Whether you’re outside or at home, you’ll begin to notice aspects of seemingly simple tasks. This is especially true for baby-related duties, including the most basic one. Got any idea? It’s diaper changing. The first element of this task is where will you be doing it. You can’t just use any surface, and for sure you’d prefer the safer and more convenient option.
This is where a changing pad proves itself as useful. Manufacturers specially designed their products for this one task. It is meant to be sanitary, secure, and comfortable, which are the necessary characteristics of any baby product.
Imagine changing your baby’s diaper mess-free, without the fear of your baby falling from your grasp. And when it comes to public areas, you’ll feel more at ease knowing that your baby is not contacting microbes.
Because of these advantages, it’s no shock that the market offers different options for this product. From disposables to portables, there is a changing pad that will fit to your needs. To help you cut your options short, we reviewed 10 candidates for being the best changing pad. We’re also one step ahead with your potential queries on our buyer’s guide.
Best Changing Pad Comparison Table
|Keekaroo||Standard||Polyurethane Polymer||32 x 17 x 4|
|Naturepedic||Standard||Polyethylene and cotton||16.5 x 31.5 x 4|
|Bumbo||Standard||N/A||28 x 17.9 x 4.2|
|PooPoose||Standard||Polyethylene||32 x 3.5 x 16|
|MAMAN||Portable / |
Diaper Changing Kit
|N/A||11 x 2 x 8|
|Colgate||Standard||N/A||33 x 16 x 4|
|Skip Hop||Portable / |
Diaper Changing Kit
|Polyester||11.8 x 1.5 x 8.2|
|Munchkin Secure Grip||Standard||Polyurethane Foam||31.1 x 15.8 x 4.3|
|LA Baby||Standard||Polyester||30 x 16 x 4|
|Summer Infant||Standard||Quilted Vinyl||32 x 16 x 3.5|
|NorthShore||Disposable||Cotton||14 x 9 x 3|
|Munchkin Arm and Hammer||Disposable||N/A||6.1 x 7.5 x 3.2|
|Summer Infant||Changing Pad Cover||Polyester||34 x 11 x 6|
Best Changing Pad Reviews
Keekaroo Peanut Changer – Best Durable Changing Pad
Our first model in this review is the Keekaroo Peanut Changer. From the name itself, this pad has a peanut-like shape. And this is pretty unique compared to other changing pads that mostly look like mini mattresses. Because of its shape, you have some space at the sides for other diaper changing items such as creams.
The Peanut Changer offers four colors, and you can choose from aqua, gray, raspberry, and vanilla. Keekaroo also boasts that their changing pad is JPMA-certified. So what is the relevance of this certification? JPMA stands for the Juvenile Products Manufacturers Association.
Back to our review. Compared to other changing pads, Keekaroo doesn’t require a pad cover. You can clean the surface just by wiping it because it is water-resistant. The liquid won’t penetrate into the changer, and it’ll just remain on the surface.
Easy to Clean
Some parents prefer this feature over absorbent pads. Instead of needing to wash the pad when it gets soaked, a quick water spray and wipe onto the surface will get it cleaned. And because you can immediately rid the pad of the mess, you also don’t have to worry about bacteria and mold build-up.
The overall structure of the Peanut Changer feels solid and sturdy. And to back this up, according to Keekaroo, it is indeed puncture-resistant. However, the downside to its durable built is that the pad might be too bulky for some tables.
Curved Surface with Raised Sides
Although the pad feels like it’s going to be rock-solid, impressively, it still feels soft to the touch. The surface even has some curves, which add to the baby’s comfort and support. It is also worth noting that this slight slope becomes the solution for the drawback that we mentioned earlier.
The pad repels liquid, and with pee accidents, it might accumulate at the baby’s backside. However, because of the surface curves, the pee will follow the slope and instead, fall towards the baby’s feet.
Free from Toxins and Irritants
With regards to safety, the Peanut Changer has slightly raised sides to keep your baby from rolling off the pad. It also has a safety strap if you prefer to fasten your child during changing. And when it comes to potential irritants, we’re pleased that this unit has no BPA, phthalate, PVC, and latex.
