Ok sisters, let’s debunk some myths about the SUN PROTECTION and OUR BABIES. I posted my reviews and recommendations for the mamas out there who are looking to get their SPF on, but in a fashionable way, so I thought I could pair this with a post for our kiddos!
Protecting Little Skins
We all know that sun exposure, when left to its own malicious ways, can lead to skin cancer, and we would never dream of letting our little loves prance about unexposed! I wish I took this advice as seriously then as I do now. I loved me a tanning bed and bathing in the sun for hours. Sheesh. Don’t be like high school me!
But, I digress.
Sunscreen isn’t the ONLY thing that we need to protect ourselves and our littles.UV rays can also cause eye damage, especially in younger children. Sunglasses aren’t just fashionable, they’re necessary for the health and sight of our eyes!
So what to do? Let’s talk.
Sun Protection Myth:
Babies under 6 months old shouldn’t use sunscreen.
Okay, so the American Academy of Pediatrics does say this but it’s because they argue that babies of this age shouldn’t be exposed to much sun at all. Mamas, it’s summer time and you are NOT expected to isolate yourself or other children from the sun just because you have a babe!
1.Use a Baby Beach Tent!
We used a pop up baby beach tent for the first two summers of Caleigh’s life. It fit right into a little circle bag and was super lightweight. This was a convenient purchase that protected her from the sun and even allowed her to nap on the beach!
2. Protective Sun Clothing
Sun protective clothing uses the UPF (ultraviolet protection factor) scale for sun protection. The AAP suggests choosing clothing that is UPF 30 or higher.
We live on the Cape and spend much of our summers on the beach, so we opt to go for Coolibar.
Our favorites from this brand include their sun hats and swim shirts! We’ve also found brands like iPlay at our local Walmart and Target!
Sunblock for Babies, Toddler, and Children – Oh My!
In researching this information, I discovered that:
- The FDA does not set ANY requirements for sunscreen or body products for kids. WHAT?
- SunSCREEN uses chemicals to absorb UV rays to prevent them from sinking into your skin
- SunBLOCK uses minerals to deflect these rays
- These terms are used as synonyms and are marketed as such, too. Confusing.
Everything you’ll find below is technically a sunBLOCK, but it’s called a screen. With me? Ok, good. If you’re going to use something on your baby’s skin, use a BLOCK because they don’t contain chemicals.
This is my FAVORITE sunblock for littles! And it seems like other mamas would agree! It’s one of the HIGHEST rated on multiple sites, including Amazon. While it’s a little pricier, it’s going to last forever for you and you can find it in places like Target.
Thinkbaby offers broad spectrum UVA/UVB protection with SPF 50+, and it’s “very water resistant” (up to 80 minutes in the water). Thinkbaby is paraben and PABA-free AND it doesn’t go on chalky like a lot of mineral sunblocks do!
I actually found this at my local Christmas Tree Shop (and for such a steal!). It covers up to 4 hours of play (there is also a Blue Lizard Australian Sunscreen – Original Sport Sunscreen, SPF 30+ Broad Spectrum UVA/UVB Protection – 8.75 oz. Bottle” rel=”noopener noreferrer”>sport version of this which is water resistant for something crazy like 4 hours, so for both outside AND water play!).
This is intended for babes with sensitive skin and was great for Cal when she was teeny because of her eczema.
I really like this company. Their products are not only safe for your lovlies, but they are also coral safe for people who like to snorkel and scuba!
You’ll notice I didn’t include any spray options here. That is NOT because I don’t use them. In fact, I find them to be super convenient and easy to travel with. I like how I can use one hand to hold hair, pull straps, wrangle my toddler and also protect her skin. But there is the nanoparticle debate – about how these tiny particles pass through the skin and can be breathed in when sprayed. Personally, I’d rather any child be lathered in sunblock than not out of safety for their skin, but I also know MANY moms who would never think to use a spray for fear of what their kiddo might be breathing in.
I think there are good options for spray lotions. We love the Babyganics spray and I know All Good has one that is popular.
What Have We Learned?
That it is 100% more effective to protect your baby’s skin than not. Mamas, we are all doing what we can to love and care for our kiddos, and this is just a resource for you to use when you’re looking for information on how to do that in the summer months!
Enjoy the beach!