Ok guys, so I haven’t blogged in quite a while, but as a new parent I have encountered a lot of blog-able things in recent months. This is the latest stop on my journey – not a new physical location, but still a very new place. Parenthood.
When our bundle of joy first came in to this world, we had no idea what to expect. We didn’t know which shower and registry items were necessities, which were niceties, or which may not be particularly useful. Still, choices had to me made.
One of those decisions was what sort of diaper pail to get. We had intended to employ a mixture of cloth and disposable diapering, and the local cloth diapering service provides pails for soiled inserts. All we needed was a good place for those pesky disposable diapers.
I will admit we spent several weeks without a closed pail. Frankly, with an itty bitty fresh newborn, it wasn’t much of a problem. However, as our daughter grows I have found the soiled diaper smell has likewise gotten stronger!
When doing some admittedly cursory internet research (being a new mom has brought new significance to the phrase ‘ain’t nobody got time for that!’), I found the majority of diaper pails require proprietary bags. There is an exception out there, maybe even two. I considered also going the closed trash can route, thinking it doesn’t really have to be designed for diapers does it?
Ultimately though, my postpartum energy levels and frugality meant I bought one in the place I shop most, and I bought the one I had a coupon for… namely the Munchkin Arm & Hammer Diaper Pail. For other parents out there, I just wanted to note a couple of things I felt were not accurately covered by even thorough reviews and diaper pail comparisons (here’s a comparison I found very helpful during my own search).
- Price: While I have seen this pail listed for more on amazon and elsewhere, the Munchkin Arm & Hammer Diaper Pail only costs $25 at Target. Plus, if you do a baby registry there you will likely receive a $5 off coupon bringing it down to only $20. This is a much better price than the competition
- Odor Control: I have found that this pail does a great job eliminating stinky diaper odor! The way this pail closes sort of spins the bag closed so very little smell can escape. Plus it has a little baking soda dispenser that sprinkles a bit in the bag each time it is closed, and the proprietary bags have additional odor control. If it smells, it is probably time to empty the trash bag!
- Proprietary Bags: This pail uses proprietary bags This is one of the reasons I almost didn’t buy it, actually. I figured, with the ease of returns at Target I could always take it back if the cost of replacing bags turned out to be too much. Baby Gear Lab estimates the lifetime cost of the proprietary bags to be $190.
But here’s the thing – contrary to what I had read elsewhere you really don’t have to use the proprietary bags. Here’s what I do instead!
- Cut the blue plastic ring off of a proprietary bag. If you are doing this from the get go, you won’t have to buy any bags at all because the pail comes with one to start you off!
- Insert your alternate trash bag. I use these kitchen sized odor control drawstring bags that we picked up on sale at a deep discount, but even little plastic shopping bags would probably work! Whatever you use, just insert it by wrapping the bag opening around the blue plastic ring.
- Pop the ring in to the pail. You will notice that the blue ring has four tabs, so you just need to pop these all in until it feels secure.
- Pull the bag through. You can open the pail door and pull the bag down in to the interior.
And voila! It is really extremely simple! The first time I tried it, I wasn’t sure if it would work, and it was a bit awkward to position the bag since you aren’t really using it as intended. But after I did it a couple of times I found it to be quite easy.
Do take caution to monitor your bag’s contents. The proprietary bags are the perfect size to use up all of the space in the pail, but still be easy to remove. When using your own bag, if it has a larger capacity, you might over fill it a bit. In that case, it is just a bit of a struggle to pull the bag out when it is over full. With mine, using kitchen size bags, if I notice the door start to bulge a little bit I know it is time for a new bag.
When you purchase the pail, it comes with one bag. I bought a small box of bags along with it, thinking I would be using them exclusively. Instead, I have been happy with hacking the pail, and we just use odor blocking drawstring bags.
Note We have now been using this pail for over a year. Eventually, the seam on the plastic ring will wear out. At that point you can choose either to get a new proprietary bag, if you have extras or can get them at a good price, or you can go the cheap route like we did and just duct tape that thing back together! It might not be glamorous, but let’s be real… it is a soiled diaper storage arrangement, so I don’t think fancy or expensive will do anything to improve the situation.