Naturepedic – Best Non-Toxic Choice
The next model we have in our review is the 4-sided contoured changing pad from Naturepedic. This time, the pad looks more similar to traditional changing pads that comes to mind. What we mean by this is that it looks like a rectangular mattress with raised sides.
Chemical and Non-Toxic
When it comes to chemical safety, Naturepedic is similar to the previous Keekaroo pad. It is free of chemicals such as latex and phthalates. At the same time, it also has no GMOs, PVC, PFCs, formaldehyde, flame retardants, and even soy. We are pleased with the absence of these chemicals and irritants since we all know how vulnerable babies are.
Naturepedic also stepped it up more and decided to not use polyurethane foam. Even though polyurethane foam is incredibly popular in baby mattresses and pads, it poses some health risks. In particular, this material is prone to releasing a diversity of VOCs, which is harmful to a baby’s health.
So what does Naturepedic uses? The pad uses food-grade polyethylene and organic cotton instead. The polyethylene serves as the base of Naturepedic, and they call this layer the Air Core because it forms a network of closed cell air pockets. What Air Core does is it gives the pad a firm base, similar to pads that use latex rubber. However, the surface itself could use more softness.
Waterproof and Stain Resistant
Other than being non-toxic and hypoallergenic, the pad is also resistant to stains and dust mite accumulation. The secret to this is because similar to our previous model, Naturepedic repels water. You can also purchase Naturepedic’s changing pad covers and use with this pad to help with the clean-up.
Safety Buckle and Easy Snap Screws
As we have mentioned earlier, all four sides of Naturepedic are raised. However, it also has a safety buckle so that you can strap your baby in. And for the stability of the pad on the changing surface, it has Easy Snap screws to lock it into place.
Overall, the only comment that we have with this pad is that its stitching could be better if it is tighter.
Bumbo Changing Pad – Best Choice for Small Babies
Remember the Peanut Changer? Well, similar to Keekaroo, Bumbo also decided to opt for a colorful, non-mattress looking changing pad. But instead of having a peanut shape, this lightweight pad is more on the oval side. It also offers three color options which are magenta, aqua, and cool gray.
Because of the Bumbo’s size, its age limit for usage is only until 18 months. Some children might need to potty train for longer, so they are prone to outgrowing this changing pad. Taking everything into account, we recommend Bumbo for smaller babies.
Wipeable Waterproof Surface
We can’t help but compare Bumbo to the Peanut Changer, and another reason is that it also doesn’t require a changing pad cover. Its material doesn’t absorb liquid, so cleaning it only requires some spraying and wiping.
Soft and Contoured
All the sides of this oval changing pad are slightly raised, and its soft surface is also contoured. Because of the slope, you can also assume the same effect from Keekaroo when your baby urinates. Instead of pooling, the liquid will fall toward the feet area. And of course, this is way better than getting both you and your baby wet and smelling like urine from the puddle.
Safety Belt and Non-Skid Bottom
Like our previous changing pads, Bumbo also has a safety belt for restraining your baby. And for keeping it stable onto the changing table, it even has a non-skid bottom. However, we think that this feature could be a bit better. Certain surfaces might still make the pad prone to slippage.
PooPoose Diaper Changing Pad – Best Choice for Squirmy Baby
Next on our review is the Wiggle Free changing pad from PooPoose. So what makes it wiggle-free? First of all, it uses a strap to keep the baby buckled in while changing. And you can even buy additional straps from PooPoose to use with this pad.
Soft Wide and Thick Velcro Straps
But aren’t most pads have straps anyway? What’s unique with the straps of this pad is that they are soft and swaddle-like. They are wider compared to typical changing pad straps, and even at a glance, they just look like towels. They lock into place using velcro, which is faster compared to those with buckle-type straps.
