your hands clean during the changing process until you can give them a proper wash with soap and water.
- First aid kit and nail clippers - Changing time is also a good time to sort out other baby business, so have what you need on hand.
- Extra clothes - Have a few spare changes of clothes ready in case your baby’s outfit gets dirty.
- Laundry basket - Put all those dirty clothes where they belong straightaway.
- Music - Playing some of your baby’s favourite songs is another good way to distract her. It gets you singing along too.
- Hair clips or rubber bands - If you have long hair, keep some clips and rubber bands at your changing table so you can get your hair out of the way before you get started. Instead of trying to brush it away with poopy hands later.