As parents, we all want what's best for our kids. To protect them from the sun's harmful rays, one of the most important steps you can take is to apply a good sunscreen that's specially made for babies' delicate skin. Applying it isn't enough—you should be reapplying it throughout the day too! With so many choices on the market right now, how do you decide which baby sunscreen is right for your little one? We've done some research and rounded up some of our picks for you! So read on to learn about some safe options that offer optimal protection and comfort for your precious bundle of joy.
Related Link: 5 Best Baby Formulas: Know What you Feed Your Baby
Do Babies Need Sunscreen?
As tempting as it may be to slather your precious newborn in sunscreen, it's not recommended for babies under six months old. But fear not! There are still plenty of ways to protect them from the sun's harmful rays. Keep them in the shade, dress them in lightweight long-sleeved clothing, and don't forget a cute little sun hat. And for babies six months and older, it's time to start using sunscreen. Just make sure it's baby-friendly and apply it at least 30 minutes before sun exposure. Remember, a sunburn can happen in as soon as 10 minutes, so it's important to take necessary precautions. The bottom line? Do what you can to keep your baby safe and comfortable in the sun, and always consult with a pediatrician if you have any concerns.
While sunscreen is an essential tool for protecting skin, it should not be the primary solution to sunburn. Instead, the best approach is to limit direct exposure by dressing babies in protective clothing and keeping them in the shade. Even indirect sunlight can cause burns, making it important to be mindful of situations where UV rays might be reflected onto their skin. Applying sunscreen should be an additional precaution, not the only one. With these tips in mind, both you and your baby can enjoy the great outdoors while staying safe from the sun.
Interested in learning more about caring for your little one? Visit 123 Baby Box for more information!
What Sunscreen Types are Safe for Infants?
When selecting a sunscreen for your child, look for the following five components:
- Broad-spectrum coverage: Since UVB rays cause sunburns and UVA rays can cause premature aging and melanoma, select a broad-spectrum sunscreen to protect against both types of rays.
- Mineral/physical blockers: Chemicals such as oxybenzone and octisalate are frequently used in non-mineral sunscreens; they absorb and deflect UV rays by penetrating the skin. These chemicals have the potential to irritate sensitive skin, so it is preferable to use hypoallergenic natural blockers such as zinc oxide and titanium dioxide. These minerals sit atop the skin and reflect UVA and UVB rays (also known as broad-spectrum protection). Dermatologists recommend only using mineral sunscreens on infants and toddlers. Chemical sunscreens are acceptable for older children and adults with healthy skin (i.eskin that is not sensitive or prone to eczema or rashes).
- Water resistant: Sunscreens labeled "water resistant" can withstand sweat and water for either 40 or 80 minutes (check the label for the specific formula). After this amount of time, you must reapply sunscreen.
- Minimum SPF 15: This is the minimum SPF required to prevent sunburns and cancer-causing rays. The most common SPF in baby sunscreen is 50, and higher SPF offers marginally greater protection.
- A lotion sunscreen: Sunscreens are available in stick, spray, and lotion forms. Sprays can make application easier for a fidgety toddler, but they must still be rubbed into the skin for adequate coverage. In addition, their minute particles can be inhaled and cause irritation of the lungs. Importantly, parents frequently miss spots or do not apply enough sunscreen when using an aerosol spray, resulting in unexpected sunburn. Sticks are ideal for small, targeted areas, especially on a baby's face, but are impractical for full-body application and should be used in conjunction with a lotion. Although lotions require more time to apply, they are worth it to ensure that your child is completely protected. Be sure to thoroughly rub it in and cover all exposed areas, including the tops of feet, backs of knees, ears, and lips. Apply it above the hem of shirts and shorts in the event that they ride up during play.
Best Baby Sunscreens
Sun Bum Baby Sunscreen Spray
Protecting your little one's delicate skin from the sun's harmful rays is essential, but not all sunscreens are created equal. Enter Sun Bum’s Sunscreen Spray, the perfect solution for busy parents on-the-go. This super-convenient mineral-based formula is 100% plant-based and cruelty-free, using natural ingredients like coconut oil, shea butter, and cocoa butter to nourish and hydrate all skin types. It applies easily as a spray and gets absorbed quickly without leaving an oily residue, providing UVA/UVB protection for even the most sensitive of skin. Pediatrician and dermatologist tested, paraben, sulfate, silicone, and phthalate-free, this sunscreen will give you peace of mind while giving your little ones the protection they need to enjoy the great outdoors.
All Good’s Sunscreen Butter Stick
This SPF 50 sunscreen stick is perfect for babies and kids with its gentle, moisturizing formula backed by added UVB/UVA protection. Formulated with soothing chamomile, it's great for those with sensitive skin. The best part? It's reef-friendly and water-resistant for up to 80 minutes, allowing your little ones to enjoy outdoor activities without sacrificing sun protection. Say hello to worry-free fun in the sun.
Thinkbaby SPF 50+ Baby Sunscreen
This sunscreen offers broad-spectrum UVA and UVB protection for your little one's sensitive skin. It's also water-resistant, so your baby can safely splash and play for up to 80 minutes before reapplication is necessary. With Thinkbaby, you can enjoy a worry-free day at the beach or pool with your baby.
Looking for tips on child care? Check out 123 Baby Box today!
Keeping Your Baby Safe In the Sun
Keeping your baby safe in the sun should always be a priority. With our list of the best baby sunscreens, you can have peace of mind knowing that your little one is protected from harmful UV rays. From creams to lotions, there are plenty of options out there based on your family’s needs. Just remember that no sunscreen can provide complete protection, so be sure to also use clothes and hats for additional protection. Don’t forget to keep reapplying throughout the day as needed and seek shade whenever possible when outdoors with your baby! Check out our blog to get more tips on caring for your baby -- it’ll make enjoying time in the sun much easier and healthier.
Related Link: Winter Tips: How to Keep a Baby Warm at Night