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Newborn Diaper Rental FAQs

Newborn Diaper Rental FAQs

Are the diapers and covers new? 
Yes, everything included with the Newborn Diaper Rental Package are all new. If you are interested in a cheaper rental option, please check out the Preloved Diaper Rental packages here (and the Preloved Diaper Rental FAQ page here). 

Can I modify the rental? 
Certainly you can modify a new-diaper rental! If there are modifications you'd like to make please feel free to contact me and I will do my best to accommodate your requests and/or circumstances.
For preloved rentals, I will have a few Bitsy Boosts and modified trials that will be available from time to time. Just shoot me an email if you are interested in hearing what I will have around your EDD.

Can I keep the diapers and covers? 
Would you like to keep the covers? Absolutely. Covers are sold to you as 'Excellent Used Condition,' and are priced at $10.41 each. Feel free to keep as many of your covers as you'd like. I simply deduct their total price from your deposit ($145 cash refund or $175 store credit refund).

Would you like to keep the fitteds? As there are other families slatted to rent the diapers you return, I ask that you do not keep the fitted diapers (unlike the trial packages which encourage you to keep any diapers that you like). In other words, please, please do not keep the diapers without arranging an additional payment with me. The rental is priced to ensure as many families as possible can afford the package. If many more people keep their rentals I will be forced to raise the price to cover these losses. I really would like to avoid doing this.

Are four covers really enough? Are 25 fitteds enough? 
Yes! The vast majority of renters confirm four covers + 25 fitteds = the perfect amount for washing every other evening. 
A typical routine - 
  • Day 1: Rotate between two covers. While one is on baby's bottom, hang the other one to air out (we always hung it over the baby lotion bottle on the changing table). At the next change, swap covers. If poop happens to escape the fitted, the PUL-inner makes it easy to wipe the mess out (if you are exclusively breastfeeding, the cover simply can be hand-washed in the sink, then hung to dry; if you are BF+formula or exclusively formula-feeding, then you'll need to put any poop down the toilet and not down the sink). At the end of the day toss one cover into the pail and use the other overnight. 
  • Day 2: Toss the overnight cover into the pail, and start the two cover rotation again. That evening, wash three covers, using the fourth cover overnight. 
Tips, Tricks and Words of Wisdom - 
  • To prevent any smell from forming, ensure the covers are washed in equal rotation, and the same cover doesn't escape multiple laundry days. 
  • If you don't like the idea of reusing the same cover over and over, then a two-piece system (whether it be fitteds, flats, prefolds, contours or an AI2 brand) isn't for you. You'll instead want to consider pocket or all-in-one brands. 
  • Want to extend your newborn rental even further, and wash every third day? Consider adding another cover or two, and a dozen prefolds into rotation. Or even rotate through the rental's four covers, and just buy a dozen prefolds. Newborn Prefolds are a fantastic tool - you can later use them as doublers in your one-size diapers. They also make great burp clothes, clean-up tools for potty training accidents. And past the diapering years they are great all-purpose rags for around the house or garage. 

Do you need to receive the order four weeks prior to my EDD?
As long as I receive the order four weeks out (six weeks as of 9/16/11), I will guarantee the diapers will arrive to you prior to your EDD. If you order within that six-week window, I will do my best to get the diapers to you before your little one arrives. The most I can guarantee is that the diapers will be to you six weeks from the time you order the package. If you'd like, feel free to email me to ask if I have any extra rentals available to ship immediately. 

When do you ship the rentals? 
Rentals typically ship 1-3 weeks prior to your EDD. Rentals are guaranteed to arrive by your due date (barring acts of God), not guaranteed to ship in 1-3 weeks. Because I ship priority mail (which means packages arrive 1-3 days after shipment) you might not see a shipping notice until the week of your due date.  If you do go early unexpectedly, please contact me asap so we can get your rental shipped as quickly as possible. 

I typically go early with each of my babies. When should I order?
Please use your 'revised' EDD of your early timing, ordering 6 weeks before then. So, if you consistently go three weeks early (aka 37 weeks), please plan on ordering when you are 31ish weeks along.

