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10 Essential Items for Your Diaper Changing Station

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10 Essential Items for Your Diaper Changing Station

When you bring a new baby home for the first time, there are a few areas where you will spend the majority of your time.  One of those spaces is the diaper changing station.  

Back when I was pregnant, I was actually discouraged from buying one of these.  I think the individual giving me this advice had good intentions, but as an about-to-be first time mom, I wanted to be as prepared as possible!  

Every mom will have her preferences on how she wants her diaper changing station set up.  In this post, I’m going to share with you 10 must-have items so your baby’s diaper changes will be a breeze.

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1. The changing table

So, this may seem obvious, but you actually need a designated space where you’re going to change diapers.  My little one has had more than her fair share of blowouts, and with a changing table, I always have everything within arms reach.  Our area doubles as a dresser and changing table – kinda like this one.  What I love about it is that there is plenty of room up top for the essentials, and once she outgrows it, she’ll still have it as a regular dresser.

If you’re real creative, you can re-purpose a dresser and set up a changing pad on top.  If that’s up your alley (and you have time to do it before baby arrives), then you’ll need the next item on our list.

2.  The changing pad

Well, duh – you gotta have this, too.  😉  If you don’t have a dresser like the one mentioned above, make sure you put a changing pad in a safe spot where you can secure your little one.  Get a changing pad that has “grippers” on the bottom so it won’t slide around while baby is squirming.  Here’s the one I use now.

3.  Changing pad covers

I recommend you have two of these on hand – one to use, and one to spare when baby has a blowout (or when she sneaks in a extra pee pee before you’ve gotten a clean diaper on her).  The ones I use have minky fabric edges, but there is a wipeable center section.10 Essential Items for Your Diaper Changing Station

4.  Diapers/wipes

I shouldn’t have to tell you that you’ll need these.   They’re kinda the whole point of having a diaper changing station…   🙂

5.  Wipe warmer

When I was pregnant, I actually received advice on these from both sides of the fence.  “It’s not needed” or “Imagine if you had a cold wipe cleaning up your behind.”  I actually went with the latter advice, and put one of these on my registry.  In hindsight, I’ve loved it.  It keeps all the wipes moist and warm, plus it has a tiny little nightlight on it, too – handy for middle of the night diaper changes when you don’t want to turn on all the lights.  

6.  Aquaphor

This stuff is like gold.  Diaper rash helper, moisturizer, salve for cuts/rashes – you name it.  When I was pregnant, I was planning to cloth diaper my little one.  One of the rules is that you don’t want to use traditional diaper rash cream on cloth diapers because it will make them less absorbent.  Aquaphor, on the other hand, was completely fine.  In the past 14 months, I have used both disposable and cloth diapers, and have used Aquaphor like it was going out of style.  Buy 2-3 bottles (one for the changing table, one for the diaper bag, and one to spare), and save a little with this coupon.

7.  Lotion

I keep a bottle of this on her changing table, and rub her down after bath time every night.  My recommendation is Johnson & Johnson’s Bedtime Lotion – it smells amazing!  When you are snuggling your little one extra close before bedtime, you will love knowing that they are wrapped in such a calming scent.  

Usually new moms get flooded with coupons for Johnson’s products, but just in case you need some, you can find them here.  

8.  Hairbrush

Right after I put on lotion after bath time, my little one’s hair gets a nice little brushing.  She’s at the age now where she wants to start doing things by herself.  Nothing is cuter than seeing her put her hairbrush up next to her head and watching her “brush” her hair.  We actually have two brushes now because it’s just getting long and thick.  Our first brush was this one (super soft bristles!!), and now, we’ve started using this one as well.

9.  Nasal aspirator

This is the one thing that your baby will hate more than anything in this world.  My little one did great with it for the first few months.  Since then, it’s like pulling teeth to clean her nose out.  The reason I keep it at the diaper changing station is because it’s easier to use it while she’s already laying down.  

You’ll likely be sent home with one from the hospital that looks like this.  You may also find that a Nose Frieda works a little better).

10.  Hand sanitizer

Last but not least, you should have a bottle of hand sanitizer.  No brainer all the way.  

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So, there you have it!  Ten essential items for your baby’s diaper changing station.

Did I leave something off the list that you use all the time?  Let me know in the comments below.

 

10 Essential Items for Your Diaper Changing Station

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Reality Check from a First Time Mom

First Time Mom

First Time MomMy husband and I have been married for 13 years, and have waited a long time to start a family.  There have been a couple of stretches when we thought, “Ok, now’s the time.  I’m ready – are you ready?”  In hindsight, we were so very blessed that expanding our family didn’t happen so soon.  But now, those days have finally come, and wow – we have learned so much!  Our baby girl turned one month old today, and thinking back on the past month, I can say we’ve definitely had a reality check.  

While I was still pregnant, it didn’t take long for me to start compiling a list of all the things I absolutely would do once my baby was born…

  • Cloth diaper
  • Exclusively breast feed
  • Use the crib right away
  • Keep up with my Etsy business
  • Get a good night’s sleep
  • Not spend a fortune on unnecessary items

Well, as I’m sure you can imagine, that entire list has been tossed out the window.  My entire way of thinking is now 100% baby, and whatever she needs to be healthy and happy, that’s what we’ll work to achieve.

How has my mind changed since giving birth?  My expectations are not so high, for one thing.  I don’t know how in the world I expected that I could do all the things I wanted to do unless I was Superwoman (news flash – I’m not).  I’m a first time mom that has a full-time job plus an Etsy business, and maternity leave does not last forever.  I *might* could do half of that list if I stayed at home, but unfortunately, that’s not an option.  

