Types of Changing Pads: Their Pros and Cons
Changing pad is a pretty simple, but very handy thing. It smoothes the solid surface, warms up, doesn’t get wet (in case of modern materials), is easy to use. There are a few types of changing pads.
The most straightforward construction, which is a soft pad that reminds a sports mat. It can be elastic or semi-elastic (with flexible boards).
- You can place it over any solid surface (usual table, commode tabletop, bedside table).
- Options with boards (bolsters) and headboard are safer.
- Options with water-resistant covering are more practical.
- You can wash it in a washing machine.
- It can be taken on the road.
- There are inflatable models (or with inflatable boards and headboards).
- Changing Board
A great alternative to changing tables and commodes (if the room dimensions don’t allow to put additional furniture pieces). The changing board is a mattress on a solid surface (mostly wooden).
- You can place it on any surface.
- Models with special fixation can be firmly fixed on the crib’s boarders (or on the baby bath’s stand).
- Special deepenings in some options allow placing the board on the bath’s borders (to towel off and dress the baby).
- There are very handy foldable options. They are about two times more expensive, but take less place, have convenient handles for transportation, and their boarders perform organizer’s functions.
- On Metallic Framework (Changing Table)
It’s the same mentioned above, changing the board on high metallic legs that are foldable like an ironing board. There are tables on wheels (with anti-rotating fixators). Light, portable, but not the most stable option.
Irreplaceable helper when going to a hospital or on a visit. When unfolded – it’s the same changing pad (only without borders) when folded – it’s a handy bag that can be carried on a shoulder (or put on baby carriage’s handle).
- Spacious pockets
- Looks like a stylish accessory
- Has a simple assembling mechanism
Disadvantages: to disassemble it, you need to take out all the contents.
- Materials used in the Production of Changing Pads for Babies
According to this site, the main requirements for materials used in the production of changing pads are eco-friendliness, hypoallergenic, endurance, high quality. The presence of major orthopedic features is not mandatory, as the baby won’t spend much time on this surface. It has to be soft, comfortable, warm, and safe.
As for the pads’ fillers, their range is not vast:
- Padding polyester and hollow fiber — standard, hypoallergenic, affordable fillers that are used most often
- Cotton fibers (cotton wool)
- Soft, but tight Skylon
- Foamed polyurethane (modern foam) — another great, affordable filler, that has nice anatomic properties
- Latex (used rarely)
Outer coverage can be made out of natural, synthetic, water-resistant materials. Some variants:
- Cotton (including water-resistant cotton surface)
- Fibers mix (cotton 80% / polyester 20%)
- 100% polyester
- Delicate oilcloth (low-quality ones can crack)
- Medical rubber-fabric cloth with a «warm hand» effect
The set often includes two water-resistant oilcloths with Velcro (for changing) or removable water-resistant cover. They are usually made out of membrane tissue. It’s a double-layered material, the outer covering of which is a soft terrycloth, the bottom is a polyurethane membrane. The cells of the membrane structure are smaller than water molecules, but bigger than vapor molecules. It means that the material prevents water absorption, but is «breathable.»
- In Conclusion
Whether you buy a changing pad or make one yourself, it, as a product for kids, should meet strong requirements.
- It’s better to choose models with sideboards and headboard. It will prevent the baby from slipping out and getting traumatized.
- Bright options look better at first, but they get dirty quickly. Kids’ products with patterns preserve the attractive look for much longer.
- Fillers and coverage should be strictly made out of hypoallergenic, eco-friendly, and hygienic materials.
- Water-resistant removable covers or membrane sheets on Velcro mean comfort for the baby and practical approach for parents.
- Purchase such things only from trusted manufacturers. Products must have a quality certificate.
- If you purchase a pad for a particular surface, its dimensions should be perfectly in accordance with the parameters of the changing commode or table.
- Changing boards, fixed to the crib, should have secure mounting.
- The child grows very quickly, so purchasing a small-sized pad is not a practical decision.
- Don’t grudge the time to search for a suitable model and read reviews about this or that option.