Baby Sunscreen: Everything You Need to Know

Whether it’s a family vacation or just a day in the park, you want your dearest little one protected at all times during those hot summer months, as well as those tempting, sunny days of winter. Babies' skin is super gentle and very susceptible to sunburns - what’s more, nasty sunburns in the early years of a child’s life can increase the risk of melanoma in later years, which is why protection at all times should be a priority number one

Of course, the best way to protect your baby from potentially harmful sun rays is prevention itself - but, then again, who can actually remain at home the whole day, especially when it’s warm and sunny? Luckily, we live in an age when we can safely wander outside without feeling too anxious about the health of our little ones. And, indeed, baby skin protection is no small matter, which is why we’re gonna go over the most important things you need to know about it, making sure you and your baby can safely enjoy the lure of the next batch of sunny days outside.

Why You Shouldn’t Apply Sunscreen on Babies Younger Than Six Months

The first thing you need to know is to avoid putting sunscreen on babies younger than six months. Even though applying sunscreen is a must for adults and older children, it’s recommended that you don’t burden the still-developing baby’s skin with too many chemicals in its early months. Otherwise, you run the risk of exposing your baby’s organism to absorbing more sunscreen chemicals than is usually healthy. What you can do instead is dress the baby in light, protective clothing and keep it in the shade as much as possible.

But sometimes parents are concerned that clothing and shade won’t provide enough protection – in these cases, for additional protection, you can rub small amounts of sunscreen on the most exposed areas of your child’s skin. It’s important to note always to opt for the so-called “physical sunscreens” or “physical blockers”, creams that contain only zinc-oxide or titanium-dioxide as primary ingredients. These creams stay on the surface of the skin, rather than being absorbed in the skin itself.

Some Tips on How to Protect Your Baby Without Applying Sunscreen

Sunscreen for Babies Older than Six Months

Sunscreen is safe to be applied liberally for babies that are outside the six-month limit. It can be applied to all exposed areas of the body.

How Much Sunscreen Should You Apply to Your Baby’s Skin?

For babies older than six months you can be very liberal with the application of sunscreen, covering all exposed skin areas from 15 to 30 minutes before going in the sun. In this case, more is better, which means you shouldn’t be too stingy with the cream. Make sure the ears and nose are also properly covered, and use lip balm with an SPF 15 to protect the baby’s lips. Remember that sunscreen wears off more easily with sweating or swimming, even if its labeled as waterproof, which means you should reapply it every two hours or more often if your child is outside for longer periods of time or spends a lot of time in the water.

SPF Factors in Sunscreen

Ideally, you should use a sunscreen with a higher SPF. SPF stands for “Sun Protection Factor”, which marks the time the cream effectively protects your skin. So let’s say if you stay in the sun for 10 minutes without sunscreen and you burn, it means that an SPF 30 will provide 30x protection against sunburn – this is 300 minutes of ideal protection, but it’s ideal because it’s never actually that amount of time - in the meantime you move, you sweat and you swim, all of which make the sunscreen protective potential wear off faster. That’s why for an extra-delicate baby’s skin a higher SPF factor is preferred, somewhere between 30 to 50, but not above 50 because it actually offers a poorer quality of sun protection.

What Kind of Sunscreen is Safe for Your Baby?

There are a couple of initial guidelines to keep in mind when considering the safest and most effective options for your baby’s skin:

 Since there are billions of sunscreen options out there, choosing the right one for your baby can be tricky and stressful. But we’re kinda on the no-fuss side, which is why we’ve got you covered with the best sunscreen options that you can find right now. You can check them out here and then enjoy your next trip in the sun, wherever you are. We’ll make sure to always keep you informed and keep your baby on the safe side.