Water Babies: How to Protect Your Baby from Sunburn When You Can’t Use Sunscreen

Babies under six months old shouldn’t wear sunscreen — so how do you protect them in the glaring sun? PLUS: Green Living Tip of the Week



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Almost all conventional sunscreens on the market contain one or more chemicals that can be toxic, trigger allergic reactions, or disrupt hormones (for detailed information on these, check out this article from the Environmental Working Group). Among the worst geared toward children are Banana Boat Baby Max Protect and Aveeno Baby Continuous Protection — who would think, right? Luckily, there are a number of non-chemical sunscreens like those from California Baby, Earth’s Best, and Badger Balm (click here for the Environmental Working Group’s rated list of best beach sunscreens). Avoid any sunscreen that contains oxybenzone, Vitamin A, or insect repellent, as well as any in spray or powder form, and those that claim an SPF above 50.

So in short: For now just dress your little one appropriately (thin, long layers and a sunhat) and keep him in the shade whenever you’re outside (a carrier or stroller will do). I took Coraline to Hawaii when she was not even three months old and she made it through a whole week at the beach — sunscreen-free — without a problem.

Green Living Tip of the Day:
Instead of packing snacks or lunches in brown bags and Ziplocs, invest in some cute reusable containers and bags, like these snack bags from Planet Wise or stackable snack containers from Innobaby. You can find these products and more like them at Waddle n Swaddle in Rhinebeck or Poughkeepsie.

» Mama Greenest’s best beach tips if you have a baby
» Mama Greenest’s best traveling tips if you have a baby
» Read more from Mama Greenest, our green- and alternative-parenting and health blog
» Read more on Hudson Valley Health
» Read more on Hudson Valley Kids


One mom's plan to raise a kid — without raising greenhouse gases

About This Blog

Shannon Gallagher

Shannon Gallagher
Rhinebeck, NY


Dutchess County native Shannon Gallagher is a contributing editor for Hudson Valley Magazine. An erstwhile thrill-seeker, these days she courts disaster of a different variety wrangling a spirited toddler, honing her vegan baking skills, and chasing the ever-elusive work-family balance. She teaches Pilates and does fascial bodywork, and lives in Rhinebeck with Coraline, a cat named Otie, and Sushi the Fish (named, of course, by the toddler).

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