Contoured and Waterproof Surface
The surface of PooPoose is contoured. It has a dent in the middle, so its sides are raised. You also don’t have to worry about laundry because the zipping pad cover is waterproof. You’ll just wipe the fabric, and you’re done. However, you can also purchase additional covers from PooPoose.
Similar to Naturepedic, this pad is non-toxic and free from fire retardants. In fact, PooPoose also uses polyethylene foam. But what we love with this pad is that it is fully recyclable. Once your baby no longer uses it, you can place it in the recycling bin. But of course, make sure to unzip the cover first.
MAMAN Portable Changing Station – Best Travel Changing Pad
If you decided to read our buyer’s guide beforehand, then you are already familiar with the different types of changing pad. Among them is the portable type, which of course, from the name itself, is meant for traveling with your baby.
However, for us, the best portable changing pad should might as well come in the form of a changing kit. After all, wouldn’t it be more practical to keep all changing items in one place? Especially when you’re traveling, it can be stressful when you misplace creams, diapers, and wipes.
Stylish and Portable
Our choice for traveling is the MAMAN changing pad station. At a glance, you will easily mistake it as an ordinary pouch or purse. It rocks the signature look of MAMAN, which is the “puffer quilt.” You can even get it in different colors such as black, blue, or red. But of course, this station is a changing pad with pockets in disguise. If you’re a big fan of getting everything organized, you’re going to appreciate MAMAN.
Because this changing pad station is meant for portability, it also has an adjustable strap for you. This means you can sling it onto your risk, or hook it onto a stroller. Nonetheless, you can just simply put it inside any bag because it’s fairly small at 7.5 by 11.5 inches.
Carry Everything in One Go
First, when it’s not unrolled, the front zippered is big enough for keeping your personal belongings. It is spacious and can accommodate small items from keys, to even as big as smartphones and wallets.
Once you unbuckled the “pouch” and roll it out, you’re going to realize that it’s really a changing pad with pockets. We love how MAMAN utilized every space and turn it into variable sizes of compartments.
The top part of MAMAN is a mesh pocket. And because it stretches, you can put in up to 4 diapers and wipes in here. For smaller items that are prone to falling out, you can place them in the zippered compartment right after the mesh pocket. You can put here creams, sanitizers, or even pacifiers.
Convertible Diaper Changing Kit to Portable Changing Pad
Below this mesh pocket is also a zipper, and you can unzip this if you want to use MAMAN as a portable pad only. This will separate the compartments from the pad, which is useful especially when you already have a diaper bag.
Waterproof and Cushioned Pad
For the changing pad itself, we are pleased that its material is waterproof. Of course, this is a must. If it is meant as a travel pad, it’s going to be a hassle if you carry a stinky absorbent pad.
But while the pad is cushioned, you can expect to not find some features in order to reduce bulk and size. What we mean by this is that MAMAN has no contour or raised sides for support and protection. It also lacks safety straps, which would’ve been a plus for frolicsome babies.
Colgate Contour Changing Pad – Best GreenGuard Certified Choice
We are halfway on our review, and our sixth changing pad is the 2-sided model from Colgate. Similar to the PooPoose earlier, this contour changing pad has a dented middle. This gives the pad an ergonomic shape for laying your baby in.
And at the same time, the sides are slightly higher to keep your baby from wriggling out the pad. Since this model is called 2-sided contour, you might have also seen the 3-sided contour pad. The only difference between these models is that the 3-sided version raises the head area for support.
Safety Strap and Table Screws
Colgate also has a safety strap for additional restraint on your baby. And for keeping the pad stationary on the table, it even has screws. All you have to do is push them through the straps underneath the pad, and then stick them on your changing table. This way, the pad won’t slide off during changing.
This changing pad uses a fiber support board to keep it from deforming when used. And for the surface itself, the pad has a white quilted cover. As with our previous pads, it is also not absorbent. The cover is both waterproof and tear-resistant, although the latter’s quality can be better. And since the surface repels liquid, wiping it with a damp cloth and soap will clean the area.
