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Mothering › Groups › May 2013 Due Date Club › Discussions › What do you know about baby sun protection?

What do you know about baby sun protection?

post #1 of 11
Thread Starter 

I know that children under 6 months of age are not supposed to wear sunscreen (even the mineral kind we use, I believe.) My three year old was born in December, so it wasn't something we had to worry about because she was 6 months old by the time sun protection was really a concern. What am I to do with a summer baby?! I already have some sun hats picked out for her, and she'll be in a sling a lot of the time we are outside, but beyond that I'm kind of at a loss. I know there is UPF clothing, but I can't put in her long sleeves and pants in the middle of a mid-Atlantic summer. Any ideas?

post #2 of 11
Yes, the clothing and sun hats help, but mostly just keep them really well shaded. Newborns are always tough outside at first anyway since they don't regulate body temp well. Lots of strollers have good shades, umbrellas, etc. and just going places with lots of shade available, but keep in mind even shaded, you still get some sun exposure from bounce off of surfaces (especially anything really reflective like water) so its best to limit it somewhat. And going outside early in the day and later in the day will help limit the exposure and limit the heat too, you can look up for your specific area what the "worst" hours are and avoid those.
post #3 of 11
We're not overly careful about sun exposure I guess...we don't generally use sun screen for any of us. We are thankfully all blessed with skin that tans well, rarely burns, so we're probably slacker than we should be. Our ds was also born in May. We tried to be conscious of staying in the shade with him, used hats when I wore him. I did make sure to have a rash guard for him when we brought him in the water. We spent a lot of time outside that summer. I don't feel our son had too much harsh exposure to the sun, but he did have a bit of a tan at the end of the summer. I think he benefitted from all the fresh air and he loved to look at the trees around him. So I wouldn't have done things differently. I think you just have to be careful, seek out shade, use blankets to cover their skin when they don't have great coverage, like in a stroller. I like some of the blankets that have SPF protection that tie to the edges of the stroller, so they blanket isn't directly laying on them...I would like to think that this would make the baby less warm, to have a bit of air circulation.
post #4 of 11

I hadn't thought too much about the sunscreen, I am more worried about the heat.  I think that we are going to have to avoid going out during the peak heat hours, which is DS's nap time anyway.  I plan on baby wearing a lot, so I figured we would just throw on a floppy hat and she will be fine.  But I feel like that will get pretty warm, so I'm not entirely sure.  I guess another thing on my "to do" list is to make a list of shady places to hang out, or inside places with a/c that we can escape to if it gets too warm.  And maybe have a cooler with me with a spray bottle of water or something to have something cool to spray on us if needed. Hmm, I wonder if breast milk popsicles would hold up in a cooler? Or even just some ice chips. 

 

If you wanted to use something on the skin, I would go with some coconut oil, I think it has a (low) natural SPF and shouldn't bother her skin. 

post #5 of 11
oh, forgot to mention. We also have used aloe as a sun protector - that's all we put on our toddler when we feel we need to put something on him. I'm guessing it would be ok on babies.
post #6 of 11

The coconut oil in the past has left me with a nasty burn- I am Puerto Rican and tan but put preventatives on sometimes (mainly because DD is so fair and I want to be a goos example). We are not super nuts, but we do put some on.

 

I echo the time in shade thought. AND barrier clothing. Umbrellas are also good. We don't plan on living inside either, I guess also breaks from the sun can be helpful too.

 

DD was born in July (during the hottest week of the year.) She was a premie and spent so much time in kangaroo care, sweaters and winter hats... because she didn't have a lick of fat on her. I felt a little psycho actually dressing her like that, but she needed it.  Infants skin to skin (kangaroo care) can regulate body temp but often not as effectively on their own.

 

 

Just because it seems somewhat related to the thread:

 

This is one of my favorite resources http://www.ewg.org/skindeep/ for "anything" (product) anyone puts on their body!

post #7 of 11
I burn very easily, so I'm really careful about sun exposure without sunscreen (and I don't use anything less than SPF30) and keeping strictly in the shade and covered otherwise. I envy those of you that can go outside in the summer for more than a few minutes without worrying smile.gif I am that girl that when I go to the beach everyone is pestering to make sure I am wearing sunscreen because my skin is so pale!
post #8 of 11
I used to be one who burned easily, bit after eliminating gains, reducing sugar, eliminating transfats, adding lots of saturated fats, particularly coconut oil, I basically don't burn anymore.

I'll be eating even more coconut oil when the baby is born to pass along more coconutty goodness to baby through my milk. Mark's Daily Apple has some other good sun protection tips without sunscreen.

I haven't tried coconut oil topically yet, but will be this summer. It meets my guideline- if I wouldn't eat it, don't put it on my skin. I use lanolin, too, but I don't think I'd eat it!
post #9 of 11
Interesting BeagleMommy, I'll look into it, but I can't imagine ever being able to be out for long stretches without protection, but if I could improve it for short stretches, that would be worthwhile by itself. My skin is just so fair, though if I can get a thick enough layer of freckles if I'm out in the sun often enough (with sunscreen), I will do better at the end of a season smile.gif
post #10 of 11

Beagle, that is fascinating! I had never heard of such a correlation, although I don't have a lot of trouble believing it, our Western diet causes all sorts of deficiencies and I have wondered what white people did before we had sunscreen. I know we were mostly in less sunny climates, but its not like the sun never shines in Europe!

 

I am a pretty easy burner, especially living at altitude, the sun is much stronger here than in other parts of the US. They call CO the skin cancer capital of the US. Ha. I pretty much have every single risk factor for skin cancer, so I am careful about sun protection, but do not like the chemicals that regular sunscreens have and the "good" ones are damn spendy! As for baby, I plan to just use physical blockers (hats, clothing, shade), but at some point (next summer) will use the expensive "safe" sunscreens. My dd inherited my fair skin but I am hoping baby will get dh's darker tone so s/he gets a better chance at avoiding burns.

post #11 of 11

For baby we plan to just use barriers like hats and whatnot.  I am a little concerned about days at the lake but I guess we'll just be extra careful about keeping babe covered.  The sun reflects off the water so being under an umbrella is not enough. 

We use badger balm sunscreen for the rest of us as two years ago I started getting horrid itchy rashes from standard sunscreens.  It makes us white and pasty looking but we are fair skinned and at high altitude so it's a must.  I try to keeps hats and cover-ups on us too. 

I agree with BeagleMom, since adding more healthy fats (like coconut and cod liver oil) to our diet we don't burn as easily.

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