The Top Changing Table Safety Tips
Changing your baby's diaper is part of your daily, sometimes hourly, job description as a parent. In the first year of life, the average baby goes through around 2,500 diapers — which amounts to 2,500 trips to the changing table!
Most of the time, even when you’re bleary-eyed and uncaffeinated, your diaper-changing routine is predictable and doesn’t require too much thought or strategy. But that doesn't mean your time at the changing table isn’t without frustration — or in some cases, without significant risk. As parents or caretakers, we need to consider baby changing table safety.
Consider Baby Changing Table Safety — Accidents Are More Common Than You Think
While your routine trip to the changing table may seem like a mundane part of your daily routine, we must always be aware and practice changing table safety. In 2012, there were more than 5,000 ER visits due to changing table accidents. Most of these injuries were falls, which are a common form of injury especially for younger babies. For children under age one, falls account for more than half of non-fatal injuries.
Since infants have more fragile skulls, falling from a changing table can have fatal consequences with experts comparing babies falling a few feet to an adult falling several stories.
However, it’s no wonder our babies get squirmy on the changing table. While they’re still adjusting to the world around them, our curious and developing babies don’t always understand why they are at the changing table instead of playing with their toys or wrapped up in their blankets.
It’s amazing to see our little ones grow and learn about the world around them but our little ones' abundance of curiosity can easily translate to potential changing table injury. The attention of a responsible caretaker and a safe changing table setup can help prevent these accidents. Here’s a few ways we can easily stay on top of changing table safety.
Baby Changing Table Safety Tips
Baby changing table safety is something all parents or caretakers need to grasp early on. To help you protect your little one, we have compiled the top changing table safety tips to help ensure your baby is secure during diaper duty.
Use a Changing table safety rail and safety straps
Consumer Reports recommends caretakers opt for changing tables with barriers on all four sides. Taking every opportunity to reduce the risk to our littlest ones is important. As much as they like to roll and squirm around, the changing table is not the place for it. While we can’t prevent them from squirming, we can make sure they can’t roll themselves right off the table with a changing table safety rail.
In addition to barriers on each side of the table, most changing tables come with safety straps. Always keep at least one hand on your baby and use the changing table safety straps for extra security.
Keep Supplies Closeby
It may go without saying, but parents should never leave babies of any age unattended on a changing table — even to step away for a quick second! For how tiny they are, our babies can be incredibly quick when they want to be.
To make things easier for you or anyone else who may be changing diapers, keep an essential stock of supplies like diapers, wipes, and creams, closeby the changing table for quick and easy grabbing. The best changing tables have a shelf or drawers you can keep some supplies in while out of reach of curious little hands.
Keep Hazards Out of Reach
Never leave items within reach of the changing table that may be damaging to your baby. Set your changing table up away from other surfaces including windows which may have dangling cords. Then, check the area before laying your little down.
As we’ve mentioned some changing tables have a shelf or drawers you can keep supplies in while out of reach of curious little hands. But it is also important to keep wrappers from your changing supplies out of reach, which can cause deadly suffocation.
Once you use your baby changing products, don’t leave them out. Our babies put everything in their mouth and we don’t want your little one getting their hands on changing supplies or powders.
Use Distractions To Your Advantage
If you’ve ever changed a diaper, then you know an angry or squirmy baby can be near impossible to corral, even with all the precautions in the world. So you might have to employ a bit of forethought and creativity to keep your child from squirming off the table. Many parents swear by a changing table routine that your little one can get used to over time. Another solution? Buy yourself some cooperation with a distraction.
Have a special toy, song or baby diaper changing games that only comes out at the changing table to keep your baby occupied. You can come up with songs to sing or point to objects around the room to help build your baby’s awareness.
Another way to prevent “wrestling alligator syndrome” which can cause falls at the changing table is to try engaging your little one in some age appropriate and engaging content. Rather than handing your child your phone, which isn’t exactly without risk, try the wall mounted Diapertainment system.
You can slide your phone into the wall mount which is out of reach of baby hands and at the perfect viewing angle for your little one. It is an easy way to keep your baby calm while you swap diapers. Just hit play on high stimulus, baby-safe content from the Diapertainment content library and start changing.
Inspect Changing Table Furniture
Always buy your furniture from a reputable brand which has tested their products for safety. Then, regularly inspect your changing table, rail and straps for any signs of wear or tear. Like any piece of furniture, our changing tables can wear down over time. Especially, if they are a hand me down and have been used for many babies along the way.
Look to the manufacturer recommendations for any regular maintenance which is required and observe any weight limits for the table. Most manufacturers have a recommended age or weight limits on their products. Remember that any items you place on the changing table contribute this weight limit.
As parents, we want to keep our babies as safe as possible. However, with so many diaper changes we can sometimes forget about baby changing table safety. Make changing table safety second nature by always following these tips.