Shared laundry with newborn?
February 20, 2019 11:18 AM   Subscribe

My wife and I are condo hunting, and also planning to start a family in the next few years. Real estate is expensive here, and something that would make a condo more affordable for us would be to buy one without in-suite laundry. What's it like raising young kids with shared laundry?

First, some points:
- We currently live in a building with shared laundry.
- I do all the laundry, and don't mind taking it down to the basement. I'm more open to the idea of buying a place with shared laundry.
- My wife is thinking ahead to having a newborn, and expects to have to do lots laundry herself while on mat leave. She's more reluctant to stick with shared laundry.
- It would be easier to find the type of condo we want in a neighbourhood we want if in suite laundry isn't a dealbreaker, but it should be possible to find something we like with laundry (but we might have to sacrifice on something else).
- Many buildings have rules against installing in suite laundry

So, my question is this: Have you raised young children in a building with shared laundry? Would you do it again if you had a choice? How high a priority would you make it compared to (say) being next to a park or having a bit more floorspace?
posted by no regrets, coyote to Home & Garden (44 answers total) 3 users marked this as a favorite
One benefit of Maternity Leave is that most folks have to do their laundry after hours. But if it's up and down stairs, very few machines, I can get that it would be annoying.

I recently bought into a co-op, and their concern with laundry is related to punching through an exterior wall to vent the dryer. (Another common reason is they don't want wet space above dry space. So they'd allow installation in a bathroom or kitchen.)

I'm planning to eventually install a euro washer/dryer combo. It'll take forever to dry. But it can be approved, and I can just do a load of laundry while I sleep without slepping out to the laundry room.
posted by politikitty at 11:26 AM on February 20, 2019 [2 favorites]

We had a shared laundry, but it was on our floor. So popping over to the laundry room was easy (I'd put my baby down and scoot out while he was asleep). I don't remember it as particularly onerous or traumatic to share. We were there until he was about 6 months.
posted by Ftsqg at 11:27 AM on February 20, 2019 [2 favorites]

We had shared laundry when my daughter was born, but since moved to a house. HVing your own laundry is great, but surely not a deal breaker.

FWIW, shared laundry would be the absolute norm for New York City and other NE cities in the US.
posted by Admiral Haddock at 11:32 AM on February 20, 2019 [5 favorites]

I've not lived in a building with shared (paid) laundry since my now-23-year-old was 8 months. Having to take laundry somewhere else is such a pain with children that through raising 4 kids, I made a point of having a W/D in my home. The few times I had a broken appliance that made me have to go to a laundromat, it was absolute hassle - and replaced/repaired fast.

When I recently made the move from single-family housing to an apartment, there were two things that were absolute musts for me - pets allowed, and either W/D hookups or included. I live in one of the really-high-rent areas of the U.S. It was still that big a priority to me.

Yeah, priorities are going to vary from family to family - but I totally understand your wife's reluctance. About the only way I'd have agreed to it, in her shoes, would be a very non-negotiable "fine, YOU are doing all the laundry, then, and you're staying on top of it. DAILY."

Part of the difference is that having it in your home makes it something you can do in seconds, in-between other tasks. Laundry becomes a non-issue, except for putting it away afterwards. It no longer needs watched, or picked up, or hauled around, and can simply be switched when you have a moment, even on the way out the door or before bed.
posted by stormyteal at 11:36 AM on February 20, 2019 [20 favorites]

If you are using cloth diapers that you are washing yourself, I would probably give you a hard NO for shared laundry facilities if you can help it.

Non-diaper clothing for babies is a lot but all of the pieces are pretty small. You'd be fine with shared laundry facilities.
posted by jillithd at 11:49 AM on February 20, 2019 [13 favorites]

I have a toddler and live in an apartment with shared coin-op laundry. It's completely fine. I was worried about it during my pregnancy, too, but yeah it hasn't been a big deal at all. If we were planning to have another child, while I would have some reservations about our current place, laundry would not be among them. I would happily move to another place with shared in-building coin operated laundry.

We were extremely broke during my pregnancy and the newborn phase (we both got laid off during my 7th month! woo! fun times!), so we pretty much only had hand me downs and baby gifts when it came to clothes for our newborn. Even so, we had more than enough volume to wait plenty of time between laundry loads. The same went for things like bassinet sheets, towels, burp cloths, changing pads, etc. We had a good amount from our registry but we weren't flush enough with cash to just run out and get 10 of each, or anything like that. (Except for burp cloths; we were gifted probably 20 of these, which is a good amount no matter your laundry set up.)

