Mothering Forum banner

sun protection, summer, swimming, and sweet babes

886 Views 17 Replies 15 Participants Last post by  Sharlla
I'm a new mom of an 8 month old, and summer is fast approaching. I have read that many of you feel that sun screen is bad for our babes. Dh and I can't tolerate the summer heat without plenty of shade, and lots of swimming. We mostly do lake swimming, but we live in the city now, so we probably won't do as much. I'm not much for crowded public pools. I'd love to share our love of swimming with dd. She loves her bath and I'm sure she'd love swimming too. How do I protect her from the sun? Should I give up the outdoor swimming until she's older? I've read everything from babes should be in long sleeves and pants to dress them as you would in all seasons. I tend to go by the latter considering dd is miserable in heat as I am.
1 - 18 of 18 Posts
You can but sun suits that have a uv rating of like 30 or 45. I wouldn't avoid going out in the beautiful weather- I'd use a floppy hat, typical clothes and sunscreen. I know there are questions about sunscreens, but IMO, the risk is worth avoiding a sunburn.

Originally Posted by eastkygal
I've read everything from babes should be in long sleeves and pants to dress them as you would in all seasons. I tend to go by the latter considering dd is miserable in heat as I am.
We live in Israel in the desert and the sun is burtal. I dress my babies in these 1 piece long sleeve / long pants outfits. I think they are from Gap, my mom bought them. They have no feet on them and they are very lightweight cotton. They have a million snaps though, so if you EC they are NOT for you. The girls were never hot in them, I think because they fit very lose on the skin (my kids are skinny).

We live in S. Fla and I was super nervous about taking ds out. I've only taken him to the pool a few times, but because of the constant sun here I lather him up really well.

I don't take him out during peak sun (between 10am and 3pm), his floaty has a sunshade and I cover him up every once in a while. I know that a lot of people don't like the One Step Ahead catalog, but they do have UV protectant clothing and various items for the summer season that look protective.
Thanks for the suggestions. It seems everyone had their own style of coping with the sun. DD was born in August and she wore mostly onesies or similar without getting a sunburn if I kept her in the shade. We'll probably do the same this summer. Still not sure about swimming. I'd like to see more comments. What are the swimsuits with long sleeves and pants? I've not seen those.
See less See more
I was very hardcore about avoiding sun exposure the first summer. Especially after I saw him turn a little red (not really burned) after a stroller ride where I kept him well shaded. We took baby swimming lessons in an indoor "therapeutic" (i.e. bathtub temp) pool. This gave me a chance to get in the water with him a little.

The second summer, I didn't let him swim until at least 4 in the afternoon at the lake and only in the shade in the wading pool at home. Grandma hated this, but tough. We know that sunburns on young skin has lifelong implications, so I'm not taking any chances. We also always went to the park EARLY (8:00) so we were coming home by the time the sun was getting strong.

Your dd may be different, of course, but my ds really didn't particularly like pools or lakes until he as about 18 months old. He's always loved the bath, but that's a more routine and structured situation. For an infant, I personally think it's more important to make sure they don't develop a fear of a water than to try and encourage them to swim or to love the water. That will come later.

If I had to rank them, I'd say a sunburn (cancer risk) is worse than using sunscreen (allergy risk) in a baby, but I prefer to avoid both as much as possible. I did use sunscreen once when we were in San Franciso and couldn't keep his legs adequately shaded.

Maybe I'll try the UV protectant sunsuits this year. I always assumed they'd be to hot, but that doesn't appear to be the experience of other posters.

