Most of today’s baby registries hold hundreds of different items. Feeding supplies, diapers, and nursery furniture usually top the list. Since there are so many options out there, it can be difficult to decide what’s absolutely necessary and what’s okay to skip.
If you’re searching for the absolute essentials, make sure to add a changing pad cover to your list. While many people don’t think of them when buying baby items, they’re actually very important for keeping your nursery clean and comfortable. Learn more below about why you need them, how to shop for them and when to swap them out for new ones. Once the baby comes, you’ll be glad you have a few on hand.
What Are Changing Pad Covers?
Changing pad covers look like little sheets. You put them on top of your diaper changing pad and fit them on like a pillowcase. Most changing pads sit atop your diaper changing table, which may be a separate piece of furniture or a table attached directly to your baby’s crib. You can buy pad covers to match your child’s regular sheets or choose a different style that complements the main sheet set.
The covers come in a variety of bedding materials for every season and preference. Cotton and organic cotton are among the most popular types of changing pad cover materials throughout the year. Along with muslin, they’re also ideal for spring and summer bedding, as well as for homes with mild, comfortable temperatures. When it gets chilly outside, you can choose from fleece or plush polyester blends. Vinyl is also available for families who prefer an easy-clean material. If you like the feel of cotton but want to add a little warmth and texture, there are some styles with ultra-soft fabric on each side of the cover. Find them in a host of colors and prints.
Do I Really Need a Changing Pad Cover?
Do you need a changing pad cover or can you leave it off your baby registry? While you can certainly use your pad without one, any parent will recommend you add a few to your list. Just like a mattress, the pad will quickly get dirty without protection. When you have a sheet over the pad, you’ll easily absorb liquid messes.
Pad covers aren’t only essential to keeping your nursery clean. They also make the diaper changing process more comfortable for your baby. Soft fabric covers will keep your child warm and cozy even when they’re partially dressed. This translates to fewer tears for your little one and less stress on your part! Finally, changing pad covers make your baby’s room more stylish. A fresh sheet looks great when it matches the crib set. The accent also helps to tie together the room’s color scheme.
How Do I Buy the Best Changing Pad Covers?
There are tons of changing pad covers out there, both in the baby stores and online. The best way to find the cutest styles made of quality materials is to shop the trusted children’s brands. We recommend the Just Born® changing pad cover for moms-to-be and their newborns.
One of the most popular choices for a baby registry includes this comfy and dynamic navy changing pad for a baby boy, as well as girls’ pads in pink organic cotton or velboa. If you’re more into neutral colors, you’ll love cream, white and grey fashions in everything from skinny stripes to polka dots.
Keeping Your Baby Clean, Healthy and Happy
Changing pad covers may seem like a minor detail, but they’re actually an essential part of your baby’s daily routine. Pad covers are one of the easiest ways to keep your little one comfortable while making your nursery more hygienic. Since it’s your priority to keep your child happy and healthy, investing in pad covers is a small trade off for how wonderful the room will look and how great your baby will feel.
Start by putting a few neutral styles on your registry or find colors that match your nursery theme. When the weather changes or you want to update your look, you can always purchase a couple of new ones. You can even get creative with your changing pads. Holiday styles and seasonal fashions are available at most baby stores and online shops. So, go ahead–add a few different changing pad covers to your registry. No matter how many you get, you’ll feel good about receiving and using them.
If you’re looking to buy one but feel confused about what you should be looking for, consider the following ins and outs when choosing the perfect changing pad for you, whether it be for at home or on-the-go use.
Top Features to Look for in a Diaper Changing Pad
Diaper changes for your little ones are an inevitable part of parenting. Newborns may need their diaper changed 10 times in a day (or more!) to help keep them fresh and clean. Because the baby’s changing pad will be used time and time again, look for these 5 key features to help keep them comfortable and give you peace of mind.
A waterproof surface that easily wipes clean is essential for any changing pad. Diaper changing is often (OK, always!) a messy experience and a 100% waterproof cover prevent liquids from seeping inside the pad which can lead to mold and mildew. For added protection, don’t forget to use waterproof multi-use pads, which add a touch of cozy softness and can be tossed in the washing machine and dryer.
Changing pads with contoured sides help provide a snug, comfortable diaper changing surface for infants and toddlers by cradling them for extra security. Some pads feature a 3-sided design, which includes additional cushioning at the top of the pad to help protect the baby’s head, while still accommodating the most changing pad covers on the market.
Keeping baby comfortable during diaper changes will help make the process go more smoothly and quickly. Supportive foam is firm and durable, yet comfy for infants and toddlers. Some changing pads even offer soybean enhanced foam, for a more natural changing surface that is still comfortable.
Look for a diaper changing pad with two different types of safety straps to provide the most security. First, look for a changing pad that has an adjustable restraint belt with a buckle to keep the baby safe. Second, look for a changing pad with anchoring straps to attach to the wall, changing the table or back of the dresser. Be sure to always use the safety straps and keep the baby within arm’s reach.
The safety and quality of changing pads are important too, especially since babies will be using this daily for months. Look for a pad that meets the ASTM standard for changing pads. Some changing pads are also GREEN GUARD GOLD Certified. This means they have been tested at a third-party laboratory and certified for indoor air quality and low chemical emissions.