Last updated: August 6, 2021

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About 6,000 nappies are needed from the time a baby is born until he or she is dry. The changing table is therefore a frequently used place at the beginning of a child's life and should therefore be well and comfortably equipped.A changing mat offers your child a special comfort - he or she lies safely, warmly and softly on a mat and thus combines changing with a pleasant feeling.

The more comfortable your baby feels when being changed, the calmer the process will be. A changing mat is easy to clean and hard-wearing, which is why no nursery should be without one. In addition to a normal changing mat for the home, a changing mat that can be used on the go is also suitable, especially when travelling. This article will show you which changing mat is the right one for your baby and what you should consider when buying it.




The most important facts

  • A changing mat is not only a gentle protection for a baby, but also the surface of the changing table is protected. Thanks to the padded edges of the pad, changing can be done in peace without the baby falling off the changing table.
  • A suitable changing mat depends very much on the intended size and must be made of a gentle material that is easily tolerated by baby's skin. Thanks to a wide range of designs and colours, there are many variants of changing mats for home and away.
  • Depending on how and where the baby is to be changed, there are different types of changing mat. The price varies depending on the intended use, the quality of the materials and the features.

The Best Changing Pad: Our Choices

Buying and evaluation criteria for changing mats

Changing mats are available in many sizes, different models, designs and qualities. To help you find the perfect changing mat, we have compiled the most important buying criteria on which you should base your purchase decision. In each section you will find the most important information about the individual criteria. You should consider the following criteria before buying:

Size

The size of the changing mat depends very much on the changing place on which the mat is to be placed. If it is too small, it will slide around, if it is too big, it will protrude over the table. It is important to measure the changing table or similar before buying to determine the right size. The most common sizes are 70x70, 70x80 and 80x75, but many other sizes and special sizes are now available on request.

However, always keep in mind that it is more practical if the changing mat does not take up the entire area of the changing place. This leaves enough space for other changing utensils, such as nappies or wet wipes. So everything can be stored in one place and is immediately at hand.

Material

Most changing mats are made of plastic material. This ensures that little moisture can penetrate and good hygienic conditions are maintained. Changing units and changing tops are usually made of wood. A softly padded changing mat is therefore a must. Comfortable, padded foam with hygienic foil protection is suitable for this.

These are usually also water-repellent and washable. A soft cover made of either terry cloth or cotton is usually pulled over the changing mat. This means that it is not the changing mat that gets dirty first, but the cover, which can be cleaned quickly. When buying a changing mat, make sure that it is PVC-free. PVC is a thermoplastic material that contains harmful softeners that can dissolve on the changing mat. These substances should not come into contact with the baby's skin. Always look for the PP or PE label on the changing mat.

Colour

The colour and design of the changing mat is also important. There is now a large selection of different designs that enhance the look of the nursery and support the furnishings. Plain, plain models or colourful patterns with animal motifs, everything is represented. An exciting, playful pattern can help keep your baby occupied and calm during swaddling. Especially when they are lying on their tummy. For already restless babies, neutral beige tones or soft hues can give off a calming aura.

Purpose

Another important buying criterion is the intended purpose of the changing mat. Even though all changing mats have the same purpose, there are differences in how they are used. For example, some changing pads are to be used including at home in the nursery, while other parents want a mobile version that can be taken on the go.

If you are looking for a changing mat for home use, for example, there should always be a good Velcro fastener attached to the mat. This prevents the pad from slipping and allows it to be properly attached to the piece of furniture. Changing nappies is then much easier and the baby is better protected. Mobile changing mats are usually foldable and can easily be unfolded so that the baby can be changed comfortably anywhere.

The fabric is elastic and usually thinner for transport, which sometimes means that some hygiene sacrifices have to be made. But be careful: Here, too, please make absolutely sure that the child is lying safely.

Guide: Frequently asked questions about changing mats answered in detail

In the following section, we will answer the most important questions about changing mats. In doing so, we will help you to gain a deeper insight and better understanding of the topic.

What is a changing mat and what do I have to consider?

A changing mat is an elementary part of your baby's changing table. It is a soft surface on which you place your baby when changing him or her. It not only protects the baby, but also the changing surface. Sometimes, as a parent, you can't react quickly enough and your favourite piece of furniture is already dirty. Thanks to the pad, sensitive wood, for example, is optimally protected.

