How to Keep Baby Safe in the Sun

You don't want heat to cause harm to that sensitive skin. Protect baby from the sun with these helpful tips.
profile picture of The Bump Editors
ByThe Bump Editors
Updated
Jun 2018
Hero Image

Yep, baby needs to be kept cool and protected from those nasty UV rays. So while instinct may tell you to yank off that onesie, not so fast—the more clothing you remove, the more skin is exposed.

Babies younger than 6 months should never be under direct sun and shouldn’t wear sunscreen, says Paula Prezioso, MD, a pediatrician at Pediatric Associates of NYC and clinical associate professor of pediatrics at NYU Langone Medical Center.

To shield baby’s delicate skin without blocking the breeze, dress baby in thin, loose, light-colored clothing and cover as much skin as possible. Keep baby shaded with hats and an umbrella or if you’re at the beach let baby chill out in one of those pop-up sun shade tents.

Once baby hits 6 months, cover any exposed skin with baby-friendly sunscreen. Choose a brand specifically for babies with an SPF of 30 or more, and reapply every hour to two hours. “It doesn’t have to be $100 sunscreen,” Prezioso says. “It’s even okay to use a store brand.” Here, a few Bumpie favorites:

Babyganics Mineral-Based Sunscreen
“It has zinc oxide and is a physical, not chemical, barrier so it’s effective immediately and doesn’t have to soak in for 15 minutes. It does separate though.” —SandAndSea

Neutrogena Pure & Free Baby Sunscreen
“My son has had eczema and very sensitive skin and this works well for him.” —Cwalker27

Badger Baby Sunscreen Cream
“It’s been great for our fair-skinned little boy. We live in a sunny climate and he gets covered in this every morning before we set out, and it has worked every time.” —happytotmom

Blue Lizard Baby Australian Sunscreen
This doesn’t smell, which I like. My son has never had a burn with it, even when out at the beach for hours. I reapply every two hours.” —lavalil319

Related Video

California Baby Super Sensitive Broad Spectrum SPF 30+ Sunscreen
I’ve used it on baby since he was only a few months old and we have no problems. Love it. It lasts for ages even though it’s a small container, so to me it’s worth the price.” —dmogma

Plus, more from The Bump:

Sunscreen Saga: a Defense From Jessica Alba

Anisa Arsenault
Associate Editor
Published
08/04/2015

How Should I Protect Baby From the Sun?

Kim Walls
CEO of BEB Organic

Is This UV Patch That Tracks Sun Exposure Brilliant or Unnecessary?

Anisa Arsenault
Associate Editor
Published
07/19/2017

EWG Ranks This Summer's Best—And Worst—Sunscreens for Kids

Anisa Arsenault
Associate Editor
Published
05/24/2017

Infant Carrier Sold by Amazon and Target Recalled Due to Buckle Safety

Nehal Aggarwal
Associate Editor
Published
02/07/2020

CPSC Issues Warning on Dangers of Tip-Over Furniture Amid IKEA Lawsuit

Nehal Aggarwal
Associate Editor
Published
01/09/2020

Mom 'Pierces' Baby's Cheek to Prove a Point

Christine Cordova
Associate Social Editor
Published
07/05/2017

Parents' Survival Guide to a Safe DIY Halloween

Stephanie Grassullo
Associate Editor
Published
10/25/2018
Advertisement