Nappies, toilet training and bathing

Babies will need nappies until some time into their second or third year.
 
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  • Updated:2 Sep 2009
 

03.Change tables

Babies need their nappies changed several times a day, and a good change table can make the job much easier. A stable, level surface at the right height – plus shelves or drawers for storing nappies, wipes and other odds and ends – saves time and effort (and your back).

Three main types of change table are available:

  • Wooden tables with two or three tiers or drawers
  • Portable folding tables with a metal frame and fabric body
  • Tables that include a baby bath under the change surface

What to buy

CHOICE tested 10 change tables in April 2009. We looked at stability, strength of construction and safety, including checking for sharp edges, potential finger and limb traps, and how good they are at preventing a baby rolling or sliding from the change surface. We also had a panel of parents assess the tables for ease of use.

The models below passed all our safety tests. Their side barriers are at least 100mm high, as recommended by the ACCC.

Bertini Renaissance

Bertini RenaissancePrice: $299

Good points

  • Two shelves.
  • Castor wheels with brakes.

Bad points

  • Mattress needs to be purchased separately.

Boori Three Tier

Boori Three TierPrice: $400

Good points

  • Two shelves.
  • Has castor wheels with brakes.

Bad points

  • Mattress needs to be purchased separately.

Childcare Deluxe

Childcare DeluxePrice: $75

Good points

  • One shelf and one storage tray.
  • No mattress needed as the fabric surface is soft.
  • Includes a restraint strap.
  • Foldable.

Bad points

  • An adult folding the table could catch their fingers between rotating or closing parts (between the tray frame and its supports on the table frame).

Valco Baby Pax Plus

Valco Baby Pax PlusPrice: $90

Good points

  • One shelf and one storage tray.
  • No mattress needed as the fabric surface is soft.
  • Includes a restraint strap.
  • Foldable.

Bad points

  • An adult folding the table could catch their fingers between rotating or closing parts (between the table cross-frames, and between the tray frame and its brackets on the table frame).

Choosing a change table

  • Change tables need some form of roll-off protection such as raised sides. Ideally these should be at least 100mm high, though several models in this test had sides lower than this and still passed our test.
  • Choose one that suits your height, so you won’t have to bend or reach too far while changing nappies.
  • The changing surface should be easy to wipe down when messes happen (and they will). The mattress or padding should also be easy to wash.
  • It should have plenty of storage space for nappies, wipes, lotion and other baby necessities. Multiple shelves and side trays give the most storage, but a table with just one shelf is still useful.
  • A restraint strap can help secure your baby, but is no substitute for proper adult attention.
  • Consider a towel or change mat on the floor or in the middle of a double bed as an alternative (although this may not be as comfortable for you).

Changing baby safely

  • Ensure collapsible frames are locked securely in place before use.
  • Keep everything needed to change your baby close at hand but out of their reach.
  • Ensure the change table is free from small objects that can cause choking.
  • Try to keep one hand on your baby at all times while changing them. Never leave your baby unattended on a change table, even just to grab something across the room – always take them with you.
  • Also, be aware of older siblings climbing on change tables.
 

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