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The best changing pads

  • While some parents might not think a changing pad is a necessity, you'll likely want to place your baby on something soft and secure for diaper changes.
  • Like all things baby, changing pads come in different sizes. Remember to measure your furniture to ensure the pad fits securely on top of your changing table or dresser.
  • Changing diapers is also messy, so you'll want something that can catch accidents and clean up in seconds.
  • The Summer Infant Contour Changing Pad is our top pick because it's affordable, durable, and securely fits most changing tables and dresser tops.

When it comes to changing your baby's diaper, there are a few essentials you need to make it safe and secure. A changing pad is one of them.

Changing pads come in different shapes, but generally, resemble rectangular foam mattresses with deep sides. You attach them to a changing table or dresser or place them on the bed or floor when changing a diaper. You then secure your baby or toddler on the pad.

A changing pad is a necessity, not only because it's soft and secure for your baby, but also because changing diapers is messy. You'll want something that can catch accidents and clean up in seconds.

Like all things baby, changing pads come in different sizes, materials, and prices. Keep size in mind and measure your furniture to ensure the cover is the same size as the pad. Additionally, some changing pads are water-resistant but still need a cover. Others are waterproof and don't require protection.

When I considered changing pads for this guide, I evaluated each one based on material, design, ease of cleaning, and cost. I analyzed hundreds of reviews, spoke to other moms, and used my personal experience to select the best changing pads.

Here are the best changing pads:

Updated on 10/1/2020 to edit prices, links, add links to related buying guides, and remove references to third-party reviews because we're found them to be unreliable in the past.

The best overall
Summer Infant changing pad

The Summer Infant Contour Changing Pad is our top pick for an affordable yet durable changing pad. It securely fits most changing tables and dresser tops.

When it comes to choosing a high-quality, secure changing pad, the Summer Infant Contour Changing Pad is our top pick. At under $20, it delivers across the board.

The pad has walled sides and a safety belt (with a quick-release buckle) to prevent rolling and falls. In addition, there is a security strap and non-slip bottom to keep it stable on furniture. I attached mine to a dresser top, and since the pad measures 32 inches by 16 inches by 3.5 inches, it will fit safely on most changing tables.

The Summer Infant Contour Changing Pad has a double-layered, chlorine-free vinyl cover that is waterproof and a polyurethane form core. While this pad can be used without a cover, some Amazon reviewers note that tiny holes can form in the vinyl, making it difficult to clean. You'll want to consider purchasing machine washable liners to avoid this issue. I covered mine with the Summer Infant Ultra Plush Changing Pad Cover and always kept a few on hand for accidents. 

Pros: Budget-friendly, fits most changing tables, secures to furniture

Cons: Tiny holes in cover may collect germs

The best portable changing pad
Skip Hop bag

The Skip Hop Pronto Portable Changing Mat is ultra-convenient, easy to clean, and great for travel.

I've seen this portable pad on numerous baby registries and for good reason. Whenever you take your baby out of the house, chances are a diaper change will be needed somewhere along the way.

The Skip Hop Pronto Signature Portable Changing Mat is built for diaper changes on the go. When folded up into a clutch, it measures 11.75 inches by 8.25 inches by 4 inches and has a carry strap as well as a clip that can be attached to a stroller or purse. Or you can slip this mat into a larger diaper bag or tote. It's also convenient to keep in your car for emergencies.

Unfolded, the mat measures 23.5 inches by 21.75 inches. It includes a cushioned area at the top to ensure the baby's head is supported when changing on harder surfaces. To remove the pad, simply unzip it from the clutch portion. You can wipe the polyester material clean with a damp cloth, let it air-dry, then fold it back up.

This is more than a changing pad though. The Skip Hop Pronto doubles as a mini diaper bag with an interior mesh pocket that comfortably holds four diapers plus cream and wipes (plastic wipe holder included). If you choose to remove the changing pad, you'll have more room to carry additional items.

The quality of the bag is excellent too. I used mine for a few years between two babies, and it held up nicely. 

Pros: Complete changing station, removable pad, multiple carrying options

Cons: A bit bulky

The best with four sides
LA Baby changing pad

The LA Baby Waterproof 4-Sided Cocoon Style Changing Pad offers extra security and comfort.

Anytime you change a baby on top of a piece of furniture, you run the risk of an accidental roll-off. The LA Baby 4-Sided Cocoon Style Changing Pad has deep 4-inch sides and a safety harness to keep wiggly babies comfortably and safely in place during diaper changes.

