Mom holding baby at the beach

The weather is warming up and you can’t wait to get your little one outdoors. But before you step outside, you’ll need to apply sunscreen to protect your baby’s skin. If you’re wondering which baby sunscreen is the best choice, you’re in the right place!

At Babo Botanicals, safety for your family comes first, so we’re going to give you the low-down on baby sunscreen.

We’ll cover everything from selecting the right sunscreen for your little one to the best application methods to keep your baby safe outdoors.

We’ll also provide some simple tips on additional ways to avoid excess sun exposure and how to care for your baby should they become sunburned.

By the end of this article, you’ll know exactly what to do to keep your little one safe in the sun!

The Importance Of Sun Protection

Did you know that skin cancer is the most common form of cancer in the United States? According to The American Academy of Dermatology (AAD), it takes just one blistering sunburn in childhood to nearly double the chance of developing skin cancer later in life.

The sun emits two types of rays, and it’s important to ensure your family is protected from both to avoid long-term damage. UVA rays are associated with aging and can easily pass through window glass. UVB rays are burning rays and are usually the culprits of sunburn.

While these facts are certainly eye-opening, it’s great to know that our society has come so far in learning about effective sun protection methods and how to implement them.

Your baby’s skin is very sensitive in comparison to your own. Teaching your little one the importance of sun protection from an early age is one way to set them up for a healthy, happy life!

Sunscreen is just one of the many ways you can protect your baby’s skin from the sun’s harsh rays, and it can be used sooner in your baby’s development than you might think.

When Should You Put Sunscreen On Your Baby?

baby at the beach wearing baby sunscreen

The American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) recommends babies under six months of age stay out of direct sunlight. Unfortunately, shade isn’t always an option.

That said, if your baby is younger than six months, you’ll want to protect them from the sun with long sleeves and pants. But what about those areas — like their face, neck, and the tops of their hands and feet — that may still be in the sun?

Your baby’s skin is super sensitive — especially during their first year of life. You might be wondering when (and if!) it’s safe to use sunscreen on your little one.

The good news is it’s totally OK to apply a small amount of baby-safe sunscreen to your child’s exposed skin when they’re six months old or younger.

Try Babo Botanicals’s Baby Skin Mineral Sunscreen - SPF 50.This lightweight sunscreen is specifically formulated to keep your baby’s delicate skin safe while in the sun.

For babies older than six months, try Babo Botanicals’s Baby Skin Mineral Sunscreen Pump Spray. This safe, non-aerosol sunscreen sprays on sheer for easy, baby-friendly application!

For your little one’s face — which can be a tricky area to tackle — consider our Fragrance Free SPF 50 Baby Face Mineral Sunscreen Stick. It’s the perfect way to keep your baby protected without getting sunscreen in their eyes or mouth!

Now that you know our sunscreen is safe to apply even on young babies, let’s talk about the time of year your little one needs sunscreen. Hint: It isn’t just in the summer.

Sunscreen is a year-round essential! Even if it’s cloudy or cool outside, the sun’s harmful UV rays can filter through clouds, which leaves your little one’s skin vulnerable. Your baby needs sunscreen any time they’re outside!

How Much Baby Sunscreen Is Enough?

When it comes to sunscreen, there’s no such thing as too much! In fact, many people will apply too little sunscreen, and therefore don’t achieve an adequate level of sun protection.

Apply sunscreen liberally to every inch of your baby’s exposed skin at least 15 minutes before going outside. And don’t forget to lather up your own sunscreen — you are your little one’s biggest role model, after all!

Note that sunscreen can take up to 30 minutes after application before it becomes effective. Keep your baby out of the sun until this time limit is reached to allow the sunscreen a chance to work its magic.

Remember, sun protection shouldn’t end with the initial application of your sunscreen! Reapply sunscreen at least every two hours, after 80 minutes of swimming or sweating, or immediately after towel-drying to maintain the optimum level of sun protection.

Additionally, it’s important to keep in mind that sunscreen should be used for sun protection while you’re in the sun, not as an excuse to stay in the sun longer.

What Kind Of Baby Sunscreen Is Safe?

Parent applying baby sunscreen on child 

The market is filled with all different kinds and brands of sunscreen. This can make it confusing for parents to determine which one is best for their baby.

