Young mother taking care of little boy in white sunny nursery with changing table
Last updated: 01/03/2020

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When we bathe our baby, or change their clothes or diaper, the baby-parent bonds are strengthened and the parents really enjoy the process. However, if we change the baby away from home, the job can get complicated. There are times when the places where we are when we need to change the “little one” are not the most ideal for the job, fortunately, there are portable changing pads.

Thanks to these wonderful products we can relax and change our baby on the go, wherever we are. A portable changing pad means we can bring everything we need for the baby and guarantees we can do it in a clean and comfortable manner. Of course, these changing pads are a “must have” in the diaper bag of any modern parent.

Key Facts

  • Changing a baby’s diaper requires maximum cleanliness to prevent the baby from being exposed to dirt and germs. However, when we do it away from home it may not be easy to find a suitable place to do it.
  • With a portable changing pad, you always have a clean surface on which to change to the “little one.” In addition, these changing pads have storage space in which can carry everything you need for changing diapers.
  • Before buying a portable changing pad, you should consider certain factors such as size, material with which it is made or the quality of the pad to ensure that you are making the best decision for your own personal needs.

Our Selection: The Best Portable Changing Pads on the U.S. Market

In recent years, products related to babies have advanced a lot and therefore many different models and designs of changing pads are available. This variety is positive, although sometimes it means we don’t know which one to choose. To make your choice easier, we have listed the best portable changing pads on the market.

Best Travel-Sized Portable Changing Pad

This Amazon’s Choice pad is sleek, waterproof, folds up very small and is a best seller.  At only $7.20, don’t be fooled by the low price. It is generously-sized when fully opened up and has a 4.5 star rating. It also has a Velcro closure for easy packing and secure travel. Keep your on-the-go with your baby simple with this portable changing pad by Summer Infant.

Best Lightweight Portable Changing Pad

The waterproof mattress on this changing pad is extra thick for a comfortable, ergonomic position making diaper changes a home-like experience anywhere you are.  This stylish, lightweight clutch-style pad has a secure latch and a zippered pocket on the outside for phone, wallet, keys, etc. On the interior, are two mesh pockets for diapers, wipes, lotions, etc. This one is an all-around winner.

Best Premium Portable Changing Pad

In addition to the extra detailed styling on the outside, this changing pad has plenty of extras like a metal ring for pacifiers or keys, a special pocket for wipes that holds packs of up to 52, zippered outside pocket and two inner mesh pockets. Inside, the waterproof pad is extra thick and includes a built-in pillow section for baby’s delicate little head.

Shopping Guide: Everything You Need to Know About Portable Baby Changing Pads

Before deciding which portable changing pad to buy, you may have several questions. Since we always want the best for our children, we need to be well informed about the product before we bring it into our homes. Next, we answer the most frequently asked questions to help you make your choice.

How do you use a portable changing pad?

The first thing we have to take into account when we are going to use a portable changing pad is that, as with household changing pads, the adult must place the baby at the height of the adult’s arms. In this way, you provide safety of the baby and make it easy to change the baby.

  • First, you should choose the ideal surface on which to place the changing pad. It is important that it is a flat, stable surface and allows you freedom of movement.
  • Before placing the baby on the changing pad, it is essential to have all the items that you are going to need (clean diaper, lotion, wipes, etc.) within reach, so that you do not leave the baby unattended at any time.
  • Once you have everything ready, place the baby in the center of the changing pad. This way, you will help prevent the baby from falling over the sides.
  • It is important to pay attention to the position of the baby’s head, since it should always be a little higher than the rest of their body. To do this, you can use towel or a small pillow.
  • While you change the baby, it is helpful to try to keep them entertained. Therefore, bringing a toy that they like is a good idea and will make your life easier.
  • When you have finished changing the baby, you will need to clean the changing pad (with wet wipes, for example) to prevent any stains from setting and preventing harmful bacteria from forming.

What features should a portable changing pad have?

Although you do not want to be too particular, with the items for your baby it is understandable to be choosy. In addition, a portable changing pad will be something you carry with you every time you leave home, so you should ensure that it has certain features that you need before you buy it!

  • It should be compact: An obvious essential. If you are going to take the changing pad wherever you go, it should occupies the least possible amount of space when folded.
  • It should have inside pockets: At least enough to transport all the items you need while you change the baby. Remember: when we use it, you will not be at home and you will not have all your accessories handy, so it is better to take them along with the changing pad.
  • It should have a handle or a loop from which to hang it: Although it is not 100% essential, there are times when you do not have enough space in the stroller or cart and you will need to hang the changing pad on one of the side bars.

These are the most important features and those that will guarantee that using the changing pad outside the home is simple and convenient. It is already complicated at times, trying to change your baby in a public restroom or away from home, so make sure the changing pad you bring does not give you more problems.

 

Staywell KramesAmerican Pregnancy Association; healthychildren.org

“If you are out, you’ll want to include some sort of portable changing pad in your diaper bag. This helps you keep your baby and your surroundings cleaner.”

What items should never be missing from a portable changing pad?

