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What is the best toddler changing mat?

What is the best toddler changing mat?

Toddler changing mats are a godsend when it comes to nappy changes. Diaper changes for toddlers are a struggle most parents face. Children become increasingly mobile and inquisitive at around this age, which makes it hard for them to lie still.

There are many tips and tricks to make life easier for parents whose toddlers hate diaper changes. With the right toddler changing pad, changing a wriggly toddler doesn’t have to be a fight. This helpful review should save you time and money as you shop for a changing mat to make your changes less stressful.

Why should you use a toddler change mat?

According to the CDC, infant falls account for more than half of all pediatric emergency room visits in the US. Most often, these falls occur as a result of a wiggly baby rolling off of the changing table. Changing pads that restrain your baby from infancy to toddlerhood make diaper changes much safer by protecting your child from fall-related injuries.

 

As your child becomes more independent, what is supposed to be a magical time of bonding can become a wriggly, messy activity that is stressful for both parent and baby. Removing the dirty diaper, wiping your baby clean, and putting on a fresh diaper can be extremely hard if you’re struggling to restrain your baby at the same time. Toddler changing mats help calm your baby and free your hands, making the three-step process much easier and faster. If you're curious how many nappy changing you have left with your little one until potty training, be sure to check out our calculator here.

Aside from making the nappy change more manageable for you as a parent, toddler changing mats ensure that your baby is comfortable during the nappy change. Toddler changing mats solve different types of problems, and it is important to choose the mat that serves your needs. Whether you need a changing pad for travel or simply to use in the house, there’s definitely a changing mat out there that’s perfect for you and your child. We’ve done a side by side comparison of the best toddler changing mats as well as a detailed analysis to help you find your perfect fit. 

The best toddler changing mat at a glance

There are many types of changing mats that aim to solve different types of issues unique to toddlerhood. Some are specific to the infant years or toddler years, while some can grow with your baby. Changing mats come in different materials to serve different purposes; PVC mats are waterproof and easy to clean while foam mats are more comfortable. Some mats combine both materials where they have a foam core and PVC coating to ensure both comfort and leak-protection.

Many issues can make diaper changes unnecessarily difficult. Your child may be rolling away, putting their hands in poop, and in some cases, may develop a fear of changing tables. Contoured changing mats have raised sides/edges to prevent your child from rolling while other models have straps that hold your baby in place. Some models keep your child’s hands away from the mess, while others are easily portable to give your child some familiarity even when you use changing tables in different locations.

Poopoose

Poopoose changing pad

The Poopoose is a high-quality hypoallergenic diaper changing pad that makes nappy changes easier, cleaner, and safer. The design of this changing pad was inspired by a medical device used to keep children still during medical procedures. The Poopoose is contoured to keep your baby from rolling away. It also comes with an adjustable strap that you fasted around your child’s tummy to keep them calm and still.
This changing pad is great for infants but when used on a toddler, the restraints have in some cases been seen to irritate the child more. Although the velcro is strong, an irritated child above 12 months can figure out how to undo it, or simply wriggle out of the pad.

 

Standard Contoured Changing Mat

Contoured changing mat review

Contoured changing pads are safe, comfortable, easy to clean, and affordable. Some designs come fitted with a security strap underneath to keep the pad steady on a sturdy changing table or even on a dresser. You can use contoured changing mats with universal disposable covers, This on top of the easy to wipe down material, makes it extremely easy to clean. 

Although some models come with a strap to keep the baby in place, it is often too thin to prevent them from rolling over once they get more robust. When using on changing tables and other high furniture, the mat must be securely fastened and the baby strapped in to ensure your child’s safety if they try to roll off.

baby rolling over on changing table with strap

The Wriggler

The Wriggler changing mat review

This cool and innovative toddler changing mat with straps gives calm, wriggle-free nappy changing anywhere*.  This adorable bear character changing mat is specially designed to stop babies from rolling during diaper changes.  When you kneel on the kneepads it gently anchors both mat and baby in place. This kneepad design prevents the baby from rolling or crawling away and at the same time frees both your hands to change your baby faster.

The wriggler is fully wipeable and super easy to clean. It is made of premium-quality BPA & Phthalate free materials and tested to the highest baby standards. It folds easily and neatly into your bag, giving it an edge over the best portable changing mat as it’ll give you wriggle free nappy changing anywhere. The adorable bear character hugs your little one and gives them a feeling of security that will encourage calmness.

This multi-award-winning changing mat has received numerous awards from independent parenting review websites and magazines. as well as many excellent reviews from its happy customers. It has to be used on the floor though so for those with bad knees or any difficulties changing on the floor it may not suit everyone.

Snoofy Bee

Snoofybee review

The clean hands changing pad is designed to mainly keep your baby’s hands secured as you change their diaper. The sides fold up to create a redirection barrier, which  helps to keep your child’s curious hands away from the mess. This changing pad can also be used to hold a few diaper change essentials while folded to keep them easily accessible when it’s time for the diaper change. This changing pad is comfy and easy to clean.


The Redirection barrier fits around children up to 22 inches wide around the lower chest. This means your child may outgrow it before they get to the potty training stage. On top of that, slightly older children can easily break free of the velcro. This changing pad is not a restraint system and therefore does not prevent your child from rolling. The best you can do is distract your child by attaching toys to the barrier.

Toddler changing mat comparison table

In summary...

Although a regular changing pad might be sufficient for your baby, there are issues that are unique to the toddler years that may warrant getting a new changing mat. Toddler changing mats have special features to solve the most common problems that parents face during toddler diaper changes. Picking a changing mat becomes much easier when you focus on the particular problem you’d like to solve.

  • If you’re struggling with keeping your child’s hands out of the mess, then the Snoofybee Clean Hands Changing pad is for you;
  • if diaper changing has become a two-person job and feels like you're wrestling an alligator, then consider The Wriggler.
  • If you don't anticipate too much of a battle but would like an extra layer of safety on changing tables, then the Poopoose or a contoured changing mat may suit you just fine! 

 

*PS In the interest of full disclosure, we sell The Wriggler changing pad. However, we've included it in our comparison as we genuinely believe it is the best toddler changing mat to end the wriggly wrestling match. 


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