Friday, January 20, 2012

My love-hate relationship with my Diaper Genie

The Diaper Genie II is a great invention.  Baby pees or poops in diaper.  Parent needs a place to drop it quickly to put new diaper on and avoid airborne baby mess while uncovered.  And so the Diaper Genie becomes an esential part of the diaper changing routine.

Here's what Playtex says about the product:

The Diaper Genie® Disposal System has all the requirements moms need when it comes to diaper pails:
  • Patent pending double-locked pail design and multi-layer refill seals in odour and germs
  • Antimicrobial protection inhibits odour-causing bacteria
  • Diapers only touch refill film, not the pail, so no messy residue is left behind
  • Foot pedal allows for easy, hands-free opening
  • No need to bend down
  • Made in the USA
It seals 270 Newborn diapers, 233 #1 diapers, 192 #2 diapers, 176 #3 diapers, 144 #4 diapers and 105 #5 diapers.
As new parents, we changed Noah about 10 times a day.  Like any new parent, when we noticed he was wet, we changed him.  Probably to the point of excessive, but he didn't mind.  He never got upset about a dirty diaper, but we were determined to avoid the dreaded diaper rash, so we changed him frequently.  As a result, our Diaper Genie was bursting at the seams after a week of use.

I say a week, because the newborn diapers were so tiny that you could really jam a lot in there.  We emptied it about once a week, and when we pulled it out, it looked like a giant, diaper-filled sausage.  Every time we changed him, we always took the diaper upstairs to the Genie.  We had it placed beside the change table for easy access.

Here's how it works:  you remove the dirty diaper, roll it up tightly and use the waist tapes to hold it in a small ball.  You press the foot pedal, the lid pops open, you drop in the diaper (sometimes you have to push it through the "claw" inside, and then let the lid fall.  Inside is a long plastic bag that feeds from a plastic circle container that sits inside the opening.  You only pull out a few feet at a time, and knot the plastic at the end to create a bag.

I love the fact that it has a foot pedal.  I remember my sister had the old, twisty one (you lifted the lid manually, dropped in the diaper and twisted the bag inside) and it wasn't as easy to use.  She even commented that this design was better.  Who has an extra hand when you're trying to dispose of a dirty diaper and hold onto the baby to make sure they don't roll off the change table?

The refills now last us a few weeks.  As his diapers have gotten bigger, we can't fit quite as many in.  To figure out if it's full, I just pick it up.  If it feels heavy, I know it's time to empty it.  And emptying is a breeze.  You just open it up (like a clamshell), use the handy built in cutter to slice the bag and tie it, and then knot the remaining end, pull more bag from the dispenser, and close it up.  Easy peasy and all done in a matter of minutes.

Now here's my complaint.  And it's a big one.

Any parent who has transitioned their infant to solids will know that their bowel movements go through a massive change.  Let's just say that I miss the days of seedy, yellow breastmilk poop.  Now we have rock hard, black, foul smelling, room clearing poops.  Often I can smell it from across the room, and when I change Noah, I discover it's only a tiny amount.  Now that's potent.

The issue is that the Diaper Genie contains the smell (most of the time, depending how full it is) when the lid is closed, but when I open it to drop in a dirty diaper......WHAM! The stench nearly knocks me over.  I've tried shaking baby powder inside, and that helps mask the odour...temporarily.  I've tried spraying Febreeze and Lysol inside to kill the germs, but all I end up with is flower or apple-scented poo.  So now I'm emptying it every couple days, simply because of the smell.

Maybe their old design was better, because by twisting the bag, you created a barrier that contained the odour to that section of the bag.

I would love some ideas for eliminating or minimizing the stench.  Sometimes I walk into Noah's room to check on him at night, and think that he pooped, only to realize the smell is from his Diaper Genie, and not him.

Any suggestions?

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