Changing table – advice and tips

All babies need their nappies changed. And if you plan it as well as possible for everyone, taking into consideration matters such as safety, your working position and function, it can be a special time. If you are calm and make sure everything's nice and comfortable, your baby will often reward you with a smile and deep eye contact.

Changing baby's nappy can be an opportunity for the two of you to have a bit of alone time. It can also be a good opportunity to kiss and stroke baby – as well as checking for rashes and any other symptoms. Some people like to hang colourful mobiles over the changing table for their baby to look at, or keep a chewable toy nearby for small itchy gums.

Important: never turn or look away from your baby when they are on the changing table
One very important rule is never to turn your back on your baby when they are on the changing table. One of the commonest accidents in babies is falling off the changing table. Put baby on the floor or keep a hand on his or her tummy if you absolutely have to turn away.
Choose a model that fits your needs and the available space
These days changing tables come in many different designs to suit almost every need. Lots of them can also be converted into a bookshelf, desk or chest of drawers when baby gets a little older.  
• Free-standing changing table with shelves underneath.
• Free-standing changing table with drawers, like a chest of drawers.
• Portable free-standing changing table that is easy to collapse and set up.
• Wall-mounted changing table.
• Bath changing table.
• Over cot changing table.
• Inflatable changing table for use on the floor or on a bed

It's worth making sure you choose the right changing table, and also planning a good, safe place for it
You're going to stand here many times a day. The following tips may help. 
• A proper rim so that baby can't roll off the table is a must. Choose a changing table that meets safety requirements.
• Choose a changing table that fits into the space available. There are various designs available for smaller spaces.
• Plan to have nappies, water, wash cloths and clothes within reach – so you don't need to turn your back on baby.
• Having running water nearby is good – if not, a wash basin.
• Wash cloths are easy to wash and can be used time after time – which is good for the environment and for baby's sensitive skin.
• It's fine to throw out waste in a plastic bag, but a waste paper basket with a lid can be useful for smelly nappies. Try a pedal bin lined with a plastic bag so you don't have to bend over and look away from baby.
• Unscented baby oil is good for removing any poo that may be stuck to baby's bottom. Rub gently with oil to loosen it.
• Remember to that you will be spending a lot of time at the changing table, so try and set it at a comfortable height

Buying a pram or pushchair? Here are a few things to consider to make sure you get the right design, safety and features: Choosing the right pram or pushchair.

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