Friday, October 1, 2010

Diaper Changing Station

Image courtesy of Young House Love

My original plan for creating a diaper changing station was to simply put a changing pad on top of an old dresser.

However, Julie gave me the idea to move the changing station into the bathroom. Brilliant! I think I will really appreciate having easy access to a water source and storing used cloth diapers in a trashcan under the sink. Fortunately, Matt and I have two sinks in our bathroom, with lots of unused space between them. That area can serve as a diaper changing station, while the baby is really young. Once he's rolling around and such, I imagine I'll move to the bed/couch/floor/etc.

I began searching for a changing pad that would fit the dimensions of our sink. Unfortunately, most of them are designed to fit standard changing tables and are too big for our space. I thought about using a portable one instead, but those seem very thin and uncomfortable.

Finally, the idea hit me: we could simply use a super-soft towel, folded over several times. Voila! If we get a soft enough towel, I think it will be plenty plush and comfortable for the baby. Plus, it will be extremely easy to throw in the washing machine (and put another towel in its place in the meantime). It won't have a little safety strap like other changing pads, but I honestly doubt that I would be strapping my baby in every time. Plus, I plan to always leave one hand on the baby for safety anyway.

Now, what exactly will I need in the changing area? Here are some ideas:
  • Cloth diapers
  • Cloth wipes
  • Soothing spray (like this one)
  • Extra clothes
  • Trash can with washable liner

What else am I missing? For those of you with lots of experience in this area, do you think this plan will work? I appreciate your feedback!

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18 comments:

diana said...

I had the same idea last night. I realized that if we are using cloth diapers that need to be sprayed or dunked, and to dump the poo into the toilet that it would be really convenient to do it in the bathroom. Unfortunately for us, we have a pretty small bathroom with no space, so I'm not sure how we'll work it out. I'm surprised that I thought of it before I heard of someone else doing it, since it makes so much sense with cloth diapers.

Elise said...

I've always been warned against using alcohol on the stump - it can apparently prolong how long the stump remains & can cause discomfort. Keeping it dry and clean is enough. All of mine fell off quite quickly and cleanly without it.

Mary B. said...

When my mother ran her home daycare, she had a diaper changing station on top of our dishwasher, next to the big kitchen sink. It was a great setup, because she had access to running water, and didn't need to bend over to change the little ones. I think she kept all her supplies in old buckets. For a changing pad, she used towels that had been folder and layered, and then she sewed a plastic covering that could be easily wiped down and washed. Such an easy changing station, and it worked so well for her daycare.

Carrie said...

If you're getting him circumcised, you'll need Vaseline and gauze pads for a week or two; it is quite a messy situation--poor little dudes. Also, you may not want it because it's not organic, but Triple Paste (or the CVS brand) is the only diaper rash ointment that actually TREATS diaper rash (which your kid will inevitably get, no matter what kind of diapers you're using, especially when he is sick/getting sick) that I've found. Also, as the kid gets older I recommend toys for distraction, but that will probably be for your next changing area, not the first one.

Carrie said...

Oh, and I think we were also told no alcohol on the umbillical cord stump. It's not hard to clean it with water and perhaps a small bit of soap.

Anonymous said...

This idea just came to my mind after looking at the picture on your blog. You could actually make your own changing pad. Just buy some foam. Sew together a thick padded cover over the foam. One that could be washed in the machine. Then you would have your own changing pad for your new baby. :)

Anonymous said...

It is actually no longer needed to put alcohol on the umbilical cord stump. Keeping the stump dry is the most important part, and it will generally fall off within 2 weeks on its own. The bathroom set up sounds great!

Victoria said...

A friend put a diaper sprayer on her toilet and says it changed her life. Her husband also said it was SUPER easy.

While you are at it you could always make your toilet dual flush, like this guy did in one afternoon.
http://www.younghouselove.com/2010/05/easy-upgrade-super-toilet/

sara said...

we like to have a place to hang our diaper covers to air dry in between uses. Olive oil is nice to rub on the bum during the first week because it helps keep the meconium from sticking. You might want to consider a pack of disposable diapers and wipes (or maybe even more) in the very beginning when you might feel overwhelmed. It is nice to have some on hand instead of going to the store. We use a combination of elimination communication and cloth diapers, and we found the disposables to be a god send in the beginning. With disposables though, I would recommend changing your baby right away instead of letting the diaper get full. I would say the same thing for cloth. we have three children now and with the second, we really woke up to the fact of how just one pee can really affect the baby's comfort level. If they get squiggly and fuss and aren't hungry, in our experience, 98% of the time its due to potty matters.

julie said...

oh, yay, i'm so glad you liked the tip i gave you! i like the idea of using a thick, squishy towel on the vanity :)

one more suggestion: Bac-Out is great for spraying on poo-diapers after rinsing (but before throwing in the can)!

