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Changing Tables Buying Guide
All You Need to Know About Changing Tables
With all the excitement of planning a nursery and bringing the newest member of the family home, purchasing a changing table might not seem to be that much of a priority, since you won't be needing it for very long. But consider this: you will be changing your child's diaper anywhere from 10 to 15 times a day for roughly a year and a half to two years. Having somewhere to safely change your baby might not seem like such a bad idea.
A changing table usually consists of a flat surface designed to comfortably hold your child while you change him or her. It is also designed to keep your child securely in place while you need to use both hands.
- Select a change table with rounded corners; they will be safer for your child.
- Guardrails or safety rails are included in the designs of most changing tables. They go around at least three sides of the table; in many cases guardrails can be found on all four sides.
- Safety straps allow you to strap your child onto the changing station. Most change tables include the safety straps, but if they don't, they can be purchased separately. They provide additional protection against your child rolling away from you or from falling.
- Because organizations and manufacturers are continually making improvements, register your changing table with its manufacturer. In the event of any product recalls, you will be notified.
A changing table typically has a set of open shelves, enclosed shelves, drawers or a combination of shelves and drawers. They come in a number of stylish configurations that include hutches, cubbies and cabinets with adjustable shelves and doors. Units that can be repurposed as a dresser or chest will make a changing table purchase even more worthwhile.
- Do you like to just reach for the talcum powder and have it right there? Then a changing table with open shelving would be a good choice.
- If you prefer to keep everything out of sight until needed, choose a changing station with cabinet doors or a set of drawers.
- If you like to keep your options open, many types of changing tables are available with a combination of open and enclosed storage.
When Using the Changing Table
When you first bring your child home, they tend to stay where you put them. But after the first few months, babies can roll easily. Get into good safety habits right from the start by following a few simple rules.
- Never leave your child alone when on the changing table. If you really need to leave the room, take your baby with you. (Even if your child is wet and crying. Being safe is more important than having to clean up a little mess later.)
- Some changing tables come equipped with a pad or topper; some don't. If it doesn't come with a pad, purchase an extra thick one. It will make your baby more comfortable while you change him or her.
- Always use the safety straps.
- When changing the baby, keep one hand on your child at all times for added support.
- Put everything away once you've finished using it.
- Most changing stations are made of wood or plastic and are easy to keep clean. Give your changing table a good wipe-down after each use, and it will be fresh and clean and ready for next time.
Changing Table Style
Because of the very nature of a changing table and what it's used for, you want to select one that will blend in with your existing nursery furniture. If you are decorating from scratch and know that you would like to include one in your nursery décor design, many manufacturers offer collections that include a matching crib, nightstand and changing table.
Traditional changing tables feature classic detailing such as inset panels, scroll accents, bun feet and decorative molding. Reflections of past eras and trends, like the Victorian era or the Georgian period, traditional nursery furnishings are also characterized by rich finishes and graceful curves.
Contemporary changing tables have a comfortable and relaxed appearance. They are characterized by clean lines and simple decorative elements. Through its use of materials, shapes and lines, contemporary style emphasizes natural elements that are calming and restful. A contemporary changing table is sure to blend in with almost any décor.
Country style furniture retains the period’s flavor of more formal furnishings like French Provincial, English Country or Colonial, but is less ornate. It also incorporates less traditional elements such as wicker, rattan and metalwork accents. A country style changing table could feature a milk-painted wood finish, stenciling or beadboard detailing.