Baby room clutter: The changing table

My wife and I are fairly new parents. Our daughter is fourteen months old and the clutter that she contributes to our home is fairly substantial. When my wife and I were planning the nursery we were inundated by so many items that we must have.

One of the items that we passed on was a changing table. It is a unitasker that is obsolete as soon as our daughter is potty trained. We simply bypassed this “must have” by using the dresser top as the changing station. It works just as well as a changing table and the top drawer fits all the necessities for changing a diaper.

I’m not exactly sure why anyone buys a changing table. Maybe they are purchased as gifts or people just believe that they absolutely need them. Whatever the reason, it should be known that they are not necessities and the top of a dresser performs just as well. Now the space that the changing table would have occupied is used for all the toys that the grandparents never stop buying.

27 Comments for “Baby room clutter: The changing table”

  1. posted by Rosemary on

    I know exactly why we bought and use and LOVE our change table – both of us are tall and dressing tables are just too low and the bed and floor are definitely too low. The other advantage is that it contains the nappy changing clutter so that it doesn’t end up all over the house. We keep all the nappies, creams, wipes etc etc under the change table and everyone is happy!

    We bought a change table, love it and will sell it when the boy is toilet trained. A unitasker it might be – but we love this particular unitasker.

  2. posted by stacy on

    most baby clutter is not needed. People usually only buy it because of really good marketing. Think of how all that baby clutter sets your child up to be a good consumer and lover of things!
    Do you want to teach your baby to live a cluttered life? Simplify now, before it gets ingrained too deep so your child when she is grown won’t have to fight the same clutter problems that you are currently fighting.
    There are so many ways we avoided the clutter with our second child. Breastfeeding and cloth diapering had to contribute most to the lack of baby clutter the second time around…

  3. posted by tm on

    We bought ours because it doubles as a dresser. There’s another part that will convert to a nightstand (once we buy the legs for it).

  4. posted by L on

    My mother built my brother’s changing table. It’s the coolest piece of frniture I’ve ever seen; once he was no longer in diapers, the top was taken off and hung along the back edge, turning it into a bench with storage in the seat.

  5. posted by Jacki Hollywood Brown on

    Hey All,
    When my son was born we lived in a small house with very small bedrooms and a bathroom that had NO storage space. I jumped at the chance to buy a change table like the one pictured above. I used it in the bathroom as a change table with all the diaper stuff on the first shelf and all the bathroom storage (toilet paper, towels etc) on the bottom shelf.
    After my daughter was born we moved to a new house, with bigger bedrooms and a very small bathroom with cupboards. The change table was given away.

  6. posted by Heather on

    We used the dresser top as well, just purchasing one of the contoured changing pads for it. The top drawer stored the diapers, cream, wipes, etc. with plenty of room left over for the onesies, socks, etc. that our baby used as frequently as diapers.

  7. posted by Chris on

    I have one and have used it with both of my children, but the floor works plenty well for changing diapers. After all, squirmy kids can’t fall off the floor.

  8. posted by jgodsey on

    aside from a high chair and a cradle, nearly all baby furniture is an invention of the 20th c manufacturers. you don’t need any of it.
    booster seat = yellow pages
    changing table = bed

  9. posted by Sarah on

    Beds, floors, sofas, countertops, even chairs and the front seats of cars work just fine. (Actually, the back seat of the car would work better, if the baby car seat weren’t in the way.)

  10. posted by Phil B on

    Our daughter is three months old and the only time I’ve changed her on anything but the floor (on a £10 mat) has been in shops’ changing facilities. She can’t fall off, and you get decent elbow room on all sides. My wife and I are both tall (around 5’11’). It also means you’re used to changing on the floor when you have no alternative (e.g. this weekend we changed her twice on the ground in a park with just a thin mat and she didn’t object – well, no more than normal 🙂 )

  11. posted by Shannon on

    Any way to tactfully say, “Hey, Grandma and Grandpa, instead of buying baby all this crap, why don’t you do something useful and kick in to the college fund?”

    No, probably not.

  12. posted by Tara on

    I’m with others above. We by-passed a change table and just used a mat on the floor. No clutter and no risk of falling. Another recommendation, skip a toddler bed. For our son when he was too big for the crib, we placed his crib mattress on the floor, against the wall, surrounded by folded blankets and there he slept until we no longer found him on the blankets. This only took a week or two and then we switched him to his double bed. Fingers crossed, we won’t have to upsize to a queen until he is at least 12 (he’s very tall, like dad who is 6’5″).

  13. posted by Jesse on

    We “invested” in a diaper bag that had a changing pad included. And then we either used the floor, or our bed (the bed is TALL and so is my husband) to change our daughter. She’s now 2 and if you have any advice for stubborn toddlers and toilet training….. *grin*

  14. posted by Eric on

    Our baby’s room is cleaner than our own most of the time.

    We did the dresser with a changing pad as well to cut down on stuff. Downstairs we use the bassinet for changing her, although she is quickly getting too big to even change her in it. We will probably migrate to the floor at that point.

  15. posted by Brian on

    We ended up doing what Heather did for both our kids and attached a changing table to the top of a dresser. Worked like a charm for the time the kids needed it – and our oldest kid is now using it as a dresser in her room.

  16. posted by m on

    We initially resisted buying a changing table. But because I am tall, 35 and had a c-section bending over to change him on the couch in the baby’s room was backbreaking and painful. I ended up buying the changing table you pictured, although with wood shelves. It will be pushed into a corner to house books and toys once he is out of diapers. $70 is worth it to eliminate the back strain. But if your back can take I wouldn’t buy one!

