The Poop Factor
In my experience, I've touched way more poop cloth diapering than I did when Harry was in disposables. I try to use disposable liners with Harry whenever possible, but he kind of just goes whenever, no set schedule. After babies start solids you can't throw soiled diapers in the wash as is. We have a sprayer hooked up to our toilet that I use to clean off the diapers before throwing them in the pail. Even if I do use a liner a lot of the time I end up having to spray the diaper a little. It can get gross and messy sometimes, but I'm so used to it now it really doesn't phase me.
Cloth diapers contain poop really well. It's virtually unheard of to have a blowout in one, which obviously is a plus. Sometimes I think they contain it a little too well though, to the point where you can't even smell it. Which doesn't really seem like it would be a negative, but it can be. In disposables you can smell it almost instantly, so you know it's time to change. With Harry being such a random pooper I feel like I don't always catch them right away. I'm constantly checking his diaper but I have missed a few and I just feel so bad.
People who tell you cloth diapering isn't more of a time commitment than disposables are lying. It absolutely is. Manageable? Yes. But there are a few more steps involved in cloth diapering, meaning it will take up more of your time. First, you have to fold/stuff/put away your diapers every few days. I usually stuff my pockets and fold all my diapers while watching TV. Then of course there's the extra laundry. It's recommended you do diaper laundry every other day, so you're looking at an extra three or four loads a week. I have a pretty good schedule for washing right now, making it almost second nature.
The spraying I mentioned above is also an extra time commitment disposable users don't have to deal with. If it's a particularly nasty mess I'm dealing with I'll spend about five minutes (!!!) working to get it clean. Not the hugest deal right now since I'm able to put Harry in his crib with a few toys, but when he's older it will probably be more difficult to keep him occupied and out of trouble while I'm working on a diaper.
Diapering Away From Home
If you change a cloth diaper outside of your house you have to transport it back home to wash it. This was my biggest fear when we first started cloth diapering. For the first month or so he usually wore disposables when we went out. I'm totally okay with changing him on the go now, but just make sure you remember to empty your wet bag when you get home!
Another challenge of cloth diapering away from home is dealing with caregivers. Either a daycare provider or the occasional babysitter, like grandma and grandpa. I think a lot of people think cloth diapering still involves diaper pins and plastic pants and are reluctant to handle it while babysitting. I have heard that it is illegal to use cloth diapers at daycare centers in some states, too. But just because you run in to issues with cloth diapering your baby at daycare doesn't mean you can't still do it during nights and weekends. Or, just talk to your caregivers! Educate them on how easy it will be for them to put them on your child and get a doctor's note for your daycare center if necessary.
So there you have it, all the negatives I could think about for cloth diapering. I think a lot of them are more like fears. Once you actually start using cloth diapers you'll realize how awesome it really is and all your fears will go away.
Happy diapering, and have a wonderful weekend!