From at home to on-the-go, a changing pad is a must-have for baby

What is a changing pad?

A changing pad is a padded material, usually rectangular or oval in shape, for placing your baby to change their diaper.

They are made from materials like foam, cotton, flannel, nylon, polyurethane, and polyester, and vary in size and features depending on if they are designed for use in the home, or while traveling.

What different types of changing pads are available?

There are four main types of changing pads: standard, portable, disposable, and diaper changing kits.

Standard baby changing pads are thick, padded, and designed for sitting atop a change table or dresser, with straps to secure the pad to the surface, and a belt to secure the baby. They come in various sizes and are usually made of foam. Most also come with a removable, machine washable cover.

Portable baby changing pads fold up and fit into a diaper bag to use on-the-go. They are made of a material that you can easily wipe clean. Some diaper bags come with matching portable changepads.

Disposable diaper changing pads are similar to portable ones except they come in multi-packs and are designed to be thrown away after one use. They are ideal for quick changes or travel, such as to keep in the glove compartment of the car, or in the diaper bag in case of emergencies.

Full diaper changing kits are fashionable changing pads that resemble clutches. They unfold to reveal pockets that can hold a few diapers and wipes, and double as changing pads once unfolded. Pop one into your purse or diaper bag; some have stroller clips so you can leave the diaper bag at home if you’re only going for a short walk or trip to the mall.

What should you look for in a changing pad?

Changing pads come in different colours, patterns, and materials. Choose one for the home that will match the nursery decor and one for travel that will fit nicely in a dedicated slot or main compartment of your diaper bag. Look for hypoallergenic material, and removable cloth covers.

For the home, contoured edges provide extra protection for baby, along with secure and quick-release straps, and non-skid foam or slip-resistant bases so they don’t shift around as you wipe down and change baby.

Find soft, comfortable, and waterproof material that’s easy to clean. Don’t forget to check the dimensions to ensure it will fit on your dresser or change table as they can vary slightly, ranging anywhere from 78.7 cm to 81 cm to 83.8 cm long, for example.

For travel changing pads, find one that is easy to wipe and has padding so baby isn’t uncomfortable while you change them on a hard surface, like a change table in a public restroom. Some even have built-in pillows to support the head.

You’ll need at least one changing pad for the home and another for travel so you’re prepared for diaper changes no matter where you are.