How many diapers do you think you’ll change in your baby’s first year?
500? 1,000? 1,500? 2,000?
Not so fast my friend! A newborn parent will change approximately 2,500 nappies during their baby’s first year of life!
That. Is. Just. Crazy.
Since parents are spending so many hours in the trenches of nappy duty, it’s a must that nappy changes are as easy, clean, efficient and safe as possible.
Enter: the Wedge Baby Changing Mat.
Using a wedge changing mat was a complete and utter game-changer for my nappy changing routine. I spent a lot less time pinning down a wriggly baby, had far fewer messes that escaped the diaper, and it cut my diaper changing time in half.
The wedge mat made all the difference in the world.
What Is a Wedge Baby Changing Mat?
A wedge baby changing mat is a cushioned mat with raised sides that helps to keep your baby from rolling during diaper changes. The defining feature of the wedge baby changing mat is that they typically have two raised sides to keep your baby feeling (a) more secure and (b) keep them from rolling off the mat.
A wedge baby changing mat can either fit into a changing table topper or attach to the tops of other furniture, like a dresser, allowing you to stand for diaper changes. It can also be used on the floor.
New parents will have tons of options and variations when picking out a wedge changing mats. Here are some key choices you will encounter when selecting a wedge changing mat for your little one:
Number of Sides
You can find two, three, and four-sided changing mats. Four sides will keep your baby in place the best. However, two or three-sided ones allow your baby to grow better with the mat and will allow for better access to the baby.
There are two types of baby wedge changing fits:
- Mats that are portable and are designed to fit into a tray that secures to your furniture or changing table topper; or
- Mats that are made to attach directly to just about any piece of furniture big enough to accommodate it with either a strap or hardware installation.
Before you purchase a baby wedge changing mat decide how you plan on using it. If you just plan on using it in the nursery, the strap down mat will probably be your best option.
If you plan on using your wedge changing mat in every room of the house, you’ll want one that is compact enough that it is able to fit safely on most surfaces.
Some wedge mats are ready to use as is - the baby will lay directly on the soft mat material. These mats will allow you to clean the mat directly and not have to worry about washing any additional covers.
The downside to these non-cover mats is that they can wear out and discolor fairly quickly from use.
Other wedge mats will require a mat cover. These covers are often filled with fun designs for babies and can breathe life into your baby nursery.
The mat covers typically slide on/off fairly easily and should be machine washable. You will likely need to buy at least 2 (and maybe 3 or 4) covers to make sure that you always have a spare when one gets soiled.
Despite looking similar online, wedge mat dimensions will vary quite a bit. Make sure to measure the base piece of furniture where you plan to use your mat before buying one.
It’s very important that your wedge mat fits on the intended surface. If your mat is too large for the surface, you can risk accidentally knocking it off the surface or having the mat get caught or snagged.
With all baby-related products, safety always needs to be your number one concern.
What Are the Benefits of a Wedge Changing Mat?
While simple in design, the benefits of the wedge changing mat make it the preferred choice in most homes.
Here are some of the advantages of choosing a wedge mat for your baby:
Prevents Baby from Rolling
A wedge baby changing mat will help to keep your baby from rolling over and wiggling around. In 24 months of using our mat, my baby only managed to roll over in it once (she never was able to roll out of it).
This makes diaper changes significantly easier, as you don’t have to worry about pinning your baby down or prevent them from crawling away. It helps to keep them still, allowing you to get the diaper change done quickly and with less fussing.
While I often prefer to use mine on top of furniture so I can stand, you can also use these on the floor for diaper changes. An additional use is that you can use this for playtime as well.
I often put my wedge mat on the floor while using her favorite nappy changing toy - the Dingle Dangle. The Dingle Dangle is an amazing Nappy Change helper that babies LOVE and keeps your hands free while you are changing your baby’s nappy.
The raised sides of a wedge changing mat make it harder for your baby to roll out of it. This creates one more line of defense against your baby taking a fall.
However, babies can fall off of a wedge changing mat, so always keep a hand on them and never leave them unattended.
Saves Your Back
Thanks to the many placement options for these mats, you can say goodbye to bending over for diaper changes. Most wedge changing mats allow you to do all diaper changes standing up by securing it to furniture or a changing table, helping to reduce strain on your back.
Personally, I find that if I do too many diaper changes on the floor my back starts to hurt.
When the rogue pee or poop does take place mid diaper change, or you accidentally spill the contents of the diaper, the clean-up will be quick and easy.
The wedge shape helps contain the mess and most mats are water-resistant. All you need is a quick wipe down with a wet cloth.
Makes Your Baby Feel More Secure
The wedged sides help my baby to feel secure during diaper changes. It is like a little hug around her body and she typically remains calm. It will save you from the disaster of her crying, throwing a tantrum, or fighting me during diaper changes.
Long Term Use
Wedge changing mats are not just great during the newborn days, but are a great tool until you potty train your child. We have used ours for two years (and counting). We have a two-sided one, so it accommodates our child as she gets taller.
10 Best Wedge Changing Mats for 2022
Now that we’ve looked at the benefits of the wedge baby changing mat, let’s look at ten of the best mats you can get your hands on today.
Each of these recommended wedge mats is based on personal use or a recommendation from another mother. Unlike other sites, we don’t get paid or make a commission by sharing our favorite mats with you!
Without further ado, our 10 Best Wedge Changing Mats for 2022:
Best All-Around Wedge Mat
The Summer Contoured Changing Pad is my personal favorite. It has an affordable price point, without sacrificing quality or durability. I have used it every day for two years and it still looks brand new.
