Nothing screams summer like mosquitos eating you and your loved ones alive.
Nobody wants their precious little one to be subjected to such itchiness!
Traveling, camping, and simply spending evenings outside can easily translate into long nights of uncomfortable, itchy babies.
We have an almost 2-month-old and a 6-month-old (see photo below) so we won’t be using standard bug sprays on such precious new skin.
Here are 7 tips for keeping baby safe from mosquitos this summer
#1 – Pre-treat clothes with permethrin
Permethrin safely treats your clothing with mosquito and tick repellent; it is safe for all ages so why not use it for everyone? When permethrin is dry, it has no odor. It also lasts through six wash cycles. To pretreat your clothes with it, take all of your summer clothes outside and cover them completely. Allow them to dry thoroughly before bringing them back in to wear.
Buy permethrin on ; be sure you purchase permethrin for “clothing or gear.”
#2 – Cover that precious skin
This may seem like a “duh” statement, but it really isn’t. We tend to clothe our little ones in short sleeves and short pants (or maybe even just a diaper!) during the summer, but this puts their precious skin at high risk. Find some soft cotton baby pants with fun patterns and some solid colored light shirts. Mosquitos are attracted to dark colors, so steer away from navy blue and black. Don’t forget to pre-treat those clothes!
#3 – Consider 24-hour-a-day, 7-day-a-week protection
Protect that skin all day every day instead of once a day. It is a common misconception that mosquitos and summer bugs are out to feast on you only at dusk and in the early evening. There are many mosquitos (and other summer bugs!) that are out all day, searching for you.
#4 – Use sunscreen, then repellent
Another thing many people are unaware of is the fact that sunscreen counteracts bug repellent when put on in the wrong order. Always, always, always lay the sunscreen onto your little one’s skin FIRST, and then the repellent. Every time you reapply sunscreen, reapply repellent.
We use Alba Kid sunscreen on our babies, found on Amazon.
#5 – Use wipes instead of cream or spray
If your little ones are anything like mine, they are squirmy! Squirming, flailing their arms and legs, turning their neck every which way… this makes it hard to confidently spray them with repellent let alone rub cream into every square inch. Wipes for the win! You can ensure that you are wiping them in all of the important places where the skin is exposed or at risk. You can also be sure there won’t be any repellent liquids, lotions, or creams spilling into your diaper bag. Ben’s 30% DEET wipes work well for about 8 hours.
DEET wipes are for sale on Amazon.
#6 – Try Picaridin
Have you ever heard of Picaridin? It is more common in Europe but we have found that we love them a little more than DEET because it not only offers similar protection but has less (if any) odor and feels less greasy. Picaridin comes in lotion, spray, or wipes.
Purchase Picaridin wipes on Amazon.
#7 – Percentage = Protection Time
In case you weren’t aware, the higher the percentage of time you’re going to be outside, the longer the protection. It’s as simple as that. If you’re going to be outside for a short hour or two, use a lower concentrated repellent such as 10-20% DEET or Picaridin. If you’re planning to be out and about all day or longer than 2 hours, find a 30% DEET or Picaridin repellent. The CDC has approved up to 30% DEET and Picaridin for infants over 2 months.
#8 – Avoid baby’s hands
When rubbing and wiping repellent (as well as sunscreen) into your baby’s skin, be sure you avoid their hands. It is safe for their skin, but you don’t want him or her to be rubbing it into their eyes or mouth. Skip rubbing it into your breasts if you are breastfeeding, as well. “Some moms swear by Avon Skin-So-Soft as a nontoxic repellent for mom to wear while holding Baby, to keep bugs at bay without putting anything on Baby or exposing Baby to active ingredients in repellent.” // Karen, from Rookie Moms
If you enjoyed this article read our other articles on surviving the summer with baby.