I'm due in six months but I know I want to do the rental, what should I do? 
I ask that you do not order your rental more than twelve weeks prior to your EDD (or scheduled induction or caesarean). 

I ordered the rental and my baby came early! Now what? 
Please email me asap, and I will get those diapers out to you as fast as I can.

When does the rental begin? 
Officially, the rental begins the day your baby is born. Unofficially, the rental begins the day you start to use the diapers. I ask that you plan on starting the rental within one week of your baby's arrival, so the diapers aren't in rental limbo for months on end. Once you've adjusted to life with a baby, I ask you confirm with me the date you started using the diapers, so we can work out the official due date (haha) of your package. 

How long is the rental? 
The rental is twelve weeks long. Aka 84 days. 

Can I extend the rental? 
Yes, if your baby still fits in the diapers towards the end of the rental, you are welcome to extend your package. Each additional 4-week period is $20. Please ensure to arrange your extension ahead of time (click here to extend your rental), so I do not think you've run off and formed a permanent bond with your newborn diaper rental. 

Can I end the rental early? 
You are welcome to ship back the diapers at any time and your deposit will be refunded (pending all the diapers are in good used condition). Unfortunately, once the diapers are washed I cannot refund the deposit. If there are extenuating circumstances please contact me and I'll do my best to find a solution that works for both of us.  

Shipping? Who pays? 
As the rental cost is over the $35 free domestic shipping offered by Itsy Bitsy Bums, the diapers ship free to you. You are responsible for covering shipping costs back to me (for complete return details please see below - 'Bye Bye Newborn Diapers').

Refundable Deposit - $145 or $175?
It is your choice whether you'd like to receive your deposit back in the form of cash back or store credit. I offer a $30 incentive if you choose store credit. You can decide at any time (before, during or after your rental) which form you prefer. Please note, once you have committed to receiving the refundable deposit in the form of store credit, you cannot change back to a cash-back refund. 

For more details on spending your deposit as store credit, and ways to keep your baby out of disposables in the limbo period between rental and purchase, see below under 'Bye Bye Newborn Diapers - What Now?'

Noooo, out of stock?
If you tried to check out, and Paypal showed the rental as out of stock, please contact me to inquire about  availability.  

Do I need to prep the diapers before use? 
The new-diaper rental arrives new-in-package to you, and require prepping before use. There is a detailed instruction book with the package, which will talk you through prepping. If you wish, I can prep the diapers before shipping. Check out Prepped and Ready to Go! for more information. 
Renting a preloved rental package? These diapers are stripped and sanitized between renters, and nothing is required on your part to get them ready. 

How do I wash the rental diapers? Do you have any specific requirements? 
I recommend the basic wash routine that IBB recommends for any cloth diapers. Those instructions can be found here. Virtually any detergent is fine to use on the diapers, although some are more optimal for cloth than others. If you wonder if your detergent is ok, feel free to shoot me an email to confirm! 
The main thing I ask - please please do not use chlorine bleach on the diapers. No matter what your trying-to-be-helpful relatives are telling you, cloth diapers do not need to be sanitized between uses unless your baby is battling an infection (bacterial or fungal). While bleach may seem to help with stains, it is also breaking down the diaper's fibers which then causes them to wear out. Bleach also requires extensive washes to thoroughly rinse out. If stains really bother you, check out how to bleach your diapers, chemical-free!

Does this really work from birth? 
Yes, for 95% of babies this package will fit from day one. Depending on your baby's torso length, you may have to fold the top of the Thirsties cover down to prevent it from rubbing on the healing umbilical cord stump. Please check the 'Action Shots' page to see the diapers on a variety of babies. 

How do I use these in the hospital or birth center?
Make sure you pack a way to store the dirty diapers - a wet bag, pail liner or other system. Ensure anyone assisting you knows your wishes to use cloth, and knows to avoid Desitin or other non-CD-safe rash creams.
Some babies require their ins and outs to be monitored. If that is the case hospital staff will likely require you to use a diaper of which they already know the weight. In other words, a hospital disposable. If you feel strongly against that, see if they can tare out the weight of a clean fitted and cover. 

