Motherhood is an enriching experience. One that forever changes you and, for the first few years at least, gives you 6,000+ opportunities to change a diaper. With that many diapers coming your way, you may as well get comfortable and create the ideal diaper changing situation for yourself whether at home or on the go. A little preparation now will make for a lot less heartache later when you are caught unaware and nary a diaper or wipe in sight.
Here are 12 essentials to make the process of changing diapers a lot easier.
CHANGING AT HOME
The name of the game is to keep everything that might be needed during the changing process within easy reach so you can keep your baby from rolling off the table while still accessing all of the necessary supplies. Follow the recommendations below, knowing that you may need to make some tweaks depending on your apartment set-up and your specific needs.
1. The Station: Whether you choose a dresser with a removable changing-table top or a more traditional changing table, make sure that the table is comfortable for you. This means taking the height of the table into consideration for you and anyone else who may be assisting since you do not want to have to stand on your tip toes throughout the changing process.
2. Diapers, Diapers and More Diapers: This should be ground zero for diaper storage and back-ups, and be sure to restock as soon as your supply is depleted. It may seem obvious, but when the day comes that you are in desperate need of one and for some reason there are no diapers to be found, it won’t seem that way.
3. Diaper Caddy: Keep all of the diapering essentials within easy reach so you aren’t wasting precious time hunting for something with a wriggling baby on the table. For this reason, we like caddies or open baskets so that you aren’t trying to open and close containers. As for the supplies, some of the caddy essentials could include: rash cream, wipes, lotion and skin protectant.
4. Mom Essentials: Since the bathroom isn’t likely near the changing station, it’s a good idea to include a few of your essentials here, too. For instance, a bottle of hand sanitizer, cream for dry hands, and hair ties to pull back your hair in case there is a situation will all be welcome additions when the time comes.
5. Distractions: Keeping the baby happy throughout the changing process is key. Look for a small basket to house a few favorite toys so your hair or earrings don’t turn into the toy of choice. Teething toys and rattles work wonderfully for young babies and small board books are a good option for older babies.
6. Diaper Disposal: Everyone has their favorite kind of disposal system. Regardless of what you choose, keep it close by and hopefully the space will remain odor free. However, for those special occasions, we have been known to run dirty diapers directly out to the real garbage lest the smell stick around the house for a while afterward. We also like disposable bags to take on the go.
7. Laundry Bag: Make it easy on yourself by stashing a laundry bag or receptacle near the changing station for gathering soiled clothing.
8. Clothing & Accessories: The changing station is a logical place to store clothing and accessories for the baby since you will often be changing them here in the morning, after naps, or in the middle of night. If storing all of their clothes here isn’t an option, try to keep a selection of onesies, PJs and socks on hand to cut down on prep time.
9. Back-ups: If you have the storage space, try to keep extra supplies in the station as well so late night accidents don’t become disasters. This includes any of the supplies in the diaper caddy -- diapers (of course), changing pad covers, etc. However, if space is at a premium here, keep all extra supplies in one area of your home preferably close by so you can find them easily. This will help ensure that you don’t run low on anything because you can always see how much you have on hand.
CHANGING ON THE GO
10. The Bag: We aren’t saying diaper bag here because honestly almost any bag will do as long you as pack a few of the essentials for trips outside of the home.
11. The Diaper Pouch: Pack diapers (3-4 at least), a small pack of wipes or even wipes in a plastic zip bag, rash cream, a changing pad, and a “poop” bag, so to speak. People may debate the changing pad piece of this puzzle, but conditions aren’t always ideal when you’re out and about so having this can save you when the dirty floor is the only option.
12. Distractions: A messy diaper, wiggling baby and lack of a changing table is enough to test even the most seasoned changer, so pack a few distracting toys to help keep them entertained. In a pinch, a set of jangling keys, a compact mirror or even a crumpled receipt will work - moms are improvisers!
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Photography by Hanna Nakano.
Michelle and Annie are co-founders of Henry & Higby, a professional organizing company in New York City. They believe that life should be as simple as possible and that the process of getting organized can help. Visit them on Facebook, Instagram or on their website.