The phrase changing station is quite a new one and might sound a bit much (!) but actually all it is, is an area to change your little one's nappy with all the supplies you could need. So it needn't be a 'station' but just an area of a room with everything in one place, so you're not hunting around at that crucial moment.
The most important thing, in my opinion is QUANTITY - don't just have the one changing area - possibly one in your nursery, one in your living space and maybe even one in your own bedroom if that's where they're spending the first few months of their life. These different areas are even more important if you have more than one floor in your home and especially if you have more than one child and can't be running up to the nursery every hour or so... let's make this nappy changing business as easy as possible!
We've put together a list of essentials that would be good to have in each changing area, simply copy and paste and you've got your shopping list all ready.
Nappies - we use Naty nappies when our babies are tiny, simply because they're certified organic (by not just one organisation but LOADS) and seemed to be the only ones that didn't give our boys nappy rash.
Baby wipes - for the first few months we also use Water Wipes, simply because water is best for baby's skin in those early days and we didn't want any unnecessary chemicals going anywhere near them. Plus, it takes the hassle out of the whole moist cotton wool for the first few weeks!
Nappy sacks - using unnecessary plastic always makes me feel nervous so we use Naty nappy sacks as they are recycled and compostible.
Nappy rash cream - the brand you use for this purpose is really a personal choice and depends on your baby's skin. Some of the bigger brands are Bepanthen, Sudocrem and Metanium (this is the one we found most effective of the bigger brands) but don't forget about the smaller, more natural brands that can do just as good, if not better, job. Our favourite brands include Kokoso (it's literally just coconut oil, so 100% natural and is a bit of a miracle product - we use it for so much in this house, including dry skin and nappy rash), Love Boo (smells DIVINE) and Little Aurelia (luxury organic skincare).
Changing mat - this is a pretty essential item to have on your changing table... I think it goes without saying! We've got a selection of changing mats that we've designed especially for your modern nursery. Take a look at our collection and find one to suit your room - they're all wipeable and come in designs that you won't find anywhere else.
Vests / Bodysuits - need I say more?! For those situations where you don't think there's going to be a leak but there inevitably is!
Post-bath essentials - if you're going to get baby ready on the changing station after bath time it can be handy to have things like nail clippers, hair brush, massage oil (for some lovely bonding time) to hand (see Kokoso above!).
Dummies / rattle / teething toy - ok, here's the thing... once babies reach a certain age ALL they want to do while you're changing their nappy is put their hands in the nappy. I think we can all imagine how unpleasant this is, so have a little toy handy to give their hands something to play with, otherwise they'll be trying to eat the baby wipes... or worse.
Mobile - keep baby distracted with a mobile hanging over the changing mat, see above for reasons why - just don't put it so low that they can actually reach it. Plus, when your baby is first born it won't be able to reach out or hold anything and it is a great idea to give them something to look at and entertained while you're changing them.
Nightlight - let's just say that babies haven't got the hang of day vs night so they will need their nappy changing ALL through the night! We've got a brilliant, varied selection of nightlights to help light the way and make it that little bit easier.
Once you've got all the essentials, you need to figure out how to store them all (the age old problem of storage continues). If you're going to use a chest of drawers as a changing table then get some drawer dividers (IKEA sell some great ones) to help separate everything and keep it nice and organised. I'm thinking this is the perfect nesting activity for maternity leave.
We stock a range of different size storage boxes and baskets, perfect for a changing table. For example, this grey star set is an inexpensive way of keeping nappies and creams in.
If you're short on space then my advice is to make use of the wall. You could go for, what I'm certain will be a kids design classic one day, our Charlie Crane Changing Table that folds down from the wall - a pull-down changing table with shelves for the essentials.
Or you can use the wall above the changing table/mat for keeping everything organised, using one of our wall storage options like this grey Fabelab one, made from organic cotton:
A selection of different size storage options is super-useful to keep all the small 'bits' in. Also by Fabelab, this little storage bag would be great for keeping cotton wool in - PLUS it has a hook for hanging on the wall.
And finally, the changing mat - it's on display all the time (if you're having a permanent changing station in the nursery) so why not get one that fits with your decor? At Mini Maison we couldn't find the changing mat that we knew you were crying out for - modern designs on a wipeable fabric, with patterns that would fit with your modern nursery. So long story short, we designed our own! They are available to shop here.
We'd love to see how you've created your very own changing stations - simply tag us in your pictures on Instagram. We hope you enjoy researching your changing area essentials and shopping for your baby!