GREENGUARD Certified and CertiPUR-US Certified
If you’re worried about chemicals, we’re happy that Colgate has no phthalate. In fact, the foam itself is CertiPUR-US certified. What this certification confirms is that the foam is free from fire retardants, mercury, lead, formaldehyde, and ozone depleters. It’s also not going to emit high levels of VOCs. As we all know, VOCs are a no-no when it comes to health.
Lastly, Colgate also has the GREENGUARD Gold certification ensuring that it’s safe for indoor environments.
Skip Hop Changing Pad – Editor’s Choice
Earlier, we have reviewed our choice pad for traveling, which is from MAMAN. And now, what we have here is our top favorite which shares some similarities with that changing kit. This is the Pronto Signature portable changing mat from Skip Hop. Find out why it’s the overall best diaper changing pad for us.
Stylish, Complete with a Side Strap and Top Handle
Similar to the MAMAN, this changing pad also looks like a clutch. We love that it comes in different designs and colors such as black, Heather Gray, French Stripe, Grey Melange, and Chevron. All of these designs are pretty low-key but are also somewhat stylish to show-off.
And similar to MAMAN, it also has an adjustable buckle-type strap that you can hang onto your wrist or on the stroller. It even has a handle at the top if you prefer to hold it this way as you walk around.
Total of Three Compartments
If the changing pad remains buckled and unfolded, you will see that it has a zippered pocket at the front. It runs almost the same width as the “clutch,” so you can fit wallets and phones in this compartment.
Once you unbuckled and unfold the clutch, you will find two pockets above the changing pad. The highest one is the mesh pocket, which, of course, can hold diapers. And below it would be the zippered pocket for other diaper changing essentials. You’ll even get a see-through case for the wipes, so you will always notice if you need to do your refills before traveling.
Detachable and Waterproof Changing Pad
We apologize if we compare the Pronto Signature to MAMAN too much. However, as you have noticed, almost all of their features are the same. And another quality that they share is that you can also detach the changing pad from the compartments completely.
Cushioned Head Area
The changing pad itself also wipes clean. But on the contrary, the Pronto Signature has a built-in pillow at the head area of the pad. We love this feature because the cushioning and slight elevation is useful to keep babies more comfortable and less wriggly during changing.
The only possible, but quite unremarkable drawback that you’d get with this model is it can get bulky. Of course, this will depend on how many items you’ll put inside. While the Pronto Signature looks like a flat, rectangular clutch, you might end up with a cylindrical pouch once it holds the items inside.
Munchkin Secure Grip Changing Pad – Best Non-Slip Choice
Next on our review is a classic-looking diaper changing pad from Munchkin. So far, all of the pads that we have reviewed are relatively safe when it comes to staying in place. What we mean by this is that they don’t pose a risk of sliding off the dresser or changing table. However, some of them might need extra reinforcement using an additional non-slip pad underneath.
XTRA Grip Strips
The good news is we have a product for this drawback. The Secure Grip from Munchkin won’t need reinforcements, but you’ll still feel confident about its stability on the surface. Babies, if not most of them, get uncomfortable during diaper changing.
Consequently, they tend to move around, which makes the job trickier and even dangerous. So what keeps this changing pad steady during these moments? The secret is underneath the pad itself. Instead of purchasing a separate grip mat, Munchkin already has Xtra grip strips.
Reinforce Stability with the Included Screws
We have to admit, we were a bit skeptical if these strips would be enough to keep the pad in place. And we’re pleasantly surprised that it’s able to do its job efficiently. It is also worth mentioning that other than the rubber grips, Munchkin has fabric straps with screws as well. You can attach them to your surface to get extra reassurance about the pad’s stability.
Contoured with Safety Buckle
The other safety-related features that Munchkin has are what you’ll commonly see in other changing pads. These include raised sides and a safety buckle to hold the baby in place. Of course, the combination of both qualities limit your baby’s movement and prevent him/her from falling out of the pad.
For cleaning, the Munchkin Secure Grip uses a waterproof fabric. It’s a trend throughout this review, but we’re not complaining since it takes less time to clean. The surface also don’t have any stitching where a potential mess can seep through.
