How Many Changing Pad Covers Do I Need for my Baby?

By Maria Wilcox •  Updated: 06/23/22 •  8 min read
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If you’re a new parent, you likely have many questions. One question that commonly comes up is, “How many changing pad covers do I need?” Though changing pad covers may seem like they aren’t necessary, the truth is that they are essential to keeping the baby clean and healthy. So, how many should you purchase? We’ve got answers to that and more in today’s post. 

How Does a Changing Pad Work?

A changing pad works by giving your baby a safe and comfortable place to lay while you change their diaper. It is often stationed upon a changing table, though many pads are portable and designed to be carried around the home or on the go. 

Many changing pads are cushioned to provide your baby comfort but that isn’t always the case. Changing pads come in different styles and materials, as some are covered in wipeable vinyl while others may not.

GROW WILD Changing Pad Cover 3 Pack | Soft & Stretchy Jersey Cotton | Baby Changing Table Pad Cover | Diaper Changing Pad Covers for Girls or Boys | Wipeable Sheets | Grey White Navy Blue Stars Moons

Do You Need Covers For Changing Pads?

Not all changing pads require covers. For example, those made of vinyl or wipeable material may not technically require a cover, however, a changing pad cover may still be recommended. 

Why? Because changing pad covers make it so that your baby’s actual mattress pad stays clean, especially if the mattress pad isn’t machine washable (and most are not). 

Remember also that a changing pad cover provides comfort as well as cleanliness for your baby. When laying your baby on a cold changing pad, he or she may become uncomfortable which can make diaper changing less than pleasant. To provide your baby with a warm, comfortable, and clean place to have their diaper changed, we recommend purchasing a mattress pad.

Where Do You Put Changing Pad Liners?

What Is a Changing Mat Liner?

Changing pad liners are placed directly on top of the changing pad to prevent messes. They aren’t quite the same as covers, as liners are more utilitarian and usually made in basic colors without the colorful prints that changing pad covers typically come in. Their purpose is to absorb water and prevent messes from soiling the changing pad.

BlueSnail Bamboo Quilted Thicker Waterproof Changing Pad Liners, 3 Count (Gray)

How to Use Changing Pad Liners

Some moms choose to place the changing pad liner over their changing pad cover to keep the cover clean, especially when the covers have colorful designs and serve aesthetic purposes. Others may choose to put the liner beneath changing pad covers to protect the actual changing pad if a mess were to soak through a cover.

It’s really up to you where you place it, though its function is relatively the same.

Do You Need Changing Pad Liners?

While you may not need changing pad liners (or even covers for that matter) they can make your life easier. 

Newborns can have up to 10 or more dirty diapers per day. Because of this, you can expect to deal with a mess daily. Newborns also poop a ton, and the poop is often bright yellow for breastfed babies and deep brown or green for formula-fed babies. 

Babies have bowel movements frequently at the newborn stage, and accidents involving urine happen very often too. Both boys and girls may spontaneously pee while you are changing their diaper, and a liner and/or cover can take the hassle out of having to clean messes. Simply remove the covers and liners and throw them into the wash. Then, you are good to go!

Stretchy Changing Pad Covers for Boys Girls,2 Pack Jersey Knit,Elephant & Whale

How Many Changing Pad Covers Do I Need?

How Many Changing Table Pads Do I Need For a Year?

About 2-4 washable changing pads should be enough to cover you for the span of your baby’s young life, assuming that your changing pads stay in good shape during that time. 

It is important that you buy multiple changing pad liners or covers because purchasing just one will make your life hard. Even if you do laundry all of the time, you may not be able to wash the one you have quick enough to use before your baby’s next diaper change (or poop explosion). 

For that reason, it is wise to have at least one extra on hand, and even wiser to have a few on hand so that you aren’t left without a clean changing pad cover or liner when it comes time for the next diaper change. 

How Long Do You Use a Changing Pad?

Changing pads can be utilized until your baby outgrows his or her changing table. This can occur around 18 months but can happen sooner, depending on the height and weight of your baby.

Can You Wash Changing Pad?

There are some mattress pads that are machine washable and others that can be wiped or surface cleaned.

To know for sure, check the details before buying a changing pad. If your changing pad isn’t washable, or if it is only wipeable, we recommend purchasing a mattress cover, and maybe even a few liners to keep your baby comfortable and to keep your changing pad easily cleaned. 

How Many Portable Changing Pads Do I Need?

You can stick with one portable changing pad, but you may wish to buy multiple changing pad covers or liners. This makes it so that you can easily change the covering or liner if messes occur. 

If you wish, however, you may purchase a wipeable portable changing pad but when messes occur and you are on the go you may find it stressful to have to clean the changing pad immediately after changing your baby’s diaper. 

Also, newborn poo tends to stain badly, especially the kind that is yellow from breastfeeding. We recommend a cover to make life easier and to preserve your changing pad. 

Plastic Cover For Changing Pad

A plastic cover for a changing pad may keep things easy because it is easy to wipe down.

Still, plastic may not be very comfortable for your baby, and trust us, comfort does matter.

Rather than using plastic, we recommend using a breathable and natural fabric, such as cotton, that won’t irritate your baby’s skin and that will keep them comfortable during frequent diaper changes. 

How Do I Keep My Changing Table Clean?

The best way to keep your changing table clean is to protect it from the start. By laying over it a changing pad cover or liner, you are eliminating the work of having to scrub down the actual changing pad. Simply toss any soiled liners or covers into the wash and you are done. Therefore, changing pad covers are essential to ease and cleanliness when changing diapers.

Do You Need a Changing Pad Cover and Liner? We Think So!

Do you need a changing pad cover and liner? We think you do!

Changing pad covers and liners work wonders for saving you hassle and headache and bringing your baby additional comfort to boot. Remember to grab at least 2-4 changing pad covers so that you are prepared before the next diaper change happens.

Good luck!

More on diapering:


How many yards do I need for a changing pad cover?

Want to make a changing pad cover on your own? Good idea! In order to make a standard diaper pad cover, you’ll generally need about 1.5 yards of fabric.

How many crib sheets do I need?

Like changing pad covers, we recommend you purchase at least 2-4 crib sheets, along with waterproof liners, to protect your baby’s mattress and to make it easy to grab a new crib sheet when one becomes soiled before you are able to throw the dirty one in the wash.

Maria Wilcox

Former instructor with an M.A. in Education turned grateful stay-at-home mama to one, I look to share helpful insights related to babies, toddlers, kids, and families for the benefit of real people just like you.

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