We have decided to circumcise our boy, what do we need to do?
If you are advised to use Vaseline or another goopey ointment or cream on the healing skin, please ensure to use a liner. A liner can be something you've purchased like the Tweedle Bugs flushable liners, IBB fleece liners, baby washcloths or even scraps of an old t-shirt (ensure you wash any fabric liners ahead of time in CD-safe detergent). 

Meconium, what's the deal with that?
Meconium can be treated just like EBF poop - the diapers can to straight into the wash. However, if you wish to dispose of the the poop pre-laundry time, you can use liners, dunk the diapers or use a diaper sprayer. It will most likely stain your diapers at first, but the stains will gradually fade over subsequent washes. If the stains bother you, you can sun them out
A great tip for making the meconium stage easier - have a small bottle of olive oil handy, and smear a little bit on the bum at each diaper change. It will make wiping the bum a breeze (although still probably not a walk through the park!). And olive oil is completely cloth diaper safe, so no worries getting it on the diapers. 

Nighttime diapering with the newborn rental? 
Once baby is sleeping longer stretches at night, you'll find you want to increase the absorbency of the diaper. This will be a good time to add doublers to the diapers. I recommend laying the doubler inside the cover, rather than trying to lay it inside the fitted. This will ensure a snug fit of the absorbent inner, keeping poop contained, while still increasing absorbency.
Don't have a doubler in the house but need more absorbency? Try using a few baby washclothes, old cotton t-shirt or flour sack dish towel. Just make sure to wash a few times in very hot water to strip out any fabric softener or other nasties you don't want in the diaper.

The diapers were so soft when they first arrived, and now they are starting to get a bit crunchy. I might be a bit crunchy, but I certainly don't want my diapers to be. Help!
Natural fibers will begin to get tougher with time, yes. There are three ways to combat this - 
  1. Machine Dry - while line drying is a great way to save a bunch on your electric/gas bill, it also leads to diapers that are more stiff. Marry the best of both worlds by line drying until the diapers are 90% dry, then throw them in the dryer to help fluff things back up.
  2. Dryer Balls - these are a fantastic softener option. Not only do they help loosen up fibers in the dryer, but they also cut down on the time required to dry. 
  3. Ecover Natural Fabric Softener - while conventional fabric softeners will wreak havoc on cloth diapers' absorbency potential, natural fabric softeners - when used on natural fiber diapers like the fitteds in the rental - will help keep things buttery Soft. We use one capful in the final rinse cycle of our wash routine. I like the one with the pink-cap (scent's name escaping me), but the yellow-cap is also nice. 
  4. (This is an under-the-table recommendation, as it will not work for everyone. Vinegar is also a natural fabric softener option to be added into your rinse cycle. Just be sure not to use it on your PUL covers, as it can cause them to degrade faster. Also, in some water conditions vinegar can exacerbate issues with stink/ammonia, so be on the look-out for that.)

I'm having multiples! What do you recommend?
For twinsies I recommend two rental packages. Or, if the budget requires, simply add a Bitsy Boost to one diaper rental. While most machines cannot handle more than 24 diapers, you will find a second rental ensures laundry isn't a constant worry, and you always have a comfortable number of clean diapers on hand
For triplets I recommend two rental packages plus a Boost. Three complete would overwhelm any washing machine, excepting industrial laundromat-esque machines. Two packages should give you at least enough diapers to get through one full day of cloth diapering, and the Boost diapers would cover the time the dirties are in the washing machine. 

I intend to cloth diaper full time, but haven't bought anything yet. What do you recommend? 
If your budget allows, I recommend adding the One Stop Shop Accessories Package to your newborn diaper rental. It is a one-time purchase which offers a discount on all of those accessories you'll want for cloth diapering full time. 

Can I register for the Newborn Diaper Rental? 
Yes! There are a few different ways you can include the rental on your registry. One way is to break the package into 'shares.' These shares allow gift givers to purchase a portion of the present, and can be as low as $10 each (dividing it into 24 shares) or up to $137.50 (dividing it in half). If only a portion of the package is purchased, you can decide to pay the balance yourself, or apply that credit towards something else in the store. Or, you can choose to list the rental as one item on your registry. 
Once your rental is complete, you will receive your refund in the form of $175 store credit. 
(Please note that only the rental fee is discounted with the registry fulfillment discount, the deposit is not eligible to be discounted.)

