Montessori Change Table or Diaper Changing Area

When it comes to changing your baby’s diapers/nappies you have the option of an infant changing area that can later turn into a space for standing diaper changes, or you can use a modern change table.

Montessori doesn’t have hard and fast rules, it is up to you what you’re most comfortable with for changing your baby’s diaper.

We originally used a change table during early infancy, and once baby was able to stand we attempted standing diaper changes in the bathroom. This hurt my back and was more of a struggle for me, so I went back to a Montessori change table with cloth nappies.

Below I will show you both set-ups so you can get an idea of options and see what might suit your family best.

How to Change Diapers/Nappies Montessori Way

It is promoted to use cloth diapers/nappies when following Montessori, the feeling of being soiled assist the child in tuning in to their bodily functions and assists in toilet learning later on.

I can attest to this, as we were able to complete toilet learning in one week while I had a newborn on my hip before my firstborn turned 2 yrs old. He could tell and communicate to us by 1 1/2 when he was soiled, and once I wasn’t pregnant I was able to begin the toilet learning. But that’s a story for another time =)

The method often spoken of in the Montessori community is the infant changing area in the bathroom, which develops into standing diaper changes with time. This allows your child to associate the bathroom with where pee/poo is dealt with.

Infant Changing Area in Bathroom

Wet bag on rail in bathroom with white plastic basket with cloth diapers and snappi for standing diaper change
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This is what our standing diaper change area looked like in our bathroom while we used that method.

The wetbag we hung on the edge of the towel rack and the basket of diaper changing materials was below on the floor.

When standing he would hold on the to the edge of the bath while we would do the standing diaper/nappy change.

White plastic basket with 3 yellow cloth pocket diapers and 3 white prefold diapers with 1 green cover next to 2 snappis and 5 cloth wipes with orange polka dots. On bathroom floor next to bath.
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Our basket contained a handful of cloth diapers, in this photo we had 3 pocket cloth diapers and 3 prefolds with 1 cover. Also in the basket we had 2 snappi’s and a handful of cloth wipes.

During standing diaper changes the soiled diaper and cloth wipes went straight into the wetbag above this basket, and then we’d grab the new diaper and begin the process of putting on a new diaper while explaining to B what we were doing.

If needed I could easily wet a cloth wipe from the bath tap to clean his bum.

This Montessori approach helps with teaching your child that all toileting needs occur in the bathroom/toilet. In the future this assists with toilet learning and their understanding that pee/poo needs to happen in the bathroom.

Toilet learning set-up in a bathroom with toilet in top left corner, shower in right corner, sink in bottom right, and bath on bottom left. Aqua tiles and white ceramic. Kids toilet seat on toilet. Kids plastic potty on floor in front of sink with small mirror in front of it.
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Above is a photo of the toilet learning area for L’s older brother B when transitioning from potty to toilet.

B used potty at first due to being so small when he start at 23 months (under 2). He sat on it backwards and would face the mirror by his choice.

Eventually he began wanting to use the big toilet like us, so we invested in a kids toilet seat that attaches to adult toilet.

Our Change Table

brown,wooden montessori change table with 2 shelves with 2 grey baskets on each filled with nappies. wicker basket with wet bag in it next to it.
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As I mentioned previously, my back does not do well changing diapers on the floor, and I do not feel comfortable trying to do them anywhere other than the ground.

What suited our family best was to use a modern day change table, this allowed me more storage in arms reach and was more ergonomical.

The wicker basket has a large wetbag inside and is where I put soiled cloth diapers (after poo-removal if needed).

How I store Cloth Diapers at Change Table

I use a four basket method with 1 mini basket for cloth diapering at our change table.

Basket on the top left has fleece liners, cloth diaper shells, and small/large wetbags.

Cloth diaper storage fabric basket with fleece liners, wetbags, and diaper covers.
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Top right basket has my pre-folds and work horse cloth diapers.

cloth diaper storage fabric grey baskets with 5 workhorse diapers and 10 prefold cloth diapers.
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The bottom baskets both contain pocket cloth diapers which have been great options for daycare, grandparents, and diaper bag.

grey cloth diaper storage basket with pocket cloth diapers of variety of colors.
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grey cloth nappy storage basket with variety of colored pocket nappies.
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Mini-basket on the top shelf contains the snappies/diaper pins, zipper pouch with baby nail clippers, diaper rash cream, and cloth wipes.

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Essentially I have a little of everything in the cloth diaper realm. I will say with standing diaper changes, pocket diapers are the easiest to use.

This is just our experience with cloth nappies while doing Montessori at home with our boys. I hope it has given you some insight on what you can do in your own home!

Montessori standing diaper change area
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Montessori Diaper Changing Area Options

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4 thoughts on “Montessori Change Table or Diaper Changing Area”

  1. Love all the tips! Are you able to share your cloth diaper systems, what changes you made as the child grows, how you use and wash them and where you purchase them in Australia?

    I am overwhelmed by all the options out there and not looking for something necessarily fancy – just one that is feasible and actually practical so I don’t abandon the whole thing for disposables. I do like the idea of just using simple pre-folds / terry cloths, pinning them with snappies and putting a cover over it.

    • We mostly used pockets and pre-folds. I would say over the span of 2 years for both kids that we used the prefolds more in the early baby months (0 – 10 months) and once they began walking we shifted to using pockets more because they wouldn’t stay still as long. The pre-folds are much easier to clean and put away in my opinion. I used Blueberry and Thirstie covers with my pre-folds. In total, 8 covers and 3 snappis have lasted me 3 1/2 years now easily. I found my pockets at a garage sale, which were cheapies called BabyLand. I recommend doing some 2nd hand shopping in Australia, much cheaper that way. I got a few brand new ones at Thrift Shops for $5 before.

      If honestly seems harder than it is, I was surprised how easy the routine became with my first right after birth. I will say disposable up until the cord stub comes off is better, my cloth rubbed it raw the first day so we switched to disposables til that fell off and then have been using them ever since. You just have to get used to a bub wiggling a bit while you get the muscle memory of doing it, though after a few weeks it becomes 2nd nature.

      For washing I chuck them in for a 30 min quick wash with no detergent at 40 degrees as the pre-rinse. Then I do a normal wash at 30 or 40 degrees with OMO sensitive powder. Looked it up on a AU Cloth Nappy group and have had no trouble since we began.

      Hope that helps, if you want to know anything else just let me know! I can do a post specifically on it if you would find that helpful as I could add photos. About to start toilet learning with our 21 month old soon, so kinda sad to be ending our cloth journey soon.


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