Shopping for a Changing Table

After we’d finally gotten and assembled the crib, the next big thing on the nursery agenda was to start tracking down the rest of the furnishings for the room. In addition to the crib and a comfy chair for rocking and nursing (more on that in a future blog post), we knew some sort of changing table would be essential. But we were a little hesitant to get one of those dedicated ones — it seemed wasteful to spend money on a piece of furniture that would be useful for only a short period of time.

Instead, it seemed like a better idea to get a normal dresser and attach a changing pad to the top for the duration of Baby Hart’s diapering phase. A simple setup like the following seemed like a good thing to aim for:

Example of a dresser-turned-changing table. Image from here.

And that’s how we came to start shopping around for a dresser, preferably white to match the crib, that would be a suitable height and length to double as a changing table. The search technically began with some half-hearted browsing on Craigslist, but when nothing really jumped out at us, we moved on up to that premium source of cheap, non-pre-owned furniture: Ikea.

I’ll confess that I’d never set foot in an Ikea store before we moved into this house, so I found it interesting just how huge the place was. There are two massive, maze-like floors of inexpensive Swedish furniture to waddle through, along with a third floor comprised mostly of a giant serve-yourself warehouse. The outside of the store alone makes big-box retailers like Wal-Mart and Target look puny by comparison:

The massive retail space that is Ikea.

And the parking lot is so huge and crowded that it almost makes you feel like you’re at Disneyland — although happily for hybrid-driving wanna-be-environmentalist jerks like us, they had a few of these lovely signs just past the handicapped parking section that we were able to take full advantage of:

"Hybrid Cars Parking Only" sign at Ikea.

Anyway, we made our way up to the “Bedroom Storage” section and started browsing. Ikea has a pretty good selection of dressers in different sizes and colors, and we were able to compare them side-by-side while considering things like drawer configuration and what would be a comfortable height for us to change a baby on. We ended up liking the HEMNES 8-drawer dresser in white:

HEMNES 8-drawer dresser by Ikea, listed here.

But instead of buying it right away, we mulled it over for about a week and considered other possibilities before going back and picking it up. Luckily, we were able to (just barely) load the two long boxes of unassembled dresser parts into the back of our Honda Insight and haul them home.

Having never actually assembled such a complicated piece of furniture, we were a little intimidated by the sheer number of pieces and the length of the instruction manual… But the details of assembling this monstrosity will have to wait for a future blog post. (Partially because we haven’t actually finished it yet.)


  1. I LOVE IKEA! Last time I was there I overheard a little boy saying, “Mommy can we stay here forever?” So it really is like disneyland…

  2. That’s a very pretty dresser, and what a great idea to have it do double duty! That way, some of the clothes the baby needs will be right there. Love you all!!

  3. The one difference between a dresser and a changing table is a guard rail, to keep baby from rolling off while your hands are full. I am pretty sure they make conversion kits (basically looks like an oversize tea tray) if you don’t fancy carpentry. And if your baby is as wrigglesome as mine were (especially Rachel), you really do want the rail!

  4. I think the contoured changing pad works like a rail, but you could turn the dresser upside down, and fit some slim boards inside the legs for more security. I saw that on the net somewhere, but can’t find it now! And I think the pad has straps that can be secured to either the wall or the dresser itself. Leanne’s right, not only her children but Dave’s as well were very active!

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