10 Best Pairs of Baby Sunglasses for Fun in the Sun

Check out these too-cool infant sunglasses that offer supreme eye protection.
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May 9, 2022
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The weather is warming up, which means it’s the perfect time to take stock of baby’s sunny-weather wardrobe. The cherry on top of an absolutely adorable breezy spring or summer ensemble? Baby sunglasses. These adorable accessories not only complete every outdoor-ready ensemble, they provide invaluable sun protection that those precious infant peepers shouldn’t be without (especially as eye damage is cumulative and can start as soon as baby leaves the womb). We’ve seen plenty of sassy shades show up on shelves and online, but it’s worth noting that not every pair offers sufficient, pediatrician-recommended UVR safeguards.

Before you impulse buy those so-cute sunnies you’ve seen flooding your social feeds (and there is no judgment there!), be sure you read up on all the safety features first. If the percentage of protection against both UVA and UVB rays isn’t at least 99 percent with the options you find, then you’ll want to pass. And while the protection factor is most important when it comes to picking out proper sunglasses for your tiny one, it isn’t the only thing to keep your sights on: Comfort, fit, durability and fashion are all worthy specs in this buying game!

Do Babies Need Sunglasses?

In short, yes, they absolutely do. Everything about a baby grows and matures in time; they’re incredibly sensitive in infancy, through toddlerhood and into their youth (that goes for any child under the age of 10). While they may squint and close their eyes to intentionally block out rays, because their eyelids are so thin and delicate, not only are they at risk for sunburns, they also can’t filter out the sun’s ultraviolet (UV) rays as effectively as older teens and adults. Furthermore, according to Alexis Phillips-Walker, DO, a pediatrician in Atascocita, Texas, children are more at risk for retinal damage from UV rays, because their pupils are larger and the lens inside the eye is clearer allowing more absorption of UV radiation into the eye.” Even just one day of sun, without protection, can lead to irreversible UV damage, cautions Phillips-Walker.

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When Can Babies Start Wearing Them?

Ideally, babies under 6 months should be kept out of the sun as much as possible. The recommendation goes hand in hand with pediatricians’ advice not to use sunscreen on newborns and infants. Until they reach the age of 6 months, babies should be protected from the sun with umbrellas, canopies, breathable blankets and sun hats that can adequately shade their eyes and the rest of their face. They can also wear UV-resistant clothing and swimsuits as an added veil of protection, but the more time they can spend out of direct sunlight, the better.

Once babies hit that half-year mark, though, the American Academy of Ophthalmology does green light the use of sunglasses in tandem with brimmed hats and dermatologist-approved sunblocks, as long as they meet standard safety levels for UV and impact protection. Most high-quality sunglasses will meet those precautionary benchmarks, but if you’re not shopping from a professional eyewear destination or purchasing from an ophthalmologist, you’ll need to weed through any cheaply made, novelty pairs. The overly kiddie, character-patterned or elaboratively decorated shades that your munchkins may be drawn to are rarely equipped with the requisite 99 or 100 percent UVR protection.

What to Look for When Buying Baby Sunglasses

Once the UVR protection percentages check out (and again, you’ll want to look for baby sunglasses with a UV400 label, which guarantees 99 to 100 percent protection from both UVA and UVB rays), you can move onto other criteria in your quest for the best baby sunglasses. “If you cannot afford to do full custom-fit glasses, you can still find a variety of wraparound styles that offer full sun protection for your baby,” reassures Phillips-Walker. “The glasses should fit just beyond the eye, without being uncomfortable, for full protection—and you can also help amplify the protection by having your child wear a hat.” It’s part two of the protection picture!

A few other tidbits to bear in mind as your sunglass hunt heats up, according to Dr. Phillips-Walker:

