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How to Choose A Baby Changing Mat

How to Choose A Baby Changing Mat

There are many things new parents need to consider when shopping for and assembling the perfect nursery for their newborn. One often under-considered, or overlooked item is the changing table, and more specifically, the baby changing mat. There are many options to choose from when shopping for a changing pad, and knowing what’s available before you make your purchase will help to ensure you get exactly what you need.

Finding value in a tough economy is important for every family, and luckily the baby changing mat is designed to be durable and many will easily last through the couple of years that you’re child is in diapers. A good mat will cost you about $10 to $25, with higher end baby changing mats running upwards of $50. But when you consider how many times you’ll use it each day, you really begin to see just how inexpensive this simple but important addition to your nursery’s changing table really is.

Baby Changing Mat Types

There are basically two types of baby changing mats on the market today, though each style has many variations. The first is the basic mat, which generally resembles a blanket, but is coated with a smooth PVC layer to provide easy cleaning and sanitizing. This type is best used for on -the-go changing, and can easily be laid on the carpet, or on the changing stations offered in most public restrooms. It can be rolled up and slipped into a matching diaper bag, or easily stored around the house or in the car for those emergency changings. This style of baby changing mat can also double as an play mat for indoor and outdoor use, or as a mess mat to catch food below high-chairs.

The second option is the padded baby changing mat. This is typically the standard mat used on most changing tables and is made with a foam center designed to increase comfort and safety of the baby. Like the travel version, is also covered in a PVC layer that easily wipes clean. It can also come with ties or hooks to help fasten it to the changing table to reduce shifting during changes, as well as various styles of belts to prevent your baby from crawling off the table. The padded baby changing mat can be flat, but is also found in contoured styles with the sides raised to prevent your infant from accidentally rolling off the table. This also helps to minimize movement when changing a fussy infant’s nappies.

Things to Consider

Regardless of which style you choose, you should first measure your changing station to ensure that you purchase a pad that fits well on the table, especially since changing tables and baby changing mats come in a variety of dimensions. A pad that is too large or too small will increase shifting, look messy, and make stabilizing your infant while changing more difficult.

Quality is also important. You’ll want your baby changing mat to last you until your child is toilet-trained, so it’s best to invest in one that is sturdy. Be sure to check that the stitches on your mat are strong to avoid split seams and fraying edges. Another great way to ensure that your baby changing mat will last a long time is to invest in a machine-washable changing mat cover.

Baby changing mats come in a wide variety of colors and patterns, which makes it easier to choose a mat that is visually appealing and works well with your nursery decor. You also have the option of purchasing covers for your mat or sewing your won cover out of your favorite washable fabric. This is great if your child is allergic to a specific fabric, or if you have a specific color, pattern, or theme that you’re incorporating into the nursery. Make sure you choose a fabric that will not only be comfortable on your baby’s skin, like cotton or flannel, but is also washable in case of accidental leakage. You can also purchase and use an iron on waterproof plastic at a local fabric store. This will make cleaning as easy as simply wiping the cover, while still allowing you to match nursery fabrics if you so choose.

There are many fun new features you can find in today’s baby changing mats as well. Some mats offer aroma-therapy for your baby, infused with calming scents like lavender and chamomile, while others have built in devices that play soothing music for your little one during changing time.

As you can see, there are many options available to you when you’re purchasing a baby changing mat. From style, to utility, to comfort, you have the ability to pick the mat that suites your needs, your nursery, and your budget.

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