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Sunscreen - Novato, CA

Taking our 11 month old to the beach and want to know if anyone has sunscreen tips and recommendations. Do you put it on their face even though they might rub it in their eyes? On their hands? SPF 30? He won’t be in the sun much but I would hate for him to get burnt when we take him in the water. The sun is so strong these days even just a few minutes in the sun and I worry.

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look up COOLIBAR swimsuits. they are total body suits. one of those and a sun hat and you don't need sunscreen at all. last summer i used it for the beach with my 9m month old and plan to use one this year too. they are cool for them and dry fast!

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My pediatrician recommended NO sunscreen for babies under 1 yr, too many chemicals. Just cover them in clothing and expose to sun as little as possible.


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Hi J., i absolutley LOVE Aveen baby spf 50! its recommended that you put on a 50 spf or higher all over the body face and ears. i like this one in particular because of the ingredients, hih!

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I would use a natural sunscreen as opposed to a chemical one. They usually contain zinc and titanium dioxide. California baby makes one. Natural sunscreen works right away, no need to apply 30 min. before sun exposure.

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My pediatrician recommended NO sunscreen for babies under 1 yr, too many chemicals. Just cover them in clothing and expose to sun as little as possible.


1 mom found this helpful

Hi, J. C--

Here is what the good doctor says about the use of sunscreen or sunblock:

Sunblock Can Actually Increase Your Cancer Risk
By Dr. Joseph Mercola

The rising rate of skin cancer has put using sunblock right up there with flossing your teeth when it comes to healthy habits. In 2002, 50 percent-- approximately 1.1 million cases--of all cancers in the United States were skin cancers, of which nearly 10,000 cases were fatal. It is easy to understand why many people have become fearful of the sun's warmth and glow.

However, it is not commonly appreciated, especially among traditional medical doctors, that the food you eat is far more important to the development of skin cancers than sun exposure.

At the beginning of 1900 we had very little processed vegetable oils in our diet. Now vegetables are great and we all need them every day, but when they are processed and refined and consumed in large amounts they can cause major health problems.

Most vegetables are very high in omega-6 fats. In the last 100 years the U.S. population has gone from consuming virtually no vegetable fats to consuming more than 70 pounds per year. Fats from corn oil, safflower, sunflower, sesame and other oils are virtually 100 percent omega-6 fats.

This high consumption of omega-6 fats totally distorts the important omega 6:3 ratio, and this ratio is one of the keys to obtaining any type of cancer, but especially skin cancer.

So not only will we benefit from consuming additional omega-3 fats, but it is vital to reduce the omega-6 vegetable oils as much as possible. Ideally, the ratio should be 1:1, but most Americans have a 15:1 ratio. The Japanese are the longest-lived culture on earth, and their ratio is about 3:1.

If you don’t believe me on this one, I encourage you to check out one of the top cancer journal articles Cancer Res 2000 Aug 1;60(15):4139-45:

"Epidemiological, experimental, and mechanistic data implicate omega-6 fat as stimulators and long-chain omega-3 fats as inhibitors of development and progression of a range of human cancers, including melanoma."

Ten years ago an Australian study showed a 40 percent reduction in melanoma for those who were eating fish--and this was without any attention to lowering omega-6 fats.

Two years ago, the prestigious National Academy of Sciences published a comprehensive review showing that the omega 6:3 ratio was the key to preventing skin cancer development.

So, do I recommend you pop some fish oil pills and go out and get as much sun as you would like?

Absolutely not.

You must exercise caution. At the beginning of the season go out gradually, perhaps as little as 10 minutes a day. Progressively increase your time in the sun so that in a few weeks, you will be able to have normal sun exposure with little risk of skin cancer.

Remember never to get burned, that is the key.

Remember also never to use sunscreen, another key. You can creatively use your clothing to block the sun’s rays during your build-up time.

The bottom line is: please avoid getting sucked into the hype that sunlight is dangerous. It is only dangerous if you are clueless about fat nutrition, which most medical doctors are. If you choose to ignore your omega 6:3 ratio and stay out of the sun, you could limit your risk of skin cancer, but is that worth the risk of getting MS, breast or prostate cancer?

I think not.

So get yourself some high-quality fish oil, which is an excellent source of omega-3 fatty acids. I like Carlson’s fish oil because out of all the brands I’ve tested, Carlson’s came out superior in freshness, purity and potency--and it is available in most all health food stores. If you are unable to find it in a health food store, you can find it in our Web site store. I like the fish oil liquid, as it is easier to take than the five to 10 pills you would need to get the same amount of omega-3.

Please remember to switch to the cod liver oil, which contains vitamin D, in the fall, as then you will not be able to get the wonderful amount of sunshine that we have in the summer. If you are going to be a hermit and not get any sun exposure this summer or you are going to bury yourself in dangerous sunscreens, then you should switch to cod liver oil now.

E. C

1 mom found this helpful

look up COOLIBAR swimsuits. they are total body suits. one of those and a sun hat and you don't need sunscreen at all. last summer i used it for the beach with my 9m month old and plan to use one this year too. they are cool for them and dry fast!

