I remember the first time I went to do my baby registry and the salesperson asked what kind of changing pad I was looking for. I thought, is there a difference. The changing pad is basically a pad, right? Well, it turns out there are all sorts of different pads and features to the best changing pads #mindblown. The best ones are large enough to use throughout your baby’s diaper-wearing days and suit your needs in terms of safety, portability, and utility.
There are two main types, contoured and travel, which are both must-haves for any family. The following highlights the top 10 best changing pads in both categories, top 5 contoured and top 5 travel. Any of these will make diaper duty a bit easier, both by keeping baby comfortable and lending a hand to the one changing the diaper.
Top 10 Best Changing Pads
What is a changing pad?
A changing pad is a piece of fabric, vinyl, or foam you place under the baby while changing a diaper. They help keep baby safe and in place while you’re hands are busy changing a diaper and cleaning up. Some have sloped sides to cradle baby, while others are flat, foldable, and portable for on the go use.
Why Having One is a Good Idea
Some parents change their baby wherever it is convenient. This might be on the floor with a simple blanket or on top of a changing table with all the supplies. Using a changing pad is a good idea because it keeps your changing surface clean from any drips or spills. Babies are messy, and this includes diaper changes.
They are also a good idea because they can help keep your baby safe. This is especially true if you’re using an elevated surface like a changing table or bed. Thicker foam changing pads have raised edges to keep baby in one place. This reduces their ability to roll over and fall from the table. Changing pads also make diaper changes a bit more comfortable for your baby. Diaper changes often require the parent to hold onto baby with one hand while reaching for supplies with the other, so the use of a larger changing pad makes it easier to keep baby in one place and safe through the process.
Changing pad must-haves:
- Easy to clean
- Easy to use
- Potentially portable
Changing Pad Types
Contoured pads: these have raised edges to keep baby in place. They are typically larger, thicker, and less portable, mostly used in the home. These are mainly waterproof but you can also use a cover to protect them.
Travel pads: these fold and fit into a diaper bag. They are thinner, smaller, and usually have a plastic component that makes them easy to wipe clean with a sanitizing wipe.
Disposable pads: these are designed to be used once and tossed in the trash. They generally fold well and are great for travel because they’re a one-time use. These are great to have in case of an emergency, but you’ll have to remember to replace them every time you use them.
The Top 10 Best Changing Pads
This changing pad is 30 inches long and has two raised sides along with a center lap belt. There’s a non-skid bottom to help keep it in place while changing the baby. The top is a quilted vinyl cover which is both waterproof and stain-resistant. You can clean the cover with mild soap and water. Safety features include the easy to use a safety belt with a quick-release buckle and a security strap to secure the changing pad to the changing table or the top of a dresser.
This is another 2 sided changing pad that focuses on safety and security. The contoured walls help keep baby in place and the safety belt has a quick-release buckle for easy use. The security strap on the bottom keeps the changing pad attached to the furniture and the non-slip bottom helps keep it in place. The top is a quilted vinyl over a soft foam for a comfortable experience for the baby. The double-layer vinyl keeps things dry and it can be washed with a damp cloth to keep it germ-free.
The PooPoose makes diaper changing easier, cleaner, and safer. There’s an adjustable swaddle style safety strap to help keep baby in place and helps the baby stay calm. This safety strap adjusts to accommodate newborns through to the toddler stage. This safety strap is a hook and loop design, versus the quick release buckle of other models. The PooPoose Wriggle Free is made of safe foam with a waterproof and non-toxic top layer. Alternate straps and covers are available for this changing pad.
Another great option for wiggly babies is this secure grip and waterproof changing pad. The bottom has “Xtra Grip” rubber strips to keep the pad in place and a central safety belt with an adjustable quick release buckle. You can also secure it to a tabletop either with the security belt or with added screws for increased safety and security. The soft and contoured pad top makes it comfortable for the baby while staying safe from beginning to end. This changing pad offers a great amount of safety for a very budget-friendly price.
The last contoured changing pad has two raised sides with a lower gradient to keep baby in place but also offering a comfortable place to change the baby into toddlerhood. You can use this pad on any flat surface! The bottom has a rigid support board to help keep its shape and a safety belt, along with screws to secure the pad to a tabletop. It’s easy to clean and is a very simple, straightforward changing pad to help you get things done safely and comfortably.
The Lil Fox portable changing pad is 100% waterproof and folds into a travel bag complete with a carrying handle. There’s a pocket for a full-size wipes case and the pocket can hold up to 5 standard size diapers so you’re never without your supplies. You can open it with one hand and it even has room for your keys. The envelope style fold makes it easy to clip it onto your stroller and there’s even a memory foam pillow for added comfort.
For a clean and simple portable changing pad, take a look at this one by Comfy Cubs. The pad folds in half and has a simple strap to secure it, making it easy to open and set up with one hand. The printed pad is in a neutral color, perfect for any baby, is easy to clean, and keeps baby comfortable while still being lightweight with a padded pillow. This is the perfect pad for a family on the go, as it stores in any backpack, stroller, or diaper bag, is easy to use, and even easier to keep clean.
This is the perfect changing pad for those parents that want one pad to last from newborn to toddler. The simple folding design makes it easy to open and close with one hand and the neutral pattern gives it a trendy look while being gender-neutral.
The material is waterproof and easy to clean, which means it will be durable to last through all the diaper-wearing years. There’s a large storage compartment to keep extra diapers, a travel pack of wipes, or whatever you’ll need on hand.
Sometimes simple is best and this foldable set from PEKITAS is a great simple, easy to use, and completely customizable option. These changing pads come in packs of two and are a three-layered blanket style. The top is cotton, the middle is a soft padding layer and the bottom is waterproof. It doesn’t require any fancy folding, snaps, or closures and instead folds just like a receiving blanket or cloth. They’re also easy to add to your laundry cycle as they are completely machine washable.
This tri-fold changing pad is another simple and easy option that gets the job done with no frills. The simple, sleek black outer makes it easy to match any diaper bag or toss into any backpack. The middle padding keeps the baby comfortable and clean no matter where you are. The interior is easy to wipe clean and is waterproof. This is ideal for quick diaper changes on the go without worrying about damaging the car seat or floor. This one is also great to keep in the car, as it fits in the glove compartment and will always be there when you need it.
Whether you’re looking for something to add to the nursery or something to have on hand to change a diaper in the living room or while out and about, these are the top 10 best changing pads currently available. Many parents like to have one contoured at home and at least one in the diaper bag, car, or even at home for a quick diaper change whenever there’s a need.
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