Reviewed by Andrew Seibert on December 05, 2011

Sources

Ali Wing, Giggle Guide to Baby Gear. Tip for Your Baby’s Safety, Consumer Product Safety Commission. Changing Tables and Baby Furniture, Consumer Reports.org.

© 2011 WebMD, LLC. All rights reserved.

WebMD Archive

Video Transcript

Mellisa: Dressers, changing tables, bookcases—so many choices, so little time.

Ellie & Melissa: Hi, we're Ellie and Melissa, the Baby Planners, and we're here to help you furnish baby's room, step by step.

Melissa: First, consider space. Do you have a place in baby's room for both a dresser AND a changing table? If not, the least expensive option is to change baby on a bed or the floor. But neither of those positions is kind to your back.

Ellie: Another option--a dresser/changer combo-- basically a dresser with a removable changing tray. They're big and often expensive. But they can be used long after baby is potty trained, well into toddlerhood– just take off the top.

Melissa: If there is space, an open-shelf changing table is the least expensive option, with tons of storage and easy access to diaper supplies. The compromise is a hybrid—a changing table top with a dresser drawer or two AND some open space for supplies.

Ellie: If the top of the changing area is flat, be sure there are rails or other barriers on all four sides—anything less isn't safe. If the top is contoured, then you only need barriers on the two far ends.

Melissa: Regardless of which style choose, you'll want these features:

Ellie: Plenty of room on the top shelf for supplies so you can always keep one hand on baby.;

Melissa: Easy to use safety straps—another must for baby's safety;

Ellie: The right height for your back so you don't have to bend over.;

Melissa: And drawers that glide easily—usually with tracks on each side.

Melissa: Which brings up an important safety point: Babies and toddlers love to climb! So any furniture in baby's room that might tip over —like dressers and bookcases-- should be safely anchored to the wall.

Ellie: And NEVER put a television on top. Injuries and deaths from falling furniture are a growing problem, according to the Consumer Product Safety Commission.

Melissa: Next up accessories!. Changing pads should be waterproof and come with safety belts. They can be vinyl or cloth, flat or curved to keep a wiggly baby in place.

Ellie: You'll want several machine washable covers -- you'll be changing them often.

Melissa : Diaper caddies are fabulous at keeping all of your supplies – from balm to wipes - all in one place-- Why not buy a couple and stash them at different spots around the house.

Ellie: Diaper wipe warmers are definitely optional—some swear by them; others say they make no difference to baby. If you want one, be sure that it works with the kind of wipes you purchase.

Melissa: Most people feel their nursery isn't complete without a diaper pail. The good news is there's a wide variety to choose from. Some diaper pails use regular kitchen trash bags. Others have inserts for special bags. They may cost more but also may help reduce odor, as do tight fitting metal containers.

Melissa: Of course, there's still much more to consider before the baby's room is complete.

Ellie: Check out the other videos in this series for answers and advice step by step.

Ellie & Melissa: For WebMD, We're Ellie and Melissa the Baby Planners.

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