We love spending our time in nature, traveling and going for long beach walks – and most of all this especially in summertime of course! But how can we enjoy these times without harming our baby’s skin and how can we protect them against the sun rays?
Even though sunlight is important for the healthy development of your baby, his soft and sensitive skin needs to be protected from excessive sun exposure. Especially for babies under 6 months of age, direct exposure to sun rays is not recommended.
We want to share with you our 10 best tips to protect your baby from the sun while you as a parent can still enjoy it (in a conscious way of course).
- Keep Your Baby in the Shade as Much as Possible
- Avoid the Strongest Rays of the Day
- Use Natural Sunscreen
- Use Sun-Protective Clothing
- Wear a Sun Hat
- Make Sure Your Baby Drinks Enough Fluids
- Use Sun Protection Covers on Your Stroller and Carrier
Melanin is the skin’s natural protection from UV radiation. Baby’s and children’s skin have less of this protective pigment. For this reason babies and children need extra protection from UV rays as they have a much higher risk of getting a sunburn than adults.
#1 Keep Your Baby in the Shade as Much as Possible
Shade is the best way to shield your baby from the sun – especially in the first 6 months when the baby actually should not be exposed to direct sunlight at all. Seek shades underneath trees and if you can not find shade create your own shade with an umbrella, a canopy, or the hood of a stroller. Make sure that the whole body of your baby is covered by shade.
#2 Avoid the Strongest Rays of the Day
Try to eliminate your baby’s outdoor exposure to sunlight between the hours 10 am and 4 pm. This is the time when the UV rays are the most intense. The most intense hour is around noon when the sun is the highest and UV rays have the least distance to travel.
In case you are outside at these times of the day, consider investing in a special sun protection cover for your stroller or carrier. Here you can find our favorite sunshade cover for strollers on Amazon.com. We prefer a cover over parasols as they will protect your baby constantly and you don’t have to adjust their position depending on the sun’s position.
#3 Use Natural Sunscreen
A baby’s skin is more permeable than the skin of an adult. This means that chemicals can pass through the skin more easily. It is really important to choose carefully which sunscreen you put on your baby’s skin because they could irritate the skin easily.
We recommend choosing skin-friendly and natural sunscreen products. Sunscreens containing titanium dioxide or zinc oxide are less likely to irritate your baby’s sensitive skin. Until now we always used the Babyganics sunscreen with SPF 50 and we can highly recommend it. You can find more info about Babyganics sunscreen products and reviews here on Amazon.com.
If you are a DIY person we can recommend this video on youtube. The video shows how to make natural sun protection for babies and kids out of Avocado Oil, Cocoa Butter, Coconut Oil, Beeswax, and Non-Nano Zinc Oxide.
“Don’t forget to reapply the sunscreen every two hours or after swimming or being sweaty.”
Please note: Because the baby’s skin is so delicate it is not advised to use sunscreen products under the age of 6 months. However, if shade or sun protective clothing is not available it is still recommended to rather apply a minimum amount of sunscreen than not protecting your baby at all.
#4 Use Sun-Protective Clothing
Did you know that an average cotton T-shirt has only an SPF of 5?
If you are going to be outside on a sunny day and you fear that you can not find shade, dress your baby in sun-protective clothes. Lightweight, light-colored and long-sleeved sun protective clothing will perfectly protect your baby from dangerous sun rays. Especially for toddlers who already crawl or walk, sun-protective clothes are a MUST.
Having the right protection will give them the chance to move freely while playing without you having to worry if they are still shaded or exposed to the sun. Also make sure your baby and toddler wear a wide-brimmed sun hat with UV protection.
We love the sun & swim clothing from the mother-daughter owned company Green Sprouts which you can find here on Amazon.com.
#5 Wear a Sun Hat
When you dress your baby you should try to pick a wide-brimmed hat that can shield the face from the sun rays and additionally protect the eyes of your baby. We also tried sunglasses on our son when he was a few months old but he didn’t like it.
So we focused more on a good fitting sun hat. Also for this we can recommend again Green Sprouts’ sun wear. Their hats provide maximum coverage to protect babies’ head, neck, and eyes. Here you can find many different shapes and beautiful styles on Amazon.com.
#6 Make Sure Your Baby Drinks Enough Fluids
Additionally to sun protective products you need to make sure your baby does not get overheated and drinks enough, especially on very hot days.
Babies and toddlers are more at risk of dehydration than adults. If you are breastfeeding, offer especially on hotter days breastmilk more frequently to make sure he has enough fluids. The same counts for bottle-fed babies. Healthy babies under six months don’t need extra supplemental liquids such as water or tea – the breast milk or formula milk gives them enough nutrition and fluid.
If your baby is older than six months and is already introduced to solid food you can, in addition to breastfeeding or formula milk, offer your baby some water. For babies in between 6 – 18 months we recommend a sippy cup like this NUK Learner Sippy Cup on Amazon.com.
Older children often forget to drink while playing so keep on offering them regularly water even if they don’t ask for it. You can find some very nice leak-proof water bottles for kids like this ion8 Pod Leak Proof BPA Free Kids Water Bottle on Amazon.com.
#7 Use Sun Protection Covers on Your Stroller and Carrier
Many of us remember to protect our baby from the sun, especially in obvious sun-exposed places. But also in the baby stroller and any kind of other carriers the UV rays can reach your small one.
Special sun protection covers made for strollers, car seats or other types of carriers can protect your baby’s nap times without you being stuck at home. It provides a really nice shade for your baby, making it possible for him to sleep no matter where you are and to keep the sun off him. They shield the skin from 99% of the sun’s rays (SPF 50).
Besides protecting from the sun it also protects your baby against wind, light rain, or flying annoyances.
For strollers we recommend the SnoozeShade sun protection cover which fits most models. This product is just amazing. It is breathable, easy to put on the stroller, offers various ways to position it, and saves the day for nap time! You can find it here on Amazon.com.
I also love the car seat option which can be very practical on sunny road trips, spontaneous picnics in the park, or even to just keep the insects away. Check it out here on Amazon.