The owner of Sweet Cheeks Diaper Co. in York is finding great success focusing on the bottom line. The shop offers several lines of reusable cotton baby diapers for outfitting newborns to toddlers. 

Q: How did you get into this line of business? 

A: My 17-month-old son had troubles with the disposable diapers I used on him. All of the chemicals in them were causing him to have recurring skin issues. I tried cloth diapers and found that they worked best for him. I realized that this was an untapped market here in the seacoast area and I thought “I’m going to go for it.” 

Q: Do you think there is a resurgence of parents returning to using the old cloth form of diapers?

A: Yes. There seems to be a pretty big following right now, especially with the horrible state of the economy. It’s amazing how much money you can save by using reusable cloth diapers. I have only spent about $250 to $300 on diapers for my son. When I used disposable diapers, I was spending close to that amount every few weeks to replace them.

Q: What’s the appeal of using cloth diapers? 


A: Besides being inexpensive, they are healthier because they contain no chemicals. They are easy to use and easy to launder. They are great for the environment because they are reusable and not ending up in a landfill. And, they can be used from birth to potty training. One size fits all. They have snaps running down the sides of the diaper that are adjustable to make them fit smaller or larger sizes. They are durable and hold up really well. You can reuse them for other children you may have. 

Q: What are the diapers made of? 

A: We sell several different kinds of diapers, including pocket diapers, fitted diapers and training diapers. The outsides are made of waterproof materials, like laminated polyester, and the insides are a microfleece or a cotton velour that helps to wick away moisture.

They have inserts or liners that you put inside the diapers, kind of like a women’s feminine pad, that allow you to adjust the level of absorbency. Those are made of all-natural, organic materials like cotton, hemp and bamboo that help to wick away moisture. You dispose of the waste matter in the toilet. And the inserts and diapers are all completely washable.

We even sell special detergent that is all natural, vegan and rinses completely clear. I actually use it on my clothing at home and it removes stains really well. 

Q: How have these diapers improved from the old, white cloth units?


A: These are totally different. The absorbency is incredible. And the diapers come in a wide range of really cute designs and prints and in just about every color you can think of. They are easy to care for and are adjustable.

Most people are probably used to the old style of diapers, called flats or pre-folds, that were used with safety pins. We still sell those for anyone who wants them. But now they have these neat little contraptions called a snappy. It’s a little T-shaped piece of rubber that looks like an (athletic) bandage hook that grips the fabric and stretches. It won’t pick the baby like the old safety pins do. 

Q: How long do these diapers last?

A: If you take good care of them, you could use them through at least a few kids. They are pretty durable and well-made. The companies that make them have really done a good job improving their quality. The key is in washing them in warm, not hot water, which may erode the moisture-repellent material on the outer diaper. 

Q: How many diapers should parents have on hand at all times?

A: It really depends on how often you want to do laundry. We recommend buying 18 to 24 diapers for newborns, as they go more frequently. For older babies, a dozen is a good start. 


Q: What diaper brands do you sell? 

A: We sell FuzziBunz, Happy Heinys, Swaddlebees, Blueberry, Thirsties and Bottombumpers. They can even be custom-embroidered with the baby’s name on them.

Q: Do you also offer a laundry service to clean the diapers?

A: We do not. These are so easy to clean at home and it’s all about ease of cleanup. Some people may still have that misconception that cloth diapers smell bad, but they don’t. I found disposable diapers to be far worse. We sell really nice wet-bags to store the soiled diapers in that are odor-resistant. 

Q: What other goods and services do you provide?

A: We have a really good line of hair bows and accessories for babies and a line of all-organic sunscreen and skin care products for babies. Eventually we’d like be a boutique-style shop, offering exclusive items like hand-knitted baby hats and a limited line of baby products.

We also want to be a resource for people like area doulas and businesses that specialize in baby services, like newborn photography and those who make pregnancy belly casts, so if we don’t sell it we can tell you where to find it.

Soon, we’ll be offering a “Try-B-4-U-Buy” program where customers can try our diapers for two weeks for a small fee. At the end of that trial period, they can either buy them or swap them out for something else. Any returned items would be resold as gently used.

We also offer a mothers’ group on Wednesdays and Fridays. And we will soon be offering cloth diaper workshops so people can come in and learn about the benefits of using them. We’re always available to offer personal consultation. We have all that information available on our website.

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