  • Comfort and fit. “Sunglasses with a strap around the head or silicone sleeves that cover the arm of the sunglasses enable a better fit,” notes Phillips-Walker. “Active children should have sunglasses made of impact-resistant polycarbonate with scratch-proof lenses, and frames should be made of a material that is bendable but not breakable.” Babies are fragile, so of course any gear they’re wearing should be slender, flexible and soft. You can find sunglasses made from a number of materials, but rubber and lightweight plastic are priority for the comfort they provide.
  • Design and durability. If you ask any pediatrician or pediatric ophthalmologist, they’ll likely tell you that impact-resistant frames are king, adding that the best lenses are made of polycarbonate—a material much lighter than glass or plastic, which makes wearing them more comfortable. “Frames that fit properly not only protect against the sun’s UV rays, but also keep dust and other debris from getting into the child’s eyes,” relays Phillips-Walker. “Spring hinges also help keep the fit of the frame snug, reducing the chance of the glasses falling off. And a static or removeable elastic band can keep the frames securely attached to the head, while simultaneously preventing damage or loss.” Straps or stretchy bands can be a parent’s best friend, just be sure to keep an eye out for your baby at all times, as anything hanging around their necks can easily become a choking hazard.
  • Polarized versus nonpolarized. Just like Mom and Dad’s sunglasses, baby’s sunglasses are available in polarized or nonpolarized pairs. Truly, all it means is that the lenses are treated with a periphery chemical that can better filter out light. Phillips-Walker says that it has very little to do with sun protection. “If you have a child with extra sensitive eyes, a polarized set of lenses can allow them to see better in highly reflective environments, like being out in the snow, floating in a pool or riding on a boat.” Otherwise, opting for the polarized set of shades usually just equates to a larger price tag.

Where to Buy Baby Sunglasses

And now that we’ve covered all the conditional concerns, we can finally talk about the fashion! If you’re searching for a pair of baby sunglasses that are as snazzy as they are safe, you’ll be overwhelmed by the plethora of protective baby shades available at a handful of our favorite shops. Whether you’re looking for a classic wraparound style or a funky pair of baby aviators that’ll let you twin with your mini, these online stores have sunglasses to suit every style and budget.

  • Maisonette. If iconic baby sunglasses brands—like Babiators, WeeFarers and more—give you all the feels, then Maisonette is a great place to start your search. This online store has tons of cool, retro sunnies for baby girls and boys alike.
  • Carter’s. For cute baby sunglasses at affordable prices, Carter’s is where you’ll want to stock your cart. All of the brand’s sunglasses have built-in UVA and UVB protection, and you can score picks as low as $8—talk about cheap and cheerful!
  • BuyBuyBaby. Are you one for keeping your options open? We get it—which is why we know you’ll love BuyBuyBaby. This store has a wide selection of baby sunglasses, including wraparound styles for infants and flexible, shatterproof toddler shades.
  • Nordstrom. Think you’ll need to scoop up a set of sunny specs for yourself too? Then definitely keep Nordstrom bookmarked. The department store has just as many luxe and lovable sunglasses for your little boos as it does for you!

The Best Baby Sunglasses

The best baby sunglasses are stylish, sturdy and, most importantly, safe. Look for sunglasses that block harmful UVA and UVB sun rays, fit snugly and cover the entire eye area. Other hints of quality include shatter-resistant lenses and flexible frames that’ll withstand wear and tear (because you know those glasses will run the gauntlet with your little guy or girl!). Ready to start shopping? Here you’ll find 10 infant sunglasses that offer all the sun protection your little one needs and a bunch more perks you’ll love as parents.

Image: Nordstrom

Overall Best Baby Sunglasses: Babiators Original Navigators Sunglasses

We’ll kick things off with a classic style reimagined for infants. These baby sunglasses are a celeb-favorite (seriously, check all the proof by searching “babiators” and “celebrities” on Pinterest!), and we can see why. They provide 100 percent UVA and UVB protection, are BPA-free and have shatter-resistant lenses. The last is especially important since—let’s face it—they’re going to end up on the floor at one point or another.

What we love:

  • Flexible matte-rubber frames and shatter-resistant lenses stand up to all kinds of monkey business.
  • The frames are BPA-free, so no sweat if they end up in your baby’s mouth (and ohh they will).
  • If your child’s Babiators products are lost or broken within one year of purchase, they’ll send you a free replacement (all you pay is shipping!).

Things to consider:

  • The pairs don’t come with a protective carrying case, so you’ll need to purchase your own (and keep them somewhere safe if your babies are too young to understand preservation!).
  • Some parents do note disappointment with the sizes—mentioning that they were too small for their child.

Buy it: $22,

Image: Amazon

Best Baby Sunglasses With Strap: Baby Banz Sunglasses for Infant Sun Protection

We love BANZ for its audiologist-approved line of baby headphones (another protective item you should definitely invest in this summer for when you’re out and about in loud settings). The brand, known for its comfortable stay-on headbands, makes baby sunglasses with straps too, in a range of bright, fun colors. Bonus: The baby sunglasses’ lenses can be replaced with prescription ones if your child wears eyeglasses.

