Disclaimer: We received this changing pad from Hatch Baby for free in exchange for an honest review. The opinions below are my own.
One of the big upgrades we made when we were preparing for baby number three was to switch out our old standard changing pad for The Smart Changing Pad from Hatch Baby. This smart pad has an internal scale so you can check your baby’s weight at home and pairs with the Hatch Baby app to track weight, feedings, diapers, etc. Both of our other kids had huge struggles with weight that ultimately led to the decision to switch them full-time to formula much earlier than I had wanted to so I wanted to make sure we were doing everything we could to keep track of how much this little guy was growing.
I was a little intimated by all of the bells and whistles that I saw online and wasn’t sure I’d use all of the fancy functions but it was surprisingly easy to use and set up. When you want to track your baby, you just tap on the screen to wake it up and it gives you options.
We mostly use the weight function, which is very fast. You simply let the pad zero itself out while you hold the baby and then set the baby down. The reading is done in a few seconds and then it’s automatically synced to the app over your Wi-Fi so all of that data is waiting in your phone when you’re ready. This was especially helpful in the first few weeks when we weren’t sure how much he was eating if I nursed him. We could weigh him, feed, and then weigh him again to track the difference and since we were doing that over and over again you could see patterns in how much he ate each time.
I wasn’t sure if it was going to be too “medical” since it is a little baby scale on top of everything else and I wondered about switching out the pad, etc. As it turned out, I like this as a changing pad more even without the bells and whistles because it’s cushioned but firm where our other one was foam and not very sturdy. Having the little pad just pull away (it’s attached by velcro) is awesome because I can grab it easily with one hand when it gets really mucky instead of fighting elastic over four corners. I’d love to say I haven’t had to fight a really mucky pad too many times, but alas we’ve got someone with a pretty happy digestive system and sometimes things get out of control. The pad is machine washable (thank heavens!) and then I just hang it over our shower rod to dry.
The pad is totally secure once you velcro it on and the edges are raised to discourage baby from rolling off but we still use the safety strap. We’re using the same dresser as a changing table that we used for Eva and Calvin and after two kids I am very familiar with close calls. Felix is only wriggly right now and not in major danger of suddenly turning over but (A) when he does it would be classic Morgan style to do it for the first time on a changing pad on a high dresser and (B) I want him to get used to the safety strap being part of the changing process so he doesn’t fight it later.
The last thing I was worried about before I got it was how it was going to fit into the room. Felix sleeps in our room but there isn’t enough space for a changing table in there so his changing station is in the kids’ bedroom. There’s a limited amount of space in there, particularly when you’re talking about needing an electrical outlet, and I was afraid that we’d have to invest in a different piece of furniture if the old dresser was too narrow. As it is, the changing pad is lightweight, wireless, and fits perfectly. It’s so light that I’ve actually grabbed it and taken it to the bathroom to put him right on it after the bath to make changing him into his pajamas a little easier. Note: there’s no storage or anything built into this changing pad but I put a little basket nearby that holds everything we need.
The good news is that the little guy is cruising with his weight. There was a difference between the weight readout we got from the changing pad and the one we got from the pediatrician but it was still great news and he’s solidly growing and well-fed and on his way to being my little chunk monkey. As a mom who has done the bony baby thing twice with two preemies, I am very excited to see the beginnings of thigh rolls.
Speaking of which, I just have to say – I was desperate to get him out at the end of my pregnancy even though I wasn’t to term because after my other babies came early and were fine it felt like it wasn’t that big of a deal and I just wanted him in my arms already. However, now that we’re two months in I can tell you that the last few weeks of baking really make a huge difference! There are all sorts of little things about him that add up to this all being a much better experience, like his sleep habits and how easy he is to soothe and how hard it is to feed him. Kyle and I have both said many times that if he had been our first we would have seriously considered making room for about ten more because he’s so delightful!
Some of that might just be the experienced parent thing, though. Between all this smart baby tech and the fact that we actually know what we’re doing by now, I am getting a whole lot more sleep. Hooray for actually enjoying the first year!