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Cloth diapers are specialty at Mother Earth Baby in Watertown

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WATERTOWN — Parents who haven’t thought about using cloth diapers for their babies may change their minds, thanks to a diaper-wash service offered by Mother Earth Baby, which opened in late March at 210 Franklin St.

The store, which will host a ribbon-cutting ceremony at 2:30 p.m. today, has launched a cloth diaper service for customers in Jefferson County to expand its program already offered in Oswego, Wayne, Onondaga and Madison counties, said Nathan S. Emmons, who co-owns the business with his wife, Lisa J. Started in 2009, Mother Earth Baby also has locations in Oswego and North Syracuse.

For $22 a week, customers can sign up for a cloth-diaper program in which diapers are washed weekly using industrial washers and dryers at an Oswego location, Mr. Emmons said. Dirty cloth diapers are picked up by staff at customers’ homes weekly on a designated day, and clean ones are delivered at the same time. Diapers are sanitized and pH-balance tests are conducted for cleanliness, ensuring that babies are protected from rashes. The business supplies cloth diapers for customers, free-of-charge, during the time they are enrolled in the program.

“We keep about 200 diapers in a rotation for each customer, and we generally deliver about 100 a week,” said Mr. Emmons, a Sackets Harbor native who resides in Oswego with his wife.

Cloth diapers sold at the store are priced at $9 to $25 apiece, Mr. Emmons said.

“Children in cloth diapers have diaper rash far less frequently, and they tend to be potty-trained faster,” he said, adding that they also have environmental benefits. “Disposable diapers don’t decompose for about 500 years.”

The store also sells feeding supplies, toys, clothing, baby carriers, hand-painted wooden furniture and more. Online shopping is offered at its website, mebabyshop.com.

Workshops will eventually be hosted at the Watertown store to teach parents about cloth diapering, breast-feeding and other topics, Mr. Emmons said. To create room for an educational area, the store may expand by consolidating with a neighboring space on Franklin Street that is vacant, he said. Washington Street Properties has offered to lease the vacant space to the business.

“We may be expanding to provide even more products and services in the near future,” Mr. Emmons said, adding that a wall shared by the two spaces would be knocked down under the plan, roughly doubling the store’s size.

Hours of operation at Mother Earth Baby are 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Monday through Friday and 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. on Saturday. Follow the business on Facebook by searching the keyword “Mother Earth Baby-Watertown.” Call the store at 681-6696.

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