Let’s be real for a second here: diaper duty is probably the most miserable part of parenting, and that’s putting it lightly!
Not only do you grow to hate it because of how repetitive it becomes (expect to change your newborn’s diapers up to 12 times a day), but when you factor in all the messes and nasty odors, it becomes obvious why it’s no fun to anybody.
With that being said, the good news is that it doesn’t all have to be that miserable and gloomy! Nowadays, there’s a wide range of products that can make diapering way easier, and baby changing pads are at the center of that.
As a matter of fact, no diapering station is complete without a changing pad. It’s not only a necessary addition for your little one’s comfort during diaper duty, it’s also a necessary addition for their safety as well.
But first, here’s a quick look at our list of favorite infant changing pads of today:
Best Changing Pads – a Quick Look at Our Top 9 Recommendations
Note: When clicking on any of the below links, you’ll go to the product listing pages on Amazon, where you can read further information, see current prices and read customer reviews.
- Skip Hop Changing Pad
- Comfy Cubs Baby Portable & Travel Changing Pad
- Naturepedic 2-Sided Contoured Changing Pad
- LA Baby Waterproof 4 Sided Cocoon Style Changing Pad
- Keekaroo Peanut Changer
- PooPoose Wiggle Free Diaper Changing Pad/ Changing Table Pad
- Hatch Baby Grow Smart Changing Pad and Scale
- SnoofyBee Portable Clean Hands 3-in-1 Changing Pad
- Munchkin Arm and Hammer Disposable Changing Pad
Best Changing Pads – a More Detailed Look at Our Top 9 Recommendations
To make sure you keep your little bundle of joy comfortable and safe during those countless diaper changes to come, consider adding anyone of these best changing pads to your baby registry!
Skip Hop Changing Pad
This waterproof diaper changing pad can support babies up to 30 lbs in weight, and does not absorb any liquids or smells.
The changing mat has a safety belt you should put to use for your toddler’s safety, and it also has a non-skid base that gives it a fairly secure grip and prevents the table topper changing pad from moving.
Since it’s PVC-free & Phthalate-free, it’s an excellent non toxic choice if you’re looking to stay away from known culprits such as vinyl.
It’s especially a God send for parents with babies who get messy during diaper changes and can’t hold it in until you’re done. It’s ridiculously easy to clean, and there’s no hassle at all since you won’t need to wash the pad each and everytime your little one decides to test what it can handle.
Just lift your baby up, wipe the changing mat down in a matter of a few seconds with a disinfectant wipe, and it’s as good as new again. No doing any laundry is needed, and certainly no worrying about using any liners is needed.
So, the next time your baby shoots pee or poop everywhere during a diaper change, who cares!
Also, and because it’s waterproof, you won’t have to worry about buying a changing pad cover to keep it protected from your poop and pee. With that being said, I always like to take extra measures myself to stay on the safe side of things, so it definitely doesn’t hurt to add a changing pad cover on top.
It’s also super comfy, and your baby won’t feel cold or hot when having their nappies changed, which is another reason why you might not need a changing pad cover on it.
I personally love how it gives nurseries a modern and unique look, which is a breath of fresh air in case you’re tired of all the other changing pads that all look the same.
Last but not least, I love the baby mobile on top that’s there to keep your little munchkin distracted and entertained during diaper changes – it comes in handy more than you might imagine!
Know that this is not a cheap changing pad, though. If you’re on a tight budget and really need something cheap that can get the job done for you until you can afford to get a higher quality one, this isn’t cheap!
Also, if you plan on using this on top of a changing table or dresser changing topper you have at home, make sure you measure first and get the sizing & dimensions right first. It can be a bit too long or too wide for some changing tables and dressers, so make sure you get your measurements right first!
Comfy Cubs Baby Portable & Travel Changing Pad
This option from Comfy Cubs is a portable changing mat that’s ridiculously easy to carry around. It’s lightweight and is excellent for travel purposes.
You can keep your baby clean and comfortable wherever you go, and forget about those diaper changes in public changing rooms with poor hygiene!
