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If you live in a small space you need a plan to deal with diapers

Diaper pail, seen in the background of this heartwarming
parenting moment... smells not included
I think diaper disposal methods are one of the lesser known battlegrounds of the parent internet (just Google "do I need a diaper pail"). Lesser known... but no less important or full of smug self confidence.  There are definitely those, otherwise of sound parenting judgement, who do not believe in "fancy diaper disposal" systems and tell you to use a garbage can. I think the diaper pail denialism stems from two places.

  1. 1.Different lifestyle.  Meaning, some people either live in large enough homes that they cannot smell the horror, or they run every poopy diaper to out to the garage once their kiddo starts solids (breastmilk fed babies have slightly less foul smelling diapers... slightly being the operative word). Of course, not everyone has a garage (I don't) and some of us live 2 floors up from the big garbage bins that would remove the diaper from our actual living space.  Walking down and up 2 flights of stairs every time the kid poops seems... impractical at best.

  2. 2. The belief that diaper pails don't do anything to control the smell. Having been around some different diaper pails, I would say that this is true if you buy a not great diaper pail and/or don't buy the bags that are designed to go with it.

I personally only have a lot of experience with the Dekor Diaper Plus Diaper Disposal System so I suppose I cannot speak so authoritatively to the efficacy of other systems (I have been in other people's houses though).  That said, we picked the Dekor for its excellent Amazon reviews and the glowing write up in the Baby Bargains book. Having now used it for almost 3 years, I will say that while not perfect, it totally 100% cuts down on the smell A LOT. I will also say that I like how easy it is to put the diapers in one handed (pretty much no different than a regular garbage can with a push lid and a foot pedal). I also like that it doesn't look like a baby item because once the kids are out of diapers, this bin will take regular garbage bags and can be used as just a trash can in their room (it now also comes in so-called "Designer Colors" if you want to match your decor better).

Don't be tempted to use the regular garbage bags with diapers though - the refills are made out of special plastic that is much better at controlling smell than regular garbage bags.  Using regular garbage bags will totally defeat the purpose of buying the pail in the first place.

This brings us to the lifetime operating cost of the pail, a.k.a. "omg how much does a refill cost?" How the refills (or bags) work was very unclear to me before I bought the Dekor and I  just assumed that I would pay a fortune for bags and that's that.  Not so! Yes the refills aren't cheap, but 1 refill does not equal 1 regular garbage bag.  This is because each refill cartridge is used to create many many bags by tying off and disposing of a Dekor-full of diapers each time the can fills. Even with 2 kids in diapers, it takes us about a month to go through one cartridge. Coming in 2-packs, $7 a month for diaper pail bags is not cheap, but definitely not that bad.

Finally, this is another one of those great items to register for (and don't forget to put the refills on the list) because it is pricey enough that getting it as a present is awesome.

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