LA Baby Cocoon Style – Best Changing Pad for Dresser
The previous changing pad is best when it comes to staying in place. And similar to that pad from Munchkin, the product that we have here offers you a peace of mind when it comes to stability. The LA Baby Cocoon Style, in particular, is our best choice when it comes to pads that you’ll place on top of the dresser.
4-inch High Sides
What makes the LA Baby best for dressers is because of its overall shape. In particular, it is indeed cocoon style with all four sides slightly raised. This is different from our previous changing pads that opt to have the head and feet areas flat. To give you an idea, all four sides measure 4 inches high, so the pad keeps the baby from rolling off.
In contrast to a changing table, dressers lack a frame, which is a potential hazard. This means that the raised sides of the pad will compensate for the lack of surrounding frame in the dresser.
Non-Skid Bottom and Straps with Screws
Other features that add support to the LA Baby’s safety as a top dresser pad are its bottom and safety harness. LA Baby designed the bottom of the pad to be non-skid. And while the material itself prevents slips, the pad itself also has straps with screws. You can use these to attach the pad to the dresser for stability reinforcement.
Quick-Release Harness Buckle
The combination of the two keeps the changing pad stable, especially when your baby is squirming. And as you can assume, the safety harness buckle restrains your child’s side to side movements as well.
Non-Toxic, Waterproof, Stain-Resistant, and Antimicrobial
However, we wished that the changing pad allows removal of the vinyl cover and straps for washing.
Summer Infant Changing Pad – Best Budget-Friendly Choice
Our last contoured changing pad comes from Summer Infant. We all know that when choosing any baby item, we prioritize quality regardless of its price. However, with this changing pad, you’ll get an efficient product with a reasonable price tag.
Contoured Sides and Safety Strap
The Summer Infant changing pad doesn’t stray away from the looks of the majority of products in this review. That being said, its side walls are elevated, and the middle portion is lower. It also has a buckle-type strap to hold the baby safely.
Non-Skid Bottom with Straps for Attachment
And when it comes to attaching the pad on a dresser or table, it also has straps underneath for anchoring the pad into place. But besides these straps, the bottom of the pad itself uses a non-skid material. If you remember, this combination is similar to the previous changing pad.
Now, let’s talk about the surface of the product. Summer Infant uses a double-layered PEVA vinyl, which is similar to the previous LA Baby. Therefore, you can also assume that this material is waterproof and cleaning it doesn’t require washing.
The foam, on the other hand, is soft but also feels sturdy. All in all, we appreciate its structure because you don’t have to worry about the surface deforming after some time. Sadly, we noticed that the quilted pattern on the pad surface forms holes. While they look insignificantly tiny, liquid from the surface can still penetrate them. This can be problematic because it can form stains. At the same time, you run the risk of developing mold underneath.
Best Disposable Changing Pads
We know that there will be instances where you’ll have to opt for single-use baby products. Just like diapers, disposable changing pads are more convenient, especially when you have limited time. Just keep in mind to dispose these pads responsibly.
The first disposable pad in our review is from NorthShore, specifically their premium quilted pads. They come in a pack of 5s or 25s, making them ideal whether it’s for short-time travels or long-time travels.
These pads fold small and you can easily mistaken them as ordinary paper upon a quick glance. NorthShore decided to keep it looking plain, without any prints or extravagant colors. Some parents dislike this about the pads, although it’s a matter of personal preference.
Soft and Latex-Free
Now, let’s talk about its efficiency as a pad. Its topsheet is free from latex, so you don’t need to worry about potential skin reactions and allergies. Speaking of which, rashes will seem unlikely because the cotton fluff lining also feels soft to the skin.
This pad is meant to be absorbent instead of resisting liquids. Because it is disposable anyway, high absorbency is a plus. If the lining repels the liquid, then you’d end up changing your baby in a pool of pee.