It’s very easy to fold up and place in a diaper bag, too. It’s compact when folded, and is excellent for preserving storage space in your diaper bag for other essentials.
It folds into a clutch so it’s not obvious that it’s a changing pad if you don’t want it to be so blunt when in public.
Regarding budgets, it’s very affordable when compared to other high-end changing pads out there. For what you’re paying and what you’re getting, it’s definitely worth the investment in my opinion.
Because it’s available in a gender neutral color, look and feel, it can be used by both moms and dads alike.
It makes for an excellent and convenient baby shower gift, especially for a friend or relative you know will be traveling a whole lot with their baby and wants something to constantly use in an airport or airplane bathroom.
Thanks to the slight padding it has, it helps your baby feel more comfortable and warmer than other thin changing pads when lying on the floor, especially when lying on hardwood floor.
If you’re trying to protect your baby’s back from the cold floors of dirty travel changing stations or the cold floor in your house, this can be an excellent addition to your diapering toolkit.
One potential drawback to note, though, is that if it gets dirty with your baby’s pee or poop, you can’t just wipe it clean with a sanitized wipe. Instead, you’ll have to place it in the washer to get cleaned, since it doesn’t have a plastic or smooth rubber side for ease of cleaning.
Naturepedic 2-Sided Contoured Changing Pad
This changing pad that’s made from food-grade polyethylene, organic cotton fill, and organic cotton fabric with food-grade polyethylene waterproofing is an excellent choice for parents who want to avoid harmful chemicals.
It doesn’t contain any latex, soy, GMOs, vinyl/PVC, phthalates, formaldehyde, flame retardants, or perfluorinated compounds (PFCs).
It’s made without polyurethane foam, it’s certified to the organic and non-toxic Global Organic Textile Standard (GOTS), and it meets or exceeds the GREENGUARD Gold emissions standard and the UL/GREENGUARD Formaldehyde Free Standard.
There’s two different options available for you to choose from: a 2-sided pad and a 4-sided pad. The 4-sided pad is more likely to be the right choice for you if you’ve had unpleasant experiences with your baby’s surprises during a diaper change before and want to contain their pee until you manage to finish putting their new diaper on.
It doesn’t come at a cheap price tag, that’s for sure, but it’s definitely worth the investment if you’re adamant on getting an organic changing pad for your baby.
It feels cushy and keeps your baby comfortable, which is what you should expect from an organic option of its caliber.
If your baby ever makes a mess on it mid-diaper change, then no problem at all – you can very easily wipe it off and keep going with what you were doing. This is thanks to the waterproof cover that prevents the pad from soaking up liquids.
As far as durability is concerned, you should notice very few (if any) signs of wear and tear, even after several years of use. Of course, it goes without saying that you’ll want to handle it gently and take good care of it if you want it to last!
A safety buckle is there for you to use to keep your baby in place, just in case you have a squirmy child that refuses to sit still and is adamant on making your life way more difficult than it already is changing 10 to 12 diapers a day.
Oh and, speaking of a squirmy child, if you have a baby that likes to roll around while you desperately try to bring changing time to a wrap, the contoured sides will greatly help minimize all that annoying rolling – unlike what happens when you’re working on a flat changing pad.
LA Baby Waterproof 4 Sided Cocoon Style Changing Pad
This 4 sided Cocoon style changing pad that’s designed for babies 1 month of age and up has 4″ high sides that were specifically designed to contain your baby and keep them as safe as possible.
For those of you extra cautious about your baby’s safety and want something that can give you peace of mind, this is an excellent choice to consider.
There’s a safety harness that comes with a quick release buckle you can use for your baby, and the pad includes two security straps in the backside which you can attach to the back of the dresser to keep it in place so it won’t slide around. That way, you can ensure the changing pad is holding well on your changing table or dresser top.
Having 4 sides is perfect if you change your wiggly kid on top of a dresser as your changing table, since you usually don’t have a frame to surround your baby changing pad there. It beautifully fits on top of a dresser.
It’s not just an added sense of security for you, the parent, but it’s also an added sense of security and safety for your baby as well. They’ll feel exceptionally safe with 4 sides around them, compared to other changing mats that are plain out flat.
