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Guide To Buying The Best Diaper Pail

​The Best Diaper Pail Shopping Guide For Busy Parents

It's finally nap time and you sit on the couch to relax. You notice the pile of diapers in the corner that you were just too tired to take outside to the trash, and you decide it's maybe time get a diaper pail. But how do you pick the best diaper pail when there are so many options out there?

It's exhausting to think about, especially since you've already washed marker off of the living room walls for the third time today, unclogged the toilet after your toddler managed to flush the entire roll of toilet paper down, and cleaned up all of the pots and pans which were thrown around the kitchen. It's been a busy day and it's only 1:00 in the afternoon. Who wants to think about diaper pails when you should really be taking a nap?!

Never fear, we're here for you.  Below you will find some helpful information which will hopefully assist you in your quest to find the best diaper pail for your toddler.

Why Buy A Diaper Pail Anyway?


In short, they keep your house from smelling like used diapers!

If you don't know, a diaper pail is basically a receptacle that is specifically designed to collect soiled diapers until they are able to be taken care of. Some diaper pails are for cloth diapers only, while others can be used for either cloth or disposable diapers. Depending on the size of the pail and how many diapers your toddler goes through, these bins can sometimes collect up to a week's worth of diapers or more! Diaper pails were created as a convenience for parents of young children, and many say that a diaper pail is a must-have in their homes.

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Advantages and Disadvantages Of Using A Diaper Pail

As mentioned before, many parents would highly recommend using a diaper pail. However, there are others who believe a diaper pail is just a more expensive garbage can and would rather use a trash bin with a lid. There is no right or wrong method of collecting dirty diapers, and a regular garbage can would work just fine. However, there are some great benefits and advantages to using a diaper pail over a normal trash bin.

Advantages

  • Built to hold soiled diapers, so they contain the smell very well.  If you purchase a quality made pail, you shouldn't smell the used diapers at all once they are packed away.
  • Only needs to be emptied when it gets full, which means less trips out to the dumpster or the laundry room (if you live in an apartment) or trash can (if in a home).  Either way, you only have to make a trip once in awhile instead of every time your child soils a diaper.
  • Can be stored in any room of the house.  I keep mine in the child's bedroom next to the changing stand, but that's only for convenience's sake.  If you are living in tight quarters, you can store it anywhere.
  • You can get washable liners - really this is only sensible if you are using cloth diapers, though I have heard of people using them with disposables.  Not me, sister!  The little free time I have is more valuable than that. But to each their own.

Disadvantages

  • Cost.  The pail does cost some money upfront versus using a trashcan you have lying around.  You can get a quality one for a good price, so I wouldn't let price stop you.
  • You need to plan a little ahead to make sure you have an extra liner at hand at all times.  If you forget, the pail is now useless - the liner is really the stink-barrier.

What Qualities Should I look For In A Diaper Pail?

​Okay, you are now sold on the need in your life for a diaper pail.  Congrats!  I'll give you the information you need to make a great selection.  Keep in mind, there really is no "perfect" pail, so please don't spend hours researching this purchase.  If a product ticks off these features, you are good to go:

  • Odor-battling Technology
  • Ease-of-use - What Features Does It Have
  • Pail Capacity vs. How Many Diaper Age Children You Have
  • Diaper Pail Lock-in - Can You BYOL (Bring Your Own Liner)

It may seem like there is a lot to think about, but most of this is common sense.

PRIMARY QUALITY - ODOR FIGHTING CAPABILITY

When you boil it right down, you are looking for the best diaper pail you can find for one reason:

You want to keep poop-filled diapers in your house as long as possible without anyone being able to smell them.

So it makes sense that the pail does this job adequately, right?

​Luckily, "Big Diaper Pail" industry isn't dumb either, and they know that odor control is entry stakes to get into this business.  I won't bore you with the jargon, but in general if the diaper liner isn't torn or ripped, most pails will keep the smell in - and out of your house.

You will want to make sure the diaper pail has some form of odor control.  This comes into play when you have a tear in the liner, or you go just a little too long without making a run to the trash.  Whether it uses a scented liner, an air filter, or you manually add odor-fighting materials, make sure it's a method that you can live with.

