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But often it isn't the daycare question that turns a mom or dad who works outside the home--or plans to--off of cloth. It's the laundry.
Babies add laundry. They just do. When our first was born, our (pretty minimal) water bill went up by around $5/month. Part of that may have been influenced by my postpartum 'Mommy's nightly reading break' bath habit, but I know a large part of it was extra laundry.
Extra laundry because of spit-up. Extra laundry because of diaper blow-outs (and, remember, we used disposables exclusively for the first six months--most poops were blow-outs). Extra laundry because nobody tells you this when you're expecting your first, but breastmilk sprays everywhere when a newborn with reflux pulls off mid-letdown.
So if there's already going to be all this extra laundry, is it logistically safe--and sane--to add in cloth diapers? I mean, don't they require a pre-rinse and a post-rinse? Don't some people end up having to use long wash cycles to make sure they're clean? Does it tie up the washing machine? What about drying time?
The fact is, cloth is a bit of a time commitment because the washing machine is 'tied up' for that much (but it's not really much) longer than it otherwise would have been. But there are several reasons that you'll also be saving time. In other words, the time lost is recouped, and so it's, honestly, a 'six of one, half a dozen of the other' situation. (More after the jump...)