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Changing Unit (sorry if i am being dense...)

(31 Posts)
emmazed Mon 04-Jul-11 17:31:04


I went looking for changing units (ideally on top of a chest of drawers) over the weekend. apart from in John Lewis (which i didn't really like) the units we found were the exact same size as a changing mat.

surely as you need a bowl of water, clear & dirty cotton wool, nappy etc you need to put all of ths stuff somewhere (not on the mat where it will be kicked off). Am i being stupid to wonder where you are supposed to put all of that stuff? I dont want to have to buy something else to put that all on - it seems to make no sense, if you buy a changing unit surely you should be able to change a baby on top of it without needing any other furniture?

Anyone able to shed any light on this?


AllTheYoungDoods Mon 04-Jul-11 17:34:02

CAn't help as I've not yet changed a nappy blush, but am 20wks with DC no.1 and people keep muttering darkly at me about shelving...

Equally perplexed about the mucky stuff though.

Changing2011 Mon 04-Jul-11 17:34:10

just put a changing mat on top of your chest of drawers?

grubbalo Mon 04-Jul-11 17:36:26

You will get different answers to this but I have always thought that changing units are something designed to appeal to first time mums and which you then see loads of at NCT sales!! Like you I was always intending to use cotton wool and water.. and then found out baby poo is something else entirely and succumbed to wipes like all my friends (if you are keen to be green, you can get reusable wipes). So that gets rid of lots of the things you are talking about. Nappies you get quite good at chucking the right way up on the floor and then dropping dirty wipes etc on to (sorry I know that sounds gross).

The other disadvantage (as I see it) is that babies learn to roll much earlier than I had anticipated! I wouldn't have wanted to change either of mine on anything high up once they were older than about 3 months as I was paranoid I'd turn by back for 1 second and they'd roll off, so after that point it was changing them on a changing mat on the floor for me.

Like I say there will be other people who tell you that the changing unit they had was the best thing they ever bought.. but it wouldn't have been for me.

jetgirl Mon 04-Jul-11 17:41:14

Changing mat on the floor for me too. We actually used an old tv unit at first, the change mat fitted perfectly and there was space for cotton wool, bowl, nappies, etc. But I found the floor much easier.

catinthehat2 Mon 04-Jul-11 17:44:38

I used a normal chest of drawers & put bits & pieces on the windowsill until DC were too big. If they had been fighters/rollers, would have gone to floor level immediately

nicolamumof3 Mon 04-Jul-11 17:46:01

yep changing mat on floor and have a changing 'basket' set up downstairs too. i had mat which i chucked behind sofa, then in a lidded wicker basket i had wipes, cream nappy sacks spare vest and baby gro. All good to go without going upstairs unnecessarily.

piprabbit Mon 04-Jul-11 17:46:48

I found my changing unit invaluable for my newborns - giving birth does something to my back (I think it's all the stretchy ligaments etc.) which made leaning over very, very uncomfortable for a few months after birth (I'd kind of go into cramps trying to lean over and hold baby).

My changing unit had little caddies along the front for keeping all my cotton wool, water bowl etc. etc. in.

It also converted into a bath, which also helped me with bathing while my back was so bad.

However, as soon as my back was better and baby a bit bigger, it was changing mat on the floor time.

KaraJS Mon 04-Jul-11 18:00:59

For my first I had one which had little pocket things on the front for stuff like that, it also opened up to a bath, it wasn't like the ones you get now tho that are on top of a chest of draws tho it did have open storage sections under it

KaraJS Mon 04-Jul-11 18:02:29

Haven't bothered with one for the 2 nd or 3rd baby though, it's been mat on floor or baby on knee!

LeaveYourDignityAtTheDoor Mon 04-Jul-11 18:15:30

Never seen the appeal of changing tables or mats. Seemed a bit of a faff.

Have always changed my two on my knees.

VeryHungryKatypillar Mon 04-Jul-11 20:06:13

Changing units essential IMHO - and definitely if you end up with c-section. WRT the size of them being same as a changing mat, the bowl for water just sits on the mat, at the end near the feet. By the time baby is longer (at least with my tiddlers) you will be using wipes anyway.

We use the first drawer in the chest of drawers to hold all the cotton wool and nappies, but I guess you could also put the bowl of water in there too if big enough?

Have also bought a unit from IKEA (£25 bargain) for use downstairs - too lazy to go upstairs!

nannyl Mon 04-Jul-11 20:29:55

I love proper changing units (nannying) and wouldnt be without one.

While working the unit has always been next to another peice of furntiure or window sill etc, and we kept wipes, within reach on there. When they are small its fine, but yes when older (especially if mid tantrum through nit wanting nappy changed) they CAN kick it off, which is very very annoying if have tantruming child and half way through a really dirty nappy!

Am 30 weeks pg and plan to place mine next to the (taller) chest of drawers where i will keep some stuff and other stuff on he unit shelves. At home ill be using cloth nappies and wipes so will definitely need some sort of water container for my wipes!

buttonmoon78 Tue 05-Jul-11 07:51:49

I have a nice chest of drawers which is changing mat size plus about 6". That worked for me. I wouldn't spend money on a 'proper' changing unit, I'd go to Ikea (or similar) and get a similar chest of drawers for £80-100 which will long outlive a changing unit.