1 mom found this helpful

There is a new screen screen out this year that is tear free. I tis great. I got it in a pink tube. I use it on my 7 month old, 3 years old, 7 years old, adn myself!! Got it at Longs and I think babies r us has it too.

California Baby (sold at target) makes a nice sunscreen stick, put it all over his face (not in eye area) and have him wear a hat that has one of the flaps in the back that covers his neck. he may even be willing to wear baby sunglasses. You can put him in a tee shirt or one of the water shirts. but first cover him with sun screen, again california baby has a nice one, and we also use a couple of others that are for babies, You are right to keep your baby covered in the sun. Good for you

We use Coppertone Baby SPF 50 on our 23-month old--the lotion on her body and the stick (kinda greasy) on her face. When she was about a year, she rubbed some of the lotion from the back of her hand into her eye and had a red puffy eye, so now I barely put any on the back of her hands. I'll put more on as she gets a little older and will know to be careful about rubbing her eyes. The other mistake I made was not rubbing the stick everywhere on her face the day we went to the beach last year (also about 1 year old). She looked sick the next day because she got burnt right under her eyes! So now I have her hold very still while I smooth a bit up under her eye with my finger. It does get easier--putting sunscreen on babies--as I have just kept up the habit to save her from burning every time we go to the park, swimming, etc. Anytime she'll be in the sun for more than 5 minutes, she is covered! And she doesn't mind the application, because I talk to her about how much fun we're going to have once we get ready to go outside! Good luck with the beach trip--our baby had a blast at age one. :)

I buy the Neutrogena UltraSheer Dry-touch sunblock. It is SPF 55. I would also recommend buying a sunshirt for your son. That eliminates you having to put sunscreen all over his front and back...just put some on his arms below the sleeves. Make sure to get his ears...my son ears seem to burn easily. :-)

Hi J.,
What I have found works best for my 7 month old's face is the coppertone babies stick. It doesn't rub in to eyes because it's not liquid, and works really well (along with a hat) The only thing is it is really greasy and sand sticks to it, but she minds that way less than sunscreen in her eyes. For her body I use either Aveeno baby or coppertone baby. I think the Aveeno is less irritating (if any gets on hands and then eyes).
Any way, good luck and have fun!

Hi J., i absolutley LOVE Aveen baby spf 50! its recommended that you put on a 50 spf or higher all over the body face and ears. i like this one in particular because of the ingredients, hih!

Be sure to get one that is sweat proof. We use the coppertone spf 40 or 50, it is the sport version. This way you can do sunscreen on the forehead without any issues. Just get the lotion since it absorbs easily,
The spray is more like an oil, and kind of sits there.
W. M.


We usually use the "stick" form of sunscreen for faces and hands. It is more solid and easier to get where you need it. It looks like a large glue stick and it comes in a baby formula as well as others. Look at Target or drug stores. You can use a normal sunscreen lotion with a broad range spectrum coverage UVA/UVB on the rest of the body.

Have fun, L.

Banana Boat has an excellent sunscreen designed especially for Babies and Kids. It is a high SPF of 50. I actually use it myself, as well. I keep a tub of it in the car. If you forget to apply it before going into the sun, you can immediately feel it blocking the sun when you apply it. Hope that helps.


Arbonne makes a baby line that includes sunscreen that is safe for babies and children. It is not greasy and protects from UVA/UVB rays. It doesn't irritate sensitive skin either. Products are all botanically based and dertmatologist and pediatrian approved. (meaning tested on people under their supervision for reaction)

You can check out the products at http://www.skincarehealth.myarbonne.com

If you have questions, please let me know. I offer 20% discount to all mamasouce moms.
Good luck and have fun in the sun!

yes you put it on their face...but the good news...i just came across a wonderful sunscreen with a no tears label...it's a yellow bottle (or a tube if you prefer) and i think it's banana boat that makes it, so at least you can let go of the 'stinging their eyes fear' but it also wouldn't hurt to get a sun hat check out solumbra.com they also have swim suits which offer sun protection.

good luck and enjoy your summer!!

Both of my kids and I are very fare, so we are also very careful in the sun. I use 50 SPF, for baby banana boat it is tearless so you can apply to the face. Reapply often and try to get spray on because kids wiggle! lol Chase him around while you spay (if he walks already) make it a game so he doesn't hate it.
Don't forget the top of the head, even through hair your scalp can burn. I try to keep a hat on them but sometimes that's hard with kids so put sunscreen also. Move any little rolls he might have and get really good in there as well. I got a sun shirt at Target for my son to wear. That will protect him the most, for not that much money I thik it was $15. But make sure that it is the sun protective kind not just a T-shirt cuz they look the same. Also people forget about the feet often, so get his tootsies also. You might want to look on Craigslist for a sun tent also. My kids go in theirs to play, to nap, to eat lunch it's really easy and convenient, but I don't know how much you are outside. We take ours camping, to the beach and even just to the park for picnics.
Happy summer, have fun in the sun!

ps don't forget to push the water, if he hates water add a splash of juice for flavor but keep the liquid flowing! Water is always best! :)

You can get the sun stick for faces at most drug stores, but its expensive. I think that's the best for really little kids. I'd save the stick for just the face and use 30-50 SPF everywhere else. Not a bad idea to keep a small bottle of saline in your purse in case of eye irritation. You can buy a large bottle of saline and refill the tiny bottles.

