Preparing for the baby’s arrival is both a fun and tiresome task that sometimes causes headaches to a lot of new parents and can especially be a blow to the wallet. There is a host of things you must acquire in order to fully accommodate your little one – crib, bassinet, stroller, car seat… and a changing table.
DO I NEED IT?
A changing table is a specially made dresser, with a few drawers or shelves, designed for changing a baby’s nappy. Besides the crib, it is the centrepiece of every nursery where you and your child are going to be spending a lot of time together in the first few years.
While some parents say the changing table is a convenience they couldn’t have done without, others point out that it is merely yet another in the line of money grabbing items you could do without. Their main argument is that it doesn’t grow with the baby and its storage needs. They have a point. At some moment your child is going to stop using diapers and is going to need much more space for clothes. When that happens, you will pretty much end up with a useless hunk of wood. That is the reason why we are starting to see the traditional changing tables slowly disappear from nurseries.
THE PERKS OF REPURPOSING
Repurposing an ordinary dresser as a changing table is a new trend that has been around for a while now! It’s is perhaps the easiest and cheapest solution since most people already have one. This is a great opportunity to get that old drawer out of the basement and back to life by indulging in a DIY project! Tighten the screws, fix the woodwork if needed, apply a fresh coat of paint, maybe switch the knobs and handles to fit the kid’s room theme, place a changing mat on top and voila! You have yourself a changing table using just a fraction of the budget needed to buy a traditional one. Let your creative juices flow and play with the paint. Don’t be afraid to go bold with your colour choice. It doesn’t have to match the crib or any other element in the nursery. Let it stand out and liven up the room. When your little one stops wearing diapers, remove a changing mat and let the dresser be a dresser again.
Ask any mum. There is no such thing as too much storage space. By using a chest of drawers as a changing table you will get much more space for all the diapers, wipes, clothes, creams, lotions and everything else your baby needs. But that just might not be enough. Use the walls to your advantage. Try adding a couple of hooks near the dresser for hanging a laundry sack or diaper bag since you are constantly going to be reloading them. Consider installing a wall pocket above the changing area. Not only do they serve as magnificent organisers, they can also be very decorative. Add a few shelves for placing extra diaper cream and powder and for displaying artwork, toys and children’s books.
PLAYING IS A MUST
As your baby grows and starts wiggling more intensively, changing the diapers is going to get a lot trickier so you are going to need your mum superpowers to distract her. Find out what grabs your baby’s attention the most. Is it the rattle, her favourite stuffed animal? If that is the case, make sure they are at hand, so you don’t have to leave the baby unattended on the table while you search for the teddy bear.
Babies enjoy contrasts and hanging items, so garnishing the wall next to the changing table with colourful stickers or fun wallpapers would be a smart thing to do. Any eye-catcher is a welcome addition to the changing corner (such as nursery mobile, garlands, dream catcher, wall art, etc.).
Nothing is more important than being able to look your baby in the eyes as you change her, to talk to her and interact with her! Model your changing table to fit your baby’s and your needs because it is critical to make changing diapers not a drudge and chore, but an opportunity for bonding and learning.
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