What we love:

  • The sunglasses are made with no glare, impact-resistant lenses for optimal durability.
  • The convenient hook-and-loop closure (connecting the glasses to the strap) is especially designed to be extremely practical and easy to use, by both children and parents.
  • In addition to the Velcro on the adjustable strap, which keeps the glasses secure, the BANZ design also sports a silicone nose and brow to ensure total comfort for your little one.

Things to consider:

  • Although they work for babies ages 0 to 2, the strap may be too much for a newborn.
  • Your infant may not enjoy the strap if they don’t like things put on their head. Before purchasing, we’d recommend seeing how they do with a hat on first.

Buy it: $17,

Image: Maisonette

Best Polarized Baby Sunglasses: WeeFarers Polarized Sunglasses in Tortoise Shell

How cute are these pint-size Wayfarer-style sunnies? These baby sunglasses provide 100 percent UVA and UVB protection and come with bendable frames, impact-resistant lenses and even an adjustable strap. Available in sizes for kids ages 0 to 12 years old.

What we love:

  • The frames are made from carefully chosen materials that are phthalate and BPA-free.
  • Each pair includes a protective microfiber carrying pouch (so you can easily and safely stow their shades in your diaper bag or purse).
  • There are four different sizes (0 to 12 months; 2 to 3 years; 4 to 6 years; 6 to 12years), so you can outfit the entire sibling squad!

Things to consider:

  • Reviews of the 2- to 3-year-old size from parents insinuate that the design may not be great for developing toddlers (can slide easily down their nose).
  • In order to take advantage of the one-year warranty (and free replacement), you’ll need to register the sunglasses within 30 days of your purchase.

Buy it: $35,

Image: Maisonette

Best Baby Boy Sunglasses: Hipster Kid Wayfarer Sunglasses in Aquaberry

These glasses are “extra fancy” in the best way possible. Giving kids and babies the freedom to explore the big, bright world without damaging their little eyes, Hipster Kid’s newest line of polarized, shatter-resistant wayfarers come in an assortment of ultra-bold colors that make the whole world look like magic. Coachella—but make it cuter!

What we love:

  • 100 percent UVA and UVB protection guaranteed.
  • Glasses conform to all stringent CPSIA, FDA and CE standards (which means they’re incredibly safe and durable).
  • The included mismatched strap adds another dimension of hipster quirk and sensibility for your Brooklyn-ite trendsetter.

Things to consider:

In order to take advantage of their 100 percent guaranteed replacement warranty, you’ll need to register the sunglasses (and it currently only applies to shoppers in the US),

Buy it: $25,

Image: Buy Buy Baby

Best Baby Girl Sunglasses: Babiators Blue SEries Collection: The Flower Child in Pink

With fashion-forward mirrored lenses, these polarized flower frames are the most stylish shades to steal for your little miss sunshine! Like all Babiators, the award-winning sunglasses protect against 100 percent of UV rays and are virtually indestructible (thanks to bendy rubber construction). And they come in three dynamic sizes that fit babies, toddlers and kids aged 3 months to 6+ years.

What we love:

  • The polarized lenses help to reduce harsh glare and improve your child’s visibility in the sun (especially if you’ll be beach and boating a lot this summer!).
  • The flexible, comfortable rubber frames and shatter-resistant lenses won’t break when your little inevitably bends, twists or steps on them.
  • All sizes come paired with a slim felt case to keep them like new. And the 0- to 2-year-old size in this collection also comes with a free silicone strap to keep those glasses in place.

Things to consider:

  • They are slightly more expensive at $30.
  • The flower frames may be a bit cumbersome for toddlers under 2 years old.

Buy it: $36, BuyBuyBaby

Image: Green Sprouts Baby

Best Newborn Baby Sunglasses: Green Sprouts i Play Flexible Sunglasses

Searching for stylish newborn sunglasses? Run, don’t walk to this positively perfect pair by Green Sprouts (and what we really mean is hit their online shop stat!). Offering 100 percent UVA and UVB sun protection, these super-flexible shades come in four cute colors complete with scratch-resistant lenses. The best part? These cute sunnies have a removable strap that can be adjusted for a snug fit as baby grows.

What we love:

  • The baby sunglasses are made from materials without hormone-disrupting BPA, BPS, BPF. BFDGE, NOGE or BADGE additives for baby’s utmost health and safety.
  • The available colors all coordinate with the brand’s full collection of swim and sun wear.
  • They’re the perfect designs to stock up on (one for the diaper bag, one for the car, etc.).

