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Rather than make a question I thought a wiki would be better for this. (Hope I can convert it later).

My wife and I are more apt to try and prevent things from happening to the kids, and diaper rash is one we've been successful at preventing. Although I haven't heard many other parents talk about it since there isn't one here that talks about prevention I was hoping we could share what has worked.

I'll add our strategies to this wiki these have worked out well with our two boys, and some of the first advice I give to new parents who ask for tips. If others have workable suggestions I hope you will share!

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Allowing the area to dry completely between diaperings helps a lot also. Also avoid using baby wipes that are perfumed. –  j.rightly May 11 '11 at 14:48
    
My wife and I let both of our kids "air dry" after cleaning them before we put a diaper back on. Same goes for right after a bath. Sure there were a few accidents but that is why we laid them on blankets and towels. –  Chad May 11 '11 at 17:42
    
I've turned your question into a wiki now. Please edit your post: the two points you list would make great contributions as two separate answers. I think the above two comments would be good real answers, too. –  Torben Gundtofte-Bruun May 11 '11 at 19:17
    
Thanks torbeng! I thought I might have the option later... –  MichaelF May 11 '11 at 20:10
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5 Answers

At night I slather on Weleda calendula diaper cream and my daughter has never had even a touch of diaper rash. I don't change her diaper at night (she never poops, only pees) so it's imperative I put a ton on. It works!

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We rarely had a diaper rash with cloth diapers. In fact, the only time we had a diaper rash was when we were out and about, she was wearing a disposable, and fell asleep in the car. She ended up sleeping through the night (roughly ~12 hours) with a poop diaper (We didn't want to wake her up to change her, didn't know it was a poopy diaper). The next day, however, we just put ointment on her, gave her lots of diaper-free time and she was fine by the end of the day.

My tips would be:

  • Diaper-free time. We give her 10-20 minutes of diaper free time after every diaper change.
  • Frequent diaper changes. Since we use cloth diapers, we change the diaper as soon as it gets wet / as soon as she poos. It's easy to tell when the diaper is soiled if you use cloth diapers.
  • After a poo, we usually wash her bum. I just carry her over to the bathroom sink and gently rinse it with water. Gets rid of odours and makes sure she is thoroughly cleaned.
  • Cloth diapers & Cloth wipes. We use cloth diapers and cloth wipes - there is no fragrance, no chlorine, no bleach - nothing. Just plain ol' clothing.

We only use an ointment if there is a rash. The ointment we used was Bum Bum Balm

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+1 for the diaper free time. –  cabbey May 14 '11 at 21:33
    
+1 for diaper free time - cloth wipes sounds wonderful but might be too rough on the baby skin. From a ecological point of view, the energy used to wash these cloth wipes might offset the green part. –  mplungjan Jun 6 '11 at 6:14
    
Cloth wipes are actually really gentle on the baby's bum - put some warm water on them before and it's fantastic. Plus, since we use cloth diapers, we just wash the wipes with the cloth diapers. It's not a separate load. –  Swati Jun 6 '11 at 13:14
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We found different brands of diapers to help a lot. Some brands almost always led to rashes, while others helped prevent rashes.

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My wife noticed this with certain brands of Pampers, good call! –  MichaelF May 13 '11 at 12:00
    
The cheap airtight ones they used to use at the crèche would give rashes. We lobbied to get them to use brand name pampers and it went away. Disclaimer: I am not in any way associated with Procter & Gamble –  mplungjan Jun 6 '11 at 6:11
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The most important item has been protective ointment, we use the Balmex Clear Protective Ointment, although I am sure any similar product will be fine, and put this on at each diaper change. Sometimes smaller amounts, but if there was a big diaper we put on a wider application. This keeps a good layer of protection between baby and diaper.

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I never used ointment and we did not have issues. I would not advise to use it unless there is a problem –  jny May 13 '11 at 15:45
    
The usefulness of this might depend on what type of diaper you use. We noticed that with some disposables our son got rash any time he was in a wet diaper for more than a few minutes, so a layer of ointment (we used Butt Paste) was a necessity if there was a chance that we wouldn't be able to change him immediately when he got wet. Cloth diapers were similar, but not as bad. Other brands of diapers didn't exhibit this same tendency. –  cabbey May 14 '11 at 21:31
    
We only EVER used ointment (zink) when there was redness - normally from the cheap dense diapers at the crèche. –  mplungjan Jun 6 '11 at 6:13
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Diaper changes, if the diaper is getting big then we change it. We probably go through a lot of diapers but its been worth it to not have to worry about rashes. Keeping a good supply on hand, and in the diaper bag (along with small trash bags) for disposal while travelling has been good for us.

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