Since diaper rash happens when your baby is exposed to prolonged wetness, it's really important to keep the diaper area dry. The best way to do that, of course, is to go diaper-free. Let your child spend some time naked (supervised, of course), which will allow air to flow around the diaper area and dry it out.
Parents who use disposable diapers may want to try a super-absorbent variety. These contain a gelling material that will trap the moisture and keep it away from the skin. Cloth diaper users should avoid using plastic pants, because those tend to keep moisture in.
Whatever you do, skip the talcum powder. Previous generations used it to keep a baby's skin dryer, but if a baby inhales the powder, it can irritate his lungs. Also, never use a blow dryer to dry a baby's bottom, because the heat may burn babies' tender skin.
Cleaning and drying may not be enough to combat diaper rash. Some babies will still have reactions, so let's look at how to deal with those next.