The season of short sleeves and open-toes is fast approaching, but the lazy days of summer are also high time for sun damage — a concern that takes on new importance with a baby in tow.
“Babies have much thinner skin than adults do, and since they’re not able to regulate their body temperature they can dehydrate quickly in the heat,” says Brooklyn pediatrician Dr. Lisa Nowell. “My basic advice to new parents is to keep babies out of direct sun whenever possible — especially between 10 a.m. and 2 p.m. — and to dress them in lightweight clothing that covers the arms and legs.”
And while the American Academy of Pediatrics doesn’t recommend routine use of sunscreen until your baby is six-months old, there are plenty of smart options to keep the tiniest tots cool and protected through every picnic, beach day and park walk. From hats and stroller shades to high-tech tees, here’s a roundup of our favorite summer sun gear:
HEADS UP: It may seem like a shame to cover up that sweet-smelling head, but a hat provides some of the best, least expensive sun protection. We love the adorable, quick-drying Reversible Bucket Sun Hat from One Step Ahead, (2: $14.95, available in boys’ and girls’ styles) and iplay’s wide-brimmed Sun Protection Hat (7: $13, multiple colors).
STROLLER STYLE: Fit your stroller with the generously sized Protect-a-Bub Classic Sunshade (5: $39). Snap-on styling and breathable, ultra protective fabric make this everyday accessory a summer must-have. And for the hard-to-fit carseat, Imagine Baby’s flexible and breathable sunshade (3: $35) uses minimal bulk for maximum coverage.
IN THE SWIM: Dangerous ultraviolet rays easily pass through most clothing, but iplay’s One Piece Sunsuit (1&4: $29, multiple colors) and Breatheasy Sun Protection T-Shirt (9: $19, multiple colors) offer built-in protection equivalent to SPF 50. And when you’re ready to take a dip with your darling, Gymboree’s long-sleeved rashguard sets for girls and boys (6&8: from $15), offer extra protection in the water.
UNDER COVER: Beachgoers can stake out a spot on the sand with the Sun Smarties Family Beach Cabana Tent, (10: $64). This UV-proof sunshade sets up in minutes and offers a full day of sun and wind protection, doubling as a private spot for diaper changes and naptime.