Transitioning from a Changing Table to a Dresser
Changing tables are often on top of the list for a baby's nursery needs for many parents during those first few years of infancy, and for good reason. Find the perfect changing table and you'll not only have a comfortable, padded space for changing your baby's diaper and clothes, but you'll acquire additional storage space for all of junior's needs; which, as all new parents quickly learn, is as invaluable as caffeine when it comes to raising kids. Parents with back issues will also find that standing to care for their baby eliminates potential back problems that can arise from hunching over.
Other parents, hoping to save a few dollars, wonder about the need for this piece of nursery furniture. (I have to admit, I didn't purchase a changing table due to space issues. At the time of the birth of my first daughter, my husband and I rented a small condo in Pasadena, and we just didn't have the room for an additional piece of furniture. Instead, I used a portable pad on the floor, which worked well for me.)
By the age of one and a half or so, your baby will become mobile, launching her tiny body over the crib rails (my oldest) and attempting to scale any piece of tall furniture in sight (again, my oldest). Seemingly overnight, complacent junior who once lay on his back during diaper changes decides hanging from the side of the changing table might be more fun than simply waiting for you to finish. And because squirming toddlers and high places make a hazardous combination, once little lovey turns into a miniature-sized Super Hero it might be time to phase out the changing table and transition to a standard dresser.
The good news: Today's changing tables and dressers are often interchangeable. In fact, many manufacturers design combination changing tables/dressers in styles that match the nursery, eliminating the need for parents to purchase one piece of furniture one year and a separate piece of furniture the next.
These tables can often be purchased as part of a set, which makes them the perfect accessory to a decorative nursery. Dresser drawers offer ample room for additional diapers, cloths, and clothes, and a removable pad on top can be eliminated when the changing table feature is no longer needed, revealing a dresser top below.
These transitional tables can come at a higher cost than a standard dresser, though. For this reason, new parents may decide to purchase a regular dresser that can function as a changing table in the first twelve to sixteen months of life. Or, if you have a changing table already, but you are looking to transition to a dresser, then look for a dresser with a height that will enable you to easily change diapers and clothes, if you still are: not too tall, not too short, but just right. Also, seek a padded, comfortable changing pad that fits on the dresser top space. Purchase one that includes straps to hold baby during changes for safety purposes. When the changing pad is no longer needed, simply remove and continue to use the dresser as it was first designed.
If you are wondering if it is time to transition to a dresser, look to your toddler for direction. Is it time for more clothing space? Are you heading toward potty training and away from diaper changing? If so, it's time for a dresser! Happy hunting!