With NorthShore, the pad will absorb the liquid into its interior quickly. Other than the material, the secret to this is the pad’s embossed diamond pattern. What this pattern does is wick the moisture away, instead of letting it build up in the pad.
Another feature that this pad has is its blue plastic backsheet. This part is waterproof; thus, you can protect your changing surface and save time from clean-up. Combine this with the absorbent lining, and you’ll efficiently keep the potential mess from seeping out the pad.
So far, the only dislike we have with these pads is how easy the top lining separates from the backsheet. We rather recommend NorthShore for babies that doesn’t wriggle too much, so you avoid tearing the pad.
We both like the two disposable changing pads in this review. However, if we have to choose one over the other, our pick will be these pads from Munchkin. It comes in a pack of 10, and each piece measures 6.1 x 7.5 x 3.2 inches.
Paper Towel-Like Thinnes
Just like the previous NorthShore pads, you wouldn’t have thought of these changing pads as changing pads. Although Munchkin went with green leaf patterns with their pads, it still looks like an ordinary paper towel.
Can Be Cut in Any Size
Absorbent Lining and Waterproof Backsheet
The Munchkin changing pad is composed of three non-woven absorbent layers. This fact impresses us, considering that the pad itself is thin and filling-free. Munchkin also infused the pad with baking soda, which we all know are great for odor control. And similar to the previous disposable pad, it uses a waterproof liner to keep the changing surface clean and dry.
Lastly, the pad is safe to come in contact your baby’s skin. Although it could use a bit more softness, the company still passed the standards set by the Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) and the American Society for Testing and Materials (ASTM) International.
What About a Changing Pad Cover?
If you got your little one a changing pad, wouldn’t it be proper to also buy a cover for it? You must be thinking, “Is it necessary?” And the straight answer to that is no. However, this seemingly ordinary item offers some advantages that are worth considering. If you want to know more about changing pad covers, we covered (wink) this item in our buyer’s guide.
Summer Ultra Plush – Best Changing Pad Cover
The Ultra Plush from Summer Infant can cover a changing pad measuring up to 16 by 32 inches. We think this size is good, considering most pads have this measurement. But as extra reinforcement, the cover has an elastic bottom so that it will fit snugly onto the pad. A space-free fit is essential because this prevents potential tugging of the cover. It will also leave no gaps for liquids to seep through.
Soft and Stretchy
This changing pad cover lives true to its name as Ultra Plush. It feels very smooth and soft to touch, with a bit of stretchiness. So what is the cover made out of? Summer Infant opt to using 100% polyester. And this makes the cover resistant to stains. But to be extra specific, the fuzzy and comfy quality of the Ultra Plush owes these attributes to its velboa fabric.
Absorbent and Stain-Resistant
Not only does the fabric resists stains, but it is also machine-washable so you can save time and effort during clean-up. This characteristic is important since the cover comes in a variety of colors that will show stains easily. These colors are blue, white, pink, ecru, and chocolate. And as you can see, the colors are somewhat lighter in shades except for the chocolate.
We should also mention that the Ultra Plush is an absorbent cover. It could have used a bit more thickness. But nonetheless, it still protects most standard-sized pads from leaks and stains.
Lastly, the Ultra Plush also has dedicated strap holes for the straps on your changing pad. This way, the straps will stay easily accessible.
Read Also: Best Diaper Pail
Best Changin Pad Buyer’s Guide
Types of Changing Pads
Standard Changing Pad
The majority of changing pads in our review is the standard type. But depending on how you will define the word “portable,” standards don’t necessarily mean stationary. As you have seen in our reviews, standard changing pads are mostly small mattresses. Some examples of them are those from Naturepedic and Colgate.
These “mattresses” are usually contoured and have high sides to serve as barriers for the baby. They also come with harnesses and sometimes, have features for installation into a changing table. And because of their foam-like material, some products will need a changing pad cover for leak protection.
However, some standard changing pads like those from Keekaroo and Bumbo do not look like mattresses. Nonetheless, they also have a distinct shape and texture for a safe and comfortable diaper changing session.
