Let’s face it, nobody likes changing nappies. It is the one part of parenthood that everybody would rather do without.
Alas, there is no way around it, as every single parent can tell you.
The simple fact of the matter is that nappies need changing, a lot. That is where the beloved changing pad comes in to save the day and where you find a changing pad, you also find changing pad covers.
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Yet, if you are a new parent, you might be wondering whether changing pad covers are really necessary, and if so, how many you will need.
Fortunately, that is where this article comes in, answering any questions you might have about changing pad covers.
What is a Changing Pad Cover?
To answer this question, one first must know what a changing pad is. The changing pad acts like a thin mattress for your baby to lie on while you change their nappies, and is usually found atop a changing station.
The exterior of the changing pad is made from PVC, allowing any messes to run off it for easy cleaning purposes.
The changing pad cover is somewhat like a pillowcase. It goes over the changing pad to protect it from any messes or tears.
Changing pad covers are available in a variety of materials such as cotton, fleece, vinyl, or polyester; some of which even come with a waterproof lining to further protect the changing pad beneath.
As well as coming in a variety of fabrics, changing pad covers are also available in a plethora of colors and patterns which can help bring at least a little bit of joy to the dreaded nappy changes, matching the theme of whatever room they are placed in.
How Many Changing Pad Covers Do I Need?
When you’re buying changing pad covers, you might think that you’ll always be able to keep on top of the washing and that one will be enough.
However, there will always be that one mess you weren’t prepared for, or the laundry that you simply don’t have time to put in right away.
Meanwhile, Junior still needs his nappy changed at least four more times before bed, and now all that you have left is the changing pad that you want to keep clean and protected from any nasty messes.
Fortunately, you had the foresight to buy a second changing pad cover, and now is the time to use it. While that first cover is in the washing basket, you have the second to replace it until it is time to rotate again.
While two changing pad covers are generally considered to be enough, there are some families that would opt for three or four.
These are usually for parents who have more than one baby and therefore more nappy changes, or sometimes they simply don’t need to do the laundry as often.
However, if you’re worried that two changing pad covers aren’t going to be enough, why not commit to a trial period first?
Start with two, and then if you find yourself needing to launder them more often, you can always buy more afterward.
Why Do I Need A Changing Pad Cover?
The main function of a changing pad cover is to make cleaning easier for you. The majority of changing pads have indentations and grooves.
When you are changing your baby’s nappy, some of the mess is bound to get stuck in these little delves, and to leave them would be unhygienic.
This is where you have to ask yourself, would you rather spend your time scrubbing the changing pad with a sponge to make sure everything is clean, or would you prefer to simply remove a changing pad cover and drop it into the laundry hamper?
Changing pad covers are hygienic, keeping your nursery, or at least the changing station clean as a whistle.
On top of keeping changing pads clean, the covers also protect the pads from tears.
While PVC is a tough material, all it takes is something as simple as your watch-catching on it for a tear to form.
If you tear a changing pad, it can be difficult to mend or replace, and leaving it isn’t an option; a sharp enough PVC tear can cut your baby’s skin. A changing pad cover, on the other hand, can easily be repaired or replaced.
Although you may think it’s good for the changing pad to be waterproof, it isn’t so great in practice. It is much easier to clean up a mess that has been absorbed into one easy-to-grab changing pad cover than to spend your time cleaning up a mess that has spread over a waterproof mat.
Besides, due to the changing pad’s waterproof nature, it is very easy for the urine to run and get onto everything else that you temporarily placed on top of the changing station.
Part of the appeal of a changing mat is that it helps keep your baby comfortable while you are changing them. However, waterproof materials are cold to the touch, and if it’s the middle of the night and you don’t want your baby to wake up while you change them, then placing them on a cold surface isn’t going to help.
A nice soft insulated changing pad cover can solve this problem, allowing your baby to stay warm and sleepy while you change their nappy.
You might think that the changing pad might be okay in the warm months if not the cold, but you would be wrong again.
Have you ever been stuck in a car on a hot day, having to peel your skin off the leather seats afterward?
That’s how your baby feels every time you change their nappy on a changing mat when it’s hot; do them a favor and invest in a cover so they don’t have to suffer that every summer.
What to Consider When Purchasing a Changing Pad Cover
Let’s face it, the price is the first thing you should think about because when you’re buying all the things you need for a baby, the cost starts to add up, leaving your wallet lighter and lighter.
Fortunately, changing pads covers are relatively cheap. Sure, there are some fancy designer brands, but unless you’re going for that special look, these covers won’t put you out of pocket.
Your baby is going to be sitting atop the changing pad a lot, so you really want to look for a material that is comfy for them.
Fortunately, there is a large selection of materials to be found, most of which are soft, comfortable, and won’t cause your baby to come out in rashes.
If your baby has sensitive skin, you can even go that extra mile and purchase a hypoallergenic changing pad cover to protect them.
When you’re buying changing pad covers, make sure that the material that you’re choosing is absorbent. This will stop urine from pooling around your baby, letting you avoid a nasty case of nappy rash.
When you are purchasing a changing pad cover, you should make sure to opt for a fitted sheet. These fit more snugly around the changing pad and also prevent the material from bunching up or sliding off.
Most changing pad covers are a one size fits all kind of deal, however, there are a few brands of changing pads that have their own unique measuring system.
As long as you know the size of your changing pad, finding a cover should be no problem at all.
So, you’ve just decorated the nursery to look like a jungle adventure? Great, then you can find a green changing pad cover with leaf prints to match.
Not your style? There’s no need to worry about the number of colors and patterns available to suit every one of your décor needs.
The humble changing pad cover might have once seemed like an item to leave off the baby registry, but I can assure you that it is one of the things that every baby needs.
Your baby’s comfort, happiness, wellbeing, and hygiene can all be improved with the use of this inexpensive fitted sheet, and the best part is that unlike burp cloths, nappies, and just about everything else your baby uses, you only need two of these.
It is time to add a little bit of color to your nursery and to the dreaded nappy changing duty.
When it comes to the changing station, it’s time to hide away the PVC under a nice, warm cover that your baby is sure to be 100% grateful for.