Wednesday, June 1, 2011


Okay, here's a question: how do you do sunscreen on your kids? What kind do you use? How soon do you put it on? Where do you put it on (indoors, outdoors?)

When Noah was little(r) I used to put only mineral based sunscreen on him.  Which turned him a nice pasty white color.  Mineral-based sunscreen only came as a lotion, so we'd lather it on right before he stepped out the door.  Mineral-based sunscreens also tend to be a little stiffer than other lotions. Noah screamed through the entire process, so I avoided it whenever possible.

When we moved back to the States, there were fewer mineral-based sunscreens, and they were so outrageously expensive, that I gave up on them. I started using the spray on chemical sunscreens, and even though they'd get ALL OVER THE FLOOR, I doubted they were getting on Noah. So I would spray it on my hands, "fix" spots I had missed, and then I would use yet another sunscreen for his face. Not surprisingly, he hated this process as well. In addition to earlier complaints, something about me pointing a spraying object at him freaked him out. He actually started calling it "sunscream." (At this point, he was between 2 and 3 years old.) When I moved the whole process outside - so that the floors stayed cleaner - I worried about that little disclaimer on the bottles that says you are suppose to apply sunscreen 20 minutes BEFORE going outside, so then we'd go back inside to wait. Also, sunscreen stains clothing - so, hmmm, should we apply this in the nude in the bathtub?

And by the way, do you REALLY want to play outside?

This year, I gave up on the sunscreen spray and bought the old fashion lotion kind. I'm smearing it on, by hand, 10 minutes before we go outside. Noah's handling it a lot better this year.  His only request, so far, is that I warm it up a little bit before putting it on. [eyes rolling] Mattias, at 14 months, seems to enjoy it. After watching Noah get smeared, he's excited that it's his turn.

I'm not sure that this year's method is an improvement. Mostly, I just think the whole sunscreen thing is a PAIN. But it's really not optional in Denver where the sun is extra-strong due to the high altitude. I've already managed to burn the bridge of my own nose and my cheeks. It looks really fashionable on a middle-aged mother. What's that you say? I'm suppose to have already incorporated a sunscreen lotion into My Daily Facial Routine? My what?

1 comment:

Meredith said...

We use the old-fashioned sunscreen, and both boys seem to like the process. It was one of Little Elvis' first words (along with chapstick.) I don't always remember details correctly, so I've been waiting until they are outside to put the sunscreen on, since it wears off so quickly. But they did some crazy burns where I didn't rub it all the way up their shoulders the other day--they had an outline of my fingertips. I'll have to do a better job.