Moms, you knew this was part of the deal for a long time. Dads, your friends have been giving you a hard time about it for a while now. Either way, you will you spending a lot of time at the poop shrine so lets make it as simple and as easy as possible. Since you will be changing a lot of nasty diapers, it’s important to create a station where it can happen up at your level. While changing your baby on the floor (with a pad) is helpful when you are away from your house, your back will thank you for using a station that doesn’t make you bend over all the time. There are many differing options to choose from for changing stations themselves. The key factors to think about are the height, whether it fits in the room and if it has shelves. The items that go on these shelves are going to be more important than the station itself.
Some great, simple options for a diaper station are listed below. Decide whether you want more shelf space or if you want a clothes hamper built into the unit. It’s important to make your decisions based on the room it will be in, select what will be most convenient for you… because you will be using it OFTEN!
Changing station safety: It is always important to establish a “one hand on policy”. It doesn’t matter the reason or how fast you leave your child unattended on an elevated platform, the risk is the same. Even if your child is not rolling over yet, don’t let their first time be a time when they are not attended. It is important to make sure your diaper station is always stocked with everything you need so that you don’t have to leave it when you are in the middle of changing a diaper. When you see that you are low on diapers or wipes, restock it. You will regret it if you ever find your baby and yourself covered in poop and no supplies to deal with it.
1. Extra Diapers and Bags
Always make sure you have a large reserve of wipes and diapers on one of the shelves. Running out of supplies when you just opened a nasty diaper filled with liquid poop and corn kernals is a mistake that you only make once.
There are many different approaches to diapers. Some of you may use disposable and some of you will use cloth diapers. If you end up deciding to go with disposable diapers you will need a place to put the dirty ones. Here are two great options to go with when disposing of the dirty diapers.
Option 1: Diaper Bin
We used the Munchkin Arm and Hammer Diaper Pail for the first year. This was a simple and convenient option. With it being right next to the diaper station, it made the clean-up easy and convenient. This particular unit was able to hold around 17 newborn diapers. As Ellie got older, we could fit less and less diapers into the bag. Once we started dealing with the larger diapers, the unit filled up more quickly and became inconvenient. After her first birthday, we transitioned over to using Ziploc bags (as described below).
Option 2: Ziploc Bags
Using quart sized Ziploc bags allowed us to contain the diaper immediately and toss it into the outdoor trash bin. The beauty of this is that you don’t have any dirty diapers in your house. Don’t delay in getting the diaper to the outdoor trash can and don’t get lazy and throw it into an indoor trash can. Being diligent with this process is extremely effective in eliminating that odor associated with a house full of babies.
2. Wipe Warmer
Don’t you love sitting on a cold toilet seat? That’s right, no one does… it is right up there with drinking orange juice after brushing your teeth. Now imagine that every time you use a cold wipe on your baby’s butt that it creates that same sensation. A wipes warmer is a great way to keep your baby happy. I highly recommend having one of these at your diaper station. One thing to keep in mind is that you need to air it out on occasion. I usually clean mine once or twice a month. This involves actually using soap and water on the inside and letting it dry out completely before filling it back up with wipes. This prevents the warmer from becoming a growth arena for bacteria and getting stinky.
We use the Munchkin Warm Glow Wipe Warmer
We usually buy the bulk boxes of Pampers Sensitive Wipes whenever we hit the store but Amazon is another great place to pick them up. In these boxes there is usually an assortment of wipe disbursement options. Avoiding diaper rash was always a priority for us and we’ve had great luck with these wipes. Every baby is different though, so find what works best for your baby. When you find one that works, stick with it.
No conversation about wipes is complete without mentioning dry wipes. An idea came to me early on when changing our daughters diaper. Every time I was taught how to change a diaper it involved using a wipe to clean everything off and then slapping a diaper back on. Imagine right now that every time you went to the bathroom you had to take a wet towel and wipe your entire butt with it and then throw your underwear on right over that wet mess… it sounds horrible. I assumed our baby felt the same way so I started using small baby towels to dry her off after every change. This method drastically reduced diaper rash flare ups and without exaggeration, it almost completely eliminated it. I’m sure that I didn’t invent this idea, but if you haven’t heard of it before, give it a try. The washcloths from Bamboo Organics are great. They are ultra soft which helps out a lot when tending to an already broken out bottom. These can double as reusable wipes and bath-time wash cloths. If organic is not a focus for you, a cheaper option is to purchase a bulk package of simple cotton wipes such as Luvable Friends Washcloths.
3. Toys and Soothers
You may not have it figured out yet, but you will start to find the toys and gadgets that soothe your baby the best. Every baby is different and what works for your friend may not work for you. The older your child gets, the easier diaper changes become as they are more familiar with the ritual. Keep in mind that the older they get, the more mobility they have. Poop covered running babies are definitely in the cards if you aren’t careful.
4. Climbing wall
We might be biased, but having a climbing wall in the kids room is mandatory. If climbing isn’t your thing, find something else fun and unique to make your childs room special.
5. Diaper Cream
This is one thing that I think can be relied upon too heavily. I am not a doctor and I don’t play one on the internet. Seek professional advice before making any personal diaper cream selections. As a family, we are focused on using the least medicated approach for most things. We reserve diaper cream for only when it’s necessary and we have found that the steps of keeping a DRY and clean butt minimize the outbreaks. We have had great luck with the following diaper creams.
6. Changing pad
The changing pad is what really brings the whole changing station together. We use the My Deluxe Changing Mat – By Soft Gear (Espresso). This foam base is covered in a wipeable surface that allows you to keep a clean and sanitary changing area. This item has been absolutely amazing for the diaper changing process. I would say this is a mandatory item for your changing station.
As you spend more and more time changing diapers, you will pick-up ideas and helpful items along the way. Ultimately, do what works best for you and your baby.