As the weather warms up, sun protection is top priority, especially if you have an infant. Staying protected doesn’t mean baby has to stay inside, though. There are lots of options for keeping baby safe from sun exposure while still having a great time.
I have fair skinned children in a place where the sun shines nearly every day of the year. Sun protection is a major issue in my house, especially this year with a young baby to watch out for.
Fun in the Shade
While a little bit of sun exposure every day is great for giving baby a bit of vitamin D, the best way to protect an infant’s fair skin from the sun is to keep her in the shade. There are plenty of options for providing shade on the go. Aden and Anais swaddle blankets are fantastic for draping over the top of a stroller to provide additional coverage. At the beach or park, we take a popup sun tent that the baby can relax in and avoid sun exposure. Look for shady areas when you are out and about so you can avoid direct sun. Your own skin will thank you for it too.
There are some adorable summer baby outfits that have shorts or sleeveless tops. As cute as they look, though, they won’t provide baby with any protection from the sun. Instead, opt for lightweight long sleeves and pants. They’ll keep your baby cool while providing an effective barrier from the sun. Get your baby used to hats early and you can help protect her face, head, and neck from the sun. Look for a hat that provides good coverage and preferably one that has a strap to keep your baby from pulling it off.
The American Academy of Pediatrics has altered their recommendations on sunscreen for infants under 6 months of age. Where they previously advised against using any sunscreen at all, they now state that it’s okay to apply sunblock to small areas of an infant’s skin such as their face or the back of the hands.
Personally, I avoid the hands since I know baby will be putting those in her mouth but I will often put some sunblock on the tops of baby’s feet, especially if she’s riding in a stroller where her feet are going to be sticking out past the reach of the stroller shade.
Your skin is your largest organ and you absorb any chemicals you place on your skin into your bloodstream so make sure and do your research before you put any sunscreen on your baby. Look for zinc based sunscreen for younger babies. Several natural and organic brands have great options for sunscreen as well. I like BabyGanics sunscreen as well as zinc only sticks for smaller areas.
How do you protect your baby from the sun?