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Choosing Safe Baby Products: Changing Tables

Generally, you can choose from three kinds of changing tables:

  1. wooden ones with guardrails
  2. fold-up models
  3. hinged chest adapters

Hinged chest adapters are not recommended — dressers with these adapters have toppled over when a baby's weight was placed close to the outer edge.

What to look for:

  • Wooden changing tables with rails are usually the least likely to sway or tip over when a baby pulls on them from the floor.
  • Fold-up models should be checked for sturdiness: When the table is open, give it a good shake.
  • A wire changing table should have a wide base so that a baby can't pull it over on top of himself or herself from the floor.
  • The table should have shelves or compartments for storing everything you'll need. This prevents you from taking your eyes off your baby while you look for that hard-to-find item.
  • A flat changing surface should be surrounded on all four sides by a guardrail, which should be at least 2 inches (5 centimeters) in height.

SAFETY NOTE: Use the safety belt every time you change your baby. Never leave your infant unattended even if you think he or she is secure. Stop using your changing table when your baby reaches the manufacturer's age or weight limit, which is typically age 2, or 30 pounds (13,607 grams).

Reviewed by: Kate M. Cronan, MD
Date reviewed: February 2010

Kids Health

Note: All information is for educational purposes only. For specific medical advice, diagnoses, and treatment, consult your doctor.

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