The arrival of a baby often means big expenses. And that’s normal when you start from scratch. However, there is one thing that still amazes me and that is the price of furniture for a nursery. A simple changing table can cost up to 2 times the price of a simple dresser. But, when you think about it, a changing table is nothing more than a dresser with a little mattress on it and possibly a structure to hold the baby. Nothing very complicated and nothing that justifies paying full price.
When I got pregnant I didn’t have the desire or the money to buy this expensive baby furniture. I knew I would eventually have to get rid of it so it seemed a bit counterproductive. I wanted to find something that I could keep or something that I already owned. As it happened, I had in my possession an IKEA chest of drawers (the Nordli model). So I started to think about how I could transform this dresser into a changing table.
Why using the IKEA dresser as a changing table without modifying it, is problematic?
When I first started my research about using my Ikea dresser as a changing table, I found a lot of pictures of people just using their IKEA dresser in the length direction. Because in the end, the difference between a changing table and a dresser is simply the depth of the furniture. A standard dresser is usually not deep enough to put a changing mat on it and still be facing the drawers. So people seemed to use their dresser as changing table lengthwise. Well for me this seemed very odd and non-functional at all. Where would I put all the essentials for baby care if I don’t have space on the sides and can’t open the drawers easily? It surely looks really nice but to this day I still haven’t figured out how people make it work. So I kept looking for another solution.
An IKEA HACK that requires zero DIY (almost)
One of my concerns, on top of all of that, was that I didn’t want to engage in a difficult DIY. I was 7 months pregnant and didn’t really have the energy for it. That’s when I found it. An easy and ready-made solution to use almost any IKEA dresser as a changing table: A pre-made changing top that adapts to any IKEA chest of drawers. It’s a product made by Puckdaddy, a German company.
It’s really only a few pieces of wood that you assemble to create the structure that will frame the changing mat. It is strongly recommended to mount it on the wall to prevent slipping as the structure is just placed on the dresser. That’s probably the “hardest” part but it really is worth it.
Here are the links to the structure according to the model of the IKEA dresser you have :
A review of my IKEA Nordli changing top “Ferdinand”
I’ve been using my IKEA Nordli dresser as a changing table for a year and a half now and I don’t regret it at all. It’s probably one of the easiest, most cost-effective, and time-saving IKEA hacks I’ve ever done. I own the Nordli dresser with 6 drawers that measure 120x47x76 cm. So I bought the rounded changing top for Nordli called Ferdinand. I chose to not buy the changing top with a separator as I thought the mat would serve as a separator. My dresser is also mounted on legs (legs bought here on Etsy) as we needed it to be a little bit higher. A few nice-looking baskets (mine are from H&M Home similar here and here) to put the diapers and the baby care products and we were done!
If you are interested in swapping or adding legs to a piece of furniture you might want to have a look at this article where I list a few of my favorite places where to find legs for your furniture.
Honestly, after 1 year and a half of using this changing table, I wouldn’t do anything different. I’m really happy with the result and the functionality. There are traces of wear (see photo below) but on the frame and not on the dresser.
A dresser turned into a changing table and then back to a dresser (without a trace)
The beauty of this solution is that when your child no longer needs to be changed, you can easily remove the frame. You’ll get your IKEA dresser back exactly as it was. So you are not stuck with an abnormally deep chest of drawers that you don’t really want anymore.