When Can Babies Wear Sunscreen?
By Ana Hammer

When Can Babies Wear Sunscreen?

Taking daily strolls with your baby is a precious way to strengthen your bond and spend some quality time together. However, there’s always this nagging at the back of your head: Should I apply sunscreen to my baby’s skin, or is the stroller canopy’s protection enough? And if it’s the former, when can babies wear sunscreen safely?

I’ve gone through this dilemma with my kids, and I dug deep enough till I got an answer I’m comfortable with. Keep on scrolling to learn when it is safe to put sunscreen on your baby’s skin!

When Can Babies Start Wearing Sunscreen?

According to the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP), babies should start wearing sunscreen after six months of being born. Before that, their skin will be too sensitive, and applying it might cause rashes. Ideally, you should depend on other protection methods till your baby is old enough, like clothes and hats.

When Can Babies Start Wearing Sunscreen?

Also, it’s recommended that you avoid going out with your baby when the sun is at its strongest time, which is from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.

How to Choose a Suitable Sunscreen for Your Baby

If your baby is older than six months, you can use sunscreen as often as you want. However, it’s important you choose a suitable one for optimum protection. Here are a few pointers you should keep in mind while choosing one.

Broad Spectrum

Always go for a broad-spectrum sunscreen because it’ll protect your baby from both UVA (Ultra Violet A) and UVB (Ultra Violet B) radiation. The former causes premature aging, while the latter causes sunburn.


The sunscreen you get should have a decent sun protection factor, preferably from 30 to 50. This number measures how well the product can protect your baby’s skin from sunburn, so the higher it is, the better.

Rash Test

Before you buy a specific sunscreen, you should test a few drops of it on a small spot of your baby’s skin. If any rash happens, you should contact your pediatrician for a sensitive skin-appropriate recommendation.

Gentle Ingredients

Babies have thin skin that absorbs chemicals easily, so it’s important you choose ingredients that stay atop the skin and don’t get absorbed. The most famous hypoallergenic examples are zinc oxide and titanium oxide.

Tips for Proper Use of Sunscreen

After you buy sunscreen, you should use it properly to get excellent protection and avoid any adverse reactions. Here are a few tips from a fellow mother on how to use sunscreen properly:

  • Cover all the exposed areas on your baby’s skin with sunscreen
  • Reapply every two or three hours because sweating can remove all the product you applied
  • Apply sunscreen 30 minutes before going out to give it time to get absorbed
  • Use generous amounts of the product to ensure optimum protection
  • Try not to expose your baby to direct sunlight for a long time, even if they’re covered in sunscreen
  • Avoid going near your baby’s eyes
  • Always consult your pediatrician before starting to use sunscreen on your baby’s skin

How to Protect Babies From the Sun Without Sunscreen

If your baby is younger than six months, and you want to take sunny strolls with them, there are a few ways you can protect them from the sun.

Most importantly, your baby should wear long-sleeved clothes and a bucket hat to protect their skin from UV rays. Also, you should extend the stroller’s canopy to its maximum so that it provides full coverage.

How to Protect Babies From the Sun Without Sunscreen

An extra tip you can try is to install a mesh cover over your car’s windows if your baby sits in their infant car seat a lot. On a side note, if you haven’t bought one yet, check out my infant car seat guide to buy the perfect one for your needs!

Now, your baby should be well protected from the sun. However, try to avoid staying in direct sunlight for too long to prevent dehydration or overheating. You should also give your baby breast milk or formula if you spend a long time out to keep them hydrated.

Some signs that your baby is dehydrated are constant and excessive crying and redness on their skin.

Common Questions Asked by Parents!

What Should I Do If My Baby Gets Sunburned?

If your baby is younger than one year old, you should contact or visit your pediatrician immediately. If they’re older, you should hydrate your child with water or juice and sit in the shade till you go home. Then, you should ask your pediatrician for a medical lotion you can apply to the burn to make it better.

When Is the Best Time to Go on a Walk With My Baby?

Early morning is the best time to go on a walk because the sun isn’t too strong and the weather is often cool. Babies don’t take heat well and might get fussy, so try to avoid noon walks in the hot summer months. If you still don’t have a stroller for these precious walks, check out my best strollers for babies and toddlers guide!

To Wrap Up

Babies can wear sunscreen starting from six months, but this doesn’t mean you should soak in direct sunlight for hours. Ideally, besides using sunscreen, you should use the stroller’s canopy or a bucket hat for extra protection and try to sit in the shade.

Also, when choosing a sunscreen, you should make sure it’s broad spectrum, has high SPF and gentle ingredients, and doesn’t cause a rash.

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  • September 10, 2023

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