“My toddler sits still and is well-behaved when it’s time to apply sunscreen,” said *no mom ever.* It’s probably one of the most unexpected challenges we parents face time and again. Whether your kid is a screamer, a squirmer, or a combination of both, slathering up before enjoying time in the sun can turn into a full-blown fiasco. And as long as we’re being real: Reapplying sandy, sticky little ones mid-beach day is a very special kind of stress, and more often than not involves an audience of onlookers.
The sunscreen struggle is real, so every parent needs reliable tactics for applying it to their adorable-yet-sassy toddler. As a mom of two boys ages five and under, I have been into battle more times than I care to admit. My saving grace has been finding a gentle sunscreen that lets me get in, get out, and get on with sunny summer days without tears (from any of us). My go-to is Australian Gold Botanical® Kids Mineral Sunscreen for a powder-dry feel that I didn’t know was a real thing in the world of sun care. The kids are psyched that it’s over and done with quickly, and I’m jazzed that it’s chemical-free and safe for their sensitive skin, plus it keeps them protected without getting sticky or greasy. (They do enough of that on their own.)
To help keep your focus on fun while you're in the sun with your family, Romper teamed up with Australian Gold to ask moms for their best tips for applying sunscreen to even the rowdiest toddlers. Feel free to steal all of their brilliant tips:
“When I tell them [sunscreen is] like camouflage, their ears perk up. It becomes a game and they want to make sure they’re really covered and ‘hidden’ from the sun.”
“Singing a favorite song helps get us through sunscreen time every time. Instead of saying it’s time to put it on, I say it’s time to sing Mr. Sun and my daughter kicks off the song. Then we sing together until we’re all done.”
“When they complain about sunscreen, we make a deal. For as long as it takes me to put it on, they get that amount of extra screen time for the week. Makes it more fun!”
“Before the beach, I put sunscreen on my kids once they’re in their car seats, and get their backs when they’re sandcastle building. It’s all about timing in our house.”
"Honesty is the best policy for my kid: I tell him sunscreen protects him from the sun and keeps him protected from ouchy situations — and that if he wears it, he can keep playing outside."
“We have a tradition of the sunscreen train. The oldest helps my middle child, who helps the youngest, and then they switch!”
"I use sunscreen spray for my kids, and when it's time to apply I take them out to our backyard and give them something fun like a pinwheel or bubble wands to hold onto. I tell them to take the toy, hold their arms out straight, and close their eyes while I spray on the sunscreen. The whole ordeal is done in about 15 seconds."
This post is sponsored by Australian Gold.