Nothing can brighten your day like a little sunshine, but getting out to soak up some rays requires a few more steps when you have a baby in tow. Much like the products you'd use for yourself, knowing how to protect a newborn from the sun will require some know-how and some extra supplies in your diaper bag. But being prepared and having what you need on hand before you head out for a day in the sun will help you feel confident that your little one is staying safe and protected from any damage those rays can cause. Because sometimes even too much of a good thing can burn.
As the American Academy of Pediatrics recommended, until your baby is six months old, avoid sun exposure all together. Although this sounds simple enough, it's not always the easiest thing to accomplish if you live an active lifestyle, or reside in a part of the world where the sun seems to always be shining. This is where protective measures come in, because it's totally possible to take your baby for a day at the beach and still shield their pure, fresh skin. Just stick to a few guidelines, and you're sweet nugget can attend every picnic and pool party this year.
When planning an outdoor outing, try to avoid the peak sun times. According to the website for the March of Dimes, the hours between 10 a.m. and 4 p.m. should be avoided or limited for little ones. These are the times when the sun's rays are most potent and harmful. As Baby Center pointed out, because of the sun's strength, it is during this time period that babies are most at risk of being sun burned. But if you must be out during those times, What To Expect's website offers some suggestions on a few easy ways to shade your baby from the sun.
If you can't find a billowing tree to put your blanket under, pulling down the top of your stroller cover or staking an umbrella will do the trick. Creating your own shade plays a big role in keeping your baby out of direct sunlight, but sometimes that might not always be enough. To make sure your baby has full protection, you'll want to make sure they're dressed for the occasion. According to Mayo Clinic, using sunscreen on newborns is not recommended, so you'll want to make sure their attire does double duty.
Dressing your baby in lightweight, but protective clothing — such as long sleeves and pants — is a great way to block those UVAs without threat of overheating. To crank up the cute factor, you can deck out your tiny muffin in some adorable mini sunglasses and floppy wide brimmed hat. If you're planning on taking a dip, there is some water-friendly outfits for babies that also pack an SPF punch. Companies like Zip Swim offer stylish baby swim attire that also blocks 99 percent of UVA and UVB rays.
Making certain your baby is protected from the sun can help you avoid serious outcomes for your child. As the website for the Skin Cancer Foundation pointed out, "in babies, sunburns can be a medical emergency, causing dehydration, high fever, blisters, infections, chills, and heatstroke, not to mention vastly increasing their lifetime skin cancer risk." Doing as much as you can to protect your newborn from the sun will not only keep them safe now, but set them up for a healthy future.