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How long will diaper rash last? continued...

Cloth diaper systems might keep your baby's bottom drier than traditional cottons. They come with flushable liners, fleece liners, super-absorbent inserts, and outer covers or wraps.

What types of wipes are most gentle on a baby’s sore bottom?

A mild wipe without alcohol or fragrances might be worth a try when your baby has a diaper rash. “In general, look for products with as few ingredients as possible,” Siegfried says. “Stick with the simple stuff.”

You can choose wipes marked "hypoallergenic" or "for sensitive skin," though there's no guarantee they're any better.

If there’s no poop, you might not need a wipe, Siegfried says. Even if there's a mess, you can:

  • Clean your baby with a wet washcloth and plenty of water.
  • Dampen a cotton makeup square with mineral oil to clean his bottom.

What if the rash spreads to other body parts?

If red patches, spots, or bumps start to show up outside the diaper area, your child might have an infection. Tell your doctor -- you may need a prescription medicine or an over-the-counter product.

What can I do to give my baby some relief?

The simplest thing is to let his bottom get some air. Before and after baths and naps, or whenever you get a chance, leave the diaper off for a few minutes. This gives his skin a break from constant rubbing and kills harmful germs that thrive in dark, wet places like the inside of a diaper.

To ease the pain, try a soak in an oatmeal bath like the ones sold for itchy skin. Also, ointments protect bottoms from chafing and irritating liquids. 

“Zinc oxide pastes are the standard of diaper care,” Silverberg says. “Children tend to feel a soothing relief when these are applied.”

How long will diaper rash last?

Call the doctor if it doesn’t start to get better after 3 days of TLC or if it gets worse.