When You Should Stop Using Changing Table – Unsafe?

baby laying on bed

A changing table is a real blessing because it allows you to change diapers easily and usually within arm’s reach of everything you need close at hand. However, as your baby grows, you’ll soon realize that it starts getting harder to change your little one on the table. You need to do something about it.

Here’s when to stop using a changing table

The short answer is when the changing process becomes unsafe on the table. Unsafe instances include: baby weighs more than 30-pounds, is strong enough to sit up, or can no longer be held in place safely. This typically happens around the age of 6 months. Check also the manufacturer’s recommendations. 

When do babies outgrow a changing table?

Several physical signs indicate that your baby is outgrowing the changing table. Here are the most common signs. Below you’ll see many facts that surprised me as well.

Baby weight bigger than allowed

When your little one reaches the 30-pounds weight mark, they will be getting too heavy for the changing table. As your baby approaches this weight, it’s time to start making a new plan for the changing process. 

For example, the manufacturer of Dream On Me Emily Changing Table, one of the most popular changing tables, recommends a max weight of 30 pounds.

Size of the baby

The size of your baby can also be a contributing factor to the struggle on the changing table. If you have a big baby, it might be awkward to keep the baby safe on the table and reach the items needed. 

Check the size of the changing table to decide when your baby is too big for it. For example, the Dream On Me Emily Changing Table product’s pad is 34″ long x 18″ wide, so if your baby is longer than 34 inches, you’ll probably want to start thinking about stopping the usage of this table. By the way, you might be using another changing pad, e.g. a Keekaroo (which fits on this table).

Baby starts rolling and wants to leap off

As the baby gets older, usually around the 6-month mark, they start getting more active and are always moving around. Having an active baby who wants to roll around, leap off or try to sit up can make changing a struggle. 

What to do when baby is too big for changing table

When your little one becomes too big for the changing table, it will be time to make a new plan for changing diapers. You’ll have to start looking for alternative places to change your baby. 

Decision to make: keep using it or stop its usage

You’ll have a tough decision to make: do you want to continue using the table with some tricks to keep the baby safe and still? Or, do you want to stop using the table? 

How to keep baby on changing table until it’s not safe anymore

Entertaining the baby by giving a toy or singing a song

As your baby gets older, they start becoming more active. I know from experience how difficult it can be to try and change an active baby! One of the easiest ways to keep a baby safe is to keep the baby entertained. 

Sing a song and pull funny faces to keep your baby’s attention on you and not on moving around. A toy in your hands is also a great distraction! Or have a changing mat that comes with a toy dangling in front of your baby (e.g. the very popular one below from Skip Hop).

Keeping diapers, diaper caddy (items), diaper pail nearby so you have both your hands free to fight

An active baby requires both your hands to be as free as possible. To make it easier, rearrange your changing items to be closer to the changing table. Items such as diapers, diaper caddy, diaper pail, and creams and lotions close by will free up both your hands to fight the little one’s urge to jump off the table!

Reasons for trying to keep using a changing table

You might feel the changing table is still the best option. What are some of the reasons to keep using your changing table?

Better visibility for strays of poop on a white mat on a changing table

There’s no doubt about it. Diaper changing is a messy business. One of the advantages of a changing mat on a changing table is the ability to see stray poop wherever it lands! 

Changing your baby on the floor, couch or a colored blanket could potentially result in you missing a diaper spill. The white background of the mat or table goes a long way to assure you that you’ve cleaned it all up!

Gives You More Stability When Changing Diapers

Changing your baby’s diaper on a bed isn’t ideal because soft surfaces can cause your baby to roll around more. When you’re changing your little one’s diaper you need a flat stable surface to give you more stability during the task. 

Additionally, you can also use the changing table for placing all your diaper-changing items on it, such as creams and baby powder. Some changing tables come with drawers so you’ll have all your baby items in one place. 

When to get rid of a changing table

As I’ve mentioned before, this usually happens between the ages of 6 to 12 months. Alternatively, it also becomes harder to control your little one on a changing table (even with a strap) when they reach the 30-pound mark. Or your baby might be becoming quite active independently of the age and size of your child. 

Where to change diapers after stopping the usage of a changing table

If you’re going to stop using the changing table, it might feel like you’re giving up on something that took you months to perfect. Don’t worry, there are some other ways to keep the process going! 

Using a changing pad on the floor

The floor is a perfect place to change your little one if there are only small tables or counter spaces around you. After investing in one of the popular changing pads, e.g. Bumbo vs Keekaroo vs Skip Hop, you can keep using them, just this time on a safe and clear part of the floor. Always give your little one a toy to keep your hands busy!

Using the bath mat or a blanket as a changing mat

If you don’t have a separate changing mat, you might feel lost without your changing table. A bath mat or blanket is a great alternative to change the baby on. If you’re going to use a blanket, use one that won’t be difficult to clean if there are diaper spills! 

Changing on the couch or bed

A bed or couch is also a great place to change a diaper! Always put a changing pad, towel, or blanket under the baby to avoid diaper spills on the furniture! Never leave a little one unattended on a couch or bed as they might roll off. And as always, keep little hands busy with a trusted toy! 

Changing on the dresser with a changing mat

You can also change your little one on a dresser. As always, lay the baby on a changing mat, towel or blanket and keep a fluffy toy close by. 

Potty training

As the little one gets older, it will be time to start potty training. This comes with its own set of challenges, but it’s a positive step from the diaper-changing struggle! 

Potty training is much easier when you have some experience. If you’re new to the potty training situation, here’s a clip with a few useful hacks to help you along the way!

Wrap up

As much as your changing table makes the diaper changing process easier, it isn’t a forever thing! When it comes time to move away from the changing table, there are a few other options you can consider until you start potty training! 

Always use your changing mat, a towel, or blanket to lay your baby down on, no matter which surface you choose to change your little one’s diaper on. Moving away from the changing table doesn’t have to be a nightmare!

And what do you do with your changing table after you no longer need it? Well, if you have a multifunctional crib with a changing table, then you can use it for storage. Otherwise, you might want to give it away.

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