Babies in the Sunshine

  • Immediately get your baby out of the sun.
  • Keep your baby well hydrated with breastmilk, water, or juice.
  • Give your baby a bath in a few inches of lukewarm water and let her play and splash, or wipe her with a cool, wet cloth.
  • If your baby is younger than six months old, call your pediatrician and describe the extent of the burn. If your baby is older than six months, call the doctor if you notice blisters, pain, or fever.
  • Keep her out of the sun until the burn has healed.

Vitamin D, the Sunshine Vitamin

We get vitamin D from certain foods, such as milk, eggs, and fish. Breastfed babies receive small amounts of vitamin D from breastmilk, but it is in a form that is easily absorbed and used by your baby's body. (Although some pediatricians suggest vitamin A and D drops for breastfed babies, particularly in communities where there is little sunshine.) Formula-fed babies receive vitamin D from most formulas, since they are enriched with this vitamin.

Our bodies also make vitamin D when we are exposed to sunlight. You don't have to put your baby at risk for sunburn to allow him the benefits of sunlight. As little as 10 to 20 minutes a day in the outdoors is often enough for a baby's body to produce adequate vitamin D.

Elizabeth Pantley is a mom of four, a parenting expert, attachment parenting supporter and the writer of several parenting books, including The No-Cry Sleep Solution: Gentle Ways to Help Your Baby Sleep Through the Night and The No-Cry Sleep Solution for Toddlers and Preschoolers. Elizabeth is a regular radio show guest and frequently quoted as a parenting expert in magazines such as Parents, Parenting, Working Mother, McCalls, Redbook and on over 50 parent-directed Web sites. She publishes a newsletter, Parent Tips, that's distributed in schools nationwide.

This article is an excerpt from Gentle Baby Care by Elizabeth Pantley.

Copyright © Elizabeth Pantley. Permission to republish granted to Pregnancy.org, LLC.