I thoroughly enjoyed setting up my children’s nurseries and put a lot of thought into every piece of furniture I bought. But something I never had was an actual changing table.
If you found yourself here, you’re likely looking for changing table alternatives, and I have plenty of options.
I added a changing pad to the top of the dresser and secured it down so it couldn’t slide back and forth. While we had the space for a separate changing table, I didn’t see the need, especially since I wasn’t constantly changing my babies in their nurseries.
I don’t think it’s necessary unless you have no other secure place to change your baby.
Traditional changing tables are on the way out, as many alternatives have made themselves available. But which is the right one for you? While that’s up to you, I’ve listed my top 11 alternatives to changing tables to help make the decision easier.
If you’re on the fence about whether you need a changing table, here’s a look at several reasons why you might seek an alternative.
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Reasons You Might Want an Alternative to a Changing Table
There is so much baby gear on the market these days, and you quickly realize you don’t need it all. You likely are considering an alternative to a changing table because of the following:
- You require something that takes up less space in your home
- You need something for on-the-go changes
- You are looking for a safer option than a higher-up changing table
- Your child kicks and screams when on a changing table, and you want to simplify the process
- You want an inexpensive alternative to a traditional changing table
You may also not like the look of a changing table, which is an excellent reason. Therefore, I put together a thorough list of changing table alternatives to inspire you and narrow your choices.
11 Changing Table Alternatives
1. Pack-n-Play Changing Table Combination
My first pack-n-play had a changing table attachment, which came in handy when my son was an infant. It was a fantastic place to change my baby without feeling like I had to hunch over and likely pull a muscle.
A pack-n-play changing table combination allows you to change the baby and then lay them down in a secure place while you throw out the dirty diaper.
I also like that combination pack-n-plays offer a place to store diapers and other changing essentials, like diaper creams and baby wipes. In addition, a pack-n-play is always handy for naps or traveling.
- Extra accessories
- Requires more space
- Can be expensive
- Not ideal for toddlers
2. Portable Diaper Changing Pad
A portable diaper changing pad is an excellent, compact solution to a changing table that folds up, and you can put it in your diaper bag when not in use. In addition, some are machine washable, so you can feel like it’s thoroughly cleaned and disinfected, but always check the label before throwing it in the wash.
I had a few portable changing mats to keep on each floor, and I stuffed one under the couch, so I could easily pull it out when I needed to change my little ones. There also are pockets on most changing mats where you can stuff wipes and diaper cream. You can also easily attach to it your stroller or diaper bag if you are short on space.
- Takes up less space
- Folds for easy storage
- Not ideal for larger toddlers
- May show wear and tear
- Doesn’t have the height of a changing table
3. Padded Changing Pad
Using a changing pad was my go-to for my kids. I liked that I could secure it to the dresser or use it around the house. If you secure it to the dresser, I recommend buying an extra one to move around the house as needed.
Changing pads also have a buckle to secure wiggling babies, although you should never walk away from a baby on top of a dresser. I recommend buying a changing pad cover, so you can easily wash it, which I often did. In addition, ensure changing pads are on a solid surface to keep your baby safe and secure.
- Portable around the house
- Secure place for a diaper change
- Buckle for security
- Foam padding for comfort
- Non-skid bottom
- Not ideal for traveling
4. Foldable Changing Table
If you are short on space, a foldable changing table is an excellent alternative to a traditional changing table. A portable changing station allows you to quickly move it around the house while having a secure place to change diapers.
Many foldable changing tables come equipped with areas for diapers, wipes, and other essentials. In addition, the tables have adjustable legs so that you can find the perfect height for you. You can find foldable changing tables without storage compartments, and pick up a wicker basket to hold your diapers.
- Adjustable legs
- Water-resistant padding
- Storage areas
- Wheels for easy transport
- Weight limits can be restrictive
- Must remove compartments to fold
- Can be a hassle to move around
5. Crib and Changing Table Combo
A popular option among parents is a crib and changing table combo that combines a crib and changing table into one piece of furniture. If you need a crib, getting a 2-in-1 allows you to have both pieces conveniently next to each other. If you don’t want a large piece of furniture in the nursery, you can find changing tables that fit on top of the crib, similar to pack-n-plays.
