How should I protect my baby from the sun? Skin Care

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Baby at the beach.
iStock/Arand

You don't want to risk a sunburn on baby's sensitive skin, but is sunscreen really safe to use? Here, a pediatrician and other moms recommend ways to keep baby protected from harmful UV rays.

Check Sunscreen Ingredients

"Babies less than 6 months old really need to be kept out of the sun. They need to be put in those special high SPF sunsuits, have a hat on, be under an umbrella, and need to be out of direct sunlight. Once your baby gets older than 6 months, it’s important to look at sunscreen. I recommend barrier creams as opposed to chemical creams. The very first ingredient on the list should be zinc oxide or titanium dioxide. These ingredients really act as direct barriers between harmful UV rays and...

"Babies less than 6 months old really need to be kept out of the sun. They need to be put in those special high SPF sunsuits, have a hat on, be under an umbrella, and need to be out of direct sunlight. Once your baby gets older than 6 months, it’s important to look at sunscreen. I recommend barrier creams as opposed to chemical creams. The very first ingredient on the list should be zinc oxide or titanium dioxide. These ingredients really act as direct barriers between harmful UV rays and the skin. Sunscreen needs to be reapplied every two hours, or after a significant time in water. Barrier creams are more effective and are not absorbed into the skin. Younger kids have more sensitive skin, so the chance of reaction is increased. Plus, with chemical sunscreen, it's more difficult to see if you have even distribution of application on the skin." -- Christina Johns, MD, MEd, FAAP, senior medical advisor, PM Pediatrics, Lake Success, NY

Pop a Tent

"Baby sunscreen and umbrellas. For beach trips we have a little shade tent she can lie in to play, sleep, nurse, or get a diaper change. We also try to go out early so it's cooler."

Avoid the Sun

"We avoid the sun as much as possible. My husband and I are extremely fair skinned -- I'm at the point where I don't even tan. If we go out, we definitely use sunblock, even if it is just to a quick stop at the park. I've had sun poisoning a dozen times growing up; I won't do that to my children."

Sun Hats Work

"We started our kids wearing hats early on. We told them, 'No hat, no outside play.' We have hats made from the same material as swim shirts. The great thing about those is that they let their heads breathe so they don't sweat as much and want to remove them."

Skip the Sunniest Hours

"We use sunscreen, large brimmed hats, and sunglasses. We limit our time in the sun to an hour and try not to go out in the timeframe from just before to just after noon when the sun is at its highest."

UV-Blocking Clothes

"I found SPF 50 long-sleeve breathable onesies online. I absolutely love them. I use them for my 2.5-month-old when we take the kids to the beach, pool, park, or other outings when I know complete shade will be difficult. Add a sun hat and he's mostly protected. He stays nice and cool even with long sleeves on.

Bring an Umbrella

"We do all of the above, and we also keep an umbrella handy if we are at a festival or somewhere where we know shade isn't going to be accessible!"

Protect and Nourish Baby's Skin

There's a whole world of fun in the sun and your baby wants at it. Help protect and nourish your baby’s work-in-progress skin with Babyganics sunscreen! And don’t forget to follow these important tips:

·         More is More! Cover every inch of baby’s exposed skin 30 minutes prior to outside play.

·         Reapply at least every 2 hours. Apply more often when splishing and splashing.

·         Keep newborns in the shade. Sunscreen is not recommended for babies under 6...

There's a whole world of fun in the sun and your baby wants at it. Help protect and nourish your baby’s work-in-progress skin with Babyganics sunscreen! And don’t forget to follow these important tips:

·         More is More! Cover every inch of baby’s exposed skin 30 minutes prior to outside play.

·         Reapply at least every 2 hours. Apply more often when splishing and splashing.

·         Keep newborns in the shade. Sunscreen is not recommended for babies under 6 months.

·         Check that SPF. Use at least 30+ (and no more than 50+) on your baby.


Brand Partner, babyganics

The advice on CafeMom aims to educate, inform, and provide a range of solutions to the issues moms care about. It is not a substitute for consultation with a medical professional or treatment for a specific condition. You should not use this information to diagnose or treat a health problem without consulting a qualified professional. Please contact your health-care provider with questions and concerns.