See less See more
We go to an indoor pool now in arizona. But when we lived in hawaii we always put the girls in a spf 50+ rashguard/wetsuit. Always always they wear hats when outside. There are many good uv hats out there for children but i prefer using flap happy hats because of the very wide brims and tie under the chin. We also used those with the swimsuits with built in diaper...both by flap happy. Being in year round sun its hard to avoid exposure. As infants i used sunscreen. My FIL died last year of melanoma so we are VERY careful about sun exposure. It is best to avoid the outdoors during peak UV hours. But definitely use hat, sunglasses and sunscreen. I just ordered my dds a uv suit to wear during the day. There are many great products made in australia for sun protection.
See less See more
I've been doing a lot of reading about sunscreen lately, and what I've decided is that I will use it, but sparingly, and I will only use certain sunscreens. Check out the skin deep website, you can look up different sunscreens and find out if they have harmful ingredients. Sun burns are bad (cancer risk), but sunscreen can also be very harmful as well (cancer risk). So look for ones that are ok to use. There's a thread somewhere in this section about this that I found really helpful. It's probably a few pages back now. Also, I'm planning on using the uv protective clothing for the beach when we swim, shade, sunglasses, hats, etc.
I'm buying the UV clothing. I put sunscreen on my son's faces because neither will wear a hat. I'm still looking for a sunscreen that does not cause my son to break out in a rash.

Originally Posted by Kleine Hexe
I'm buying the UV clothing. I put sunscreen on my son's faces because neither will wear a hat. I'm still looking for a sunscreen that does not cause my son to break out in a rash.
My oldest gets a rash too, so we generally try to cover up. If you are only using the sunscreen on his face, you could try some zinc oxide (diaper cream). It is sticky and thick but it works without a rash. In the late 80s you could buy it in colors but I have searched and can't find that stuff anymore. You never know, he may change his mind about the hat if he doesn't like this stuff.

Oooo! I would never allow my dd to get a sunburn. I couldn't imagine her having one, because I won't allow myself to get one. I kept her barely dress all last summer and she didn't even get slightly red. If I overdress her, and she gets too hot, she breaks out in a heat rash, so I don't have the option of dressing her more. I don't even allow myself to get tanned in the summer, and I still manage to swim.

I don't believe dd would be afraid of the water if dh and I are both with her. I know I can't force her to enjoy swimming, but she already loves the water in the bathtub, and she loves to kick and splash. I believe she would feel safe with us, but if she doesn't she doesn't have to swim. As with any activity I may introduce her to.

I agree that sunscreen is better than sunburn. I will probably introduce her to swimming indoors. There is a baby swim class here, and we may try that. Thanks again for the input!

Oh! I've been checking out the flappy hats! I'll get one of those too!
See less See more
the best sunscreen I've found is Aubrey Organics. Other than the active ingredients there are NO OTHER chemicals in it. And the active ingredients are relatively mild ones - titanium dioxide and something else...

Organic Living published a study last year and they are finding that many sunscreens contain cancer causing ingredients so it's very impoartant to use one that contains the least amount of chemicals.

Also, FWIW, chlorine is not only bad for skin and hair, but it's also absorbed thru the skin and toxic to the body. So IMO outside in a lake with a "healthY" sunscreen and long clothing is best. My DD loves playing in the ocean, but so far we only go after 3 PM or later. So it's rare that we need sunscreen.

Another idea is to bring a shade umbrella, find a lake or creek or something that is shady in one area (prob wouldn't be a public beach tho... ) or as in our case near the ocean - I have heard that behind the condos is a good place to go because they shade the beach in the afternoon.
See less See more
i had my ds in the swimming pool at 6 months of age and she loved it. now i take all three of my little ones to the pool all the time. i have always wanted to get the uv protectant suits but for now we just use sunscreen and big hats. with a baby on the way i am sure we will be getting some sort of baby floaty with a shade attached but with my first ds i just took an umbrella into the pool with us and that worked just fine!!
i'm so glad i stumbled across this thread! next month we're moving to a house w/ a pool so i've been contemplating this very thing. do i give my dd cancer via the sun or sunscreen?!!? i've decided we'll be using the sunscreen. in doing some research thru the skindeep website i think we're going to go with the no-ad brand sunscreen. seems like the most block (SPF 45) for the least amount of cancer causing additives. i do however plan to check out Aubrey Organics as a previous poster suggested. of course we'll also be trying to spend a lot of our time out of the sun & wearing hats all the time.
I'm just going to make my own sunscreen.

Use 1 cup oil to 1 oz beeswax and 1-2 Tablespoons zinc or titanium oxide. Heat the oil just enough to melt the wax (grate or chop it first), then add the titanium or zinc oxide.
1 - 18 of 18 Posts
This is an older thread, you may not receive a response, and could be reviving an old thread. Please consider creating a new thread.