It has a non-skid bottom (non slip pad) that also does a great job at keeping it in place and prevents it from sliding while you’re attending to diaper duty.
Despite that, if you have it on your dresser drawer top, you might want to go the extra mile for your baby’s safety and put some sort of rubber mat to further ensure it doesn’t slide down. This whole sliding issue is especially something you need to worry about if you have the changing pad placed on smooth wood surface.
One thing to note as a potential drawback to this product is that because of the holes it has, it might be a bit difficult to get entirely clean at times, but that can easily be countered and eliminated by using a changing pad cover.
Keekaroo Peanut Changer
This pad made from medical and school tested material is JPMA 2.0 certified, latex-free, PVC-free, BPA-free, Phthalate-free and Formamide-free. So, if you’re looking for a non-toxic choice, this is another excellent option to consider.
It can hold babies up to 30 lbs in weight, and is somewhat heavy, which is a bonus point since that gives it added stability to stay in place despite wiggly babies trying to escape their diaper change.
It’s not too heavy, though, so there’s nothing to worry about if you want to move it around the house from one room to another.
You won’t need to use any cloth covers to protect it from damage. Whenever it gets dirty from your baby’s blessings (yeah right!), a simple and quick wipe down is all it needs. There’s no need for you to worry about doing any laundry, washing it, getting a changing pad liner or using changing pad covers with it.
Also, unlike lots of other infant changing pads out there, the safety strap that comes with this one is actually very effective in keeping your little Houdini in place.
It’s not like one of those many other flimsy safety straps that your baby eventually learns how to break through. On the contrary, your little trouble maker eventually succumbs to the strap and learns to stay in place.
There’s also no need to worry about your baby’s back and bottom getting cold when lying on it, since it’s made from soft rubber texture and not hard plastic. If your baby ever feels cold when laying there without any clothes, you can always place a cloth towel in between their body and the pad as a warmth barrier.
One potential drawback, though, is that it’s not the most portable. It only weighs around 7 pounds, so it shouldn’t be all that big of a deal to move around, but not everyone’s going to like moving it around from one room to another.
So, you might want to buy multiple units from it and place them in different rooms, especially if you have an upstairs space and downstairs quarters.
Also, even though you don’t really need to use a changing pad cover on this one, it’s best that you still do get and use one on it. Remember that it’s not cheap, and if your baby has a nasty accident or blowout, their poop could end up staining the foam. That won’t look nice and you surely won’t be happy about it!
Lastly, it’s a bit bigger than usual baby diaper changing pads, but that’s to your advantage because you’ll still be able to use it as your baby grows and gets bigger themselves.
PooPoose Wiggle Free Diaper Changing Pad/ Changing Table Pad
This pad contains a swaddle-like strap that’s there to keep your baby wiggle free (hence the name) by calming them and keeping them in place till you finish changing their diaper.
The strap is super soft, unlike other products that have annoying straps which send your baby into endless crying mode because of how uncomfortable they are, all of which helps you finish your task smoothly.
Not to mention that the straps actually work and are effective at what they’re supposed to do, unlike straps on mainstream changing pads which you can’t trust these days.
This pad grows with your baby, so it’s suitable to use starting from the newborn phase, all the way through the toddler stages, thanks to the removable hook and loop strap that’s there and adjusts to fit babies of different ages.
A word of caution, though: Expect your baby to put in a bit of a fight the first time (or first couple of times) you use the soft strap to keep them in place.
However, that’ll all sort itself sooner rather than later as your baby gets used to it and understands that they’re safe and sound and can’t really get out of it no matter how hard they try.
It’s only normal that they won’t enjoy being strapped in, but it’s for their own good and it all sorts itself in no time with patience and consistency.
As a matter of fact, over time and as your baby gets used to it, you might find that you don’t even need to use the straps anymore to keep them in place, as they just lay there without doing much.
There comes a point where your baby believes they can’t even move around when on the pad, at which point you might not even need to close the strap anymore.