So, in further detail, here’s my pre-delivery list that has been tossed out the window by this first time mom.  🙂

Number one – cloth diapering.  

This was probably highest on the list of things that I was not going to budge on.  I knew our budget would be eaten up by buying disposables, and the cost savings of going cloth is HUGE.  In theory, it’s easy.  In reality, it’s proven to be too much (and I haven’t even gone back to my full-time job yet).  

We made it through exactly four cloth diapers.  Yes, four.  The first ones were wet which wasn’t so bad.  The first one that had poop – oh. my. gosh.  There’s something about the fact that you can’t just roll it up like a sposie, and throw it in the trash.  No, YOU are responsible for cleaning that nasty thing until it’s time to do a load of diaper laundry.  

Oh, that’s easy, you say?  Think again.  When you’re already washing baby clothes plus your own clothes all the time, plus washing bottles, plus trying to find time to sleep, eat, and take a freaking shower, the last thing you feel like doing is washing dirty diapers.  I may reevaluate this again down the road, but for now, I’m enjoying the stash of disposable diapers that we were gifted with.

Number two – exclusively breast feed.  

This was another one that was a big factor with our budget.  Breast milk is free, but the pain it causes comes with a cost (at least it did for me).  Baby girl and I did great at the hospital – she latched on well, and ate for good stretches at a time.  Our nurses were so encouraging and proud every time she had a good feeding.  However, they weren’t the real experts on breastfeeding.

Fast forward a week, and I thought I was going to die.  I have never known such pain.  Turns out there is an ART to getting a baby to latch on successfully, and I was doing it wrong the entire time.  Tears on top of tears were next as I stubbornly persevered to give the best I could to my baby girl.  My hubby would sit next to me and hold my hand as I gritted my teeth through so many feedings.  It was unbearable, but I was determined not to give up too soon.  

After the first 10 days, I made an appointment with a lactation consultant (aka the expert).  She was wonderful, and showed me exactly what I was doing wrong.  I thought, “Great.  Now I can fulfill at least one goal I had while pregnant.”  My success lasted maybe 24 hours.  We were now at the end of the first month where I’m two seconds away from throwing in the towel to try “exclusive pumping.”  Baby girl has also been getting formula on occasion as her pediatrician said that we needed to supplement her meals to get her back to her birth weight and to help her get rid of a case of jaundice.  

Since then, we’ve still needed to supplement with formula because she has an incredible appetite.  So, in our case, we’ll be doing mixed feedings – breast milk and formula.  My hope is that I can build up a good supply to get her solely on breast milk so that we don’t need to buy formula, but my goals are now much more realistic.  If I can do it, great.  If not, I’m not going to beat myself up over it, either.  The saying about a happy mom making a happy baby are the truest words ever spoken.

Number three – use the crib right away.  

Ha!  I can’t even stand to be in a different room away from baby girl, and in our case, her crib is totally in a separate room.  Much of our sleeping time has been spent in one of three places – the rocker, the bassinet, or the swing.  Actually, make that four – laying on mommy or daddy’s chest after burping.  

That last one was another thing I swore I would never do, but now, I wouldn’t trade it for anything.  She is the most precious thing to watch as she falls asleep.  I’ve always been a heavy and fidgety sleeper, but wow, what a difference one month makes.  Now, I can fall asleep almost anywhere, and not move a muscle.  When she falls asleep on my chest, I’m awakened at her slightest movement.  The day will come when she will finally sleep in her crib.  For now, the rocker and the swing are in the living room, and I sleep on the couch to be next to her and so daddy can get some much needed rest in the bedroom.  

Number four – keep up with my Etsy business.  

This one cracks me up the most, partially because I heard so many people tell me that it would go on the back burner once baby girl was born.  In my head, I thought, “Pshaw, y’all are crazy!  I can keep up with it.”  What a joke!  I barely have enough time to package up orders, much less try to make anything!  The extra time that I normally would spend on my shop has now been replaced with nap time, which means a whole lot more right now.

Number five – get a good night’s sleep.  

This one is a work in progress, and obviously dictated by baby girl.  In the past week, she’s been sleeping for longer stretches at a time – three hours instead of two, four hours instead of three – so we’re on our way!  I still have to wake up to nurse/pump, but we’re all getting into a rhythm.  Sometimes, I try to get some sleep early in the evening and hubby stays up with her until she falls asleep, then I’m on duty when she wakes up.  

Last but not least, number six – not spend a fortune on unnecessary items.  

Seriously, when your baby is screaming bloody murder from the worst tummy ache, you will spend whatever you have to so she can get some relief.  We literally tried every single option available over the counter, plus made a special trip to the pediatrician to see if something was seriously wrong (thankfully, there wasn’t).  That’s been the worst of it, thankfully.  

On another note, I’ve found myself buying extras of everything.  I remember at one point during my pregnancy that we had four burp cloths on hand, and thinking that was enough.  Now, I think we’re up to at least 12.  I need to figure out a way to just clip one onto my hip to have on hand all the time.  We also had 12 bottles on hand before she came home from the hospital.  That number is now at 18 because we go through them all the time!  The last thing I feel like doing at 3 in the morning is washing bottles.  Extras on a few important things have definitely proven to be worth it.

So, that’s been my experience after just one month.  I haven’t even covered the physical aspects of just delivering a baby (we may save that for a future post), but that’s no picnic, either.  I also never expected to read so much about babies in such a short period of time, too.  (Google has been a great resource!)  

Seriously, I was not prepared for everything that comes with a baby, but I wouldn’t trade it for anything.  Hubby and I have a love for our sweet baby girl that knows no limits, and we’re savoring every day we have with her.

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