Do Babies Under 6 Months Really Not Need Sunscreen?
As much as I enjoyed writing my previous post about sunscreen, it can get a little bit trickier when we talk about babies, especially ones under 6 months old. Since I live in the sunshine state of Florida with a baby girl on the way, I thought it would be nice to start getting as much data as possible on this subject.
Babies and Sun Protection
When it comes to babies (and toddlers), their skin is definitely super sensitive. Since most of the studies that advocate for sunscreen to protect yourself from the UV radiation are done on adults, it is difficult to get the best recommendation for our babies. Even with this being the case, I still have some tricks up my sleeve that I am going to share with you.
My Secret Tips
- First and foremost, avoid sun exposure from 10am to 2 pm (dermatologist recommended time frame). In addition, keep your baby well shaded, such as under a tree, umbrella, use a stroller canopy, or anything that can protect them for direct sun exposure during all daylight hours.
- Use light/cool clothes for your baby. Since babies don’t sweat like we do, use clothes that can cover arms, legs, and head as much as possible. My recommendation is to look for SPF clothes that they can wear on the beach.
- Avoid, at all costs, sunscreen that contains chemical ingredients and fragrances. Your first choice should be products that contain zinc oxide as an active ingredient and in a non-nano formula. This is the only ingredient approved by the FDA to be used on babies under 6 months. My favorite product is this one Babo botanicals – baby skin mineral sunscreen.
- Avoid spray sunscreen, even if mineral, for babies under 6 months. This is because if inhaled, your baby can likely develop a toxicity problem.
- Keep your baby hydrated with either formula or by breastfeeding.
If you are planning a vacation at the beach with a baby under 6 months, definitely speak with your pediatrician.
Consider Investing in Swim Diapers
You might also want to get a specific swim diaper if you are planning to swim with your little one as well. These can be disposable or reusable.
- Disposable Swim Diapers: These are different from regular diapers, with a primary role to keep poop out of the water, especially if you are in a public pool. They are usually thinner, non-absorbent, and are more prone to letting something slip out than reusable ones. I would recommend is to change your baby’s diaper as soon as you get out of the water.
- Reusable Swim Diapers: Using a reusable swim diaper instead can be a little more expensive upfront, but they are more trustworthy in terms of accidents. All you will have to do, once the swimming time is over, is to throw the content in the toilet, flush, and then wash the diaper.
Keep in mind that swimming diapers are not recommended for cases of diarrhea. To make the best choice, you might want to try both out and see how it goes.
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