Things to consider:

  • Some parents have reported that the loop is loosely fitted onto the glasses and their babies are able to rip them off very easily. Many wish the strap was more permanently attached to the sunglasses.

Buy it: $20,

Image: Maisonette

Best Baby Aviator Sunglasses: Babiators Original Aviator Sunglasses in Black Ops Black

With a name like Babiators, it’s a no-brainer that these babies cleaned up in this category (as well as two other spots on our list). The signature UV400 lenses offer 100% UVA and UVB protection and undergo rigorous testing to ensure they’re safe for your child whether they’re on their face or in their mouth. These were the pair that put this much-adored brand on the map—over a decade ago. No matter where your little one is rocking them, they’ll feel like a rockstar.

What we love:

  • The ultimate in classic, aviator sunglasses make sure your little one is the coolest kid around.
  • Other than black, the pairs come in a ‘In the Limelight’ blue and ‘Pink Lemonade’ pink that’ll delight boys and girls alike.

Things to consider:

  • Some dislike the Babiators logo on the side of the glasses
  • They only go up to size 3 to 5 years

Buy it: $22,

Image: Toucca Kids

Best Trendy Baby Sunglasses: Toucca Kids Parker Polarized in Green Tortoise

Popular yet timeless, these adorable aviators are perfect for future pilots and models. Your LOs will love taking these stylish shades from day to night and park to playground, while you admire just how amazingly they complement their outfits and protect their eyes from the sun. And what’s a high-fashion pair without exemplary take-care extras? Thankfully, these come with both a hardshell case and microfiber pouch/cleaning cloth for daily maintenance.

What we love:

  • The hypoallergenic, handcrafted acetate frames are prescription-lense compatible
  • Extra-large child-friendly nose pads ensure a comfortable fit while durable and flexible spring hinge temples ensure no pinching

Things to consider:

  • They are the most expensive option on our list
  • They aren’t available for babies under 2 years old

Buy it: $39,

Image: Carter's

Best Affordable Baby Sunglasses: Carter’s 4th of July Sunglasses

These trendy sunnies are ideal for all of your festive summer celebrations. Better yet, the novelty-esque sunglasses are cheap (score!, but they still don’t skimp on protection: The shatter-proof lenses protect against 100 percent of UVA and UVB rays.

What we love:

  • Even though they’re the least expensive glasses pair on our list (sale price of $8), parents rejoice in how well they fit their babies’ faces
  • The red, white and blue patterning is a perfect outfit maker
  • The 100 percent polycarbonate plastic frames are incredibly easy to wipe clean

Things to consider:

  • They don’t come with a strap for secure fastening
  • Even though the labeling says ideal for ages 4+, parents say that they fit their toddlers’ heads very well (the labeling may be misleading!)

Buy it: $14,

Image: Roshambo

Best Durable Baby Sunglasses: Roshambo Baby McFly Shades

These baby sunglasses do it all—whilst contributing to a good cause. They’re ultra-lightweight (they can float!), shatter-resistant, UV-protective, flexible, chewable (they’re made from a safe, teether-like material) and compatible with prescription lenses. Plus, a portion of Roshambo’s sales go toward autism support. Pick up a pair of the matching adult shades for a too-cute mommy and me matchup.

What we love:

  • The frames are BPA, phthalate, lead and latex free, and are small-parts tested to be supremely safe for babies
  • Even though they’re billed as being “indestructible,” if you happen to lose a lens or even just scratch a lens, they’ll send you a replacement free of charge
  • They’re a great fit for the pool and beach, because they’re buoyant

Things to consider:

  • The variety of available colors isn’t huge (red, purple, blue and chrome, among a few others).
  • A case and strap aren’t included with the sunglasses, so you’ll have to purchase them separately

Buy it: $20,

About the expert: Alexis Phillips, DO, is a pediatrician at Memorial Hermann Medical Group Pediatrics in Atascocita, Texas. A graduate of the University of Notre Dame and Ohio University Heritage College of Osteopathic Medicine, she completed her residency at Authority Health/Michigan State University College of Osteopathic Medicine.

Please note: The Bump and the materials and information it contains are not intended to, and do not constitute, medical or other health advice or diagnosis and should not be used as such. You should always consult with a qualified physician or health professional about your specific circumstances.

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