There is a children's sunscreen in a solid bar form you can get at regular drug stores. We got this for my 2 year old's face after he got regular sunscreen in his eyes at Disneyland! I forget the brand name, but its in a small tube that you twist up.

You definitely want one that has zinc oxide. It is better for sun protection and less allergenic. You can find them at any of the local drug stores (Rite-Aid, Walgreen's, Target...). I also represent a company that makes products that are all environmentally friendly and safer for people to use. Check out www.SwitchingStores.info and contact me if you want more information.

I would not use sunscreen on the palms of his hands, but the backs of his hands, yes. I would use it sparingly on his face, along with a hat that he can't remove easily. Don't forget to put it on his feet and if he is crawling or laying on his stomach, use it on the soles of his feet too, unless you have water slippers on him.

I just heard an interview on Fresh Air on NPR about SPF. They didn't talk about kids exactly, but the expert was talking about how sunburns before age 18 can contribute a lot to skin cancers later in life. Anyway, if you can find a kids' SPF 50, that blocks (I think) about 98% of harmful rays. Reapply every 2 hours, use more than you think you need and there's probably a non-runny kid proof brand out there. Also covering up with a hat or a t-shirt is recommended...

Hi! Our doctor recommended using Blue Lizard sunscreen; it has a high zinc content and that is what you want to look for. I had some trouble finding it; last year I just used a store brand I found that had the highest zinc I could find. I put it everywhere; sparingly around the eyes. It's hard to get it on his face! Ha! My son is 14 months now and it's worked well! Blue Lizard has a "baby" tube.

Hi J.-
Get the baby formula that has avobenzone in the ingredients. It is the stuff that protects from UVA rays and the underlying layers of the skin.
For your baby's face, put it on your hands and rub it in like you would regular lotion- steer clear of his eyes. Then put some on your hands and do the rest of his body. He is old enough to wear a bucket hat and sunglasses. You can practice wearing them whenever he goes out and make it a special trip to pick them out for him. WalMart is super cheap with stuff like that and fun for the baby.
I am glad you are using sunscreen. The earlier he learns it is necessary, the better of he will be in the long run.
WalMart also makes this stuff called Ocean Potion. It smells like orange 50/50 and has the right ingredients in it.
Hope this helps!
-E. M

Mercola.com has sunscreen that uses TD that reflects the light- rather than using Parabens which are estrogenic.

I like to use as many natural products as possible. I have Kiss my Face sun spray spf 30 protecting against UVA and UVB. I've taught my grandchildren to spray on their hands and then apply to the face but I see yours is 11 months old. We have used it for a year and half with no problems and works well. I ordered it off the internet but believe I've seen it at Health food stores. Here's a site I've discovered that might help you and others. www.cosmeticdatabase.com/special/sunscreens2008

Consumer Reports magazine just rated sunscreens for adults and kids. They are always the best source of objective recommendations, because they don't accept advertising. Just google them, and you can probably get the basic recommendations on sunscreen without becoming a member. Or, become a member. It's definitely worthwhile.

We used Coppertone Sport 30 because it doesn't rub into their eyes.

We found she had a sensitivity to the actual ingredients that make the "block" part of sunblock. We tried every kind under the sun. No pun intended. We settled back on the Coppertone Sport but dropped the SPF from 50 to 30 to 15. We stuck w/ 15 for a long time and just reapplied often.


We use a hat that ties on and a long sleeve/long leg sunsuit. That way we only have to worry about putting some block on her nose and cheeks. We have bought suits from Coolibar and from Konfidence. Good luck!

Hi J.,
Don't forget to have your baby wear a rash guard that is long sleeved and goes ALL THE WAY to the wrists. Many are made that cut off at the elbow or above. Bodyglove makes long sleeve ones. My mom mail ordered it. Two friends have bought them at Gymboree - on sale recently actually. Also, a hat that ties or has velcrow under the chin (they love to take 'em off!) w/ sides all around and if you can find the ones that cover the ears even better. Hey, have a blast at the beach!!! We took my son earlier this month to Mexico at age 13 mos. and he loved the sand and water. It was the cutest darn thing and we got some great shots!
Oh, and don't forget to put sunscreen on the back of your baby's neck. Usually that part is exposed as the rash guards either don't go up that far or the skin just sort of peeks out!

Hi J.,
My advice isn't about sunscreens, but about the time of day. Supposedly the worst time to be out is between 11-2pm. Just a few more questions. Does your son get out in the sun every day? Has he already got a base tan going? A little bit of sun each day (at the right time of course) will help prevent burning. Have lots of liquid to keep hydrated, some salty things for the salt depletion.
Have fun!

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