For some reason, right after Brigsby was born, I had a hard time figuring out a diaper changing setup that easily worked for us and looked good. I know that might sound silly because all you really need is to put a changing pad on a table. But I quickly found that the changing pad slid (I have it on top of a normal dresser that’s secured to the wall), the changing pad cover got dirty fast (who wants to wash more if you don’t have to?) and diapers and wipes weren’t in a good location to conveniently grab. It took a little trial and error and a few additional rearrangements once Brigsby started turning over and picking up the wipes dispenser (or anything else placed near his head), but I’m finally happy with our current setup (for now ha).
Matt and I are both right handed, so it’s natural for us to place Brigsby with his head to our left side (maybe that’s natural for everyone…idk) to change his diaper. I initially had the changing pad in the middle of the dresser because it seemed safer and I liked how it separated other items on the dresser. But when Brigsby started grabbing things above his head, I decided it’d be best to not have anything there. So I scooted the pad all the way to the left.
Having the changing pad all the way to one side made it even more important to make sure it didn’t slide. After a little research, I found that putting an anti-slip rug pad underneath the changing pad keeps it in place. I had one that I cut down to about an inch or two shorter than each side of the changing pad. The changing pad still moves a little bit over the course of 4 or 5 diaper changes, so the anti-slip pad becomes visible (like in the picture above). But it’s pretty simple to make that minor movement of the changing pad to cover the anti-slip pad if seeing it bothers you like it does me. Or if a little anti-slip rug pad peeking through is your thing, let it shine.
I liked the idea of a fabric changing pad cover to hide the plain plastic changing pad. But I quickly found that the cover would get dirty quickly. I didn’t want to bother with disposable changing pad liners. And I got tired of treating stains and washing the cover, so I just decided to take it off. Then, after a month or so, I ordered a couple of Gathre baby changing mats and my world changed. Seriously. I put a fabric cover back on the changing pad and placed one of the little Gathre mats on top, and to be honest, I actually haven’t washed the cover since then. Gathre mats are waterproof and wipe clean so easy. I am such a huge fan of them. They are so versatile. I keep my other baby changing mat in my diaper bag, and I have a high chair Gathre mat that I use for several things as well. I could let buying them get out of hand quick. Ha. I’m trying to hold off on purchasing a big one until Christmas.
Aside from the placement of and accessories for the changing pad itself, figuring out the best spot for diapers, wipes and few other things proved to be a little tricky as well. For a while, I had all these things in a basket on top of the dresser. But that took up a lot of room. The diapers also needed replaced quickly. So, I decided to move them to a drawer in the dresser where I could stash a bunch of them. I soon realized that was the wrong drawer for ease of obtaining them, so I moved them to another drawer. And there they’ve stayed for a while now. I think this drawer is their long-term home. As for the wipes, putting them in a drawer would not be the right move. They are located in our beloved OXO Tot Perfect Pull Wipes Dispenser (that I wrote about here) on top of the dresser along with some hand sanitizer, Tubby Todd All-Over Ointment and occasionally some Boudreaux’s Butt Paste.
I almost ended the post with that last paragraph. But having the words, “Butt Paste,” as my final words wasn’t sitting too well with me, so I just wanted to say happy changing table set up to those to which it applies! And go get a Gathre mat if I didn’t convince you already.
Product details and links (some are affiliate, some are not): dresser from IKEA, changing pad we use, similar changing pad cover (ours is so soft and I love that’s it’s neutral but still has some texture…pretty sure this is almost the exact same one), Gathre baby changing mat, OXO Tot PerfectPull Wipes Dispenser, Tubby Todd All-Over Ointment (I think I’ve mentioned this before, but it’s real close to a miracle), Grove Collaborative Blood Orange Hand Sanitizer (smells so good and you can use this link to get $10 off your first purchase at Grove), drawer organizers from IKEA (cheaper at IKEA if you have one nearby)