Speaking of the strap, over the years and after taking customer feedback into serious consideration, PooPoose have introduced a new and improved strap design with velcro that’s so strong it’s virtually impossible for any baby to break through.
This much needed improvement came after customer feedback from parents about their babies being able to break their way through the straps by hand.
As of this writing, if anything happened to your strap and you need a replacement, or wear and tear simply got to it with the months and years, you can buy replacement straps on their own.
It would have been awesome had the package you originally buy with the changing pad itself contained replacement straps to keep you covered for the future, but that’s unfortunately not the case.
Note that even though there are safety straps meant to keep your baby in place, please don’t walk away and leave your baby unattended, even if only for a few seconds.
Many parents are guilty of doing this, but you can’t completely rely on these straps. Babies should not be left alone and unattended when having their diapers changed, not even for a few seconds.
Hatch Baby Grow Smart Changing Pad and Scale
This smart changing pad is not only suitable for diaper duty, it’s also a baby weight scale you can use to keep track of your baby’s weight in between doctor visits, as well as keep track of how much your baby is drinking in each feeding session.
That way, you (theoretically) won’t need to buy a baby scale on its own, and you’ll have a 2-in-1 baby weight scale and changing pad you can use for both purposes in a single product.
The scale can automatically sync to the Hatch Baby App, where you can record details about your nursing sessions, sleep, how much milk you pump, and more.
Now, is this the greatest invention since sliced bread? Not really.
Generally, I’m not a huge fan of 2-in-1’s, 3-in-1’s, 4-in-1’s, etc … You get the picture! I believe in products that stick to their own lane and master one purpose.
If you’re buying this mainly for the scale, you might be in for a disappointment because of how inaccurate it can be at times.
So, even though it’s an awesome idea to have a baby weight scale and changing pad in the same product, I say you’d be better off buying a changing pad purely for changing your baby’s diapers, and buying a baby scale purely for tracking and logging their weight.
When it comes to tracking your baby’s weight, you really can’t afford any margin for error, and every single ounce a scale gets wrong can have grave consequences. You can especially expect inaccurate weight if you have a wiggly baby.
Last but not least, it’s obviously not the cheapest. You’re paying a premium price because you’re getting a scale and changing pad in one product, after all!
SnoofyBee Portable Clean Hands 3-in-1 Changing Pad
The SnofyBee is a 100% Polyester diaper clutch that comes with a water-resistant changing pad.
One of its strongest advantages is that it’s very compact. You can easily fold it and place it in your diaper bag, and it barely takes any space inside, leaving room for other important essentials you want to store as well.
When it comes time for a diaper change, the sides fold up to create a barrier on your baby’s midsection, between their upper body and lower body (where the diaper is).
This shield not only keeps your baby clean, it also keeps them entertained during the diaper change, as you can clip toys on to the rings.
All of this is especially useful when changing your baby’s diaper away from home, where you could really use all the help you can get, and will want to wrap it up in as little time as possible!
It’s also probably the best changing pads for babies with special needs, especially babies with tubes coming out of their bodies. For parents with babies that have a feeding tube, this is a God send. The adjustable barrier (or shield) prevents the baby from pulling on their feeding tube during diaper changes.
It’s not just a suitable option for babies with special needs, though. It’s a wonderful and thoughtful baby shower gift for any pregnant friend you know who’s already dreading cleaning her baby’s hands from diaper messes.
Thanks to the barrier, there’s no more fighting to keep your baby’s hands clean and out of the way. If you’ve ever tried tucking your baby’s arms with clothes or whatever, you know it’s not that simple and it doesn’t work like that!
All of this is especially useful if you have to apply ointment or diaper rash cream when changing your baby’s diapers, as you definitely don’t want them to scratch those areas and get that product all over their hands.
With all that being said, it would have been awesome had there been different sized cones you could choose from and install on the SnofyBee, so that it really continues to grow with your baby.
If you’re getting this for an infant, you’ll probably be more than fine, but once the months go by and you can really see how much your baby has grown, you’ll probably start to realize how useful it would have been had the cone been bigger.