I will admit to having some brain fog from the early days, so I don't remember exactly how often we were doing laundry. But it never got unreasonable, nor was it ever a paramount issue I was dealing with as a new mom. If it ever even registered as an inconvenience, it was way down there after post-partum emotional issues, conflict in our relationship, visiting family drama, sleep deprivation, babies are weird/why is the baby crying stuff, or even the week or so that it took to realize that you need to point a newborn baby boy's penis downward in his diaper or he'll pee out of it and all over his clothes/everything else. And honestly, that last thing was probably the thing that stretched us to laundry capacity the most. And yet we dealt with it.

Also, the newborn phase passes really quickly. It doesn't feel that way when you're pregnant, and all you can really see is that you're going to have this pee/poo/spitup monster with no bodily control, and who you only semi know how to keep clean and fed in the best of circumstances. But within 3-4 months, you're going to have a baby whose digestive system and bowels work roughly the same as a normal person's.

And yes, this is going to be followed by solid food, which is its own mess (get good plastic or silicone bibs, or, hell, we go shirtless a lot at mealtimes), and then after the new adventure in food mess, there's going to be crawling and walking around and getting into stuff. I feel like every month we find a new way to get messy at our house. All of that said, in sixteen months of parenting, including everything from the time I would regularly lactate all over the sheets to the kiddo stomping through mud puddles at the park, our shared coin-op apartment building laundry facilities have been fine.

If we were moving, my priorities in terms of the kid would be:

- safe outdoor space to play.
- walkable to kid stuff like a good playground or library/more walkable in general.
- on the first floor/no downstairs neighbors, since I know we have years of horsing around ahead of us.

I wouldn't move into a place with no laundry facilities whatsoever, and I have to admit that in-unit would rule, but honestly, the laundry issue isn't on my radar even as a mom of a toddler.

Oh, and re poop blowouts, you need to dump any solids and rinse the poop off before they go into the laundry anyway, so that's not really a factor for frequency or number of loads of laundry. Also, we only ever had a lot of those during one distinct phase around 3-4 months (which seems pretty common?), and one time he got a stomach bug. We did have to do one extra load of laundry during the stomach bug.
posted by the milkman, the paper boy at 11:53 AM on February 20, 2019 [6 favorites]

Oh, and we decided against cloth diapers because we couldn't figure out how they'd work with shared laundry. Even with a service (YMMV if there are more/better services in your area) there was still going to be a major laundry component for us in the form of diaper covers. So we went disposable. C'est la vie.
posted by the milkman, the paper boy at 11:54 AM on February 20, 2019 [1 favorite]

Obviously you can totally deal with it, but FYI when people ask me, a parent, what's a secret thing about having a baby that they should know? I always answer "There's a lot more laundry than you would have ever believed possible."
posted by BlahLaLa at 12:03 PM on February 20, 2019 [11 favorites]

I’ve done it both ways with newborns and cloth diapers. Of course, it’s nicer not to have to share, but it’s completely manageable with shared laundry. What I wouldn’t want to have to deal with is driving to a laundromat.
posted by FencingGal at 12:08 PM on February 20, 2019 [1 favorite]

Because your wife is particularly concerned about this, I would not do shared laundry. She will have enough going on, and this is a very reasonable and concrete thing you can choose that will make her life easier.
posted by sockermom at 12:11 PM on February 20, 2019 [32 favorites]

take into consideration how many units there are and how many washer/dryers there are. i lived in a building with 72 units and there were 4 washers and 4 dryers, many of which were often broken. i worked from home and could do laundry in the middle of the day and it was STILL a fight to get a machine before someone else.

i now live in a building with 8 units and 2 of each machine. weekends are fully taken up with other people, as are many week nights. so there isn't much of a chance to do laundry unless i take it to a friend's house.

the other thing is the COST of shared laundry. it can be $2 or more to wash and $2 or more to dry, and that adds up quickly ($1460 a year if you do only one load a day). You can get an okay washer/dryer for that and do as much laundry as you want.
posted by misanthropicsarah at 12:13 PM on February 20, 2019 [9 favorites]

Honestly, in the throes of newbornhood (and toddlerhood, and preschoolerhood) you would have needed to pry my washing machine from my cold, dead hands. There was about a week when my machine broke and I had to replace it, and it was a looooooong week. Sure, you can live without one, but it will make life so much easier when it's midnight and all your sheets/pajamas/towels have been barfed on.
posted by bighappyhairydog at 12:18 PM on February 20, 2019 [15 favorites]

