Summer weather means spending lots of time at the pool, eating large amounts of ice cream, and enjoying plenty of time in the fresh air. However, summer can also mean the return of pesky mosquitoes as well as an array of other biting bugs galore. Whether you live in a wooded area or bustling city, these bothersome insects can seemingly survive and thrive just about anywhere! Spending the warm sunny months cooped up inside to avoid an itchy side effect isn’t exactly ideal. Luckily, there are numerous safe, baby-friendly options to repel mosquitoes and the like. From sprays to creams to wearable bug deterrents, this list is sure to have the best mosquito repellent that works for your littlest family members. Using various combinations of essential oils and natural ingredients, these mosquito repellents are tested for effectiveness. Always deet-free, you can rest assured that these bug bite fighting options are safe to use at an early age.
Best Mosquito Repellent for Babies
(Best all-in-one repellent and itch cream — $)
Why it’s great: No only does SALLYEANDER No-Bite-Me Bug Repellent prevent mosquito and bug bites, but it also works after the fact to soothe and calm itchy marks. This completely safe and natural product is designed with little ones’ sensitive skin in mind and can be used from infancy onward, as approved by your pediatrician.
Keep in mind: The tub container allows for a smooth, lotion-like application. However, your hands can get a bit messy when applying using your fingers.
Good for: Families looking to protect the youngest of kids.
(Pets and the environment — $)
Why it’s great: Made from simple ingredients, this bug soother spray not only repels mosquitoes, but also prevents bites from gnats, no-see-ums, sand flies, and black flies. The repellent is perfect for all outdoor enthusiasts in your family, including those of the furry type. Available in both large and travel sizes, you’ll always be covered with Bug Soother Spray.
Keep in mind: Due to the nature of the ingredients, be sure to give this product a good shake before applying and before each application thereafter.
Good for: Families looking to protect all its members, including their furry companions.
(Best outdoor combo pack — $)
Why it’s great: Combined with a separate SPF 50 sunscreen, this DEET-free bug spray is the whole package when it comes to protecting your family while outdoors. Non-allergenic and tear-free, Babyganics Bug Repellent and Sunscreen Essentials Pack is designed for your baby’s sensitive skin.
Keep in mind: The sunscreen and bug spray are two separate products that can be used together or separately.
Good for: Families looking for a combination of bug repellent and sun protection.
(Best smelling — $)
Why it’s great: Made from a combination of lemon and eucalyptus essential oils, Murphy’s Naturals Insect Repellent works for four hours+ on deer ticks, as well as Lone Star and Brown Dog Ticks. Completely free of DEET, dye, synthetic fragrances, and harsh chemicals, it’s one of the only plant-based insect repellents on the market that is recommended by the CDC.
Keep in mind: Due to the nature of this recipe, the scent is noted as being overpowering by some users.
Good for: Parents looking for CDC-approved insect repellent formula.
(Best travel option — $)
Why it’s great: Sold in 3, 2-ounce packages, these insect repellents are perfect to keep in your diaper bag, car, or stroller to ensure you’re never without bug protection. Medella Naturals Insect and Mosquito Repellent doesn’t leave an oily residue or dry out skin. Made without synthetic fragrances, dyes, phthalates, pesticides, alcohol, formaldehyde, preservatives, or petrochemicals, you can feel confident applying this repellent to your baby’s skin.
Keep in mind: This bug spray works best with frequent reapplication.
Good for: Parents who never want to be without insect protection, no matter where they go.
(Best bracelet option — $)
Why it’s great: If remembering to slather on bug spray isn’t on the front of your to-do list, these mosquito-repelling bracelets are a quick solution to keeping your family safe in a quick minute. Packed individually, these long-lasting bracelets offer extended protection and can be reused over and over again when kept in a sealed package. Made from high-quality EVA material, these adjustable bracelets fit both kids and adults, and can be worn on your wrist or ankle. They even provide protection while in water.
Keep in mind: The bracelets are long lasting, but be sure to keep them in sealed pouch, or else the scent will wear off and no longer provide adequate protection.
Good for: Families looking for protection they can wear quickly without the need to apply it.
(Best plant-based option — $$)
Why it’s great: California Baby’s plant-based spray is an effective blend of essential oils without any harsh chemicals. It’s exceptional recipe is one of the best at preventing bug bites on infants to adults. They promise unparalleled customer service to address any question or concerns you may have.
Keep in mind: Due to the essential oils, some buyers have noted an irritation when heavily applied to their skin.
Good for: Families seeking a plant-based product that’s effective and reliable.
FAQs about Mosquito Repellent for Babies
1. What should I look for in a mosquito repellent for babies?
The two primary things to keep in mind when looking for mosquito repellent for babies are the safety of the ingredients and the effectiveness. Check with a trusted pediatrician on what ingredients can be used on an infant’s sensitive skin. Remember, even some natural ingredients, like some essential oils, can not be used until a child is older. If a product isn’t for you, consider using a bracelet tied closely to your baby’s location that will protect you without contact.
2. How early can I use mosquito repellent on my baby?
Be sure to read the fine print of the product you purchase to determine the earliest it can be used on an infant. Depending on the ingredients in the product, there will be some variance in when it can be applied to your little one’s skin. If you notice any sort of reaction, stop use immediately and check with your pediatrician.
3. Why should I avoid DEET?
While DEET is approved for human use, some studies show it can cause excessive irritation or rashes on some people’s skin. Other studies have concluded that the ingestion of DEET, whether intentional or accidental, can lead to seizures. Lastly, some carcinogenic properties have been noted in prolonged use of DEET, although further research is needed.
4. What other things can I do in addition to bug spray to avoid my baby from getting bitten by mosquitoes?
While bug spray is a good defense against unwanted bug bites, it doesn’t replace other measures you can take to keep baby’s skin safe. This includes wearing clothing that covers the limbs when appropriate while being sure baby doesn’t overheat. It’s also important to stay away from environments that have a heavy mosquito population, such as outdoor marshes, and other warm, wet areas. Avoiding the outdoors during the early evening when mosquitoes are most prevalent can also help avoid pesky bites.
5. How long does bug spray last?
While dependent on the ingredients, most bug sprays last around three years. Be sure to toss at the expiration date, as many natural, as well as artificial ingredients, break down over time and are no longer effective. If a color or scent seems off with your product, it’s probably past its prime.
Spending time outdoors has numerous benefits for your little one, and your wellbeing too! However, that warm, sunny weather does come with some drawbacks, mosquitoes and nasty bug bites being enemy number one. Luckily, there are numerous products with natural ingredients that you can feel safe applying to your infant’s skin through their early years. Avoiding harsh chemicals that can irritate a little one’s sensitive skin with undesirable side effects, such as DEET, is also an important step in keeping your family safe. Using various combinations of essential oils and natural products, these mosquito repellents are tested with their unique recipes to ensure effectiveness, while still ensuring their ingredients are safe for even the most sensitive skin. Whether you’re looking for a spray, cream, or a simple bracelet for your tiny one to wear, you can be sure to find the best option for you and your family.