Baby Stage, Family

How to Minimize Diaper Waste

“Can you change the diaper garbage?” “The baby’s pail needs changing again.” Definitely not the most pleasant way to greet my husband when he gets home in the evening.

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misshapen tennis ball, toss it in the trash!

Using less diaper pail spaceA side benefit to binding the diapers this way is that if you miss the garbage when throwing it out, neither the floor, nor your hands will get dirty when you have to pick it up.

Another important waste-conserving change made to our diaper routine was using dollar-store face cloths as bum wipes. Although I sometimes use them for poos, most of the time they are used to wipe Little Fox after each wet diaper. We have about 20 of these cheap face cloths, and I run them under a warm tap while I wash my hands before a diaper change. These face cloths are washed with the rest of baby’s laundry, as they are generally the same kind of dirty as Little Fox’s other clothes. For poo explosions I’ll use the face cloths and regular baby wipes – in those cases it is just important to try and get baby clean again! Depending on the direction of the explosion, I might not bother to bind up the dirty diaper, and one inefficient use of pail space doesn’t ruin the whole system.

The last thing I do to minimize diaper pail waste is to fold over the puppy pad and then roll it up before stuffing it inside the garbage bag. Puppy pads have to be the greatest innovation to the whole baby changing system. Puppy pads are great for when you have to change your baby on the floor (not everywhere you visit will have a change table!). I put a burping cloth under Little Fox’s head, and the puppy pad is there to protect baby from the floor, and the floor from baby. At home, there are two puppy pads on the changing table. When baby uses the table like a diaper, the puppy pad catches it all, and I slide the top puppy pad out and start the process all over again. Puppy pads are used as car seat protectors, at the bottom of the bouncer and swing, under the floor gym, and even under the

It seems like the diaper pail is always full. Didn’t you just replace the garbage bag? After a few months of frustration and overfilled diaper pails, I finally developed a system to reduce the amount of pail space taken up with each diaper change. These easy changes have reduced the number of times we (okay, my husband) has had to take out Little Fox’s garbage from everyday to every three days. It has made a huge difference in how I feel about changing baby. I no longer have to worry that diapers are going to start falling on the floor!

The biggest change I made to the diaper disposal routine was how I put the diaper into the pail. I used to just drop it in the same way it was taken off. While this was an easy thing to do, it was not an effective use of pail space. Instead, when I slide the diaper out from under Little Fox, I follow this process:

First, roll the top of the diaper onto the back as compactly as the contents safely allow. (It can still be a bit lose, as the next step is the space-conserving part). Next, take the straps of the diaper (the part used to fasten it onto your baby) and wind it as tightly as possible around the rolled diaper. Wrap one around lengthwise, and the other across where the first is binding the diaper. Now that the diaper is bound up like a crib sheet. These puppy pads save a lot of emergency laundry runs!

So now you have the tools you need to have less diaper stress! Rolling diapers up really makes a difference in the amount of space they take up in the pail. Using cheap face cloths as bum wipes can also minimize waste, whether you are using disposable or cloth diapers. Puppy pads really help with the mess of changing your baby, and I don’t go anywhere without them!

What methods do you use to keep your baby waste to a minimum? Comment below! Also be sure to check out our article on Newborn Needs!


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