If there’s one thing I knew about babies even before having one, it’s that they pee and poop. A lot. That means lots of time on a change pad, which means I was pretty adamant about getting one that’s non-toxic and eco-friendly. Naturepedic’s Organic Cotton Changing Pad was the obvious choice, and I couldn’t be happier with my decision. Here’s why.
Naturepedic Organic Cotton Changing Pad
Highlights: Non-toxic, eco-friendly change pad made with GOTS organic cotton by an eco-minded company. Features a plant-based, wipe-clean, waterproof cover made with non-GMO sugarcane. Available two-sided and four-sided (I recommend two-sided!). Safety buckle and snaps included.
Naturepedic is offering LeafScore readers 15% off their purchase using coupon code LEAFSCORE15 at checkout.
Naturepedic Organic Cotton Changing Pad at a glance:
|Country of Origin:
|Made in the United States
|Materials: Organic cotton, non-GMO sugarcane derived PLA, plastic safety buckle, and metal snaps
|GOTS, Made Safe, Greenguard Gold, UL Validated Formaldehyde-free, 1% for the Planet member
Table of Contents
What I like about the Naturepedic Changing Pad
Is it weird to say that one of the things I was most excited about when pregnant was the arrival of my new Naturepedic Changing Pad? Given my job, probably not, especially as this was one of the very few things I bought new. Setting up the change table made things feel… very real.
Right off the bat, I was happy to see that Naturepedic packaged the pad in an organic cotton bag. We repurposed this initially as a laundry bag and, more recently, to store baby clothes the niblet has outgrown. Unfortunately, there was also a plastic bag around the cotton bag, which was likely the doing of a third-party vendor. I took the plastic bag to the depot along with my other soft plastics recycling. You might find a more creative reuse for it if you’ve the inclination and time.
The pad itself feels very good quality and while relatively lightweight has held up well to a lot of vigorous stomping by my very gymnastic baby. The mat isn’t squishy or overly hard. The cover feels substantial but not overly thick or liable to crack. And the cover makes it easy to give the pad a quick wipe to keep it clean. Unsurprisingly, given that it’s made with non-GMO sugarcane PLA, the cover doesn’t smell at all toxic and I’ve not detected any off-gassing at all from this pad.
I chose the two-side change pad as I figured this makes it usable for longer. There is a four-side model but I was wary that the raised edges would limit its usefulness for longer/taller babies. Unless you’re planning on trying Elimination Communication, I’d suggest getting the two-side pad, especially if you’re likely to have a tall baby. That said, this pad is longer than standard change pads, so you’ve got a bit of wiggle room either way.
The pad fits snugly on my change table and I like the simple and secure snaps and buckles (though it would be nice if the buckle wasn’t plastic, and it seems the buckle tether is nylon). Be aware that the pad sits a little higher than many change pads and, again, is longer than standard. If you have a change table with a divider for pad and accessories, measure up before buying.
The Naturepedic Changing Pad is one of, if not the only pad currently available that is made with GOTS certified organic cotton and has a non-toxic waterproof coating. The organic cotton makes this pad more sustainable right out of the gate. After all, organic cotton is grown using considerably less water and resources compared to conventional cotton.
Given its intended use, the Naturepedic Changing Pad’s surface coating is also very important. Otherwise, your pristine organic pad will quickly become soiled, will be near impossible to clean, and will start to breed nasty bacteria. If it gets bad enough, you’ll end up ditching the pad and buying a new one, which obviously isn’t at all sustainable.
Sure, there are other waterproof organic cotton pads around, but these all have a petroleum-derived plastic cover. This potentially exposes your baby to chemical off-gassing, phthalates, BPA, BPS, BPF, etc.
The Naturepedic Changing Pad cover has a waterproof coating made with non-GMO sugarcane. So, even if you don’t use a waterproof layer on top, the pad will stay in good shape as long as you wipe up and spot clean messes as and when they happen, which they will.
My top tip is to use a wool puddle pad on top of the pad and then use an organic cotton cover over that. That way, you can whip off the top cover and let the puddle pad air dry between uses. If the puddle pad is also soiled, you can spot clean it or machine wash according to instructions, and/or line dry to get it back into good shape.
Here’s my quick (and dirty?) summary of the Naturepedic Changing Pad:
- Dimensions: approximately 16.5 x 31.5 x 4 inches
- Materials: GOTS certified organic cotton and polylactic acid waterproof cover made with non-GMO sugarcane
- Hardware: Plastic buckles and (I believe) nylon straps with metal snap-screws
- Made in U.S.A. with domestic and imported fabric and components
- Two-sided and four-sided options available
- Cost: $99
- 1-year limited warranty from Naturepedic (30-day money back guarantee and free shipping and returns if buying direct).
There’s only one real downside to the Naturepedic changing pad: its non-standard size.
Because the pad is a little longer than most change pads, most change pad covers don’t fit. If you have hand-me-down change pad covers, chances are you won’t be able to use these for this pad. This means buying new covers, which is obviously an extra expense and an extra use of unnecessary resources.
The good news is that organic cotton change pad covers do exist that fit the pad perfectly. And, who knows, if you put the word out or search online buy and sells, you might find some secondhand covers that do work.
The second, minor, issue with the non-standard size is that the pad’s hardware might not line up with the readymade slots some change tables have for securing snaps and buckles. This was the case with our secondhand table (I don’t know the brand or model). Luckily, it was an easy fix. I just used an awl to make a couple of holes where the stud screws needed to be and then screwed them in and snapped the pad on. It took less than five minutes and I’m a beginner to middling DIYer.
The third issue with the non-standard size is that you’re unlikely to have room on the change table surface for anything like a change pad caddy. When our baby was tiny, we did have our spray bottle and reusable wipes in the small space between the pad and the end of the table. Now we have an intense wriggler/crawler/thrasher/jumper, that’s a no-go, meaning we’ve had to move the necessary accessories off the table. Another easy fix would be to add a hanging caddy to the side of your change table or use the shelves below if they’re the right size for your kit.
All in all, I’m very happy with the Naturepedic Changing Pad. I love that it’s made with sustainable materials and is non-toxic. I also love that it’s so easy to keep clean, meaning we should be able to pass it on to another family once we’re done with it, even if that’s a few years down the line.