​I personally have used scented liners over the years. They tend to work fine, though I would be a properly-maintained carbon air-filter would do the job better. The only time I have noticed any smell was when the pail was full - which meant it was time to hit the garbage run anyway.

FEATURE SET - HOW EASY IS IT TO USE

You are likely to be surprised when you start shopping for a pail at just how many different features there are available.  Here's my recommendations for MUST-HAVE features:

1. Foot-Pedal.  The foot pedal is essential.  It allows you to operate the pail without hands - and considering you don't want to leave your child on the changing table by his or herself, you'll have a baby in one hand and a diaper in the other most of the time you are using it.

Trust me - you want a foot pedal.

2. Childproof lock.  This might not seem very important, and at the beginning you will have no need for it.  But as your infant grows into a toddler, you'll be happy you picked a pail with this feature.

Kids are curious.  Imagine how enticing the diaper pail looks when they see you using it numerous times a day, and the diaper magically disappears into the plastic hole.

They will want a piece of that action.

The childproof locks are your defense from army men or dolls ending up inside, ripping the bag and leading to a smell-saster. 

There are other features, mainly the height, what material it's made of or the color.  While these are important, it will depend on your personal tastes.  I'm a little taller, so I like a taller pail so I can use it without bending down as much.

​HOW MANY DIAPERS CAN THIS HOLD (OR THE EVER SHRINKING DIAPER PAIL)

I am going to go against some advice I've seen and tell you - get the largest capacity diaper pail you can.  It's probably not for the reason you think though.

When you first bring your little bundle of joy home from the hospital, their used diapers will squish down to the size of an apple.  At this point, you'll never even notice capacity issues because it will take a while to fill the bad-boy to the brim.  So whether it holds 30 or 60 newborn diapers, you won't really care.

But your baby will get older.  And Size 5 diapers are more like a mushy-softball in size. 

At this point, you'll notice the capacity issue.  If you get one with too little holding area, you and your significant other will be fighting over who has to empty the pail again. 

And deep inside, a voice will say "Mary told me - why didn't I listen!?!"

Keep that voice at bay. Plan for the future and get a larger capacity diaper pail.

​This capacity issue will really hit home if you end up having more than one child in diapers at a time.  You might not think that is in your future, but if it's even a possibility GET A LARGE CAPACITY DIAPER DISPOSER!

AVOID LINER LOCK-IN

The manufacturers of most diaper pails learned a great deal from Gillette.  They rely on the razor/razor-blade model of selling a relatively-inexpensive razor/pail, and then making most of the profit off of the razor blade/liner. 

In the long run, you'll spend multiple times of money on the liners than the pail itself.  So before you hit buy on your favorite pail, check out how much the liners cost.  See if you can use other brands of liners in the pail.

Some companies allow you to use any bag you have lying around in their system.  I don't recommend this because of the smell issue, but it does give you an idea that the company isn't trying to lock you in.

There are legitimate reasons for a company wanting you to use thier bags.  If you use poorly made ones, the bags might not hold the smell as well.  Then the manufacturer will get blamed for a poorly-made pail.  So it's not just about squeezing out more money.

​Tip - buy your liners in bulk and you can usually save some money.  It's not always the case though, so check the price.  Amazon has a subscribe and save program that can be helpful here as well.

Diapers are just one of those things that inevitably come with a toddler. So, if you are looking for a solution for those piles of stinky diapers that your toddler produces, a diaper pail may be a great purchase for you. They will give those diapers a place to go, all while leaving your home smelling better and lessening your trips to the laundry room or dumpster out back. Using the information above, you should be able to find a diaper pail that suits all of your needs at the price that is right for you. The good news in all of this is that one day your toddler WILL grow out of the diaper phase, despite how far away that day may seem at the time. Until then, a diaper pail very well could help you enjoy those moments with your toddler a little more. The next time you are scrubbing permanent marker off of the wall, take a second to notice the absence of that "used diaper" smell. It may just change your life!