I'm a self-proclaimed sun lover. I love being tan, since I was quite young. I have fond memories of sun-bathing on our deck with my mom and sister when I was all of about 10 years old. Now, of course, I realize the damage sun causes to our skin, the increased risk of skin cancer, etc. My crows feet are deepening daily, yet I still can't manage to flip the switch on my brain. For myself that is. For my little one who is almost 6 months old, it's a completely different story!
The doctors tell you not to use sunscreen until your baby is at least 6 months old. So you wonder, why? Is it because they are so loaded with toxic chemicals that it's just not safe for an itty bitty baby. Super! Sure, you can do your research on the EWG's Skin Deep cosmetics database and find yourself the safest of the safest sunblocks. We did that and have 2 tubes of unopened Badger's sitting in our hall closet. But so far I've been able to avoide having to use it on my lil' one.
For now I'm resorting to 1) keeping him in the shade and 2) covering up any sun-exposed parts.
When he's in the stroller, the shade on our Britax B-Agile is really big and covers all but his legs, depending on the angle of the sun. To tackle the leg exposure, I carry around a pair of UPF BabyCool BabyLegs to throw on him should his legs end up in the sun. They're nice and long so I can pull them down to cover up his little tootsies too ^_^
When I wear my little one in his Mei Tai carrier, he's quite a bit more exposed and he's probably pretty hilarious looking to bystanders the way I've got him covered up head to toe! We're talking hat on the head, BabyLegs on the legs and feet, and Sunny Sleevez on the arms and hands.
What are Sunny Sleevez you ask? They're 50+ UPF sleeves that cover from the base of the fingers (or over the fingers in the case of a baby) to upper arm. The great thing is that you can easily pull them off when you're in the shade or go inside, and slap them back on before little one is in the sun again. You can also wet them for a nice cooling effect. I was worried that their smallest size would be too big for my 5 month old, but there's a little button you can hook at the top to make them snugger, and they fit him just fine! We bought ours through The Eczema Company, but it looks like they're out of stock for the rest of the 2013 summer season (check back with them for next year though!) If you need them for this summer, check out www.sunnysleevez.com (they also have them in adult sizes).
I feel pretty good about covering him up as I've heard a vast majority of sun damage is done in the first year of life, but I do worry a bit about Vitamin D deficiency. Our pediatrician had him on Tri-Vi-Sol supplement during the winter, but I've stopped that now. I guess they can always do a blood test if they're worried about it...
So, what do you do about protecting your little ones from the sun? Have a sun block to recommend or one that your child hates? UPF Clothing? Cute little beach parasol? Do tell!!
I'm a NYC metro area mom blogger living in NJ with my Japanese husband & our 3 kids (twins plus 1), focusing on fun and honest product and travel reviews, saving moms time finding the best for their families! Find what you need in the menu bar or search section above!