The last DIY project we completed before Emmett was born, and the first one after he was born, both relate to diapering. Matt wanted to install ceiling lights and a ventilation fan in the kitchen, but I insisted that he do the diaper changing station first. People kept telling us that first babies are usually a week late, so we both thought we had an extra week of baby-free time to get things done. Even so, I was anxious to have the diaper changing station finished and squared away. It’s a good thing we didn’t delay; Matt finished the changing station on Sunday and I went into labor on Tuesday morning - the day before my due date. Here’s what I looked like that weekend, and needless to say I was not into doing hard physical labor at this point. Matt did all the work on this project himself, with input from me.
Three years ago we bought a kitchen base cabinet at the RE Store for $40, thinking we would use it in the kitchen. It stayed in the garage, and now finally we had the perfect place for it. We also had a piece of countertop left over from the kitchen. Matt sanded it, painted the wood parts (outside and some drawers) semi-gloss white, and spray painted the metal drawers with the metallic paint we had left over from the failed ceiling fan medallion debacle.
He also had to patch the drywall in the nook where our oil furnace used to reside before we replaced it with our gas fireplace. There were holes in the wall from the furnace exhaust and from some electrical work we did. The floor needed some work too.
After patching the drywall, Matt installed the cabinet, countertop, and self-stick vinyl tiles left over from the bathroom floor.
So yeah, the drywall still needs a little work and obviously it needs to be painted too. We’ll get to that when we can. In the meantime, we tried to spruce up the space a little with two colorful souvenirs my parents gave us from different trips: an embroidered bird from Costa Rica and a string of butterflies from Cambodia. We also have the countertop stocked with the essentials: wipes, diapers, washcloths, changing pad, and small pail for disposable diapers. Nearby on the floor is our cloth diaper pail. We’re using both types of diapers right now but will try to switch to all cloth soon.
The quickie DIY I did after Emmett was born was to crudely cut up some old t-shirts to make more cloth wipes.
Along with some other baby wash cloths we received as gifts, I stack them in a Munchkin wipe warmer (also a gift) and pour enough water over them to saturate all the cloths. The warmer is meant to use with disposable wipes, but it works great with our cloth wipes too. They come out nice and warm, which makes diaper changes a little more pleasant for everyone.
In the drawers, I keep other supplies on hand: a small selection of baby clothes in case a change is needed; cloth and disposable diapers; burp cloths; extra diaper pail liners; and other stuff like rash cream and a digital thermometer.
Although it still needs a little work, our diaper changing station has been a huge help to us. It’s the right height so we don’t get backaches. It’s in a central location but not in the way, while taking advantage of space that was not being well used before. And all the essential supplies are at our fingertips. We’re so glad Matt finished it (to the point of being usable, not to the point of being pretty) before we brought Emmett home.