As someone else said, plain water is overrated as a poo cleanser. Unless it was our my dcs who had poos which set like cement in the time it takes superglue to dry... grin

Chandon Tue 05-Jul-11 07:56:25

bowl of water? grin

first baby, right grin

you'll be using the (non perfumed) wipes they sell everywhere soon enough, trust me...

GwendolineMaryLacey Tue 05-Jul-11 08:07:07

Yep, changing mat and basket full of crap nappies etc, one upstairs, one downstairs. My SIL has a big 'aul changing unit upstairs and forces herself, 3 children later, to schlep upstairs to change the youngest even though she admits it would be easier to do it downstairs. But she bought it so she Will Use It grin

Bartimaeus Tue 05-Jul-11 08:11:40

This reassures me! We're planning on an ordinary chest of drawers from Ikea, which we'll put a mat on. Then we'll buy some sort of plastic storage pouch things to fiw to the wall where I'll put wipes, cotton wool etc. etc. Clean nappies etc. will go in the top drawer.

Have only a vague idea how to actually change a nappy, am hoping it's something I'll learn at antenatal classes! If not, well I'll make it up as I go along...

WriterofDreams Tue 05-Jul-11 08:12:12

We bought a foldable changing table from Ikea that has pockets everywhere for all the bits and bobs. Tis great. Don't put it upstairs, you will only be up and and down up and down constantly. Mat on the floor upstairs for night changes and changing table downstairs for a million day changes.

WriterofDreams Tue 05-Jul-11 08:16:59

this is the one we got. Pricey but really really useful because it folds away and has a tonne of storage. DS is 6 months now I can safely leave him on it (only for a few seconds) as it is dipped so he can't roll over on it. In a few months it won't be as safe but we've got great use out of it and we'll hang on to it for future babies.

tunnocksteacake Tue 05-Jul-11 11:15:40

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

tunnocksteacake Tue 05-Jul-11 11:19:23

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

ThePippy Tue 05-Jul-11 11:52:53

I loved (still love) my changing unit, which is basically side rails that fit around the normal drawer unit (from M&P is this case although that is only because we got all nursery furniture 2nd hand - I think M&P are massively overpriced). My DD is still changed on it (when she isn't using the potty) and she is almost 2yrs. I find it so much easier on both my back and also on my ankles which I have problems with when I try to kneel on the floor. I also find that she instinctively knows now that rolling off it would hurt, whereas on the occasions I have changed her on the floor she very quickly manages to escape mid change and runs around exposing herself for all to see.

When she was small I used a small shelve that we installed above the changer to hold the things like water, cotton wool & cream etc. We have a nappy sack/stacker hanging off one side of the drawers in arms reach to grap a new nappy, and a sangentic nappy bin at the other side to quickly get rid of the dirty one while still keeping a hand on her. I found the shelf useful at it had a bar running along the underside which we dangled toys off to keep her amused and could also hook a new nappy of change of clothes over to be ready to use when we needed them.

I always like the fact that I had a place already set up to change my DD and while I understand some of the reasons people just change on the floor it would have driven me mad to have to keep getting everything out and putting it all away again, especially in the early months when changes are frequent and shall we say messy!! Maybe that is just me being OCD though - I do like to keep things tidy and have things in their right place.

ChunkyMonkeyMother Tue 05-Jul-11 11:54:50

We were given a Mamas and Papas changing unit - This was a detachable changing mat with little holders on the side, that stood on a detachable bath which in turn was on top of 2 shelves - One of the best things we were given by far! The bath even had a little pipe to empty it into the bath with no heavy lifting - the whole thing was on wheels as well which made it extra handy.

We used it to do the general changing as well as baths as we used cotton wool and water for the first 6 weeks - It was pretty universal as I am about 5ft3 and DH feels about 7ft is about 6ft 3 and we could both use it comfortably - The only problem came when my DS was about 3 months old and he fell off - It was immediately dissasembled and put away, scared me half to death!

We also bought a lovely chest of draws to match the cot bed which is now home to all of his cuddly toys etc - My advise, if you have the room then go for both, you will probably end up paying the same amount for both as you would for a baby changing set of draws type things - plus it gives you a much wider scope when it comes to room furniture.

MollysChamber Tue 05-Jul-11 11:59:02

I can also recommend the cheap ikea changing unit. They are good for saving your back but really not worth spending a lot of money on.

Marrow Tue 05-Jul-11 12:07:35

I wouldn't be without a changing unit. With DD we had a M & P one which I used until she was out of nappies. DS has a changing mat on top of a chest of drawers. I have a shelf above to store nappies and nappy sacks and a basket by his head with nappy cream, cotton wool etc.

There is no way my back would cope with having to change a baby on the floor. People worry about the baby rolling off the changing unit but you simply do not leave them on their own even for a second.

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