To help narrow down your search, look for these specific qualities in baby sunscreen:

  • Specially designed with babies in mind
  • Made of Zinc Oxide or Titanium Dioxide (These hypoallergenic ingredients sit on top of the skin rather than absorbing directly into the skin.)
  • Free of harmful chemicals (Choose a mineral variety!)
  • Made of natural or organic ingredients
  • Labeled as Broad Spectrum (It will protect against both UVA and UVB rays.)
  • Has an SPF 30 to 50
  • Lightweight
  • Water-Resistant
  • Reef-Safe

Thankfully, our range of sun protection products makes selecting your family’s sunscreen a simple decision. We designed our products to check off all the boxes, ensuring your little one is protected from the sun without the unnecessary ingredients.

And because all of our products are dermatologist tested and hypoallergenic, the possibility of your little one having an allergic reaction to our sunscreen is low.

But, as with any product, it is still possible. For this reason, we recommend trying a small patch of sunscreen on your baby’s skin before a full application.

Sun Safety Tips

Two kids at the beach holding Babo Botanicals baby sunscreen 

Keep Your Baby Inside During Peak Hours

As a general rule of thumb, the sun’s ultraviolet (UV) rays are most intense between 10:00 a.m. and 2:00 p.m. and should be avoided during this time when possible.

You can use an app such as the EPA’s SunWise UV Index to check for potential UV exposure in your area. This tells you how safe it may be to take your little one outdoors.

Take a look at the rest of our sun safety tips for more ideas on sun protection methods if limited sun exposure is unavoidable, such as when you’re on vacation at the beach or taking an outside family adventure somewhere.

And remember: even outside of these peak hours, the sun’s rays are still very powerful and can easily reflect off buildings, water, and sand to reach your baby’s skin!

Stay In A Shaded Area

While UV rays can still reach your baby even in the shade, it should be your first line of defense when it comes to protecting your baby’s delicate skin from the sun.

Per the AAP’s recommendation, stay in a shaded area as much as possible. This includes while driving, so it’s important to have window shades in your car to protect your baby during travel.

If you’re out and about, take a break from the sun and find a tree for your baby to sit under. Your stroller also needs adequate shade for your baby, so make sure yours has a covering so that your little one isn’t exposed.

If you’re at the beach or pool, let your baby play or drift off to sleep under a beach umbrella with a UPF (Ultra Protection Factor) rating.

What is this UPF rating all about? Not all beach umbrellas are created equal — only some block direct UV rays, meaning your baby could still get sunburned even while sitting in the shade!

To keep that from happening, choose a tent or umbrella with a UPF rating of at least 50.

Put A Wide-Brimmed Hat On Your Baby

Baseball caps are super cute on babies, but they’re not practical, especially when your baby is in direct sunlight. 

Caps don’t cover your little one’s neck and ears, whereas a wide-brimmed hat will protect these sensitive areas. Wide-brimmed hats are the best and safest option for your baby when you’re out in the sun.

Although many babies don’t enjoy wearing hats at first, persevere! Opt for a hat with a strap or toggle to help keep it securely on your little one’s head.

Choosing a hat made from a soft fabric will also help keep your baby comfortable and more likely to keep wearing the hat throughout the day.

Tip: Just as the sun’s rays can burn your little one’s skin, they can also hurt your baby’s eyes. Hats can help protect their eyes, but a pair of sunglasses with at least 99% UV protection is an important addition to your little one’s sun protection outfit. 

 Baby at beach wearing a hat to protect him from the sun

Keep Your Baby Hydrated

Both babies and adults sweat in the sun and heat. But when an adult sweats, it helps cool their body down. This isn’t the case for babies.

Your baby’s body hasn’t yet developed this heating and cooling system. So when your little one sweats, it can easily lead to overheating and dehydration.

Watch for these dehydration cues from your baby:

  • Irritability or fussiness
  • Dry mouth
  • Decreased number of wet diapers (fewer than six in 24 hours, or a diaper that stays dry for two or three hours)
  • Tearless crying

To prevent dehydration, continue giving your baby formula or breastmilk while they’re out in the sun and heat. Even though both are warm liquids, the water content will help keep your baby hydrated.

And if your little one is over six months old, offer them a sippy cup of water to help cool their body.

In serious circumstances, you will need to get help right away for severe dehydration. If you notice several of the above symptoms to the extreme, seek medical attention right away.

Cover Your Baby In Protective Clothing

If you’re visiting the beach and your baby is on-the-go, it will be hard to keep them in the shade even if you have an umbrella. Your little one will want to play in the sand as they discover the waves and water!

Choose a swimsuit for your little one that covers as much of their skin as possible, like a swim shirt. Avoid swimsuits that expose too much of your baby’s skin, even if they are cute!