(and i just started up a new blog today, since our wedding was so three months ago!)

Rebecca said...

For people with small bathrooms, it's too bad they don't make a nice home version of those changing stations that mount on the wall in public bathrooms and fold away. I wonder if it would be possible to rig one up oneself . . .

Anonymous said...

We moved our changing table to the bathroom and it is great. So much cleaner and convenient. We use cloth diapers and elimination communication, so it's pretty necessary to be near the toilet and running water. If you have room in your bathroom I highly recommend it.

I would also recommend disposables in the beginning. I think they fit newborns better. Newborns also potty sooooooo much. And there is a lot to get used to right at first. (We also use Seventh Generation disposables at night).

Also- about diaper rash. Luckily we haven't had a problem with that yet. If our eight month old seems to be getting a little irritated, we just have him wear a cloth diaper without a cover and things clear up really fast. I think the elimination communication also helps, he's starting to sign for "potty" and sometimes has days with hardly a wet diaper. (Not always:)

Good luck!

Amber said...

Rebecca -- Ikea does make a home wall changing station - http://www.ikea.com/us/en/catalog/products/70143208

I've also seen a super expensive designer one (http://www.gibraltarfurniture.com/bo-wcht-g-bo-ekstrom.html) I can't imagine spending that kind of money on one, but it could be good inspiration for making your own.

Anonymous said...

It is contraindicated to use rubbing alcohol on an umbilical cord (as well as triple dye, as used years ago). You may wash it with soap and water if you'd like, but it's best to let it dry out and fall off, which takes about a week. Make sure you fold the diaper down below the cord so that the baby doesn't pee all over the cord and making it moist again. Good luck!

lindel said...

Preparing a change area and using cloth nappies can all sound a bit confusing and complicated until you actually have the baby there with you. For us, we had an outside bathroom (very old house) and a baby born in the middle of winter, so we needed to change him in his warm room.

We attached a change table top to a filing cabinet (nursery/study combined). We kept a bin (trash can?) with a swing top lid and no liner in his room for the wet nappies and dirty clothes. We just used washable cloths and water and olive oil or almond oil to clean him. The messier nappies we folded up and took to the bathroom, rinsed the mess in the toilet and put in a bucket of water (with a few drops if tea tree) until we were ready to wash them. We washed every day or every second day so there was no smell.

Now at age 15 months he hates hates (screams and cries like it is the worst thing ever!) lying down for a change so we pretty much wrangle him were we can. Plus it is getting warmer here so he is often nappy free in the yard.

#2 due in Feb '11 said...

if you are having baby in your room the first few weeks (which makes breastfeeding every two/three hours throughout the night a lot easier, you'll want to set up a mini changing area in the room so you don't have to run to the bathroom throughout the night. My sister gave me that tip, and it saved us, because baby WILL need a change EVERY time you breastfeed him in the beginning. We did cloth diapers, but not the first month, because it was just too much. We set up our mini changing area on the nightstand with enough diapers for the night, wipes, 2 extra PJs, 2 extra swaddlers, a towel, and an extra bassinet sheet. We just changed baby on the bed, using the towel to protect our bed/sheets.

Anonymous said...

The only thing I saw that was not on your list is diaper rash cream. You will probably want it at some point... no matter *how* careful we are, from time to time a rash develops. :/ Remember: diaper rashes are yeast infections. Anything you use as an anti-fungal works on diaper rashes (just use a tiny bit): athletes foot, etc. That should clear up the rash. To prevent a rash, the standard "diaper rash creams" (which are just zinc oxide) work well. Burt's Bees is the stickiest we've found (which means Baby doesn't rinse it off as soon as she wets the diaper & it stays on until YOU wipe it off during changing time!)

mum mum said...

Great cloth-diaper-safe products at CJ's Sewing Room (that part of her line she calls "CJ's All Natural")...the BUTTer is the diaper cream. Also, no need to dunk or swish, especially before you have solids; breastmilk poops wash right out, and the stains sun away. After solids, we used flushable diaper liners to make poop handling easy and sanitary regardless of where we were (no need to install sprayers at grandma's, either). Once baby rolls, you'll probably want to change on the floor, too...so a towel or plain old foam covered up is a great idea.

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