We have talked about the importance of a portable changing pad having enough pockets or storage space so that we can take everything we need with us when we change the baby away from home. But what exactly do we mean by “everything necessary”? These are the items that should always be with you:

  • Extra diapers
  • Wet wipes
  • Powder and/or lotions
  • A toy to entertain your baby
  • A small towel or pillow
  • Clean clothes if necessary

It is also a good idea to include plastic bags designed to separate clean clothes from those you just removed. There are parents who also use the portable changing pad to carry an extra pacifier, a bib or bottles of water and milk. Obviously, each person’s criteria is unique.

Will I have space to carry everything I need in the portable changing pad?

Although everything will depend on the specific model of the portable changing pad you choose, most of them should have plenty of space to accommodate the baby products just mentioned. The most important thing is that, at the time of purchase, you look closely at the quantity and capacity of the pockets that the pad has in order to be sure it has the space you need.

Is it safe to use a portable changing pad?

Federal law requires that baby changing products comply with the Safety Standard for Baby Changing Products under 16 CFR part 1235 (Effective June 26, 2019), which incorporates by reference ASTM F2388-18 Standard Consumer Safety Specification for Baby Changing Products for Domestic Use, and with additional requirements, including those of the Consumer Product Safety Improvement Act of 2008 (CPSIA).

As long as the changing pad you use is subject to that standard, it should not pose any danger to your baby. In the case of the portable changing pad, the most important safety measure is related to the manufacturing material, since it must not contain substances harmful to the baby’s skin.

portrait of happy young woman with her baby

While you change your baby you can keep him or her entertained with a toy or a pacifier.
(Source: Goodluz: 35845467/ 123rf.com)

Shopping Criteria

When buying a portable changing pad it is important to consider some factors that will make your future purchase a success. And what are these factors for a portable changing pad? Next, we explain in detail the five shopping criteria that will be essential to choosing the one that suits you best.

Size

Without a doubt, the main feature owe think about when buying a portable changing pad is size. These portable products must be ergonomic, compact and efficient–ideal for transport. And all this in a size as small as possible.

We may think that the bigger the changing pad, the more items we can store inside and the more comfortable the baby will ultimately be. However, you still need to be able to conveniently carry the changing pad around. Therefore, the smaller it is, the easier it will be to transport (and the better for the baby and you).

Mother changing diapers

Carefully consider the type of material of the portable changing pad as it will be in direct contact with your baby’s skin.
(Source: Deymos: 75688717/ 123rf.com)

Material

A portable changing pad will be in contact with the delicate skin of your baby. Therefore, it is important that, when choosing your changing pad, you take into account the material with which it is manufactured to avoid as far as possible the possibility of allergies or skin reactions.

The ideal material for this type of product for babies is hypoallergenic material. We must, therefore, always look for changing pads that have the certificate of quality on their labels, since in this way you can guarantee that it does not contain any substance that may be toxic to the baby.

Maintenance

Portable changing pads must be efficient and useful in every way. The cleaning and care of the changing pad needs to be as simple as possible so that taking it with you anywhere does not present additional problems.

Most changing pads of this type are made of a waterproof plastic fabric much easier to clean than fabric.

Therefore, with some wet wipes or a little soap and water you can remove any soil when you finish using it, since a washing machine will not always be at hand.

Storage Space

We have talked about all of the items that will need to be carried in your portable changing pads. For this reason, and without the changing pad needing to be excessive in size, it will be ideal to get one that has enough storage space for everything related to baby changing. The pockets can be positioned in different ways.

  • Elongated changing pads with top pockets, which, once extended, remains at the baby’s head.
  • Elongated changing pads with bottom pockets, which, once extended, are below the baby’s feet. These are more comfortable for parents, since the items are close at hand.
  • Changing pads with side pockets. These usually have more space.
mother playing with her baby

There is a variety of changing pads available to you.
(Source: Choreograph: 50427829/ 123rf.com)

Quality and Durability

A portable changing pad will accompany you to many more places than you might think and you will use it constantly. Therefore, the quality of the changing pad should be the best possible to stand up to more than normal wear and tear over time. In addition to increased durability, quality is also important for the comfort of the baby.

Quality issues that influence the comfort of the baby are, for example, that the seams are not too prominent in areas which will come in contact with the baby’s skin, and that despite being plastic, it is made some of kind of soft and comfortable material. In matters related to our children, quality is paramount.

Summary

Having a portable changing pad makes life easier for parents and allows us a solution if we need to change our baby away from home. Thanks to these handy products, this task is much simpler, since they adapt to most public bathroom changing rooms and we can always take them wherever we go.

These types of folding changing pads are also very useful for travel. When folded, they are compact and very easy to transport. In addition, they have enough storage space to carry along everything you need to change the baby.

If you enjoyed our guide on the portable changing pad, share it on social media or leave us a comment.

(Source of Featured Image: Melpomen: 91280166/ 123rf.com)

Why you can trust me?

Paige Dygbert Professional Writer
With a background in such diverse areas as law, business, translation, art, teaching and even childcare, I bring broad general knowledge and direct, yet friendly style to my articles. I love helping people to choose the best possible option there is on the market and THEGOODESTATE.com is a great platform to do so.