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For Part I - The Summertime Manual for Mama - Survival Pregnancy Tips please read here.
Every baby is different. This is a truth that is said over and over again to the point where it starts ringing in a new mother’s ears. Though it is cliché, the truth is a good one to remember – especially when it comes to summertime skin.
Even if you are someone with naturally sun-kissed skin, you never know how your little one’s skin will turn out. If you’re someone with freckled, sensitive skin, your baby may not have the same struggles as you. Either way, it is always good to be as prepared as possible for sun safety.
But, of course, it isn’t all that easy.
Some sunscreens work well for certain babies while some can cause rashes or negative reactions. While some little ones do well with the application of sunscreen, others may fuss and scream and wiggle until their mama gives up.
Therefore, it is good to have many options available when it comes to maintaining your sunscreen sanity.
Techniques to Try
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“I find it easier when he’s buckled in the car seat, stroller, or high chair,” explains Michelle Eisele, mother of one. If you are traveling to the beach, splash pad, or a water park, it can be a little hectic once you arrive. Since the car seat is a familiar atmosphere for your little one, applying as much of the sunscreen as possible in the car seat can be a good way to transition them into the chaos. It can also be helpful putting the sun screen on while in the stroller or wagon – both places of comfort when going to a new, public place.
Since older infants and toddlers are easily distracted, putting on a song they enjoy or putting one of their favorite characters on a screen while applying lotion can help put their mind elsewhere for a few minutes. Making up a sunscreen sun to the beat of “Itsy-Bitsy Spider” or “Wheels on the Bus” may make the experience more enjoyable.
“For little faces, apply some to your hands and sneak up behind them,” suggests mama, Rebecca Ames. “It's easier to cover their faces evenly and without poking them if you apply from behind.” The sneak-attack method is one some tend to prefer (read further to grab some more gutsy advice). When you are behind your little one and applying sunscreen, you are able to fully cover those spots you may sometimes miss or oversee. Also, using a sunscreen stick for the face can prevent dripping into the eyes or onto clothes.
Staying Sane with Sensitive Skin
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Between infant eczema, milia, cradle cap, newborn acne, and many other diagnoses, skin health can become a major worry for new parents. It’s important to talk to your medical professional regarding the specific needs of your baby before jumping onto the suggestions parents give out on blogs, podcasts, or in articles you come across.
However, sometimes those suggestions you come across can be just what you need.
“My son has very sensitive skin like me,” states Chelsea Renee, mom of one. “We use Babyganics and it works great and have never had an issue.” On top of Babyganics, there are many sunscreen brands specifically focused on supporting sensitive skin. Below are a few recommendations from The Bump that can be easily found at a local store:
- Blue Lizard Australian Sunscreen
- Adorable Baby Sunscreen
- The Honest Company
- Badger Baby Zinc Oxide Sunscreen Cream
- Baby Bum
- Supergoop! Sunscreen Mineral Lotion
- Earth Mama
- COOLA Suncare Baby Mineral Stick
Advice for the Gutsy Mamas
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“Spray and hope for the best,” suggests mom of three, Stephanie Newman, regarding sunscreen safety. Sometimes you just have to take a deep breath and give it all you got. When you worry, that anxiety can be felt by your little one which may make the sunscreen application process much tougher than it needs to be. By sucking it up and simply attacking (with care, of course), your little one may not even be fazed.
If spray sunscreen isn’t your go-to choice, maybe stealth will work to your benefit.
“I like the sneak attack for the face,” says Michele Graham, mom of two. “Put it on my hands and basically mug them. I can get them to help each other now though.” When your little one isn’t expecting sunscreen, sometimes that just may be the best way to do it. Once they get used to it being applied in that fashion, it becomes a little less daunting.
Jennifer Aline is a coffee addict, mama of twins, and a passionate freelance writer and author. She writes for Moms.com on a regular basis and has had articles in publications such as the NY Daily News, NY Post, and In Good Health Newspaper. Aline received her Bachelor’s Degree in Child and Family Studies from Keuka College and worked in the Human Services field before her two little girls entered her life. Aline now focuses primarily on writing, teaching aerial arts classes in the evenings, and caring for her twin daughters – all while continuously chugging coffee, of course.
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