My wife and I have been getting concerned about how exactly to deal with the sun with the little guy.
On the one hand, it is getting warm out, and for many reasons you don’t want to have your little baby getting hot (dehydration, for example, since you can’t just give him some water to drink). On the other hand, the sun (even behind the clouds) can really do damage to that baby skin. So what are you supposed to do?
Basically it appears that there are a few solid options for how to protect your baby from the sun while going out in the city:
If you are going out with the stroller:
- Make sure the stroller has a sun umbrella, use it, and remember to shift it when needed (ex: as you turn, you have to turn the umbrella)
- Use the umbrella even if it is cloudy – cloudy times can damage the baby’s skin, too!
- Put lightweight clothing on the baby – often the legs are exposed to the light more than the upper body, so don’t forget the pants
- Have a light blanket handy to cover up if needed
- A baby hat is nice to have especially if your baby does not want to not be completely on their own under the “canopy” of the stroller
- Baby sunglasses are awesome to have. If you don’t think they need it, look up at the sky for just 1 minute. It’s bright, isn’t it?!
If you are going out with a baby carrier:
- Long sleeve onesie (even if it is warm) to protect the arms
- Baby sun hat is super important – protects their face, head, ears from the sun (and makes people smile to see 😉 )
- Long pants would be a good idea, but that might get hot because they are absorbing body heat from you – light pants would be good nonetheless
- Carry an umbrella that also protects from UV rays. This one is key – even when it is cloudy, use an umbrella. If you don’t think it matters, on a cloudy day, hold your hand up, and then with your other hand, see the difference under the hand or not. Just remember your baby needs the coverage (and you can also benefit from the relief from the sun, too!)
- Walk in the shade when you can. In most cities, you can stay in the shade almost all the time by paying attention to where the sun is. Buildings are tall, they make shade, so look for the “shady side of the street”, and walk there.
- Take breaks by going into malls, stores, and supermarkets (places where there is air conditioning, basically)
Notice one key thing: apparently you cannot use sunblock on babies. So, you have to make a choice: cover the baby, or damage their skin. It’s really that simple – the baby getting exposure to UV rays is not going to be good for them.
For me, I find it all quite stressful. As I told my wife, it feels like we can’t go out without danger to the baby if it is sunny, cloudy, or rainy (at least not in the rain in Hong Kong, anyway). I don’t want the little guy to be too hot, get burnt, get damaged skin. I don’t want to be trapped at home, trapped indoors, trapped in general – that can’t be good for either the little guy or me.
To be honest, it’s all scary as hell. You don’t want to make a mistake, so you do the best you can and hope it is enough – I guess it’s like that with a lot of things in parenting.