Why buy a changing pad?
A baby changing pad can serve as a safe space to change your little one’s diaper (and clothes). Some changing pads are designed to be truly portable and fold down to fit in diaper bags. Meanwhile, others are meant to be stationary and come with a safety belt to prevent little ones from rolling off the changing table or surface.
What should you consider when shopping for a baby changing pad?
- Safety: Obviously, this is the number one priority for parents. If you’re planning on putting the mat on a changing table, make sure it has a nonskid bottom and a safety strap to ensure the baby cannot roll off. Concaved sides can also help mitigate potential rolling.
- Waterproof/Cleanability: We know diaper changing is unpleasant, and sometimes that unpleasantness gets places other than in the diaper. Choosing a waterproof pad that offers easy cleanability will ensure the baby’s changing station is always clean and germ-free.
- Portability: Sooner or later, you’ll have to change your baby while not at home. You can take an extra backup pad with you to ensure your baby always has a safe and clean place to get their diaper changed.
Should you pick a portable or stationary changing pad?
It’s certainly a good idea to have a portable changing pad. Whether visiting a friend’s house or shopping with your baby in tow, you probably won’t want to lay your baby down directly on a public restroom’s changing table or your friend’s new couch. Instead, a portable changing pad can go wherever you and your little one go and provide a safe, sanitary spot to change a diaper. Opting for a stationary changing pad will be ideal for a nursery and provide a consistent and convenient spot you’ll use multiple times a day. Ultimately, it’s most convenient to have both a portable and a more permanent changing pad for different situations.
|The Best Baby Gear|
|For Travel||Diaper Bags | Parent-Friendly Fanny Packs | Changing Pads | Carriers | Beach Essentials | Pack ‘n Plays | Strollers | Wagon Strollers | Playpens|
|For General Care||Diaper Pails | Changing Tables | Bassinets | Cribs | Bottles | Bottle Warmers | Bottle Nipples | Bottle Brushes | Swings | Monitors | High Chairs|
Summer Infant Contoured Changing Pad
This changing pad offers contoured sides, two sets of straps, a nonskid bottom, and an easy-to-clean and comfortable pad.
Pros: This changing pad keeps your baby’s safety a top priority. This pad has two-sided contoured edges and a quick-release belt to help your baby stay still. It also has a nonskid bottom with a security strap to keep the pad in place. Completed with a fully waterproof padded area, it is comfortable and easy to wipe clean to keep the changing area germ-free.
Cons: While the brand touts a waterproof exterior that will prevent stains from penetrating the cover, some parents noted otherwise.
Bottom Line: This fairly universal changing pad should work with most changing tables. The contoured design keeps little ones from sliding side to side while the safety strap prevents them from rolling. However, be aware that this pick might stain easily.
Summer Infant Basic Changing Essentials Kit with Changing Pad
This is a complete solution that includes a travel-friendly changing pad for when you're on the go.
Pros: If you’re a parent of a baby in diapers, you need a travel-friendly changing pad. Thankfully, this set from Summer Infant includes not just the pad that remains on your changing table in your home but a foldable solution that can also double as an extra waterproof backup for those diaper blowouts and surprise wees when you open their diapers.
Cons: While it is waterproof, the embossed pattern makes cleaning the pad a little challenging—especially if you get a bit of poo on it.
Bottom Line: If you’re looking for an all-in-one solution that works for your home or when you’re on the go, this Summer Infant changing pad set is a solid choice with waterproof protection. But know that if you change your baby’s diapers directly on the primary pad and it gets dirty, you might sometimes struggle to remove stains and dirt because of the embossed design.
Munchkin Arm & Hammer Disposable Changing Pad
This leakproof pad is infused with baking soda to control odor safely.
Pros: When traveling, you either need a permanent changing pad or something disposable, so you don’t have to fuss with diaper-related stains. This 10-pack of disposable changing pads from Munchkin is the perfect solution. They’re made with ultra-absorbent layers to prevent liquids from seeping through. Meanwhile, baking soda is infused within each pad to help control odors.
Cons: While this is a convenient option for parents who despise a mess, it’s not economical if you’re frequently on the go since these are single-use products. Additionally, if you’re concerned about sustainability, you’ll want to look elsewhere.
Bottom Line: For parents that like a one-and-done solution, these disposable leakproof pads with baking soda to help control odors are perfect. But for people who are frequently on the go or concerned about their ecological footprint, you might want to reconsider this.
Kopi Baby Portable Diaper-Changing Pad
This is an all-in-one solution that includes a carrying kit, so all your diaper-changing essentials are on-hand.
Pros: If you’ve ever been tasked with changing a diaper while traveling, you know how critical it is to have all your necessities nearby. Thankfully, this pick from Kopi Baby features a foldable changing pad, a tote compartment to hold diaper change essentials, and a dedicated flap for baby wipes. The entire kit folds into a travel-friendly bag that can even be kept in the car for easy access.
Cons: While innovative, this solution might not be for the long term as your child grows. You may need a new solution once your baby reaches 12 months.
Bottom Line: If you hate scrambling for diaper-changing essentials while away from home, this pick will keep you organized. But the shorter length of the changing pad means you’ll need a new option when your baby is around 12 months.
Skip Hop Baby-Changing Pad
PVC- and phthalate-free with a nonskid bottom for added safety, this pad with a toy bar will help keep baby occupied while being changed.
Pros: With a contoured foam mat that won’t absorb liquids or smells, this pad will stay clean and comfortable for the baby. It has a nonskid base, a table attachment, and a safety belt. It is PVC- and phthalate-free, wipes clean easily, and offers a tuck-away toy bar with a baby-safe mirror to help keep your little one occupied and happy during changing times.
Cons: The flat design means your baby will be on a hard surface. While this isn’t an issue for older babies, parents of newborns may not be okay with that reality.
Bottom Line: Skip Hop is a fan-favorite brand known for creating innovative children’s gear. This pick is easy to keep clean with a nonskid base. But the flat design might be a no-go for parents concerned about flat heads and their newborn babies.
A good diaper-changing pad should provide a sturdy and safe space for your baby while changing their diapers. At a minimum, you want a safety strap if it’s a stationary pad. Meanwhile, portable options should be easy to transport; if they come with storage solutions, that’s a bonus.