Change tables

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Time for a change?

A change table keeps things tidy and organised with storage for nappies, wipes and a change of clothes. At the right height it will also be better for your back than using a bed.

From our test

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About our test

There are no current AS/NZS standards for change tables, so we've based our test procedures on existing AS/NZS standards for similar children's products such as cots and overseas standards, including the American standard for baby changing tables, ASTM 2388.

Change tables that we recommend have passed all our safety tests, including the roll-off and change table depth requirements. They may have some very minor failures (usually to do with labelling) but we don't think these are significant.

Worth considering change tables pass all our key safety tests (including the roll-off test) but may have some minor safety failures such as finger entrapment hazards in hard to reach areas, or some sharp edges. They may also have a shallower depth than our preferred 100mm.

When testing change tables we look at:

  • Stability: About 20kg of downward force is applied to the edge of the table to see if it tilts or tips.
  • Strength of construction: A 50kg mass is placed in the centre of the changing surface for 60 seconds, and we check if there is any damage to the table.
  • Minimum depth: We require the sides to have a depth of at least 100mm after the recommended mattress is installed.
  • Roll-off protection: A 15kg cylinder is placed at the upper edge of the changing surface and the table is tilted sideways at a 15 degree angle to see if the cylinder rolls off the bottom edge.
  • Sharp edges and protrusions: We check for edges or points that could injure a child.
  • Finger and limb traps: We check for any gaps or holes that could trap a small finger or limb.

Safety tips

Tips for safe use of a change table.

  • Try to keep one hand on your baby at all times. Never leave your baby unattended on a change table – even just to grab something across the room.
  • Watch out when other children (especially toddlers) are around – you don’t want them trying to climb on to the table.
  • Make sure the change table is free from small objects that your baby could choke on.
  • Check from time to time that screws and fastenings are securely tightened. They may loosen with use.

Buying a change table

If you're choosing a change table, here's what to consider.

  • Raised sides help stop your baby rolling or sliding off the table. These should be at least 100mm high – although several models in our test had lower sides and still passed our roll-off test.
  • The height of the change surface should suit your height, so you won’t have to bend or reach too far when changing nappies. Check the height in the shop – pretend you’re changing a baby on it.
  • Surfaces should be easy to clean when messes happen (as they will!). The mattress or padding should be easy to wash.
  • A safety harness can help secure your baby – but it’s no substitute for proper attention.
  • Castors make the table easier to move. At least 2 of the castors should have brakes.
  • Shelves and storage containers help keep everything you need for changing nappies close by – and out of your baby’s reach.
  • Check the table’s sturdiness. It shouldn’t wobble when you give it a light shake.

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