Safety Tips to Protect Your Baby From The Sun

Ever since we had our newborn, we’ve been cautious with the overall heat in Sunny California.

It was our due diligence as parents, to make sure that we listened to our pediatrician and took the best course of action to protect our baby from the sun.

At the same time, we didn’t want to keep our little one, including ourselves, in a bubble all summer long. We wanted to make we could still go outside the house, especially hiking.

Now that our baby has lived through her first summer (woo hoo!), we’ve got some tips that would protect your baby from the sun.

Table of Contents

Plan Your Outdoor Adventures Away from Peak Sun Hours

When summer started for us, our baby was six months. It was critical for us to protect her from the sun as much as possible during this age.

We made sure that if we ran errands or if we just wanted to get some fresh air (since California has the best scenic views, although I’m being biased), then we would be outside of the house before 10 a.m. or after 7 p.m.

The good news with us is that even before having our baby, we would be done with our outdoor activities before 10 A.M., specifically hiking activities. We’d try to start at 6 or 7 A.M and be done within an hour and a half.

Other websites, such as whattoexpect.com, suggest staying inside from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.

For us, the sun is out a little longer in California. As a matter of fact, I remember going to Seattle in the summer, and the sun was out until 9 PM.

Ultimately, use your own judgment; if you feel it’s too hot and the sun is completely out in the sky, then stay home.

According to ncbi.n.m.nih.gov, excess exposure to UV rays in babies may lead to an increased risk of skin cancers, which as a result, could lead to being fatal.

And this is one of the main reasons why we avoid the sun as much as possible for our baby.

Clothing

Even though we’d go outside after peak sun hours, we’d still dress our baby accordingly. Having the sun out is one thing, but the scorching heat alone still carries over in the evening for us in California. And that might be the case for other countries and parts of the United States as well.

Lightweight

Our baby would get hot easily (must be a genetic thing as I still get hot in the winter), so we’d dress her up in light clothes. Of all the clothing brands we bought for our baby Quinn, we really liked Little Sleepies.

  1. They last a long time. We bought her first Little Sleepies when she was only a month old, and she was able to wear the shirt until 6 months. In other words, the shirt is extremely flexible to where it adjusts based on the baby’s size. For other brand shirts, we had to replace them within a month every time as our baby kept growing fast.
  2. They’re super light. Based on the texture, the feeling of the shirt is extremely thin and smooth. We felt like this would make our baby feel extremely comfortable in the heat. We were surprised that the shirts wouldn’t rip easily since they were also thin.
  3. Ultraviolet Protection Factor (UPF). The most important thing that we liked about this lightweight shirt is the fabric has a UPF protecting rating scale. Since it’s not recommended by the FDA to apply sunscreen at an early age, we felt like Little Sleepies adds a bit of that protection with UPF. The fabric on the Little Sleepies is known as Lunaluxe, which is made of bamboo viscose. This material helps keeps the baby cool as well as the flexible fit that we had mentioned earlier.

Socks to Protect the Feet

The feet can easily be exposed to sunlight for many reasons. Whenever we try to cover our baby, we’ll put a soft blanket over her. We’d always focus on covering her head more than anything and the rest of her body. Most of the time, though, that leaves her feet exposed because the blanket isn’t long enough. Or when we’re hiking, we’re walking a lot, so the blanket loses its place, and her feet end up being exposed.

And so we’d always put socks on our baby. We don’t want her to get that early-age summer tan, but again to protect her from the sun overall.

For socks, we’d go with lightweight socks. The same as we’d dress her in light clothes. Unfortunately, a lot of our family members and friends decided to give her socks that were meant for the winter. This makes sense, as she was born in December.

Sunhat

Sunhats are a must for babies. As a matter of fact, certain countries like Australia have strict policies where primary schools would have to wear sunhats or else children were not allowed to play outdoors.

Asides from wearing light clothes, having a sunhat provided the most protection from the sunlight.

We took our baby to a total of three hikes from her birth months 3-7, and during that time, she would have a hat on whenever we were on a trail with no trees or any form of shade.

In May 2023, our baby became a little over a year and a half old. We went to the Hidden Valley Joshua Tree hike at 80 degrees temperature, and we made sure that our baby, even though a little older, was wearing a sunhat.

Sunglasses

Our baby barely wore sunglasses. In all honesty, we probably had her wear sunglasses just for fashionable reasons. I’m not saying that sunglasses are unimportant, but we just felt that wearing a sunhat did its justice.

And again, us planning our outdoor adventures after peak sun hours meant that we didn’t need her to wear sunglasses at all.

Strollers

Most strollers would have a cover that would protect your baby from the sun. For us, we went with a Nuna stroller. These strollers are honestly expensive, and we were lucky enough that a family member gave it to us for free. It was a used one, but it was still in great condition.

The specific model that we have seemed a bit bulky, and it’s a little hard to get it in and out of our car trunk. However, we do like that the cover that’s included blocks a good amount of sunlight from our baby.

If you’re going hiking, make sure that you research the trail first to see if it’s okay to bring your stroller. Depending on the terrain of the trail, it might be best to just have your baby on a carrier.

Carriers

We use two separate carriers. My girlfriend uses the Baby K’tan, while I use the Ergo Baby. Both carriers are pretty good at protecting the baby from the sun. However, I feel like the Baby K’tan is a lot lighter, and you can cover your baby’s face completely.

When we were hiking in Torrey Pines, San Diego, back in April, we would wrap our baby around the Baby K’tan. After a few minutes of our hike, she would be completely knocked out. And on top of that, we protected her entire body and face from the sun.

Car Seats

The car seat we have is also a Nuna. We really like it as it also has a mesh cover. In addition to that, we can transfer our baby over to our Nuna stroller. However, we needed to have an adapter for us to do that.

We felt this was useful because if our baby was sleeping in the car ride, we didn’t want to wake her up when we would transfer her over.

We would always wake her up when we would take her out from the car seat to the stroller. And so, with the adapter, we can just leave her on the car seat and completely transfer her (while on the car seat) to the stroller. She wouldn’t feel a darn thing, and she would be kept asleep!

Closing Thoughts

Depending on the age, especially if your baby is anywhere from 0-6 months, it’s best to keep them out of the sun as much as possible. Nevertheless, we all know that sunlight is good for us or that we would be deficient in Vitamin D. The best thing to do is consult your baby’s pediatrician as every baby is different.

I'm a professional marketer from Los Angeles, California. More importantly, I'm a brand new father who can't wait to take my beloved partner and daughter on all sorts of hiking trails. My mantra is that work will always be there, but watching your little one grow happens once in a lifetime.

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