Portable Changing Pad
As we have previously discussed, you can still bring standard changing pads from room to room. But if you’re looking for a travel-friendly pad, opt for a portable one. Portable changing pads are, of course, more lightweight and compact. You can compare them to a rolled/folded towel that you can just put inside your bag neatly.
Diaper Changing Kit
If you checked our comparison table, it might’ve confused you to see portable pads that are also changing kits. That’s because changing kits are similar to portables, in terms of their design. However, the difference is that a kit is a portable changing pad that also comes with other essentials. Hence, the name “changing kit.”
Other than the pad, the kit also has compartments for other baby-changing items. It’s roomy enough to hold diapers and wipes. And just like our favorite from Maman, the kit can also keep your items such as phone and keys.
The overall design of a diaper changing kit makes it look like a typical purse, which is great for travels. This way, you have everything you need in one place, instead of fumbling inside different bags during diaper changing.
Disposable Changing Pad
Another changing pad that also works for travels is the disposable type. From the name itself, you’ll only use this type of changing pad once and then throw it in the trash after. While it’s not as eco-friendly and budget-friendly in the long run, some instances will call for on-the-go changes.
Disposable changing pads generally look like mats or towels. They can easily fit inside a bag and typically comes in packs of 5s or higher. Depending on your lifestyle, you might find this type of changing pad more convenient. But as we have said, because you can’t reuse it, it might not be as economical for everyday use.
Factors to Consider When Buying Changing Pads
For you to find the best baby changing pad, you must consider different factors. You can add more to this list, and then rank their importance depending on your priorities and lifestyle.
Type of Changing Pad
As we have previously discussed, there are 4 types of changing pads. Depending on your lifestyle, you have to choose which is going to be more convenient for you. For us, standard pads are best for everyday use in the house.
And when it comes to travels, you can opt to any of the other three. It’s not practical to bring a bulky mattress-type pad along with a moody baby, can you imagine? In our opinion, changing kits are the best. They can carry everything you need, and you don’t have to potentially stress about misplacing wipes and diapers.
However, if you already have your trusted backpack diaper bag with you, you can opt for the simpler portable pad. And if you don’t have the energy to clean the pad after a long travel time, disposables save you the effort and bag space.
Other than for the ease of portability, the changing pad dimensions should also match the size of what you’ll be using the pad with. For example, will it fit seamlessly on your changing table at home? Or does it match the changing pad cover that you already have? The dimensions of the changing pad will dictate its compatibility with other diaper changing items.
Also, ask yourself if the size of the pad is comfortable for your baby’s height. Babies can be fussy, but we can’t blame them if they can’t extend their feet comfortably. Improper fittings will make a quick and simple diaper change into a longer and stressful duty.
Security and Stability
Depending on the model, the changing pad can utilize straps for the table and safety belts for the baby. The table straps add stability and security so that the pad doesn’t slide around when your baby moves. And speaking of which, you can also opt for pads with material at their bottom that prevents slips. Non-skid bottoms are essential for a smooth changing session, trust us.
Now, when it comes to having and using safety belts, it’s going to be a matter of personal preference. Some parents would instead remove them because they get in the way. Or sometimes, the belts feel too constricting on the baby. However, you can’t deny the added peace of mind these restrictions offer, especially when your baby is notorious for wriggling out of the pad.
Is the material absorbent or waterproof? Some parents despise stains, and others find washing soaked pads too time-consuming. It can also be a hassle changing in a puddle if your baby happens to pee on a waterproof pad. At the end of the day, choose a material with a potential flaw that you can overlook easier.
How to Use a Changing Pad
The changing pad serves as a protective surface for your baby. With this task in mind, there’s no doubt that using it should be very straightforward. Generally, using a changing pad follows these steps. But do keep in mind that some units may require special instructions. Portable, disposable, and changing kits might also utilize lesser number of steps.
- Place the pad on a surface (e.g., changing table, dresser, crib extension) and attach it into place. Depending on the product, it can use anchors, straps, or simply snaps.