Wickelauflage

A baby is changed up to seven or more times a day. The changing area must be optimally and safely equipped. A changing mat is usually not included with the changing unit and must be purchased separately. (Image source: heymattallen/ Pixabay)

However, the most important thing is to protect the child. A baby must be able to lie on a changing mat safely and in a way that protects its back. It is therefore important that a changing mat fits the size of the child and the size of the changing table. It must be free of harmful substances and easy to clean.

A changing mat is a fantastic way to make changing your baby as comfortable as possible. He lies safe and warm and associates the necessary changing of nappies with something nice and soothing. At the same time, most changing mats protect your baby from falling off the changing table with raised side edges. On the road, a changing mat ensures more hygiene on public changing tables.

What types of changing mats are there?

Changing mats come in different varieties, depending on the needs of you and your baby:

  • Lengthwise changing: There are changing mats for lengthwise diapering. This is the best-known type of changing mat. The baby lies with its legs facing the parents and can make eye contact. The changing mat is raised on three sides and protects the baby from falling off. The sides are additionally padded.
  • Transverse swaddling: Changing mats for transverse changing are more suitable for narrow changing tables. The changing mat is wedge-shaped and has a hollow in the middle. The baby can be placed in the hollow, across from the parents. This is suitable for very active babies, who are particularly well protected from rolling out.
  • For on the go: A mobile changing mat offers the possibility of comfort and hygiene on the go. It folds or rolls up easily and folds and unfolds quickly, making it easy to change the baby no matter where you are.

How much does a changing mat cost?

Changing mats can vary in price depending on the quality of the material and what they are suitable for. Changing mats for the bathtub, for example, are significantly more expensive than mats for on the go.

Price range Available products
Low-priced (5-10 €) Disposable changing pads. Available in multiple packs. Offer less comfort.
Medium-priced (10 - 40 €) Mobile changing pads. Have hygienic advantage and extra compartments for accessories. Firm fabric and not so heavily lined.
High-priced (20 - 120 €) Classic changing pads made of different fabrics and bath changing pads. Special fastening options and features.

How do I clean a changing mat properly?

A changing mat can sometimes be a bit of a hassle to clean. Especially if a cover is not used, which can usually simply be thrown in the washing machine and protects the pad from dirt. When cleaning, make sure that all the nooks and crannies are cleaned properly. Dirt quickly collects there and can quickly irritate sensitive baby skin.

The integrated moisture-repellent cover of most changing mats also serves the purpose of quick cleaning. Simply take a damp cloth and wipe the surface. Use a detergent that is free of fragrances and harmful chemicals. It is best to use a mild cleaning soap for infants that is suitable for lightly soiled surfaces. Follow the instructions on the changing mat, as some pads are suitable for the washing machine. Others need to be cleaned by hand with running warm water. Models made of plastic usually need to be cleaned by hand, while cotton changing mats can be washed in the washing machine.

What do I put on a changing table with changing mat?

As already mentioned, it makes sense to leave a little space on the changing table so that other important products can be placed on the table. This way, all the important utensils that are needed when changing nappies can be found in one place.

A recommended item would be a heat lamp. This not only provides light in the evening hours, but also ensures a cosy room temperature so that your baby feels comfortable and does not freeze. Such a lamp is especially useful after bathing. In addition, babies who don't freeze are often calmer and don't get in a bad mood when changing diapers. The most important item of basic equipment at the changing table is, of course, the nappy.

A small basket with enough nappies for a few days should be sufficient and enables a quick, uncomplicated nappy-changing routine. If the baby is placed on the changing mat directly after bathing, some baby care in the form of cream or powder is also recommended.

Sometimes the baby's bottom is especially irritated and reddened after frequent diapering, which is why it is important to regularly apply cream and care for the affected areas during diapering. A change of clothes is also a basic requirement at the changing table. If possible, always have bodysuits in different lengths ready, socks for cold feet and hooded towels for after a bath.

Conclusion

Changing mats should be a permanent fixture in every baby's room to provide a comfortable place for your baby to change nappies in a safe position during nappy changing. Elevations around the lying surface keep babies on the changing mat and the right size provides additional protection for the baby.

Changing mats come in numerous varieties, materials and sizes to suit every mother and her baby. There are some differences in the designs and variations of changing pads. Therefore, it is advisable to consider which aspects are important for you before buying. If you are on the road a lot, it is worthwhile for hygienic reasons to use your own changing mat on public changing tables. You and your baby can use a mobile changing mat or a disposable changing mat.

At home, a classic changing mat made of cotton or plastic is recommended. It is always important to remember that a changing mat should provide a stable and soft surface for the baby to lie on.

(Image source: Mylene2401/ Unsplash.com)

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