Fun In The Sun With A Baby (Sun Safety For Your Infant)

Dare I say it? Summer is upon us in Kansas City (Freaking finally)!

Sun exposure is excellent for boosting both mood and energy—you may be tempted to strip down to your sunnies and scoot out the door with the kids in tow!

But seeking sun exposure safely is important, and it’s a little more complicated than sunscreen when it comes to our littlest people. So, here are our top tips for protecting your new babe while you both get some much-needed time outdoors:

  • Dress appropriately

    Dressing baby in full-coverage clothing is the way to go. Long sleeves and pants and a wide- brimmed hat are ideal—choose breathable fabrics like wool, linen, or cotton to help keep baby cool.

  • Stick to the shade

    For babies under six months, limiting sun exposure as much as possible is important since they cannot wear sunscreen. In addition to dressing them in protective clothing, hang out in the shade and use an umbrella or stroller shade as needed, especially during peak hours (10 a.m.-4 p.m.).

  • Hydrate, hydrate, hydrate!

    Offer small, additional feeds of either formula or breastmilk—both of which are made mostly of water—to keep baby hydrated and happy. Water is not recommended for babies under six months.

  • Sunscreen—6 months and beyond

    Once your little one is old enough for sunscreen, it’s time to slather it on! Apply sunscreen at least 30 minutes before heading out the door, and then reapply every 2 hours thereafter—more frequently if baby is playing in water or sweating it off. You can check out this list of sunscreens that are highly rated by the Environmental Working Group to minimize your baby’s exposure to harmful chemicals while still getting sun protection.

Note: full-coverage clothing is still recommended. Apply sunscreen to exposed areas, such as the ears, neck, face, and hands. Sunglasses are also a good idea—they make them in infant sizes and with added elastics to help them stay on! Check out this list of baby sunglasses.

  • Babywearing? Read this first.

    If you are planning on babywearing, you may assume that your carrier of choice is enough protection for your baby, but this usually is not the case. Because baby’s legs head are exposed while in a carrier, full-coverage clothing is still necessary: long pants, socks/shoes, and a wide-brimmed hat. Ensuring you have access to the back of baby’s neck will also allow you to check their temp from time to time to make sure they aren’t overheating.

    Finally, the added layers of the carrier make it extra important that you opt for breathable fabrics for clothing—choosing a carrier that is made of a lighter weight fabric can help both you and baby stay cool, too! Additionally, options for a wide-brimmed hat yourself can assist in shading baby from the sun’s harmful rays.

Having a new baby doesn’t have to mean staying indoors all summer long, but it does require a little extra planning before heading outside to make sure everyone is well-protected and ready for some fun in the sun.