Can you do cloth diapering as a working parent? Even if you're having issues with child care providers not working with you on cloth diapers, cloth diapering, even as a part-time choice, is still an option for you.
Just as maybe you're not always able to recycle everywhere you go, you don't have to do disposable diapers at every changing session. For our family, we've settled into a routine of part-time cloth diapering, and I am working on increasing my husband's comfort level with using cloth during naptimes and errands.
A co-worker of mine, who's expecting her first, is considering using a diaper service. Even if she sticks with it during maternity leave and goes to disposable after the fact, she's likely coming out ahead financially and still helping the environment.
But what if your child is older? Does it still make sense? Do the math:
Assume that you, like myself, have a child who's wearing size 3 diapers. We go through about six changes a day.
A package of Pampers costs about $12 for 35 diapers (about six days or three weekends' worth).
Assume we go light and purchase seven all-in-one diapers, which are the most costly variety of diapers but most convenient when you're time-crunched. These run about $15 each. Assume we agree to do laundry Saturday night (and having an extra diaper on-hand when we forget to dry them overnight!)
Those seven all-in-ones would cost about $105. (That's not including shipping, but then, I don't factor in driving to the store for diapers, either.) For that same $105, we could buy 8.75 packages of disposable diapers. For those keeping score, that's 306 diapers or 51 days' worth.
In other words, after weekend 26 you're starting to come out ahead.
(Yes, I concede that there's extra laundry involved, and with disposables there's the pail liners and other accessories. It's challenging to do a complete cost analysis.)
Want to do more? You could always sew your own all-in-ones.