Natural Sunscreen for Babies
My boys definitely take after me when it comes to their fair skin tones, so I am extremely careful in making sure they are protected from the sun. It's recommended that children under six months of age not wear sunscreen because their skin is very sensitive to chemicals contained in typical sunscreen formulas. Instead, proper precautions should be followed, such as keeping your baby out of direct sunlight whenever possible by staying in the shade or covering their stroller, limiting outside time between 11 am and 4 pm as much as possible (especially at noon), and dressing your baby in a sun hat and lightweight clothing that covers their arms and legs to ensure they don't get a sunburn. Sometimes it's impractical to follow every precaution, especially when you also have a toddler! If you take your toddler to a playground, it's important to supervise them, which usually means standing in the sun with your baby rather than in the shade. Toddlers have an enormous amount of energy to burn off which results in plenty of playtime in the late morning and midafternoon. For these reasons, I felt it was important for my youngest son to wear sunscreen even when he was under six months of age. It wasn't easy to find a natural sunscreen for babies at typical baby stores, but I purchased the Substance Baby Suncare Stick from West Coast Kids (it is also available on Well.ca). It is safe for children of all ages, protects against UVA & UVB rays, and is chemical free. It's SPF 30 and provides sun protection for up to 80 minutes. It leaves a white cast on the skin, which in my opinion is a good thing so you can see which areas you may have forgotten to cover. Both of my sons have very sensitive skin and have previously had severe bouts of eczema. This sunscreen did not cause them irritation of any kind. Having it in stick form makes it great for travelling and you won't have to worry about it leaking in your purse like spray sunscreens tend to do. We used the Substance stick daily on our recent vacation where it was sunny for 13 out of 14 days. My youngest son had flushed cheeks from teething but didn't get a sunburn, so I highly recommend this product!