You may have noticed that we did not have a changing table in L’s bedroom. In fact, we do not have a changing table at all. We do have an area set aside for changing diapers, but it is in the bathroom, not the bedroom — because the bathroom is where toileting activity should occur, and we want to instill that from the start.
Our bathroom is currently set up like this:
We have a changing pad set up on the floor. When L began crawling, she could climb onto the changing pad by herself — and yes, she could also crawl off it by herself. We never had any problems with her crawling off in the middle of a changing. She knew the procedure that must take place before she could crawl off, and she waited until her pants were on before making her move. Part of the reason for that is probably because we talk to her when we’re changing her diaper about the process, rather than distracting her with a mobile or toy.
Now that L is able to stand, we change most of her diapers with her standing up. This allows her to be part of the diapering process — she first gets a diaper from the cupboard, opens it and hands it to us, then stands beside the toilet. Soon she can start helping to pull her pants down and take off her own diaper, and then pull her pants back up when we are finished. She wears clothes that make this process easier for her to do by herself: no onesies, no overalls, no buttons on pants. There is a step stool at the toilet so she can sit on it when we take her diaper off. She is by no means toilet-trained — this is just the first step, getting her comfortable with sitting on the toilet. She has never actually produced anything while sitting on it, and she doesn’t even sit for very long, and that’s fine — she’s only 16 months old.
We do not currently have a step stool that will reach to the sink for her to wash her hands, so that is our next step. I can’t find exactly what I want in stores, so I’ll probably have my husband modify some cheap step stools to place around the house as needed. I’ll post pics once that is finished.