Summer Protection Guide for the Pregnant Mama

And 5 natural sunscreen brands that are safe to use during pregnancy.

Summer Protection Guide for the Pregnant Mama

Ah, sunscreen. It seems like just yesterday I shunned you for Hawaiian Tropic tanning oil (did that stuff smell amazing, or what?)…. These days, I rarely go without it, and it is usually SPF 30, not 4. While we all know that it is important to wear sunscreen, when you are pregnant, there are additional facts to consider when getting ready for summer.

First, avoid sunscreens that contain “inactive” ingredients like parabens, synthetic fragrance (which usually contains phthalates), petrolatum and propylene glycol. These are known endocrine disruptors, and the last thing you want to do when pregnant is messing with your delicate hormones.


You also want to avoid active ingredients that are chemical blockers, like benzophenone, homosalate, octinoxate, octyl-methoxycinnamate, oxybenzone, PABA, or padimate-O. Though they absorb UV rays before they can damage your skin, some of these chemicals have scary consequences. Oxybenzone, for example, which penetrates the skin very easily and can be found in the urine of nearly every American, mother’s milk and umbilical cord blood, is also an endocrine disruptor. It mimics estrogen, has been found to alter sperm count in animals and interferes with normal fetal and childhood development.

What’s more, many conventional sunscreens only block UVB rays. But the sun’s UVA rays also age us and cause cancer, so make sure you aren’t missing half of the equation when making your purchase and favor sunscreens that use physical blockers, like zinc oxide and titanium dioxide. These actually block and deflect UVA and UVB rays (also referred to as broad-spectrum).

Still feeling overwhelmed by the plethora of options out there? Don’t worry. I’ve tried them all, so you don’t have to. Here are 5 of my favorite natural sunscreen brands for pregnancy.

1. Suntegrity. During pregnancy, pigment-producing cells called melanocytes kick into overdrive. This makes your skin more susceptible to discoloration (anything from freckles to melasma), especially when it's exposed to UV rays. So it’s more important than ever to protect your face. Suntegrity 5-in-1 Natural Moisturizing Tinted Face Sunscreen is my go-to for a beach day. It gives incredible, nontoxic protection from the sun while evening out skin tone. For those with normal-dry skin, it can also be worn over moisturizeror under makeup for everyday use. And, with 4 versatile shades, there is an option for virtually everyone. They also make an equally fabulous untinted formula, which goes on totally sheer and feels like a luxe primer.

Since your bump is the most prominent part of the body, it is more susceptible to burning. So if you’re wearing a bikini while pregnant, remember to reapply often. Suntegrity Natural Mineral Sunscreen for Body SPF 30 is simply stellar. It contains a whopping 20 percent non-nano zinc oxide, which not only protects from both UVA and UBV rays, but also soothes skin. The finish is sheer, and the formula is very moisturizing, but not greasy, and it has a light, natural citrus scent. If you prefer, they also make an unscented version, and they even make a TSA-approved travel size for your short travels.

2. True Botanicals. True Botanicals Everyday Sheer Coverage SPF 20 is one of my daily essentials and an all-time favorite. I love this lightweight formula so much that I even wear it as my tinted moisturizer under my makeup for evening outings. This product creates a true soft-focus effect. It’s offered in two shades: light and medium.

3. Ursa Major. For those of you who are looking for an untinted daily SPF, Ursa Major Force Field Daily Defense SPF 18 goes on sheer – I’m talking ZERO white, chalky, tint. It is not oily, greasy, heavy, or runny, it doesn’t leave me shiny. The finish is semi-matte, and instead of rubbing it in for 5 minutes like many other SPFs, it sinks right into skin. It is perfect for those who have oily skin or are acne prone.

4. Acure. If you must use a spray (I don’t personally love the inhalations risks), you can rejoice in the long-time-coming release of a safe sunscreen spray, by Acure Organics Sunscreen Spray SPF 30. It’s nontoxic, mineral based, and made with non-nano zinc oxide. It’s water resistant up to 80 minutes and doesn’t leave a ghostly-white finish. Plus, it’s hypoallergenic.

5. Ilia. Because a girl’s gotta have accessories, I love Ilia Moondance Radiant Translucent Powder SPF 20. This mineral-based finishing powder is perfect for reapplication while on the go, and totally zaps shine. The spill-proof applicator has an open, close and buff option that is perfect for touching up while out in the sun. Ilia Tinted Lip Conditioner SPF 15 is the perfect trifecta of lip balm, lipstick, and sun protection with a peachy, universally flattering hue. Ingredients such as cocoa and Shea butter hydrate lips, while zinc oxide provides natural SPF. If you’re in the sun, reapply often.

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    14 toys that will keep your kids entertained inside *and* outside

    They transition seamlessly for indoor play.

    With fall in full swing, most parents are fresh out of boxes to check on their "Fun Concierge" hit list. It's also the point of diminishing returns on investing in outside-only toys. So with that in mind, we've rounded up some of our favorite toys that are not only built to last but will easily make the transition from outdoor to indoor play. Even better, they're Montessori-friendly and largely open-ended so your kids can get a ton of use out of them.

    From sunny backyard afternoons to rainy mornings stuck inside, these toys are sure to keep little ones engaged and entertained.

