I know this gets filed under “you only care if you change a baby a million times a day,” but I do, and I think Playtex Baby’s Diaper Genie II Elite ($40) is a pretty terrific diaper pail.
It has Diaper Genie II’s trap-door design so there’s no twisting the top to make a diaper sausage. Even better, a foot pedal means your hands never touch the pail during a diaper change. Press it with your foot and the lid pops up, the trap doors open and, after you drop in the dipe, everything closes up automatically.
At first I resisted buying any Diaper Genie pail because I would have to buy their bag refills, which are about $5 and last a couple of weeks in our household. I preferred the kind that use standard trash bags because they’re always around and they’re certainly cheaper. But we kept finding that the other brands stopped working smoothly after a few months of use. The Diaper Genie II Elite has been in heavy use for a couple of months and I’ve had no problems with it. It even passed the Daddy test. My husband likes it because it’s simple to use.
Changing the bag is definitely a two-handed operation but it’s not difficult at all. A bag cutter is part of the works and it means you don’t have to hunt for scissors. Just tie a knot in both the full bag and the new one and it’s done. With an 8-month-old baby who gets changed about five times a day, we empty it about twice a week. Though the pail is taller than others, that just makes room for the mechanism and doesn’t necessarily mean the capacity is larger.
Diaper Genie’s “Baby Smells” campaign is a website where you can learn about your baby’s sense of smell and watch a video about several families’ trials and tribulations of poop management. If that’s your cup of tea, have at it. Unfortunately they’re out of their cute sets of free decals for the pails.
Of course, the real point of a diaper pail is containing the nastiness. Otherwise, we’d just use trash cans. The Diaper Genie II Elite has a double-lock system that keeps the stink in even when the lid is open, and it does a great job. I smell nothing unpleasant in the nursery, even when the pail is full.
Pros: Easy, hands-free operation and great odor control.
Cons: You have to buy the Diaper Genie refill bags, which can add up.