Munchkin Arm and Hammer Disposable Changing Pad
If you don’t fancy having a reusable changing pad, these are the perfect alternatives!
These paper disposable changing pads should be able to cover entire changing tables, with no exposed spaces you have to worry about covering up to avoid unwanted damage from accidents. With these, you have something nice and clean to put under your baby in public spaces when changing their diaper.
They’re an excellent choice for on the go use, or at home if your main changing pad is in the laundry or you simply can’t do laundry at the time.
Keep a few in your diaper bag at all times, they’re super useful and barely take any space! You can even place these on top of your changing pad covers. That way, and in case your changing pad cover isn’t waterproof, there’s no need for you to do any laundry.
You should have no problem at all throwing them in your diaper trash can and worrying about causing a smell, since they come infused with baking soda for odor protection. This makes them excellent for use when you have no other choice but to attend to diaper duty in public restrooms or changing tables.
If you ever find yourself changing your baby’s diaper at a relative’s house and they don’t have trash cans specifically designated for baby diapers because their kids are not being diapered anymore, the baking soda liner in these pads is there to neutralize those nasty odors when you wrap the diaper in the pad.
Seeing that they’re disposable pads and not reusables, they’re thicker than you would expect, and I love that they don’t stick to your baby’s bottom.
Even though they’re disposable changing pads, you don’t necessarily have to dispose of each one right after a single use. If it doesn’t get dirty and it’s still clean, you can reuse it one or a few more times. If you’re extra careful with each disposable pad, a single unit might even be able to last you the entire day!
If your baby doesn’t make a mess on them, fold them up again, pack them back in your diaper bag, and use them again later.
They’re also very lightweight, and that’s super important because you don’t need your diaper bag to be any heavier than it already is with all the items you already have stored inside. They are way lighter than reusable changing pads and take less space, both of which are crucial for many parents.
Obviously enough, though, since these are disposables, they aren’t eco-friendly. With that being said, we’ll reiterate that each pad can very well last you a few uses until you have to throw it away and use a new one.
You really have to consider the price you’ll end up paying for these over the long haul, though. For some parents, it just doesn’t make any sense and there’s no justifying it instead of going with a reusable pad.
If you use them for a newborn baby that needs to have their diaper changed up to 10 or 12 times a day, for example, they could obviously get too pricey.
Do I Really Have to Buy a Baby Changing Pad?
Assuming you want to make diapering duty as easy as possible on yourself and as safe as possible for your baby, then yes, a changing pad is a must-have.
Again, remember that you’ll be changing your baby’s diapers up to 12 times a day, which means thousands of diaper changes in only their first year alone!
However, the good news is that you don’t always have to purchase a changing pad on your own. If you’ve already bought a diaper bag, then many diaper bag manufacturers already include a changing pad with that.
If the mommy bag you bought doesn’t contain a changing pad, though, or the one it has isn’t quality enough, then it’s really best that you buy a standalone one instead.
When Should I Start Using Changing Pads?
You should pretty much have one (or a few) ready right from the start, before you give birth to your baby.
You’re going to putting diapers on your baby as soon as they’re 1 day of age, so register for changing pads as part of your baby registry and have them ready from day 1!
Why Do I Need A Changing Pad?
So, why is it exactly that you need a changing pad for your baby’s diapering needs? Here’s a list of the most important reasons.
Not Having to Get a Changing Table
Don’t want to spend a good amount of money on buying a diaper changing table? No problem! If you have a dresser at home, you can easily turn that into a changing table by placing a changing pad on top of it.
No Access to a Diapering Station
Oftentimes, you need to change your baby’s diaper without having access to your go-to diapering station. You can ask your baby to wait for you to get back home before they have to do what they have to do, but I’m not too sure they’ll wait!
Whether you’re at home or outside the house when that happens, it’s completely fine – if you have a changing pad!
Whether you have to change your baby on the floor or find yourself having to attend to diaper duty in a public restroom, just put the changing pad wherever you need to, lay your baby on top of it, and you’re good to go!
Otherwise, you’re likely to find yourself having to change your baby in disgusting and unsanitary conditions if you don’t have a clean changing pad you could lay them on.