You can choose from two or four-sided. It is made with 100% waterproof material and cleans easily. It has a strap to help secure your baby.
It comes with a strap to secure it to existing furniture without needing additional hardware and is skid-resistant, ensuring it stays in place. I currently have mine attached to a small bookshelf and it works great and feels secure. The soft, foam pad is comfortable for babies and it fits most standard changing tables.
Size – 16”x 32”
Best Non-Toxic Wedge Mat
If you are concerned about health issues linked to the use of vinyl and polyurethane foam and want to avoid anything that emits VOCs, then the Naturepedic Organic Cotton Changing Pad is your choice.
It has an organic cotton fabric featuring a food-grade waterproof coating. The Naturepedic is Greenguard Gold Certified and GOTS Certified, so you know it is a safe product for your baby. It is easy to clean and non-allergenic.
The Naturepedic fits well in most changing trays, however, if you want to secure it directly to a piece of furniture you will need to install it with the included screws. You can choose from two or four-sided. It is a bigger commitment at $99, but many parents I know rave about it.
Size – 16.5”x 31.5”
Best Wedge Mat for Entertaining Baby
The Skip Hop Baby Changing Pad comes with a tuck-away toy bar that hangs above the pad and dangles toys to keep the baby entertained while you change their diaper.
This foam pad easily wipes clean, does not absorb liquids, and does not require a cover. It has a safety strap to secure your baby, as well as a non-skid base with adhesive strips for securing it to furniture.
Note that it is a bit firmer than most foam changing pads but contoured to keep the baby comfortable. Size – 18.25”x 31.”5
Most Comfortable Wedge Mat for Baby
This ergonomically shaped pad has an indented spot for your baby’s head and is contoured to provide neck support. It has raised sides all around, keeping the baby secure and in place.
A big bonus – it is slightly sloped towards the baby’s feet so any spills and messes will flow down and away from the baby. It is made from a high-quality foam that is easy to clean and hygienic.
They come in fun, bright colors and you don’t need a cover, making it extra quick to wipe down. It has a safety belt that can go around your baby. However, it does not have a no-skid surface, so it will slide around.
It also does not come with a belt or hardware to secure it to existing furniture. For this reason, it would be best in a changing tray or changing table topper.
Size - 17.13" x 27.17"
Best Wedge Mat For Travel
Most wedge changing mats are stationary and made to stay in your home. However, IKEA makes a great blow-up changing pad with raised sides that acts like a wedge changing mat.
It is made from harmless plastic that is easy to wipe clean. It is not an option for on the go (like in a restaurant or airport), but it works great in your hotel room or wherever you are staying.
Size – 21”x32”
Best Wedge Mat for Containing Baby
While most mats have a small belt that you can secure across the baby to help hold them in place, this mat comes with an adjustable removable swaddle-like strap that secures the baby better than most.
This foam pad with two raised sides is waterproof and easy to clean, featuring food-grade materials. You have to purchase a cover made specifically to accommodate the unique straps.
Size – 16”x32”
Most Innovative Wedge Mat
This foam pad with two raised sides and a contour shape does more than just help to hold your baby still. It will actually weigh your baby at every diaper change and send the results to an app on your phone.
Size – 16”x 29”
Best Wedge Mat to Grow with Your Child
The Sealy Baby Soybean has the best balance between keeping your baby secure and still allowing room to grow. At 32” long it is one of the longer pads on the market.
The three-sided design keeps the baby extra secure and helps to pad their head, while leaving room for them to grow. It is made with soybean enhanced foam, has a waterproof cover, and has a safety strap to help keep your baby secure.
The bottom surface is skid-resistant, however, it does not come with a system to directly secure it to furniture.
Size – 16”x 32”
Best Wedge Mat for Full Changing Table Set Up
The IKEA Vadra Changing Pad has a soft foam filling and three raised sides. It is one of the most affordable options of the market, and pairs well with a wide variety of affordable accessories to create your full diaper change set up.
It fits into many IKEA changing tables, desks, and shelves including the IKEA Gulliver, Sniglar, Myllra, Smastad, Smagora, and Sundvik. It also pairs well with a wide variety of accessories, including attachable storage bins.
Size – 18”x 29”
Best Value and Quality Wedge Mat
This is a two-sided mat made with cotton and polyurethane foam. The Munchkin Secure Grip has a safety strap to keep the baby in place and a grippy bottom to help prevent it from sliding.
This wedge mat also comes with fabric straps with screws for securing directly to a dresser or other furniture. It is waterproof, lightweight, and durable.
Size – 16”x 31”
Best Wedge Changing Mat: The Final Word
If you estimate that each nappy takes 3 minutes to change, you’ll be spending about 7,500 minutes or 125 hours (over 5 whole days!) just changing your baby’s nappies.
Let that soak in for just a minute.
The key thing to remember with a wedge changing mat is to always keep one hand on your baby. Don’t let the raised sides lull you into a false sense of security. Take it from me, your baby will find a way to wiggle out.
While all pads above are easy and quick to clean, I like to keep on hand waterproof changing pad liners, like these machine washable liner pads by Munchkin. These is especially handy when there are night messes and I am trying to change the baby’s diaper in the dark.
As a mom who has cleaned pee out of my carpet too many times and poop off of my couch from diaper changes, the wedge changing mat is the way to go. It will save your home from messes, save your back, and save your sanity.