Nothing strikes fear into the heart of a parent more than realising, midway through a catastrophic nappy blow out, that the baby wipes are nowhere to be seen.
You are faced with an impossible choice. And all of them end with poo smeared everywhere. Nobody should have to face that kind of decision.
A well stocked change table is a game changer. This is my third time to the parenting rodeo and after plenty of trial and error, I reckon I’ve narrowed down exactly what a well stocked change table needs. Disaster-proof yourself by making sure you’ve got the following.
The 9 Essentials You Need on Your Change Table
Yes, this is a no-brainer, but you would be surprised how many people under-estimate just how many nappies the average newborn and young baby goes through every day. You could be looking at 10 a day, sometimes more, especially if you count the ones you eff up, trying to put them on backwards in the middle of the night. Whether you use cloth or disposable nappies, always buy more nappies than you think you need and stash them everywhere.
I’m told that ‘back in the day’ parents (and let’s be real here, it was mothers mostly) used water and cotton wool balls to deal with a dirty bottom. Honestly, the thought sends a chill down my spine. Newborn poo is MESSY as s**t and there ain’t no cotton wool ball in the world that can deal with that effectively. Buy wipes, preferably the gentle, non-fragranced variety, in bulk and ensure you always have at least two packets on the change table, plus one in the cupboard!
You’ll probably also find yourself using baby wipes for a whole host of other purposes (cleaning, removing makeup, mopping up spills). Just make sure you reserve enough for their actual, bum cleaning purpose.
3. Towelling Cloth Nappies
I’m not talking Modern Cloth Nappies here, no, no, no. I’m talking the large-ish, usually white, terry towelling squares that our mums most likely popped us in, complete with a safety pin and water proof cover. And I’m not talking about using them AS nappies. That is much, much too tricky. Instead, use them for everything else.
Line your change table with them (saves you needing to change the cover constantly), pop under bub’s head in their bassinet or cot to catch any errant vomit, use as a burp cloth/breastfeeding cover or run under the tap and wring out to use for especially spectacular poo explosions. Oh, and keep one handy to chuck over baby boy bits if they pee before you get their actual nappy back on.
4. Bottom cream
You won’t always need it, but when you do, you’ll want it immediately. Nappy rash truly can spring up out of the blue. That morning there may have been a perfect, peachy little butt but by afternoon there’s redness, bumps and general misery.
Having two nappy creams on the go is ideal. One for general maintenance (i.e. if the skin is looking a bit dry or pink) and one for actual nappy rash situations. For the later, you need something anti-fungal and/or anti-bacterial to help heal the skin. These days it even comes in a spray on form so your hands stay clean.
5. Nasal Aspirator
You may be wondering what on earth a nasal aspirator is when it’s at home. Put simply, it’s a snot sucker. Young babies can be clogged up little people. Trying to feed, soothe and settle a bub with a blocked nose is equal to torture. The best way to alleviate the problem? Sucking that snot right outta there. No, it’s not exactly the most glam part of #mumlife, but there is a strange sort of satisfaction that comes with clearing a snotty nose.
6. Baby Thermometer
Another one that you won’t need, till you do. Fever in newborns and young children can be terrifying and needs to be managed carefully. Being able to accurately assess your child’s temperature and monitor its fluctuations gives you valuable information to relay to your doctor. Invest in a good quality baby thermometer and keep it charged up and ready to go on your change table.
7. Spare onesies or jumpsuits
Because poo-plosions happen. As do tsunami’s of wee. And let me tell you, you won’t want to put that outfit back on once it’s been near the carnage. Plus, having to leave the change table clutching a partially changed baby is a pain in the butt and drags out the whole, painful process for far longer than necessary. Keep a clean stack of Wondersuits and/or rompers under the change table and you’ll be sorted, whatever emerges from that nappy.
8. Nappy sacks
There’s no mistaking eau de baby poo, especially once the solids kick in. It’s a pungency that can’t be hidden. Unless you have a ready stash of sweetly scented nappy sacks which make disposing of the whole mess a hell of a lot easier. This is especially important if you live in an apartment. Or if your change table is next door to the kitchen. Nobody wants to be making toast while inhaling the remnants of a nappy explosion.
9. Toys and rattles
An active baby or toddler loves nothing better than to plunge their hands into their own poo. Dealing with a poo-splosion is bad enough. Creating extra poo mess only prolongs the nappy change agony, so avoid the hands-in-poo disaster with a couple of special toys designed for distraction. Keep them on the change table so that the only time your little one gets them, is when they’re getting their bottom changed. Brightly coloured rattles or teethers that make noise are a safe bet. Just make sure they’re WASHABLE! (Trust us, you’ll thank us for this tip). Better yet, look for a toy that anchors to the change table to keep it out of the poo danger zone, like this nifty Tiny Love Kangy Kangaroo Change Table Toy. So simple! So clever!
And that’s a wrap on keeping a well-stocked change table. Let us know if there’s anything we’ve missed.
Getting ready for birth and wondering what to pack in your hospital bag? We’ve got you covered. Check out our post on the essentials to pack for the birthing room.