Safe Summer Babywearing

Hawaii VacationI happen to be in the Hawaiian islands at the moment for a very special 4th of July weekend. My dad lives here now – he moved from Southern California about 8 years ago. That said, he isn’t here. He is in LA for cancer treatments before he gets to come home to this beautiful island of Kauii. My dad and I came here together nearly every year for yoga retreats when I was a child. So let’s just say I’m feeling a bit nostalgic.

Those of you who know me know I have two boys – ages 8 and 11. It was one of my first trips to Hawaii with my eldest when I was introduced to Ergo. Ergo was the brand I loved most passionately as a mom of young babies. Both my boys ended up calling our Ergo the ‘pack-pack’ and lived in it from being tiny little creatures to about 3 years old.

Another thing I’ve been doing since being a small child is making sunscreen and personal care products. My dad founded a skincare company called Epicuren the same year I was born. It is still a family business. When my babies were born I wanted something for them that didn’t exist – a baby personal care brand that was as ecofriendly, safe, natural and clinically effective as I knew was possible. Today my Company, Babytime! by Episencial, is the #1 organic brand in hospital birthing centers, and is still nearly as much a work of passion as parenting.


I know first hand that babywearing mamas think a lot about sunscreen. We tend to be the types who spend more time outdoors, more time running around and more time wanting both hands available to do something, make something and engage in life full force – all while maintaining a constant bond with our little ones.

So here I am, 12 years after starting Babytime!, still working as hard as ever, but taking pause to sit in the Hawaiian air, appreciate the sun, the crashing of these slow-rolling, crazy powerful waves… and to appreciate my dad, my kids and the time I spent bonding with them – with our Ergo as a critical component of that time spent together. I’m also appreciating Karin Frost, a Hawaiian resident and the founder of Ergo. She is a fellow entrepreneur and someone for whom I have the utmost respect and admiration. Aloha Karin!

With all this sentimentality, I’m wanting to share a few serious tips about how to best protect your baby from the sun and the potential of UV induced skin cancers without giving up your Ergo in the blazing heat.

  • First off, let’s dispel a highly pervasive myth: YES, you SHOULD use sunscreen on babies under 6 months of age. While shade is best, if that isn’t an option, the American Academy of Pediatrics DOES recommend using sunscreen – especially on key areas like face and hands which can’t be protected with SPF clothing.
  • Second, use pH balanced Mineral Sunscreen. Mineral sunscreens are made exclusively with Zinc and/or Titanium. This type of sunscreen sits on the skin surface and reflects the sunrays rather than sinking into your babies skin and creating chemical reactions with UV rays within the skin cells. Don’t bother thinking about the idea of nanoparticles. The minerals used in sunscreens do not use harmful nanoparticles and this simply isn’t something you need to worry about.
  • Third, use sunscreen even if it is overcast. If you are out in the sun between 10-3, use sunscreen regardless of the weather. Those UV rays will and do penetrate the cloudy cover that is so good at giving us a false sense of security. When in doubt, go the sunscreen route!

Most importantly, I hope for you and your baby that you will spend as much time as possible out and about exploring the world together with your Ergo. Don’t let the sun slow you down!

With love from Hawaii,


Kim Walls is an internationally recognized skincare expert focused on optimizing health through skincare. Leading child health advocacy groups and national media rely on Kim’s clinical expertise to help parents navigate the often confusing world of natural skincare.

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