Opt for tightly woven fabrics like cotton to keep your baby cool and protected during their adventures. Hold the fabric up to the light and see how much it lets through.

If lots of light gets through the fabric, the same can be said for UV rays.

For protection away from the beach and pool, use your baby’s stroller shade as often as possible, and dress your little one in lightweight clothing that covers their arms and legs.

Protect Your Baby’s Skin With A Mineral Sunscreen

Even though your little one’s skin protects their body, it doesn’t keep everything out. Whatever you lather onto your baby’s skin has the potential to end up in their bloodstream.

That’s why it’s important to pay attention to what you’re putting on your baby! Chemical sunscreens are made with just that: chemicals. And mineral sunscreens with — you guessed it! — minerals. 

As we mentioned above, some chemical sunscreen ingredients can actually absorb into your little one’s skin. What’s more, these ingredients can irritate your baby’s delicate skin. 

And if your baby is relaxing on their float in the ocean, some chemical ingredients can seep into the water. Yikes! 

Mineral sunscreen, on the other hand, sits on top of the skin to block harmful UV rays, rather than absorbing into the skin. 

There are only two active ingredients used in mineral sunscreen: Zinc Oxide and Titanium Dioxide. Interesting fact: these active ingredients are the only two proposed to be safe and effective for sunscreen use according to the FDA.

With your baby’s skin care and the safety of the environment in mind, you can rest easy knowing Babo Botanicals sun care collection is all-natural and reef-safe!

Babo Botanicals Sun products set in a beach scene

After-Sun Care

So your little one has caught a bit of sun in your outdoor adventures — don’t worry, it happens to the best of us!

Luckily, there are a variety of ways you can ease your little one’s sunburn discomfort.

First, staying hydrated isn’t just a useful tip while you’re out in the sun — it’s also a crucial part of after-sun care. Help your little one replenish their fluids post-sun exposure by giving them formula or breastmilk (or water if they’re old enough).

Applying a cool compress on your little one’s skin or running them a cool or lukewarm bath may also help to ease redness and soreness from being in the sun.

Opt for gentle cleansers during bath time, such as our Sensitive Baby Shampoo & Wash.

Aloe vera has long been used for its incredible healing properties and makes a great addition to your after-sun care routine. Our After Sun Soothing Hydrating Aloe Gel contains a special combination of ingredients to treat your little one’s sunburn.

With witch hazel and eucalyptus to cool and refresh, green tea and arnica to soothe and hydrate, and hyaluronic acid for an extra burst of moisture, this product will soon become a must-have for the whole family!

In addition to soothing with our aloe gel, lock in your skin’s moisture to help heal sunburned skin.

For the little ones, reach for a gentle moisturizer like our Calming Baby Lotion for added protection and healing properties.

And, of course, be sure to keep your baby out of the sun if they’re recovering from sunburn. Getting more sun exposure on already sensitive skin is a big no-no and will only delay the healing process.

 After Sun Soothing Hydrating Aloe Gel

When To See A Doctor

The effects of sunburn usually peak within the first 24 hours of sun exposure. Minor redness or a feeling of warmth caused by sunburn is easily treatable at home with the remedies we mentioned above.

However, if you’re concerned about your baby’s sunburn or unusual behaviors they’re showing after being in the sun, it’s important to know when to visit a healthcare professional for medical advice.

Aside from the serious symptoms of dehydration we mentioned earlier, consult your doctor if you notice any of the following symptoms in your baby after sun exposure:

  • Blisters on the skin
  • A fever, shaking, or shivering
  • Lethargy
  • Nausea or vomiting
  • Swelling or possible infection

Monitoring your little one closely to watch for signs of sun-induced illness is your best bet for treating these issues promptly.

Keeping Your Baby Safe In The Sun

mom holding baby at the beach that is protected by baby sunscreen

Sun protection is crucial for every member of your family, especially your little one! Knowing the importance of year-round sun protection is the first step in protecting your baby’s delicate skin.

You and your baby can relax and enjoy time in the sun when you know your baby’s skin is safely cared for. Babo Botanicals Baby Skin Mineral Sunscreen is safe to apply even on a newborn’s sensitive skin!

Review our list of specific qualities to look for in a baby sunscreen before making your selection. And be sure to follow our sun safety tips to keep your little one safe while playing in the sun.

Finally, stock up on after-sun care products like our After Sun Soothing Hydrating Aloe Gel to get quick relief from sunburn mishaps.

Give your baby’s skin the best care with Babo Botanicals so you can both soak up the sunshine without worry!