- Double-check its stability by moving it a bit. Some pads already have non-skid bottoms, but if they don’t, add a non-skid mat underneath the pad. This will serve as an additional security feature.
- Install the changing pad cover and make sure it fits snugly.
- If the changing pad has safety belts, adjust it so that it’s not too loose or too tight for your baby.
- Lastly, do another safety check with each component. Ask yourself:
- Is the pad stationary on the surface?
- Have I fitted the cover properly?
- Is there anything that might be pulled off?
- Is the surface free form anything sharp and point?
Once you’re happy and confident with the pad, you can lay your baby down and strap him/her carefully. A convenient tip is to keep every changing item (i.e., wipes, diapers, cream) within reach. This way, you don’t have to leave your baby unattended.
How to Clean a Changing Pad
Reusable changing pads are more eco-friendly and economical in the long run. However, you have to make sure that you’ve cleaned them properly. Manufacturers include cleaning instructions depending on the material of the pad. Always follow them so that you avoid damaging the pad.
A trend we notice is that most pads, particularly those made from plastic, only need a wipe down or vacuuming. You can also use some detergent or gentle bleach along with the water. In fact, some portable pads are not compatible for washing machines and dryers. Instead, they just need a wipe down with a wet cloth and then a traditional air drying. You can also check if the material can tolerate a bit of bleach to combat stains.
Because these pads won’t need hand or machine washing, they are somewhat more convenient. They consume less time, and keeping a small spray bottle by the changing table is enough for a clean-up.
On the other hand, some pads can be hand or machine washed. They will not disintegrate, but washing is a must to avoid soiling.
What is a Changing Pad Cover?
If washing the pad sounds like too much work, you might want a changing pad cover instead. Yes, a cover for the changing pad! It will serve as an additional layer between your baby and the pad. If your pad absorbs the mess and requires you more trips to the laundry, you can use a wipeable pad cover. This way, you’d get the convenience that wipeable pads offer. You can also opt for washable covers to save your pad from soiling and staining.
Do You Need a Changing Pad Cover?
It’s unlikely to keep the pad clean while changing because babies tend to take this opportunity and add more mess. Not to mention, the dirty diaper might spill when full. The cover will protect the pad and keep the mess contained. As a result, this saves you some cleaning time. It can also make the pad a tad more comfortable and warm for your baby.
While getting a cover is not essential, it still adds convenience during every diaper change. If you think about it, removing the cover for the washer takes less effort and time compared to washing the pad.
Lastly, most covers come in different designs. Not only are they visually appealing, but they are also more enticing for a potentially grumpy baby.
What to Look for in a Changing Pad Cover
If you’re looking for the best changing pad cover, you should consider some aspects similar to when you’re choosing a changing pad. Overall, it all compressed into two factors:
Of course, the cover is meant for the pad. Therefore, it should be the right size to fit seamlessly onto the changing pad. Check the dimensions of the cover to make sure that it’s compatible with the pad. At the same time, it should also follow the contours of the pad to prevent any loose areas that can move or be tugged by your baby.
Just like with the pad, choosing the material of the cover will depend on your needs. Would you be okay with washing it or would you prefer something that wipes with water and cleaner? The material will also affect how comfortable the cover will be on your baby’s skin. Make sure that the material won’t cause rashes and opt for something warm and soft.
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From mattress-like models to disposables that look like paper towels, you will find a changing pad in every shapes and sizes. But choosing from this vast selection can be overwhelming, especially with the mixed reviews for each product.
Nonetheless, the secret to getting the right changing pad is to consider your lifestyle and where you intend to use it. If you need something travel-friendly, you can opt for our top pick from Skip Hop. It has different compartments so you can conveniently store every changing item in one carry.
And if you prefer something the frames your little one’s body, might as well check out a cocoon-like pad for the dresser.
Overall, we hoped that our inclusive review has helped you in finding the best diaper changing pad. You can also revisit our buyer’s guide in case there’s some information that you missed.
If you have any questions, don’t hesitate to leave them below!