Puddle pad can have a couple of definitions. Some people define cotton pads with rubberized backing or absorbent wool pads that can be used under sheets on cribs, or on top of changing table mattresses as puddle pads. Another definition is smaller rubberized cotton or wool pads that may be useful to clean up small messes, or to provide a little protection against baby leaks in things like strollers. The small puddle pad may also make good temporary coverage if you need to change a baby on the floor or a couch, though they usually are only large enough to provide coverage under the diaper area.
You’ll find many uses for both large and small puddle pad types. Babies are notoriously messy, and it can be frustrating to constantly be changing bedding when you could have provided a pad protection. Some parents may feel strongly that these pads should always be made of completely natural material such as wool. You will pay more for these, and some people argue they don’t protect against wetness to the same degree, as do rubberized pads. They also may have slightly different washing care requirements.
Whatever puddle pad you plan to choose, get quite a few puddle pads that are smaller. It’s fairly easy to use a dozen of these each day when your baby is young. They also double as good spit up cloths and you can use them over a shoulder when you burp babies. The small ones are often sold in packages, and it’s safe to say you’ll probably need at least a dozen. Some days, you may find yourself changing a baby’s sheets a few times, which means you should plan to have a few extra puddle pad mattress covers on hand too.
You should also consider purchasing some mid-size puddle pad types for use on changing tables, or as extra coverage in strollers and bassinets. Though there may be a little bit of extra cost at first in purchasing these, they are nowhere near as expensive as having to replacing mattresses for cribs, bassinets, strollers or changing tables. They’re also much cheaper than having to get your carpet or clothing cleaned.
You’ll find a variety of puddle pad types in baby supply sections of department stores. You can also order these online. It may be easier to find the natural fabrics ones at specialty baby stores or from stores specializing in natural products for babies.