For babies, the first few weeks of life are a period of adjustment. They have to learn how to sleep, eat, and regulate their body temperature without the assistance of their mom or dad. Just like feeding, bathing, and washing the face, one major change is exposure to sunlight- babies can now go outside in the direct sun.
Sun Exposure Guidelines
When you are with your new baby at the hospital, you will vent into the outside world for the first time. You might start questioning yourself if you are doing everything to keep your baby safe and sound. One of the first questions will be if and when you can expose your new baby to sunlight. In addition, you might be wondering how you can do this to your newborn in winter season.
Your baby’s skin is not fully grown and does not build a robust UV barrier during the first six months of life. They also don’t have enough pigment in their eyes to filter out UV. This means that your baby will be more vulnerable to UV than they will ever be again in their lifetime.
You don’t need to stay inside all the time. Just like feeding, bathing, and cleaning your baby’s fingernails, exposing your baby to sunlight should be practiced every day. Follow these simple rules so you and your baby can enjoy being outside.
Sun Exposure Guidelines (0-6 months old)
- Plan outdoor activities to happen in the early morning or late afternoon if you can. The UV levels are lower then.
- But this is not always practical. When you are outside during the day, be careful of how much sun you are getting. The SunSmart app can tell you how much UV there is or will be in your area at that time.
- During the UV times when the UV level is 3 or higher, you should keep your trips out brief. The higher the temperature or level of UV, the shorter your outdoor time should be.
- Keep your baby from sunlight. Babies need to stay in the shade when the sun is bright. Put a cover over their head when they are in a stroller.
- Protect them from the sun when you’re out and about with your child. You can do this by using a physical barrier like a pram shade and large-brimmed hats, which protect the eyes and neck. Also, clothes that cover arms and legs will help. If your baby tolerates it, sunglasses may also be helpful for their eyes.
- You can use sunscreen if you are concerned about the UV levels. Wear sunscreen on small parts of your baby. This is better than wearing nothing at all. But always protect your baby by putting clothes on them and ensuring they do not go outside in the sun for long periods.
- Use a shade or barrier to protect your baby from UV rays coming through the back seat window in the car. If your child is too young to get out on their own, keep them out of the sun and never leave them alone in the car.
- You will need to ensure that your baby has enough air using a pram cover. You can leave gaps at the side or front of the cover.
- In hot weather, try not to let your pram get too warm before putting your baby in it. You can either add a cooling liner or remove the back panel of your stroller (if possible). Check on your baby often when he is in his prime.
- Don’t forget to keep your baby hydrated, or they might get sick. You can do this by breastfeeding them more or giving them a bottle. Also, check their temperature often by touching the skin on their chest with your hand.
Exposing your baby to sunlight is a great way to boost their immune system and also a good source of Vitamin D. However, this could be challenging if you are to expose your baby to sunlight during winter.
For more information about the benefits of sunlight to babies, you can visit this site.
Frequently Asked Questions About When Can I First Expose My Newborn To Sunlight
How Long Should Babies Be in the Sun?
So parents should not bring their babies outside from six months until they are one year old. After that, make sure the baby wears clothes and a hat when sunny. Make sure to find shade and use sunglasses with UVA and UVB protection. You can also put sunscreen on the baby’s skin to protect them during the day.
Why Is Sunshine Good for the Baby?
Sunlight has lots of health benefits for babies. It helps them to produce vitamin D that helps their body absorb calcium. Sunlight also strengthens bones, which can help prevent rickets in children and osteomalacia in adults. Sunlight may also help to prevent some cancers from growing.
What Time Should I Expose My Baby to Sunlight?
You must expose your infant to the sun. When is the best time? Between 7 am and 10 am, or an hour after sunrise or before sunset. That is when the sun shines the brightest. But don’t do it for more than 30 minutes because your baby’s skin can get hurt.
Can a Baby Go Out in the Sun?
Babies less than 6 months old should not be in direct sunlight. Their skin is too sensitive and doesn’t have enough melanin, which gives the skin protection from the sun.
What Happens if a Baby Gets Too Much Sun?
The main cause of sunstroke among babies is dehydration. Before sunstroke develops, the baby might have heat cramps or heat exhaustion.
Can I Take My 3-Week Old Baby Outside?
In most cases, babies can go out of the house right away if their parents follow some basic safety precautions. Babies should not be taken outside at night or when it is too hot, but otherwise, they can go out. Getting outside will be good for both parents and babies.
Can Babies Get Vitamin D Through a Window?
You can’t make vitamin D if you are sitting in a room with a window. The sun’s rays can’t get to you through the glass.
Do Babies Get Vitamin D From the Sun?
Children need vitamin D. They get some from the sun and a little bit of it from food. They can use sunscreen to protect their skin while they’re getting vitamin D from the sun to get more. If you’re worried that your child doesn’t have enough vitamin D, talk with your GP about it.”
Is Morning Sun Good for a Newborn?
The American Academy of Pediatrics advises against exposing babies under six months to direct sunlight. The Indonesian Pediatric Society (IDAI) recommends that babies are sunbathed in clothes. About 30 minutes before sunbathing, rub the baby’s skin with sunscreen of SPF 15 in minimum.