I tell you this so you'll know it's possible: we lucked out and got a low-laundry-volume baby/kid. That's even with cloth diapers. We did laundry every other day or so for the first year-ish, which really wasn't that big of deal at all, and now at three years with no more diapers we're down to weekly-ish loads. I'd have regretted having made a big financial decision based on the presumption that babies generate tons of laundry. We'd often go days without needing to change the baby's clothing, and would put them into something fresh mostly out of a feeling of social obligation. If both the primary caregiver and the baby have a couple of backup outfits and someone can keep up on the task regularly, it's not like laundry is generally a big emergency. (If you're thinking you'll want another baby soon though, that would tip the balance for me. Or if the shared laundry machines would require payment day after day after day, particularly if that means keeping quarters in-stock.)
posted by teremala at 12:25 PM on February 20, 2019

I recall that when we moved from a shared laundry apartment to rental house with laundry it was such a huge, immeasurable life upgrade. Laundry goes from being a time-consuming chore to background noise.
posted by gnutron at 12:25 PM on February 20, 2019 [8 favorites]

My first kid vomited all. the. time. in her first few years. The # of loads of laundry we started between midnight and 4am is staggering - over 100, I would say. Could we have left it in a stinky, vomity pile until morning? Probably, if we had to. But my husband has a very sensitive nose and so we washed it and if we hadn't been able to just barely stagger out of bed to switch it to the dryer and then leave it I'm not sure I could have handled it.

My second kid vomited like... 3 times, and all during the day. So it wouldn't have been such a big deal. But you can count me among the "pry my washing machine from my cold, dead hands" people.
posted by brainmouse at 12:25 PM on February 20, 2019 [4 favorites]

Another vote against shared laundry. Both for yourself and your wife, but also for your neighbors who would be sharing the machines with you. Your laundry loads are about to get a lot poopier and germier. And even if the inside of the machines are sterile, the buttons and knobs and other surfaces on the outside might not be. It's best not to spread that around.
posted by witchen at 12:29 PM on February 20, 2019 [8 favorites]

If your wife feels strongly about it, go with in-unit laundry. I'm sure that there are possible scenarios where shared laundry would be OK, but there are also scenarios that would make it very difficult. If your wife ends up having a c-section or significant birth injury, all of that lugging and toting out of the apartment with a newborn is a brutal situation. Additionally, in-unit laundry is great for your resale value, so try your best to swing it. It's amazing how much extra laundry is generated by babies and children, especially if you have a kid that has poop explosions, vomits/spits up a lot, or has an extended bedwetting stage.

I would absolutely take in-unit laundry over some extra square footage or being next to a park. Shared laundry requires that you schedule everything else around the cycles and remain ready and available to do all the switching, etc in a timely manner instead of being able to just fit it in without stress or vigilance.
posted by quince at 12:29 PM on February 20, 2019 [10 favorites]

FWIW, I have no kids and no plans to have kids of my own, and things would have to be pretty dire for me to want to give up an in-home washer/dryer. The ability to do laundry whenever I want/need is just that much worth it to me. If you're already used to shared laundry, that might change the calculus somewhat, but TBH, if I'm signing up to own a place and the long-term commitment that has going with it, I'd want one that I could install laundry facilities in even if it didn't come with it outright.
posted by Aleyn at 12:30 PM on February 20, 2019 [5 favorites]

When my husband had a condo, he wanted a washer/dryer, but there were no hookups or venting available, so he removed his dishwasher and put in a ventless combo similar to this one. The down side to these is they have long cycles, but could be an option if the dimensions work out for your space.
posted by sageleaf at 12:31 PM on February 20, 2019

Okay, so I have like half a laundry system since I am in Europe. I have a 2.5 and 3.5 year old and just a washing machine. It’s..... okay.... we usually had a washing machine in the house so it’s easy to stick the gross nighttime sick in the machine for a wash but then we have to hang dry on racks. That sucks during cold and flu season lemme tell you. But I think if you’re going to do shared laundry with a young child then you just need extras of stuff- so like 3-4 sleep suits and sheet sets (enough to get through a night) otherwise it’s fine. I think the worst part is being aware of the pile of dirty laundry and wanting it to be NOT a pile of dirty laundry- so you feel a huge need to do laundry every day... but if you can get over that and have enough stuff then you can do laundry every other day.
posted by catspajammies at 12:39 PM on February 20, 2019 [1 favorite]

You will be shocked and awed by how much laundry babies and children produce, and it's not like it gets better for years. You might have a baby that spits up constantly. You will have blowouts, no matter what kind of diaper you use (IME cloth are actually better at containing blowouts than disposables). After the newborn phase there's the bedwetting phase. There's the vomiting all over the bed in the middle of the night phase which goes on for awhile (and that laundry needs to be started immediately or you'll never get the stink out). There's the pink eye phase when sheets and towels need to be washed a lot. There's all the zillions of colds and flu viruses. I hear there's a lice phase too but we haven't hit that yet.

