When the folks at Blue Lizard asked me if I wanted to partner with them I said, ‘hell yeah!” Not only do I love their products, but I’ve been meaning to write a post on the ins and outs of babies and sun for a while now.
I am a Canadian redhead which essentially means I’m a vampire, so when I had a baby I was understandably concerned about sun safety seeing as he was an even paler shade of blue than me.
First the rules
Babies have very perfect immature angel skin and have a higher surface area to body weight ratio than bigger kids and adults. Think of skin like fabric – you have three yards covering your body whereas they only have half a yard (I’m trying to figure out a non-gross analogy here.) That means that anything you slather on them has a bigger impact on their system.
Because of this, it is recommended that you only use sunscreen on babies that are older than 6-months old and opt for protective clothing and shade on a child younger than 6-months.
However, almost everyone agrees that sunscreen is way better than a sunburn. So if you are skipping through Fresno with a 3-month old with no sign of a tree, so get something on that kid.
Sunscreen vs. Sunblock
Yep, there’s a difference. Sunscreens come in two categories: chemical and physical.
Chemical sunscreens contain ingredients that penetrate the skin to filter and absorb UVA and UVB rays, whereas physical sunscreens (or sunblocks) physically block the sun’s rays.
Sunblocks usually contain zinc oxide and titanium oxide, which are non-toxic in small amounts (I don’t know what happens if you eat a bucket, so maybe don’t) which is good to know if you have a baby that is a big hand chewer.
As I mentioned, Blue Lizard is one of my favourites, so I’m happy to list them here. Considering that they originally come from the land down under where there’s a giant hole in the ozone and a ton of sun, they know a thing or two about sun protection. (Australia also has the strictest sunscreen standards in the world.) Their SPF 30+ baby formula uses zinc oxide and titanium dioxide, for broad spectrum UVA and UVB skin protection and it’s free of chemicals, parabens and fragrance. Plus, it got a 1 rating from EWG, which is just this side of unicorn sighs.
Another handy thing is that the bottle turns pink in the presence of UV rays. The deeper pink the bottle becomes, the more UV rays are present. Cool.
In addition to sunblock, we have come a long way when it comes to sun protection whether it be gear or clothing. Here are some of my faves.
These are great for sun protection, diaper changes, naps and general escape from chaos. We have one from Coleman and I love it but I really love this one from iCorer because it’s a pop-up which is easy set up and pull down.