Designed for babies one month and older (the deep sides are not safe for newborns), this pad measures 30 inches by 16 inches by 4 inches and can be easily mounted to most standard-size changing tables and dresser tops.

While this pad has a non-skid bottom, it may still slide on smooth surfaces. It's recommended that you secure it to whatever piece of furniture it is placed atop using the two attached tabs and provided screws. You will need to insert the screws into the back of your changing table or dresser, which may not be ideal for some users.

The nontoxic vinyl cover is waterproof and can be cleaned with soap and water. You can also purchase pad covers if you want an added layer of softness.

Pros: Four-sided for added security, easy to clean, fits most changing tables

Cons: Unsecure bottom

The best organic changing pad
Naturepedic changing pad

The Naturepedic 4-Sided Contoured Changing Pad With Organic Cotton is a nontoxic, hypoallergenic option that provides comfort and safety.

If you're looking for a changing pad made with organic cotton and without chemicals like flame retardants, the Naturepedic 4-Sided Contoured Changing Pad is our top pick. It has the Global Organic Textile Standard seal of approval and Green Guard certification. These certifications guarantee you're buying a nontoxic changing pad made with certified organic cotton.

The pad measures 31.5 inches by 16.5 inches by 4 inches and consists of three parts: an organic cotton covering with a coating of 100% food-grade polyethylene to provide waterproofing, an organic cotton filling, and a support layer of closed air pockets also made from 100% food-grade polyethylene. That's it — nothing more. This makes it an ideal choice for babies with sensitive skin or allergies.

The Naturepedic 4-Sided Contoured Changing Pad will fit standard changing tables. Like the other pads featured in this guide, it has safety features to keep baby secure while diapering, including a safety belt with a quick-release buckle and two snap screws to secure the pad to a changing table or dresser. The pad can be easily unsnapped and removed if you'd like to free up space on the top of your dresser or changing table, too.

The pad can be cleaned with a wet cloth and mild soap, but many parents want the convenience and added assurance of a cover, and Burt's Bees makes one that fits well. If you plan to use it without a cover, rest assured it will be gentle on your baby's skin.

Pros: Certified organic cotton, nontoxic, four-sided

Cons: Mattress may sag in the middle, no non-slip material on the bottom, expensive

The best easy-to-clean changing pad
Keekaroo changing pad

The Keekaroo Peanut Changer is super easy to clean, limits bacteria growth, and withstands a lot of wear and tear.

One essential consideration in purchasing a changing pad is how easy is it to clean. On average, you can change eight to 14 diapers per day for a newborn. The possibility of a mid-change blowout is real, so if you're looking for a changing pad that makes it easy to sop up messes, you'll love the Keekaroo Peanut Changer.

This changing pad has a peanut-shaped design that measures 32 inches by 17 inches by 4 inches. It comfortably cradles a baby and secures them with a quick-release buckle belt. Designed for hospitals, it is made from soft yet resilient polyurethane that is nontoxic.

The changing pad's outer shell is waterproof and can't be penetrated by fluids, making it harder for bacteria and mold to grow and ultimately adding to the pad's longevity. On top of that, you don't need to secure it to a changing table or dresser because it's slip-proof.

When you purchase a Keekaroo Peanut Changer, it comes with a five-year limited warranty and carries the Juvenile Products Manufacturers Association (JPMA) approval for safety. 

Pros: Easy to clean, durable, five-year limited warranty, available in four colors

Cons: Expensive, may stain

Check out our other guides to the best baby gear

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When your little one is screaming in the middle of the night for warm milk, having a baby bottle warmer will save your sanity, and hopefully, some sleep. Pop a bottle in one of these warmers, and you'll have a ready-to-go meal at an ideal temperature. 

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While swaddling does come with some controversy, it's hands-down one of the best ways to get a fussy baby to sleep. But like all baby products, swaddles come in all shapes and sizes, so we did the research to find the best for a variety of needs.

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Cloth diapers are easy to use, offer money-savings, and are nothing like the ones your grandma used to use. When you get down to finding the perfect cloth diaper, it comes down to four factors: cost, sustainability, absorbency, and cuteness (your baby has to look good, after all). 

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With the right stroller, you and your young one are ready for anything, from a quick trip to the store to a week-long overseas vacation. Whatever your needs may be, we've done the research and testing to find the best strollers you can buy.

Read the original article on Business Insider

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