There are a lot of necessities you must have on hand to change your baby’s diapers.
When you are mid-diaper change, the last thing you want is to be fumbling through drawers and shelves to find what you need while wrangling a squirmy baby. “Mom Brain” (or Dad Brain) is real, and it can make even simple tasks seem daunting.
If you don’t immediately know where everything is, changing that diaper will be much harder than it needs to be. This is why an organized diaper changing station is an essential piece of your cloth diaper storage.
Changing Table Organization Made Easy
It can be confusing trying to get your changing table stocked and organized at first, especially if you’re a new parent, or expecting your first and in the nesting stage.
And once you get it organized how you like, it can be a challenge to keep it that way. Fortunately, there are many different options to keep everything accessible and your space uncluttered.
Keep reading to learn more about the different changing table options, extra storage you may need, the many necessities, having an assigned spot for each item, and some additional tips to help simplify your diaper changing area and make diaper duty a breeze.
Choosing Your Changing Table
When it comes to the primary surface you will be using to change your baby’s diapers, you have some changing table options before you start the organizing! There is the traditional changing table, which has a changing pad on top and a couple shelves below.
There are also nursery dressers that have a changing pad on top, which can be removed when you no longer need it. This is what we decided to go with. When we are finished with diapers, we can just remove the changing pad and we still have a fully functional dresser.
A regular changing table is only used for a short time, and then you have an extra piece of furniture.
You may also need to consider having more than one changing station. If your house has more than one level, or your nursery is far from the room you spend most of your time in, you might want an additional changing table.
Some people choose to use the changing table dresser in the nursery with a hanging wet bag nearby, and keep a small traditional changing table in the family room for quick clean ups.
This makes changing your baby more convenient when you are engaged in an activity or have other children who need your attention.
For the first couple months after my son was born, we kept a portable crib in the living room and it had a changing table attachment.
This was a lifesaver because I had an emergency C-section and spent most of my time on the couch recovering. Instead of carrying my newborn back and forth to the nursery all day, I only had to walk a few feet.
Feel free to modify whichever type of changing table you use to make it work for you.
I like to change my baby from the side, and that is how my table is set up. But some people prefer to change from the baby’s feet, so if that is you, place your table in a location that makes this easy.
Adding Extra Storage to Your Baby Changing Table
Once you have decided which kind of changing table is right for you, you will want to make sure you have enough storage for all your diapering supplies.
We decided to keep a rolling cart next to the changing table to help with storage and organization, and that holds almost everything we need to change a diaper. What doesn’t fit on the cart is stored in the top drawers of the dresser.
I love this option because everything I need is within reach and easy to grab quickly. Tiered basket stands and shelves would also work well for organizing diapers and accessories, and can add to the decor of the room as well.
Other Baby Changing Table Organization Ideas
If you opt for the traditional changing table, you can grab a few baskets or cloth storage bins to contain your diapering supplies.
These open containers look neat and tidy, while allowing easy access to what you need. You might also want to utilize the space above the changing table.
A wall shelf is another great way to keep the essentials right in front of you when you need them, or a peg board can be used to hang storage baskets.
There are also caddies you can get that are specifically for diaper supplies. Some are a small tote with a handle that can sit on top of the dresser, or on the cart like we use.
Others attach to the side of the changing table and hang there within reach. Most of these will hold a few essentials, but definitely not everything you need for a diaper change.
Additionally, I got some drawer organizers to keep things contained on the cart. These are not necessary, but I found them useful, especially for the smaller items that could be easily misplaced.
They fit nicely on our cart, and we used some in the drawers of the dresser as well. You can even use diaper bag packing cubes to keep things tidy.
If the top of your table is big enough, you can keep a small organizer next to the changing pad with items you want to access quickly.
What Supplies Do You Need For Your Changing Table Setup?
Let’s start with the obvious: You need diapers and wipes. If you are using a cloth diapering package, depending on the style you use, there will probably be inserts of some kind.
Boosters are also a good idea to have on hand in case you have a heavy wetter. If you use reusable baby wipes, you will either need a wipe container if you are pre-soaking them, or a spray bottle of wipe solution if you’re wetting them as you go.
It is a good idea to keep lotion and cloth diaper safe diaper cream or balm nearby. It’s up to you which kind you use, but if you are cloth diapering, make sure any creams you use are diaper safe to avoid your diapers repelling liquid.
I also have a diaper cream applicator that I absolutely love. It’s not at all necessary, but I am happy I never have to scrub greasy diaper cream off my hands.
I recommend keeping a few items of clothing for your little one in your changing area in case of blowouts or the inevitable major spit up incidents.
I can’t tell you how many outfits my son went through every day in those first couple of months! Some extra onesies or sleepers, socks, mittens, and a few swaddles should have you covered.
Changing pad covers, changing pad liners, diaper pail liners, and burp cloths can also be stashed in your changing table.
There are some other items you might choose to keep in your newly organized changing table, such as teething oil, nail clippers, and pumping supplies. I kept nail clippers and teething oil on my cart until my little one started crawling; then I put them in the top drawer of the dresser.
If you choose to store your pumping supplies in your diaper changing station, don’t forget to include all your pump parts, nipple balm, milk storage bags or bottles, breast pads, and letdown milk catcher if you use one.
I also highly recommend keeping snacks and a water bottle with these.
How to Organize Your Changing Table
When you are setting up your changing area for the first time, you will want to designate a spot for each item.
Make sure to put everything back in the same place after every diaper change so you always know where to find things. You want to be able to know where everything is without looking.
My husband and I laughed about “nursery orientation” the first time I showed him where everything belongs. Imagine being sleep-deprived, changing your newborn in the middle of the night, and running out of wipes with no memory of where you stashed the extra packs.
And the last thing you need when you have a screaming baby with a rash is to realize mid-change that you have no idea where the diaper cream is.
You will need the diapers and wipes to be immediately nearby. If you have cloth diapers, those will take up more space than disposable diapers.
Cloth wipes can be stored in the open if they are dry. If they are pre-soaked, a wipe container should be placed within reach.
Diaper cream, a diaper cream applicator if you use one, and lotion also need to be within close reach.
Any spare clothing and swaddles should be stored in your changing table. Lastly, I like to keep changing pad covers, cloth diaper covers and liners, diaper pail liners, and burp cloths together.
Bonus Changing Table Organization Suggestions
One of the best pieces of advice I received about diapering was to have a small basket of toys nearby to use as a distraction during changes. This can include teethers, rattles, or anything else that holds your child’s interest, and it will keep tiny hands out of the messy places!
Be sure to restock diapers and supplies in your changing table before they are low. If your baby poops ten times a day like mine did, you will go through your stash very quickly and you don’t want to risk running out.
You will likely change your diapering setup after some trial and error. This is perfectly fine, and actually encouraged to ensure your space serves you best. Just make sure you communicate any changes with whomever else uses your changing area.
Creating a good changing table organization system that works for you is so important.
We’ve covered different changing table options, additional storage, necessary supplies, and where to store your items, and I hope you will be able to take away some ideas about how to set up your own diaper changing station. This space needs to be tailored to your needs, so exactly how it is organized is up to you.
Remember, you want it to be functional and practical. You can make a small space go a long way with good organization!