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My wife and I are setting up a baby room for our first child (due in June). We've so far been very fortunate in finding great deals on a matching crib and gliding rocker/ottoman! The only major piece of furniture we have left to buy for the baby's room is a dresser/changing table.

Here I'm at a loss. Should I be looking for a dresser, and then look for a changing table thing that sits on top to match? Should I be looking for a dresser/changing table combination set? Do such things exist? If I should look for separate pieces, what should I be looking for in a dresser? What's the right height for these things?

(I should add that I'll be mainly looking for something on craigslist and the like, unless there's a good reason not to, or unless you can give me a better source for something like this.)

What's your experience, and what advice would you give a dad-to-be? Thanks!

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6 Answers 6

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enter image description here

Ours was a lot like this one (image from englishforum.ch), only once the kids got older the changing table bit was removable to leave it as an ordinary chest of drawers.

The best bit for me (as I have a slightly dodgy back) is the overhang, meaning I could get very close while changing the babies, reducing my need to lean forwards.

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Look for a dresser. There are ways to repurpose the shelf-only changing table, but long term it is usually not useful. Then get a changing pad to go on top. Some dressers come with an optional border piece that holds the pad in place which can be useful, but you can get the same effect by putting a piece of no-slip shelf liner underneath the pad or using the hardware that comes with the pad to bolt it to the dresser. When your kid is no longer in diapers the dresser is still a dresser.

At some point your child is going to become mobile. At that point many parents move the changing pad to the floor to avoid wrestling with a baby who is trying to crawl off the edge of the dresser all while a very dirty diaper is sitting open underneath the child.

Also do not underestimate the value of having just diaper changing supplies and a simple waterproof pad that you can cart around the house. That way if the baby and caregiver are playing on a different floor from the baby's room the diaper supplies can be on hand to avoid trips up and down the stairs for diaper changes. If you really want to save you can skip even a changing pad on a dresser and just go for a diaper caddy and waterproof pad and do changes on the floor or whatever furniture is convenient.

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I just want to say.. my daughter is 4mo old. We have a changing table with shevled below it. She is already getting to big for it. I would hesitate getting any furniture that directly integrates with one as it wont last long and you will be stuck with this furniture that is now useless.

ours is kinda like this.. http://www.walmart.com/ip/15579368?adid=22222222227000637273&wmlspartner=wlpa&wl0=&wl1=g&wl2=&wl3=13223674390&wl4=&wl5=pla&veh=sem

Check out Once upon a child in your local city if they have one. Great great great deals!! Everything we bought for our daughter is almost too small now other than the crib. The rest has gone unused, and like I said.. my daughter is only 4mo!!

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I'm a year late for this, but I used a tool cart from Northern Tool. Looked something like this:

enter image description here

The advantages of this are

  1. It's sturdy
  2. buit in side-walls
  3. it has wheels
  4. It has built in, easy-to-access shelves
  5. It's a tool cart! So when baby is out of diapers, you still have a useful piece of furniture in the garage.
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Love it! Unfortunately, I doubt I could find one that would match the other furniture, and that's a Wife Requirement. –  user3657 Jan 16 '13 at 16:16
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They're primary colors. They'll match any kids room! :) (I can see your wife's point. But maybe try to remind her that the kids furniture has a shelf life of maybe 2 years and then it's gone...) –  DA01 Jan 16 '13 at 16:22
    
@DA01: Then you're making poor buying decisions. Kid furniture can be suitable for many years if you avoid teddy bear motives... –  Torben Gundtofte-Bruun Jan 17 '13 at 16:13
    
Not much use for a changing table after the diapers are done, though. Hence the decision to purchase something repurposable. –  DA01 Jan 17 '13 at 16:21
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We did not use a change table for our two kids. We just set up an area on the floor next to the crib with a towel and a plastic change mat on top. The wipes, plastic bags, nappies and such were located next to the change area.

We had tried using a change table but found the floor was much easier.

  • you don't have to worry about the child rolling off while you are dealing with soiled nappies and such.
  • It occupies a lot less space.
  • In the case of explosive bowel movements, you can just wash the towel and change mat very easily
  • When you are out and about, you'll often change the kid on the floor anyway so everyone is used to it.
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Welcome, and congratulations on the expected family addition!

In my home, there's no changing table in the baby room. Instead, we have a changing station in the bathroom. Our washing machine is right next to the sink, and on top of the machine we have a padded thing like this:
enter image description here

On the wall above the washing machine, there is a cupboard where we conveniently keep spares of anything that we need while changing.

It's incredibly convenient to have access to warm tap water (so we just use cheap cotton cosmetic pads and don't need wet wipes), washing machine & laundry basket, bathtub (for bigger accidents), and a trash can, all in one room.

Plus, the height of the washing machine is just right.

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+1: We also have two of these pads. Usable anywhere where a surface exists, wipe clean, and once our daughter developed into the wriggliest thing ever to refuse to sit still and be changed, we could easily transfer changing to the floor. –  deworde Jan 11 '13 at 17:21
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