A changing table is often used at home as a central diaper-changing station. While this piece of baby furniture comes in handy, it also presents a safety risk for your young child. Safety considerations start with the changing table you buy. The way you position and use the table also affects your baby’s safety.
A changing table leaves a baby open to the risk of falling off during the diaper change. This becomes more of a risk as the baby gets older and starts moving around more, but even young infants can roll off the table in an unsupervised moment. Later, when your child becomes mobile, she is likely to grab onto various pieces of furniture around the house. An unstable changing table can tip over if the baby leans or climbs on it.
Changing table safety starts before you even buy the piece of furniture. Cheap changing tables are often poorly constructed. If your baby wiggles, the whole table could shake, increasing the risk of a fall. Inspect the model for stable design and construction. The changing surface should dip slightly in the middle to reduce the risk of your child rolling off. Rails along all four sides also increases your baby’s security during diaper changes.
Even a stable changing table runs the risk of tipping, especially as kids get older and heavier. Anchoring the changing table to the wall stabilizes the unit, preventing it from tipping. L brackets available at any hardware store allow you to screw the unit to the wall for maximum stability.
An organized changing table makes the diaper change more efficient and safer for your baby. Never step away from your baby when he is on the changing table. If all of your diaper-changing supplies are within your reach, you won’t need to walk away to retrieve the things you need. A basket on top of the changing table or on a shelf just above the table for baby wipes and fresh diapers ensures that you won’t have to leave the table even for a moment.
Most changing tables have a safety strap to place on your baby during diaper changes. The strap won’t necessarily stop a fall, but it is an extra safeguard that should always be used. Get all your supplies ready for the diaper change before placing your baby on the table, and take him off as soon as you are done.