I LOVE having my own laundry. You couldn't pay me enough to go back to shared.
posted by john_snow at 12:45 PM on February 20, 2019 [6 favorites]

Laundry would be pretty far down my list. Good neighbors, neighbors with kids, especially neighbors with kids who are often home, and outdoor space for said kids to run around in have all made a far more significant impact on our well-being as a family with babies and young kids than our washer and dryer have.

With the right neighbors, you can ask them to pop in for a second and watch the baby while you run down to the basement to change your laundry, and then they can stay and drink a coffee. Then you do the same for them. Then for years you can be borrowing sugar and sending your kids over to play etc etc etc. The neighbors are worth so very much, and it wasn't at all on our radar when we were looking to buy just before having babies.
posted by wyzewoman at 12:58 PM on February 20, 2019 [1 favorite]

We have a kid who is very routine and object-based. If bedtime comes around, and he does not have his fluffy blanket, his OTHER fluffy blanket, the pillow, the stuffed animal, his other stuffed animal, yet other stuffed animal, the sleepsack, and the pacifier-with-a-stuffed-animal-on-it, bedtime will eventually happen, but not without a struggle and a lot of anxiety.

The idea of it being Saturday night, and I NEED to get the sleepsack ready for bedtime, but my goddamn neighbor has taken up every single drying machine because she needs to dry all of her duvets, and bedtime is 30 minutes away, and I have a cold, sopping wet sleepsack/blanket/pillow/ever?

Unless it'll be financially unfeasible, don't make your wife be the one standing in the bathroom, desperately trying to use a hairdryer to get it dry enough for your kid to sleep with.
posted by joyceanmachine at 12:59 PM on February 20, 2019 [11 favorites]

Shared laundry is certainly survivable--tens of thousands of NYC families do it every day--but, seriously: happy wife, happy life. If she's going to be the one taking the brunt of the incoming poopsplosion, you should try hard to accommodate her.
posted by praemunire at 1:08 PM on February 20, 2019 [3 favorites]

Oh I have my own laundry now, and in some ways (this sounds crazy) I kind of miss the shared laundry because my old building had SO MANY MACHINES. I could put on several loads all at once, change them once, and then bring them all back. Now, don't get me wrong, it's great not to have to lug it around, but it feels like I am constantly doing laundry. I never felt that way before (and I had a kid with shared laundry). For me, I can't imagine moving somewhere I didn't like because it didn't have a washer/dryer in-house. With a kid, living where you want to live is far more important, I think, esp. if another neighborhood is isolated from friends/more difficult to get around/less playgrounds/cafes, etc.

Also mat leave, even long ones, are still short. If you are buying, I would not do anything that would just make a short period of time better.

Finally, when we lived in NYC, we took our clothes to a cleaner to have them washed and dried. The apartment we had was almost a deal breaker because it had no laundry at all, but it was absolutely amazing dropping laundry off and picking it up all folded and nice, and honestly, the savings we had on the rent of the apartment because there was no laundry more than covered it. This may be an option during the early days (they will even use your own detergent.)
posted by heavenknows at 1:09 PM on February 20, 2019 [4 favorites]

i would go in-unit. i don't have kids, but we had a laundry room (fairly far) down the hall, and the machines were always busy and horribly maintained (many were broken at a time). also, people tended to lose their damn minds when laundry was concerned, to the point that we knew exactly how long a wash cycle took, and my boyfriend was walking into the laundry room and someone was already pulling out our clothes. some people would pull them out and throw them in the middle of the floor.

since then, the apartment we lived in got a washer/dryer combo on our balcony, and now we rent a house with w/d in the garage. i will sacrifice many virgin whatevers to keep them.
posted by koroshiya at 1:10 PM on February 20, 2019 [2 favorites]

I haven't read all the responses because I'm heading out. SOrry if this has been covered.