My rental is coming to a close. What do I do now? 
Wash your diapers one final time -  Ensure they are completely dry when packed! Even slightly damp diapers can grow mold while in transit. 

Pack the diapers - no special packing required (aka bubble wrap, or repackaging the diapers with their cardboard tags)

Ship them back to
Itsy Bitsy Bums
6300 Walnut St
Kansas City MO 64113

Quick and dirty shipping guide (short answer - USPS will be your cheapest bet unless you are shipping 2+ rentals, in which case UPS might come in a hair cheaper)
  1. United States Postal Service - Anything over 13oz automatically must ship priority. So, find the way that is the cheapest for you - I recommend a snagging a Large Flat Rate Priority Box at the post office. The packaging is free, and this flat rate box is generally the cheapest way to get them back. If you are just a few states away then a regular priority box (which the PO will happily provide for free) will likely come in cheaper than the Large Flat Rate. Be sure to ask for delivery confirmation so you can track the diapers along the way. **Do not ship the diapers back Parcel Post. Parcel Post often takes 2+ weeks, and pretty much leaves me and the next renter hanging. Rentals shipped via Parcel Post are subject to a $25 late fee. If you do want to ship Parcel Post, then you must ship the diapers back at least two weeks prior to your rental's end date to allow for the extended shipping time.**  
  2. UPS - Our address is a commercial address, not residential. So they should give you a cheaper rate for this. UPS Ground is the cheapest UPS option, and typically comes in a few dollars more than USPS. 
  3. FedEx - No recommendations here, other than ask at the counter for tips on the lowest shipping cost. 

Insurance? It is up to you. Please know that the diapers are considered in your possession until they reach me (just as the diapers are considered mine until they reach you, and I would have to cover any loss if the rental didn't make it to you). If they are lost along the way having insurance is a very nice way to protect your temporary investment. 

Once you've shipped the diapers diapers, please send me an email confirming that they are on their way. Also include with this email the tracking information. 

I inspect diapers in weekly batches, so please do not be concerned if you do not receive immediate confirmation from me. Once I've inspected the rental I will send you a reply email, confirming their receipt and condition and the deposit value you are owed. 

Miss a cover or diaper in your initial package to IBB? You have seven days to let me know this item was located and mail it back. If I haven't received the package within one week of my email inquiring about any missing items, they are considered purchased and mementos for your baby's memory box. 

What Now? 
You have a 10%-off coupon* for doing the newborn diaper rental, so keep that in mind as you shop for the next diapers you need. *Thirsties, bumGenius, Econobum, Flip and GroVia ineligible for any discount, and AppleCheeks limited to 5%. That said, there are often volume discounts for these items - contact me to hear more about this. 

Time to buy the diapers you'll use for the next stage of cloth diapering. Know what you want, great! If you don't know what you want, I recommend one of the store's trial packages. This will give you a great idea of what kind of diapers will work best for you. 
To spend your store credit, feel free to either email your purchase to me. I'll apply the relevant discounts and credit and invoice you for any balance owed. Or, shop through the website, and I'll refund the $175 store credit and any discounts on the back end. 

Want to keep disposables off your baby's bottom and away from your wallet? 
This is an option many parents have opted for, as it ensures they save the most money possible with cloth, in addition to keeping disposables off baby's bottom and out of the landfill. 

Email me your order 1-4 weeks before your rental is due to end. I'll draw up an invoice for this total, including any relevant discounts. You pay the invoice, and I get these items shipped to you toot sweet. Get these items prepped and incorporated into your stash. Once you are using your new stash, then drop the rental diapers in the mail to me. Once the diapers arrive I then give them their once-over, then refund the store credit deposit value back to you (pending, of course, that the items arrive in Good Used Condition or better, and the package arrives complete.

This option temporarily requires a bit more out of your pocket, but at the end of the day is the same price as returning the trial, then ordering the next size up. 

The End! 
Whew, right?! This list has been written and revised several times to hopefully best match your inquiries and needs. Still have a question you don't see answered here? Please drop me an email (chances are, you'll eventually see it added as a topic in the above FAQ!)

Last revised 9.11.11

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