Sunbathing: Know Why Your Baby Needs It Too

Understand the Importance of Exposing Your Newborn to Sunlight Regularly

Vitamin D is very important for the development of bones, immune system and to prevent rickets. At a time when the body is being formed, it is essential that baby's body receives this nutrient in large quantities. 

Although vitamin D can be passed on by the mother during breastfeeding, it is found in small amounts in breast milk. It is through direct sunlight exposure the most effective way to increase vitamin D levels and to activate its functions.

And that's where sunbathing comes in. The sun is very important for everyone, but for a newborn it has amazing benefits:

  • assists in the healthy growth of bones and teeth;
  • increases the absorption of phosphorus and calcium;
  • avoids rickets and, thus, growth retardation and bone deformities;
  • decreases bilirubin, a substance that causes jaundice in babies leaving their skin yellow and in some more severe cases, requiring hospitalization to solve the problem;
  • boosts immunity and fights flu, colds and autoimmune diseases;
  • decreases the predisposition to develop depression;
  • reduces the incidence of cardiovascular diseases during life;
  • increases the production of renin, which prevents diabetes;
  • assists in cognitive development and having a healthy brain;
  • assists in cancer prevention.

However, you need to be careful. First, it is not necessary to expose the baby to sunlight for a long time. Studies have found that exposing a baby for 5 to 10 minutes daily or at least 30 minutes weekly can give him adequate vitamin D levels to keep him healthy and aid in his optimal growth and development. 

It is also necessary to pay attention to the best exposure times. Interestingly, a study conducted by University College of Medical Sciences showed that the ideal time for a sunbath for the baby is between 10 am and 3 pm! Well, if you live in a fairly cool climate, the above-mentioned time can be considered. However, if you live in a place that is generally warm, consider the timings of 7am to 10am or after 4pm to expose your little one to sunlight. 

How to Sunbathe a Baby?

Sunbathing should be done outdoors, so that the rays reach the skin without interference. 

Do not stay behind windows, as the glass filters the sun's rays, preventing the healthier rays to reach the baby. Exposure should be carried out directly, preferably with exposed body parts for better absorption. Researches suggest that exposing even 40% of the baby’s body to sunlight can do the trick. The sun's rays will not be harmful if you choose the recommended times.

Sunbathing is recommended for babies since their birth, but before starting, ask the pediatrician when to start and what is the appropriate time for your baby.

Remember that before the age of 6 months, the use of sunscreens is not indicated because it offers a risk of allergy on the baby's skin.

Your baby's health also depends on you!

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