1. Shared laundry doesn't necessarily mean "down to the basement." My laundry has two washers and two dryers on each floor. It's probably no farther from my hamper to my washing machine in my condo than in the average suburban McMansion. And with two machines you can do two loads at once. A huge timesaver.

2. That said, how much are you saving? Consider a laundry service.
posted by If only I had a penguin... at 1:34 PM on February 20, 2019 [2 favorites]

We have done fine with laundry in the basement of the coop we rent in. Newborn days we did a lot of loads at 4am. Babies are fascinated by watching front loading washers. Toddlers love playing with laundry carts.
posted by sciencegeek at 1:57 PM on February 20, 2019 [1 favorite]

We have two kids and our clothes washer is pretty much always on.
posted by Mid at 2:31 PM on February 20, 2019

Thanks for your thoughtful replies everyone. I'm particularly looking (as stated in the question) for the experience of people who have used share laundry with young children.
posted by no regrets, coyote at 2:35 PM on February 20, 2019

We had 3 under 3 for 6 months with a shared laundry situation. It sucked.

When we moved to a house, we not only got our own washer and dryer, we put them on the 2nd floor where the kids bedrooms were. YMMV.
posted by AugustWest at 2:50 PM on February 20, 2019

We had shared laundry with a newborn and it was so impractical that instead we had a laundry service pick up our laundry twice a week (which was more practical, but also very expensive). Our shared laundry was on a different floor, and also not open 24 hours a day, so these factors added to the impracticality.
posted by willbaude at 2:52 PM on February 20, 2019

Shared laundry considerations:
Distance from machines. With babies, if your wife is doing laundry midday, she will have to lug baby and laundry to the laundry room. If it's far, she may have to stay there to finish the entire session before lugging baby and (folded) laundry back home. (I had an apartment with no laundromat, but there was one just across the street. It wasn't bad when the kids were a little older to run over, pop the clothes in, run back (with the kids in tow), go over again when it was time to dry them, run home, run back to fold, go back home again. I honestly used a brand new, rolling garbage can just for the laundry, because everything could fit).

Middle of the night needs: Poopy explosions; leaky diapers; upset stomachs. Again, the distance to the machines comes into play. It's hard to stay on top of the laundry if it's three in the morning and you're falling asleep.

Shared laundry, to me, was a bit of a hassle. Between trying to keep an eye on the baby, and remembering which machine didn't dry as well as others, it got old kind of fast. And since my mat leave was over in six weeks, trying to make dinner/spend time with the kids/do laundry/chores..having machines right in the house would have made life a LOT easier.
posted by annieb at 3:04 PM on February 20, 2019 [1 favorite]

A strong no vote to shared laundry. I'd rather have less space. It's maybe not so much a hassle with a newborn and up to three months, specially if you share the workload. You can plan out of that. But as soon as they begin moving about about it becomes a logistical challenge to find the time to do the laundry if you have to leave your own home. You need your stroller time for shopping, training and also just getting some air. You need the baby's nap time for a lot of other chores -- like cleaning the house, prepping food, maybe working from home and obviously keeping in touch with people you can't see because you are stuck in baby-rut. You can't leave a baby who can do harm to themselves alone even for three minutes.
Don't get me wrong, I love my children, and I love being their mother, but my energy for them comes from focus on what's important.
Depending on where you live, theft might be an issue. Once I decided to hang out our sheets in our private, gated yard on the communal clothes dryer, and came to find nothing on the line a few hours later (I like air dried sheets). You won't only be doing the baby laundry and if you have nice stuff, it might tempt some people.
posted by mumimor at 3:38 PM on February 20, 2019

I live in NYC with two young kids and shared laundry. It's not a big deal. It's not as convenient as laundry in unit but I can do several loads at once instead of one at a time, which is a plus. I consider this kind of thing a minor luxury but by no means a deal breaker. That being said, I live in a big building with plenty of laundry capacity.
posted by ch1x0r at 3:39 PM on February 20, 2019

If your wife is anemic, or has a c section, or sustains a pelvic or ab injury during birth, making her carry laundry and flip laundry while she's healing is inhumane. Strong vote in favour of laundry that is closer, quicker, and as convenient as possible, with minimal stairs.
posted by pseudostrabismus at 3:54 PM on February 20, 2019 [6 favorites]

I think it depends on how nice the laundry, how busy, how far from your unit, etc. My daughter had twins. They were on the second floor, laundry was clean and pleasant in the basement. Three occupied units in a multi-family house. So far as I know, it was all fine, but she's not the complaining type. But I could imagine places where it would awful.
posted by SemiSalt at 4:27 PM on February 20, 2019

OK, well I have a shared laundry and a young child. Works great for me: Grandmas have decided that no grandchild of theirs is having his clothes laundered in a shared laundry ("people even wash their dog's blankets and towels in there!" me: "You wash your dogs blankets and towels in your machine." them: "That's different. That's [dog's name.]"). Anyway, they take the laundry and do it in their machine and bring it back clean and folded.

