Now that the summer has finally arrived, we're all going to be spending much more time outside. Of course, we all know we should protect ourselves from the sun, but if you've recently had a baby, you may be wondering what the best ways are to protect their skin from UV rays.
Here are a few simple ways to protect your baby from the sun.
Keep your baby in the shade
You should keep your baby in the shade, especially between 11am and 3pm during the summer months when the sun is at its strongest. The NHS advises that children aged under six months should be kept out of strong direct sunlight.
Your pram cover should be breathable and protect your baby from UV rays. It's important that the cover has easy accessibility so you can check on your baby and that there is sufficient air circulation, so they don't get too hot.
Parasols are a good alternative to a pram cover, as they don't prevent air circulation, but you will need to readjust the shade to make sure your baby is out of the sun. Check that your parasol is made from UV resistant fabric to give your baby full protection.
Sun Protective Clothing
Dress your baby in lightweight, breathable cotton or linen clothes that cover their arms and legs. Some children's clothes are also available with UV protection. Make sure your baby is wearing a wide-brimmed hat and sunglasses with a UV400 filter.
Pick a broad-spectrum sunscreen made for babies with an SPF of at least 30. Apply sunscreen generously to your baby's exposed skin, and reapply every two hours — or more often if your baby is spending time in the water.
To avoid irritating your baby's skin and eyes, use a sunscreen that contains zinc oxide or titanium dioxide as your baby's skin is 15 times thinner than adults. This is another reason why they should be kept out of strong sunlight as their delicate skin can be damaged in a much shorter space of time.
Keeping hydrated on hot days
Keep your baby safe on hot days by keeping an eye on their temperature and making sure they are drinking enough fluids. Fully breastfed babies do not need any water until they've started eating solid foods. During hot weather, they may want to breastfeed more than usual. If you're bottle-feeding, as well as their regular milk feeds, you can give your baby a little cooled boiled water.