The Art of SPF: Maternal Instinct vs. Toddler Tantrum


I knew motherhood would be challenging, but certain small tasks still incite feelings of dread daily. Such as getting sunscreen on my daughter.

I honestly think I should count the 20 minute chase-and-capture dance that she and I do every single morning as cardio- with some strength training courtesy of the restraining holds I maneuver to keep her somewhat still so I can slather.

Inspired by this post on Pretty Impressed (a blog you should all check out, by the way), I figured now that I have discovered somewhat of a good little regimen, I should share. Because I strongly believe that moms of energetic and strong-willed toddlers really deserve to know any and all "I-tried-it-and-it-worked" tricks of the trade. I have many more "worst practices" than "best practices" to share, so considering this is one of a handful of small triumphs to date, don't mind as I hop up on my  "MOM OF THE YEAR" soap box for a second.  Just a second, promise. 

We made it through 5 straight days of pool parties and beach outings without one spot of sunburn, thanks to a cocktail of the following finds:

Pre-Game Routine


TickleTime - Sure, I too think it is kinda random that this powder sunscreen is created by Anne Heche, but the concept behind it- making the task of protecting their skin into a silly and playful sensory game- is right on point. And as little toddlers grow into wanna-be little ladies, pretending it is "mommy's makeup" also helps the process.

Body(on a morning where I feel well rested/bold or there is a new Dora on to appease Alexa):

Aveeno Baby Continuous Protection Sunscreen - This SPF 55 formula is nice and thick, so it sticks in my palm as I desperately chase flailing limbs. Plus the cap is attached (I know doesn't sound important but trust me, it is huge) and clicks onto to the tube tightly so that small hands can't sneakily sabotage you by emptying the remains onto the carpet when you aren't looking. Um, not like that ever happened to me, but....

Body(on a hectic morning, or when I am operating with a mild hangover):

MD Moms Suncreen Wipes - Wipes are one of the great conveniences (and luxuries) of motherhood in 2013. Alexa is used to wipes so these tend not to piss her off as much as a palm filled with product does, and even if she is fighting me like crazy, I can get her fully covered without ruining our beloved new couch. 

On-Site Survival


Neutrogena Wet Skin Kids Face Stick - Whether her face is covered in pool water or perspiration (because let's face it, toddler faces are always covered in something), this gets every nook and cranny of Alexa's complexion. She even enjoys (gasp!) putting it on her nose herself. (Or, in her words, "Mommy, I DO MYSELF!") It's also well suited to behind-the-ear or under-the-chin sneak attacks.


Supergoop! SPF50 Antioxidant-Infused Sunscreen Mist - With 35% less alcohol than other leading sunscreen sprays, this has a strong, steady spray that makes me feel confident I am not missing spots. It doesn't leave an oily residue- so if (or should I say when) Alexa decides to make a run for it and I have to grab her, the little lady doesn't slide through my hands. 

So there you have it. I told you mine. Now, do a frazzled first time mom a favor, will ya, and tell me yours?