- Doesn’t save on space
- Changing table might be too small
6. Wall-Mounted Changing Table
A wall-mounted changing table is an ideal alternative if you live in a small house or apartment. While you might think wall-mounted changing tables are just for public restrooms, think again. They easily attach to your wall and fold up when not in use, saving you tons of space.
If you don’t want the public restroom look in your nursery, you can paint the changing table or spruce it up a bit. Also, you can put it behind the bedroom door, so it isn’t as obvious. However, the wall-mounted changing tables are secure and have a high weight limit, which is ideal for larger toddlers.
- Space saver
- Sturdy and secure
- Higher weight limit
- Not aesthetically pleasing
- Requires attachment to the wall
- Not padded
7. Convert an Old Dresser into a Changing Table
If you like DIY projects, you can get creative and repurpose a dresser and transform it into a changing table. Using a dresser for a changing table is an excellent option if you aren’t limited in space but don’t want to use a traditional changing table. You can also use an old desk, which allows for more storage underneath.
You can put a cushioned changing pad on top of the dresser and add baskets on the side for diapers, wipes, diaper creams, etc. In addition, you can take out some of the drawers and use them as shelves for storage. I love DIY projects and feel making a changing table with a dresser allows you to get your creative juices flowing.
- You can use furniture you already own
- Offers a secure place to change diapers
- Requires time and manpower
- Supplies can get expensive
8. Changing Basket
One of my favorite alternatives to changing tables is a changing basket, which adds a lovely accent to the nursery while offering a secure place to change your baby’s diaper. A changing basket is ideal if you are short on space but still want a designated area to change your baby. You can also use the basket for tummy time, as the foam padding offers a comfortable place to lay.
The changing basket also has two handles, making it easy to move from one room to the next, although you should never use it to carry your baby. I also love that when your little one outgrows the basket, you can use it to store toys, diapers, clothes, or books.
- Waterproof cover pad
- Decorative and purposeful
- Pricier than other options
- Difficult to clean basket
9. Waterproof Diaper Pad
If you are looking for simplicity, you’ll appreciate the practicality of the waterproof diaper pad. While no-frills are involved, the diaper pad gives you want – a place to change your baby. It also rolls up and can fit easily in your diaper bag. I also think this is great if you are changing your baby in public and don’t want to lay them directly on the changing station.
It also comes in handy if you do a quick diaper change in the back of the car and don’t want to get anything on the interior. It’s also ideal for keeping in your stroller if you change your baby while out and about or at the playground.
- Space saver
- Easy to clean
- Reasonably priced
- No extra features
- Might be too simplistic for some
10. Baby Bag with Changing Station
The baby bag with changing station is genius, and I want to know where this has been all my (mom) life. The innovative backpack stretches to form an enclosed changing area (29.5” in length), complete with mesh sides so your baby can’t roll away. While it’s meant for on-the-go, there’s no reason why you can’t pull it out at home for a diaper change.
Like most baby backpacks, there is plenty of storage space, including a front pocket for bottles, a wipes pocket, multiple interior pockets, and a waterproof exterior surface. The great part of the baby bag is you can continue using it even after your baby is too big for the changing station feature.
- Fashionable backpack
- Tons of storage space
- Large interior capacity
- Aluminum-lined pocket to keep bottles warm
- Changing station not ideal for large babies
- Might be inconvenient for home use
11. Portable Diaper Changer
To wrap up the list of the perfect alternatives to changing tables is the portable diaper changer. Like other products, you can easily move it around your house, offering a secure, safe place to change your baby.
However, the lightweight diaper changer doesn’t fold up like others but does come with safety features like a buckle strap and anti-skid bottom. It also has a detachable toy bar to entertain your little one.
In addition, you can easily wipe down the diaper changer or spray it down in the sink. While you can’t fold it up, it’s thin enough to store easily without taking up space. I also appreciate that it can sit on top of a dresser, so you don’t have to hunch over while changing your baby.
- Easy to clean
- Security buckle strap
- Non-skid bottom
- Pricier option
- Doesn’t fold up
- Toy bar can get in the way of changing
Kelly is a mom of three who finds joy in writing about her parenting experiences and filling in others about the must-have products and the ones you can leave on the store shelf. With a bit of humor, Kelly tries to laugh off the messy side of parenting and, instead, focus on the beautiful moments it brings. Originally from South Florida, she now calls Northern Virginia home and looks forward to connecting with readers through The Place for Parents.