Setting up a diaper changing station
One thing you quickly find out when you bring your baby home, is that you will be spending alot of time changing diapers. Whether you use cloth or disposables this fact will not change. Here are few tips on setting up a system which will help make this task a little more effective and hopefully alot quicker! This was written with cloth diapers in mind but can be adapted to disposables as well.
First, you need a surface to lay your baby for changing. A changing table is specially designed for that purpose, but anything about the height of a kitchen counter will work well and save your back. I used a dresser and put a changing pad mattress on it which could be removed after the dresser is no longer used as a change table. You can set up a diaper wipes warmer or bottle warmer if you so choose but will need to have wipes at your disposal. You can use old washcloths or sherpa cloths as baby wipes. Have a pile on a shelf near the warmer or the wipes solution.
On the shelves or drawers underneath the changing table, keep your diapers, covers, liners and other supplies you might need. You can also keep diaper rash ointment, snappis. If you are inclined to try elimination communication, also keep a small potty on hand. Finally, you can also store extra accessories like swim diapers, extra bags for dirty diapers, and waterproof liners for the changing table.
The main thing is to have everything you will need to change your baby's diapers in one place and to keep it stocked. When you wash your diapers, try to get them folded and put back as soon as possible, even if all your other laundry is piling up, or you'll spend a lot of time making trips to your dryer or laundry basket in search of just one diaper. If you can position your diaper changing station next to a water source, that's a real plus. Don't fret going back and forth to get warm water to wipe your baby, he can can survive getting his bottom wiped with a cold washcloth.
If you have other children, or even when your baby is old enough to get into things, keeping the changing station orderly can be a real challenge as most of the storage space is at child level. Keeping things in closed containers or drawers does help since they are less inclined to play with what they cannot see. Keep a trash can or diaper pail for cloth diapers by the change station and having a clothes hamper nearby is convenient if a change of clothes is required at the same time. It's important to maintain order or you'll lose a lot of time searching for items, and otherwise prolonging the diaper changing process. To make it easier, keep it simple. Store only the items you really need, and remove any other baby items to another location. You can also child-proof it to discourage those little hands from getting in and rearranging your items. Certainly keep ointments, sanitizers and other products out of your baby's reach.
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