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'Screen Tester

It’s that time of year – the
sun comes out, the clothes come off . . . and the sunscreen fights

Last year Maddie was just a year old, and not able to fight us very
effectively. She submitted with good grace, largely because she
didn’t know she had options, I think. This year, she has no
interest whatsoever in sitting still while we get the sunscreen on
her and is very vocal about it.

We deal with this the same way we deal
with everything she fights us on – by giving her options. She
doesn’t have to wear sunscreen, but she does if she wants to
go to the park. A few friendly discussions on that topic, and she
finally submits and sits on your lap for the application.

The other trick that makes this easier is that it’s not
sunscreen – it’s “massage lotion”. Maddie
sits and gets a massage, then gets to put massage lotion on Mommy
and rub it in. This actually works pretty well, since she loves
getting massages any other part of the day.

If you’re wondering what I use (since you know I’m
obsessive about testing and finding great products), I use
California Baby’s href="http://www.californiababy.com/citronella-bug-blend-spf-30-sunscreen-lotion-2-9-oz.html">
SPF 30+Bug Repellant
. I had a hard time finding something
that worked for me last year since I had a lot of bases to cover:
first, it had to be suitable for tender young skin, and this is
PABA-free. Second, it had to also contain bug-repellant, since we
always seemed to come away from the playground with mosquito bites
and there’s the whole West Nile Virus thing, and the
repellant had to be DEET-free. Third, it needed to be water
resistant since Maddie spends most of her park time in the
sprinkler during the summer. And fourth, it needed to work!

This stuff works really well and comes in various permutations, so
if you’re looking for specialty sunscreen for your baby or
toddler check out their href="http://www.californiababy.com">website. For evenings
when we’re hanging out in the backyard but not in the sun, we
use California Baby’s all-natural href="http://www.californiababy.com/citronella-bug-blend-bug-repellent-lotion-2-9-oz.html">
bug repellant
and it worked incredibly well – so much
so that the whole family uses it since it smells way better than
all that chemical stuff. California Baby also makes several
products for kids with really sensitive skin, so it’s a great
site to check out if your child has skin or fragrance allergies.

While we were on vacation last fall at the beach, we left the CB at
home and went straight for the super-duper water-proof stuff.
Maddie was 15 months by then and able to tolerate a stronger
formula, and we used Aveeno Baby and Water Babies, both to great
effect. We also dressed Maddie much of the time in those
sun-resistant swimsuits that look like surf wear; they save a ton
of time in reapplication fights. One Step Ahead has a great
selection of SPF clothing – clickhref="http://clickserve.cc-dt.com/link/click?lid=41000000015316697">
to see.

On a general note, the AAP recommends avoiding sunscreen if
possible for babies under 6 months; they’d much rather you
keep them well covered and out of the sun instead, since their skin
is so fragile. After that, it’s best to look for something
geared towards baby’s tender skin for a few months. Remember,
too, that sunscreen takes a while to sink in – it’s
best to apply it 20 minutes before heading out so you’ll be
protected right away.

And as a last word on the sunscreen, keep some in the diaper bag
whether you’re expecting to need it or not. We keep a small
sample-size tub of the California Baby SPF/bug combo, but the real
savior for my diaper bag is the invention of the suncreen wipes. I
keep a couple of the href="http://clickserve.cc-dt.com/link/click?lid=41000000015316699">
Sunblankee Towelettes
in the diaper bag, and then always
have something on hand to use if we spontaneously hit the zoo or
somesuch. And don’t forget to add the sunhat – babies
and toddlers can get a scalp burn rather easily! Look for something
wide-brimmed all around to shade the face and neck.

So have no fear as you try to figure out how to let your kiddo have
fun and stay burn-free. There are products out there that will
definitely give you what you’re looking for.

Massage not included.


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