    Wooden doll stroller

    Janod wooden doll stroller

    Take their charges on a stroll around the block with this classic doll stroller. With the same versatility they're used to in their own ride, this heirloom quality carriage allows their doll or stuffy to face them or face the world.


    Detective set

    Plan Toys detective set

    This set has everything your little detective needs to solve whatever mystery they might encounter: an eye glasses, walkie-talkie, camera, a red lens, a periscope and a bag. Neighborhood watch? Watch out.


    Sand play set

    Plan Toys sand set

    Whether you're hitting the beach or the backyard sandbox, this adorable wooden sand set is ready for action. Each scoop has an embossed pattern that's perfect for sand stamping. They're also totally suitable for water play in the wild or the bathtub.


    Water play set

    Plan Toys water play set

    Filled with sand or water, this tabletop sized activity set keeps little ones busy, quiet and happy. (A mama's ideal trifecta 😉). It's big enough to satisfy their play needs but not so big it's going to flood your floors if you bring the fun inside on a rainy day.


    Mini golf set

    Plan Toys mini golf set

    Fore! This mini golf set is lawn and living room ready. Set up a backyard competition or incorporate into homeschooling brain breaks that shift focus and build concentration.


    Vintage scooter balance bike

    Janod retro scooter balance bike

    Pedals are so 2010. Balance bikes are the way to go for learning to ride a bike while skipping the training wheels stage altogether. This impossibly cool retro scooter-style is built to cruise the neighborhood or open indoor space as they're learning.


    Wooden rocking pegasus

    plan toys wooden rocking pegasus

    Your little will be ready to take flight on this fun pegasus. It gently rocks back and forth, but doesn't skimp on safety—its winged saddle, footrests and backrest ensure kids won't fall off whether they're rocking inside or outside.


    Croquet set

    Plan Toys croquet set

    The cutest croquet set we've ever seen! With adorable animal face wooden balls and a canvas bag for easy clean up, it's also crafted to stick around awhile. Round after round, it's great for teaching kiddos math and problem-solving skills as well.


    Wooden digital camera

    fathers factory wooden digital camera

    Kids get the chance to assemble the camera on their own then can adventure anywhere to capture the best moments. With two detachable magnetic lenses, four built-in filters and video recorder, your little photographer can tap into their creativity from summertime to the holidays.


    Wooden bulldozer toy

    plan toys wooden bulldozer toy

    Whether they're digging up sand in the backyad or picking up toys inside, kids can get as creative as they want picking up and moving things around. Even better? Its wooden structure means it's not an eye sore to look at wherever your digger drops it.


    Pull-along hippo

    janod toys pull along hippo toy

    There's just something so fun about a classic pull-along toy and we love that they seamlessly transition between indoor and outdoor play. Crafted from solid cherry and beechwood, it's tough enough to endure outdoor spaces your toddler takes it on.


    Baby forest fox ride-on

    janod toys baby fox ride on

    Toddlers will love zooming around on this fox ride-on, and it's a great transition toy into traditional balance bikes. If you take it for a driveway adventure, simply use a damp cloth to wipe down the wheels before bringing back inside.


    Balance board

    Plan Toys balance board

    Balance boards are a fabulous way to get the wiggles out. This one comes with a rope attachment, making it suitable for even the youngest wigglers. From practicing their balance and building core strength to working on skills that translate to skateboarding and snowboarding, it's a year-round physical activity that's easy to bring inside and use between Zoom classes, too!


    Meadow ring toss game

    Plan Toys meadow ring toss game

    Besides offering a fantastic opportunity to hone focus, coordination, determination and taking turns, lawn games are just plain fun. Set them up close together for the littles and spread them out when Mom and Dad get in on the action. With their low profile and rope rings, they're great for indoors as well.


    We independently select and share the products we love—and may receive a commission if you choose to buy. You've got this.


    It’s science: Vacations make your kids happy long after they’re over

    Whether you're planning a quick trip to the lake or flying the fam to a resort, the results are the same: A happier, more connected family.

    Whether you're looking for hotels or a rental home for a safe family getaway, or just punching in your credit card number to reserve a spot in a campground a couple of states over, the cost of vacation plans can make a mom wince. And while price is definitely something to consider when planning a family vacation, science suggests we should consider these trips—and their benefits—priceless.

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    Sleep deprivation had given me severe postpartum anxiety (something I didn't even know was a thing as I had only heard about postpartum depression) and after finally getting the much-needed rest that my body required to recover from a C-section and make milk to nourish a newborn, I was back to feeling like myself and wanting to enjoy the time with my baby.

    When I found out I was expecting twins the second time around, getting SNOOs was a no brainer. They were the only thing that could convince me I could actually do this whole parenting twins thing. And, yet again, the SNOO did not disappoint. And by not disappoint I mean, it made having three kids under 3 during a global pandemic with no outside help survivable.

    But look, if you are like, but who are you and why should I trust your review of this smart bassinet, fair. Here's the thing, celebrities LOVE the SNOO. Love it. Some are super outspoken about it (like Ashton Kutcher and Mila Kunis who called it "unbelievable") many others share adorable photos of their babies in it. And if you are thinking, wait, but I don't have the salary of a celebrity let me say that hard same, we are barely making it to the end of the month over here, but now you can rent the SNOO for $4.25 a day. Think about it. That's less than a Starbucks coffee per day and could help a new parent's mental health. Shop all the products we carry from Happiest Baby here, you can thank us later.

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