By Kelly Hamilton.
This post was inspired by a nameless, hilariously unpractical diaper item one mom recently brought to our attention. The out of control diapering aisle is basically ground zero for over-spending by new and old parents alike. I can't help you with diaper cream (go ahead and set a huge budget for that now) because I can't resist the idea that maybe the next one will be the best one either. What I can help you with is creating the perfect, practical, everyday, at your fingertips changing table set up.
I have a boy and a girl, both still in diapers (yes, I know how that happens), and we have a changing station in each of their rooms. If your kids share a room, this will still work with a larger container.
Let's start with a surface.
Chances are your kiddo's room isn't huge, so I recommend combining the station with storage of some kind instead of a traditional changing table. This is the biggest way I can save you money and space. If you have both of those, go for it, you only do this so many times! My kids are paupers so one has my childhood Ethan Allen dresser (thanks mom!) and one has a piece that has served many purposes in my homes over the years including TV stand. I am lazy and it is so easy to change a diaper, reach down, grab jammies, and get bed time going. If you already have something large enough - you can make this happen (I like width around 18-20 inches and length around 50 inches). Even if you don't, I suggest buying a dresser that would work. Knobs on both were changed to match decor and are from Anthropologie.
Now you need somewhere to put a baby.
This will be short. For the same price of a mat and a few cute covers you can get the Keekaroo Changer (aka it's not as expensive as it seems). It's wipe-able for little messes and I have used Clorox wipes on mine for big messes... no problems yet. You will want this - DO NOT let newborn poop fool you. I have thrown it in a bathtub when messes reach a crisis point. They will meet a crisis point.
And somewhere to put the diapers.
A wipes dispenser. I like the Oxo Tot dispenser because it looks cute and you can get the wipes out even if it's not full.
Your "stuff". This is lotion, diaper cream, hair brush, whatever you need after bath or while changing your little one. I keep nail clippers, nasal cleaners, and other things you use less frequently in one of the sock drawers.
A pail and a hamper. I have a hamper on one side and a pail on the other for easy access. I always see diaper pails on the "don't really need this" lists but I disagree. I like the Diaper Dekor because it's neutral, refills last a long time, and it does a pretty good job at keeping gross smells away from my nose. I have this hamper in my son's room and I love it. I went a different direction for my daughter and I wish I had given up cuteness for practicality, but no one is perfect.
Diapers. I recommend using diapers that don't cause the aforementioned crisis situations, but other than that, your favorite is as good as mine.
About the author, Kelly Hamilton: