Downsides to Disposable Furniture
- What: Changing Table Drawbacks
- When: Birth to potty training
- Why not: Single purpose, short lived use
- Where: Your home
You end up buying so much stuff with a newborn. While some things, like the safest car seats, can eat into the budget, what furniture do you really need? A changing table ranks high on lots of prospective parents’ list.
As you may know, I recommend against changing tables. I prefer a dresser with drawers instead. The diaper years don’t last forever (thank goodness!) and the changing table, with its open shelving, often outlives its usefulness.
The open shelves rarely stay neat and tidy even before your infant morphs into a machine that automatically tosses everything in reach onto the floor. Bins can help corral things, but only go so far to keep things sorted. And once your kids outgrow diapers, it becomes harder to store actual clothing (which sadly kids require perpetually) on the open shelves or even in the same bins neatly.
Changing tables don’t look as tidy, offer much range in styles (since they are basically a table), and have less surface area on top for extras like wipes and diaper storage. Dressers come in a much larger variety of lengths, widths, and heights (so tall people don’t spend extra time bent over, and shorter people don’t have to reach higher than comfortable). Plus, dressers can easily last until college or later, unlike the changing table.
You don’t even need furniture dedicated to changing. You can buy a fancy changing pad that can go on the floor and takes up minimal space when stood upright and tucked out of site. Or if your infant bunks with you, you can get a simple changing mat or even a towel to lay out for any diaper changes. It costs less, takes up less space, and cleans easily with all the other laundry your offspring will generate. You can even use a diaper changing kit like the Skip Hop Pronto for everyday changes at home.
If you absolutely must have a dedicated space for changing diapers, check out secondhand stores and buy nothing lists online. You can usually find a wide selection as other more seasoned parents have reached the same conclusions, and parted ways with the changing table after a relatively short period of use.