Preventing Unfixable Damage
Ever considered changing your baby’s diaper on your couch or expensive bed cover without a changing pad? That’s a terrible idea!
All it takes is just one poop blowout and soiled diaper to cause a stain that might be near impossible to get out, not to mention a smell that’s going to be a nightmare to get rid of as well.
If you’re using a changing pad cover at the time, then who cares? It barely costs anything to get a replacement!
What About Disposable Changing Pads?
Depending on where you are at the time, some places may offer you a disposable changing pad to use for diaper duty.
Whether that’s a shopping mall, a restaurant, gas station or any other business that offers you disposable changing pads to use, you should really pass on it. They’re just not anywhere near as good as the ones you could purchase on your own.
Most importantly, they don’t offer enough security features to keep your little one safe during changes. They’re usually not sturdy enough, and they usually don’t have security straps to keep your baby locked in place and prevent them from rolling over.
So, don’t count on being offered disposable infant changing pads to use – bring your own ones that offer you piece of mind!
What Should I Look For In Changing Pads?
There’s loads of different changing pads you could choose from today, so how do you know which one of those countless options is the right choice for you?
We’ve put together a list of the most important features and criteria you should look for in any diaper changing pad you want to buy.
First things first, ensure that any changing pad you choose has a proper fit.
Not only should your baby lay on it comfortable with none of their body parts stretched outside because it’s not lengthy or wide enough, but it should also fit your changing table (or wherever you plan placing it to use).
If you’re planning to take the changing pad with you to use outside the house (as is most often the case), you should look for something specifically designed for all your portable diaper changing needs.
A portable baby changing pad will fold nicely, and can be placed in a diaper bag without taking up too much space.
Any changing pad that you buy should have safety features set in place.
Mainly, you’ll want to look for ones that come with safety straps to lock your little one in place and prevent any unwanted movement that could result in dangerous falls.
In case the changing pad you’re considering getting doesn’t have safety straps in place and you’re really adamant on buying it, at least ensure that it has a non-skid base.
This one isn’t always a necessity, but is a very welcome addition if you’re trying to keep your sanity – ask me!
Look for waterproof changing pads, because you never know what your baby has in store for you before you’re done putting that new diaper on them.
If you’ve got a waterproof changing pad, all it’s going to take is a few seconds before you can wipe it clean and it’s as good as new again.
What Types of Changing Pads Can I Choose From?
There’s different types of changing pads you could choose from, depending on your needs and priorities.
Standard Changing Pad
This is the most common type we all know and use, most commonly placed and used on top of changing tables and dressers. They can be reused over and over again until you need to buy a replacement because of wear and tear.
Travel Changing Pad
Unlike standard changing pads that are too bulky to pack inside diaper bags and take with you, travel changing pads are lightweight, foldable and specifically designed to fit in diaper bags while taking up as little space as possible.
These are perfect for whenever you have to change your baby away from home.
Disposable Changing Pad
If the thought of having a single changing pad you could reuse over and over again until it’s no longer in decent physical condition doesn’t appeal to you, perhaps because of all the washing and cleaning involved, then you might want to consider disposable ones instead.
These are usually good for a few uses before you need to throw the disposable pad away in the trash and use a new one.
How Many Changing Pads Should I Get?
Ideally, you should have at least 3 changing pads at your disposal at any given time: A portable one to pack in your diaper bag whenever you head out of the house with your baby, one meant to stay at home for diaper duty at the house, and one spare changing pad in case anything goes wrong so you’re not in for any unpleasant surprises.
Wrapping it Up
Don’t expect your baby to feel bad for you because you’ve had a long and tiring day … On the contrary, expect a diaper explosion when you genuinely feel like you can’t handle life anymore!
Thankfully though, with any one of the best changing pads available nowadays, you’ll be ready for anything. Poop explosion, pee galore – bring it on!
No matter what your priorities are – whether you’re looking for something eco-friendly, the safest out there, a pad that keeps your wiggly baby in place, something specifically designed for travel purposes, or even a smart changing pad – there’s something suitable out there for everybody!