  17. posted by Groovymarlin on

    We have a changing table very like the one you have pictured and we love it. I agree that a dresser top works just as well, but we didn’t have a dresser for our daughter and a changing table was vastly cheaper than a new dresser. We are also very tall (me 5’8″ and him 6’1″) and find the table is the perfect height for changing diapers, dressing and undressing, etc. I have canvas bins (two large on the bottom shelf, three medium on the middle) that perfectly fit on the shelves, and store all of her diapers, wipes, first aid supplies, changing pads, etc. I have no doubt that once she’s potty-trained, we’ll get more bins to put on top of the table and continue to use it as storage, maybe even in another room. It’s a very attractive piece of furniture and I feel it was money well spent.

  18. posted by Chris on

    We bought ours with the intention to use it as a mini entertainment center for the basement or the kids rooms. The pad will come off, TV will go on top, and it’s got a shelf for the movie/video games when it comes time. Of course, my 3 year old doesn’t know this, nor do our twins incubating now. It’s been good to both of us for back reasons as well, my wife and I are both over six feet tall

  19. posted by William on

    We used the pad on the dresser method for our twins until we moved. Now the bedrooms are upstairs so we bought a cheap changing table from Ikea. The bottom shelf we filled with plastic drawers that hold wipes, socks, other stuff. Its the baby supply station for the downstairs. Upstairs we just change them on the floor now since we dont have that big dresser for them and they are in separate rooms now. Even when we stop using it as a changing table, its a pretty good shelf unit and it fits well in the corner we’ve got it in. We also have an underbed storage drawer underneath it that works as a toybox. I really prefer the wide flat boxes instead of a deep toybox. Its much easier to cleanup, just pull it out and you can pretty much throw stuff into it from across the room, and its easier for the kids to get stuff out without digging and emptying the whole thing.

  20. posted by Stimey on

    Oh, I beg to differ. I LOOOOOVE my changing table. We got one for our first baby and have used it multiple times every day for the past five and a half years. (We have three kids now.) I think that makes it the exact opposite of clutter. If you use a unitasker, isn’t it better than a multitasker you don’t use?

  21. posted by Eric on

    Of course I wouldn’t claim our approach is any better than any others, but we have gotten by with minimal furniture for both our kids.

    I’m 6’5″ and have changed both of my boys on the floor. We have a storage spot for wipes/diapers both up and downstairs — and both the up and downstairs have floors, so that works well for us.

    Kids rooms don’t have dressers either. Just a bed and a bookcase — all the clothes are on shelves in the closet.

  22. posted by Michele on

    I loved my daughter’s changing table and initially we lived in a small apartment in Manhattan. It’s transitioned to, baby storage and eventually a toy shelf. Now, we are getting rid of it, finally. She loved it, because it was just her size. I loved it because I can move it when I need to. But that was just us.

  23. posted by Ellen on

    I changed my firstborn almost exclusively on floors and beds. By the time our second arrived, my back was four years older, and I figured I’d give a secondhand changing table a try. It was a huge relief (like others here I’m tall, as is my spouse), and we liked it so much that when it fell apart I replaced it with another, even nicer, garage-sale changing table — even though our secondborn was by then out of diapers! We use it in our room to store clothing; it’s a beautiful piece of shelving, and for $20, who can beat that?

  24. posted by loki on

    We had a very energetic baby, the one who will NOT stay on his back to get changed, and will relentlessly try to flip and crawl everywhere. Changing him on the floor was not an option, nor changing him on the bed. The changing table was a way to control his activity. Now, at 15 months, he’s understood what changing was all about and stays calmly on his back, but between 6-12 months, it was a real pain!

  25. posted by Lee on

    Instead of a changing table, we used a card table pushed up into the corner of our son’s room. It was great! There was plenty of space for the changing pad and three small open plastic storage boxes we used to keep all the supplies. The diaper genie easily fit underneath, along with spare supplies.

    Now that our son is well out of diapers, the table is used for the more traditional card table uses (i.e., everything BUT playing cards!)

  26. posted by Kersti on

    I remember laying my sisters down on the floor to change them. I’d first lay down a soft blanket on the carpet and change them there – easy to do and the added bonus that the little ones could not possibly fall off!

  27. posted by Hanmee on

    We also got a changing pad that fit onto a “combo” dresser (one that is designed to operate as a changing table/small dresser). The elevated side is where I put the bins to organize the diaper cream, diapers, wipes. The drawer holds small tidbits like creams, medicines, thermometers. The door (with a shelf inside) holds the full supply of diapers. The three dresser drawers holds things like burp cloths, bibs, onesies, sleepers, PJs (Depending on the size of the baby).

    The room is very small, but there really wasn’t any closet space to work with. We hang clothes in there, but it’s very narrow and it’s not a full length, as the floor is over the stairs so in our case the changing table has been helpful, but if we didn’t use the other portion of it, we probably wouldn’t have it. Once there are no more babies to use it, we will simply take off the changing pad cushion and use it as a regular dresser.

    I actually wish we had a changing table type item that was big enough to accommodate my son b/c the baby likes to crawl all over him when I’m trying to change his diaper!

    (We live in a townhouse so we have a small basket in the basement that just has a changing pad and diaper supplies.)

Comments are closed.