This solution may not be available (for free) to everyone.
posted by If only I had a penguin... at 5:39 PM on February 20, 2019 [2 favorites]

My first kid vomited all. the. time. in her first few years. The # of loads of laundry we started between midnight and 4am is staggering - over 100, I would say. Could we have left it in a stinky, vomity pile until morning? Probably, if we had to. But my husband has a very sensitive nose and so we washed it and if we hadn't been able to just barely stagger out of bed to switch it to the dryer and then leave it I'm not sure I could have handled it.

Same, and then a neighbor got annoyed at us for doing our laundry in the middle of the night because the laundry facilities were next to his apartment/bedroom which sucked extra.

Go for in-unit laundry if you can.
posted by PhoBWanKenobi at 5:56 PM on February 20, 2019

We shared a laundry machine with two other units, but my husband did ALLLL the laundry. I couldn't have kept the laundry moving while at home alone with a newborn.
posted by slidell at 7:58 PM on February 20, 2019

We have shared card-operated laundry on our floor and a pukey 5yo and messy 1.5yo. It’s fine bc the machines are kept well, the neighbors are generally good about being respectful, and it’s closer than the laundry room is to the bedroom in my parents’s suburban home. Worked great in newborn stage and now that they’re a little older, I don’t feel weird about walking 30 feet of hallway to get to it while my kids stay in the apartment or I prop our front door open and go do a load w my kids toddling in the hallway in their pajamas. I would feel VERY differently if it were located in basement. And if I needed coins. This is in an NYC condo.
posted by sestaaak at 9:07 PM on February 20, 2019

I’ll say just this. Our tumble dryer was the ONLY thing that would soothe our screaming newborn for like the first 6 weeks of her life. We discovered it by accident and sure it was annoying that we had to stand in front of it and couldn’t bring it to the bedroom, but at least it was inside the house.

Yes it was the only thing. No other appliance. Could not substitute any dryer noise on youtube. A recording of our own dryer did not work. We were horrified but also a little relieved when it stopped working.

That aside I personally cannot imagine having to leave the flat to do laundry. For the first month I was stressed out about what to do with the baby to just go to the bathroom.
posted by like_neon at 12:40 AM on February 21, 2019 [1 favorite]

I did! I needed to actually walk the laundry outside to the next building over (albeit in Seattle's mild climate). It was fine. Assuming general good health, carrying a newborn with it isn't difficult, and when they get bigger a back carrier works great. That space only had one washer; if I had a lot of catching up to do, I'd take everything to a laundromat and get it all done fast, so if the spaces you're looking at have multiple machines, that's a huge benefit.

It sounds like your wife might think that all the household chores (including laundry) will automatically become her responsibility while she's off work for maternity leave. Maybe talking about how that's not a reasonable expectation could help?
posted by metasarah at 9:00 AM on February 21, 2019 [1 favorite]

It depends on the shared laundry facilities. If it is anything but two doors over on the same level then you have to bring the baby with you when you go do the laundry. If there is no location to put down the baby cot you've got a problem. If the facilities are insufficient and you always have to wait for a machine you've got a problem. If you can't transport the baby and the laundry simultaneously, plus your phone, the detergent etc. it's a problem. Some kind of a cart can solve that problem. If the laundry facilities are closed over night that is a problem. If the home is too small for spare clothing and bedding then the facilities must be much more convenient to make up for it. If someone you are sharing with is impossible to share with you'll have to clean up after them or it won't work. If there is a sink and drain in the laundry room that helps.

If whoever is feeding the baby in the middle of the night is a night owl whose preferred bed time is three AM a regular nightly one AM feeding and laundry run can be quite practical.

If you are using diapers rather than disposables a laundry will be very useful, otherwise your shower or bathtub will always have a drying rack of hanging diapers.

A laundromat on the next block will work in some neighbourhoods, but not in Chicago in February.

Basically inspect the laundry facilities closely when you are apartment hunting.
posted by Jane the Brown at 11:39 AM on February 21, 2019 [3 favorites]

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