I have been a big sister for a lot of years. In fact, I consider myself very lucky to have had siblings that are 6 and 7 years younger than me. It was like having a living baby doll, and my sister right below me and I had so much fun dressing them up and helping my mom feed them or get things like pacifiers or diapers.
I have also been a babysitter in some capacity for over half my life. I have changed many diapers, in many strange situations (child in the dirty diaper, standing up, in the mall parking lot anyone?). I have picked a pacifier up off the ground, popped it in my own mouth and given it back. I have potty trained and dealt with more poop than I ever wanted to deal with. I have fed baby purees, cut food into strips for baby led weaning, mixed formula and warmed breastmilk under my armpit when the power went out. I have worn a baby in a long stretchy piece of fabric tied around my body, and would not have survived the croup episode of 2018 without an Ergo baby. I learned how to swaddle, the right amount of shushing, and that a baby is like a dog and can smell your fear. Just take a deep breath so they feel the same zen vibes you’re feeling (thanks Fred- I still owe you for that trick!).
But something that I had never considered was a changing table. Some of the families I babysat for had a changing table. Some didn’t. And a lot of my friends deem changing tables unnecessary, as you’ll have to change your baby in all sorts of places and you won’t want to have to walk all the way upstairs just to change a baby.
Before I got pregnant, I had these really grand ideas of how I would be as a mom. I was gonna be the most low key, trendiest, minimalist instagram worthy mom that ever existed. I would only have certain pacifiers, and my kid would be dressed in all gender neutral clothes and I was NOT gonna buy a changing table. Because I would be changing my baby all over the house and who needs more furniture?
Then I babysat for a family that had a changing table. And since I babysat long hours, I got to know the beauty of the changing table. Any time I had to change the baby, I marched my butt up those stairs, and put him on the changing table. My back didn’t hurt. He was at my height. The diapers and wipes were already there, in a nice stack and I just had to reach over to grab one.
Slowly, in the deep recesses of my heart, I decided if I ever was lucky enough to have a baby, I was going to buy a damn changing table. Because I sincerely appreciated changing someone else’s baby on the changing table.
Then I found out I was having a baby! And I asked all my mom friends something they could do without… and you guessed it! Everyone said a changing table!! Imagine my internal conflict, I had already decided I was going to get one. I did a little more digging, and again realized that people didn’t want to have to go to one certain part of the house every time they needed to change the baby.
What was I to do? I’ll tell you what. I put a changing table on both floors of my house. One is more of a topper for a dresser that will be the kids dresser for many years to come. And one is an actual changing table, from IKEA that matches the rest of my espresso colored IKEA furniture that I already have and fits in a tiny alcove by my steps that usually is just a collection of my purses sitting on the floor (honestly a conversation for another day… I am a bag lady HARDCORE). I also installed the changing attachment on the pack and play so in the middle of the night I can just change the baby in my bedroom but not on my bed. I apparently really like changing tables.
I have carefully stacked a few diapers and a package of wipes at each station. I know I will need hundreds and hundreds more, but I think I have enough for about 8 days currently open and waiting for baby girl’s big arrival.
I think this is probably a really good look at all of the ways I am going to not be the parent I thought I was going to be a mere four years ago. I think I have like… 4 gender neutral outfits. Everything else has ruffles, bows, glitter and flowers. And there is a LOT of pink involved. I am not going to be one of those cool hipster instagram moms. My kid is going to look like every other baby girl for all of history because those tiny pink outfits bring me so much happiness and pretty soon she will be dressing herself and I won’t get a say.
I have no idea what kind of pacifier my child will take. And you know what? If the thing won’t match the nonexistent hipster outfits, that is A-OK (but no wub a nubs. those things get grimy and freak me right the heck out lol).
I’m not buying glass bottles and I probably won’t give her ceramic plates till she is a little older. Look how Montessori I am now.
And I bought the changing table. Because there will be plenty of situations where I have to change her on a park bench, or in my car trunk, or hell, maybe even standing up in a mall parking lot. And if the changing table makes my life a little easier while I am at home, I am not gonna be a hero.
Its crazy to think that in 5-8 weeks all of my preconceived notions are going to go out the window. I am going to be staring at a tiny person who needs me for everything, and I am going to have to make decisions on the fly because I will be just trying to survive the newborn weeks.
But at least I’ll be able to change her while standing up ;).