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How to Choose a Diaper Pail

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Babies create lots of messy diapers in their first years, so you'll need an easy, effective way to dispose of all that mess. Whether you choose a simple trash can or a high-tech, odor-eliminating diaper disposal system, there's a diaper pail out there to meet almost anyone's needs and budget.

What's Your Diaper Pail Budget?

Today's diaper disposal systems have gotten kind of fancy. If you prefer to purchase a diaper pail with any touch-free, odor-reducing or diaper-sealing features, you can expect to pay anywhere from $15 for a basic diaper pail to $50 or more. If your diaper disposal system requires special refill bags, you'll need to buy plenty of extra bags. Some diaper pails also have air filters to reduce smells, so add any accessories into your budget, too. Many parents simply buy a trash can with a flip-up lid and take the trash out frequently.

How Does the System Work?

Take a few minutes to examine the diaper pail and note how the system works. Does it use special bags that seal the diapers into an individual space? Does it use standard trash bags and an air filter to reduce smell? Do you want to purchase extra bags and accessories in order to make your diaper disposal system work? For some parents, buying these extras is not a hassle, but some find it frustrating. Also be sure that you can operate any moving parts easily, as some diaper pails have a top that you must flip or turn to dispose of the diaper.

What is the Capacity?

Changing the bag in your baby's diaper pail is not going to be pleasant no matter which system you choose. Some diaper pails may have small bags that require daily changing. Other diaper disposal systems have large capacities that allow you to wait several days to change the bag. Each side has its own disadvantage - you either get to deal with the diaper pail daily, or you deal with increased stinkiness and more diapers a few days later.

Will It Really Keep Your Nursery Odor-Free?

Some diaper pails really do a great job of keeping the diaper smell from escaping into the nursery, so a high-tech diaper pail is a worthy purchase for some parents. It's hard to keep the smells from happening altogether, though, so if the diaper pail keeps odors from escaping, you can imagine that when it's time to change the bag, the smells have collected inside the pail and sometimes don't want to leave at that point. A stick-on deodorizer or some crumpled newspapers left in the pail for a few days may help, but the pail is full of smelly diapers, after all, so you can't expect it to smell like roses.

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