Most of us know by now that the sun does more than just give tans. Even on cloudy days and in winter, the sun gives off UVA and UVB rays that can damage skin and eyes. Small children are especially vulnerable, as their skin and eyes are more sensitive and have less melanin to protect them (according to https://www.skincancer.org/prevention/sun-protection/children/choosing-sunglasses-for-your-kids). Eye protection is especially important. The lens in children’s eyes is clearer than the lens in an adult, which means that more sun can get through and cause more eye damage. That is why it’s important to invest in the best baby sunglasses for your kid.
Sunglasses for babies do more than provide adorable photos for your Facebook wall or Instagram feed — they give much-needed protection. Helping protect their eyes now pays off in the future, especially if the sunglasses help children get into the habit of wearing them. Better eye protection means a lower risk of eventually developing macular degeneration, skin cancer, and cataracts.
Fortunately, there are plenty of choices for all ages and in many different colors. When you’re buying and using sunglasses for your baby or toddler, follow these basic guidelines:
- Choose lenses that protect against both UVA and UVB radiation
- Make sure the sunglasses fit snugly and give enough coverage for your baby’s eyes.
- Avoid glass sunglasses and choose shatter-resistant plastic lenses — kids are active, and the sunglasses should be able to withstand their playtime.
- You don’t need to spend a fortune — $20 sunglasses protect just as well as $200 sunglasses, and they can look just as good, too.
- If your child has prescription glasses, they will also need prescription sunglasses as well. Fortunately, many sunglasses can accommodate these lenses.
- Once you buy the glasses, check them yourself to see if the lenses are damaged or scratched — your child may not be able to tell the difference.
- Keep in mind that sunglasses can’t protect against everything. Putting a hat on your little one is also a good idea as it shades their head and neck, too.
- While squirmy kids may want to play outside as much as possible, seek shade during the sun’s most intense hours.
Choosing The Best Baby Sunglasses
One of the most basic choices you need to make when shopping for baby sunglasses is whether you will choose sunglasses with a strap or sunglasses with arms. Here’s a rundown of the two different kinds and their advantages and disadvantages, with a few examples of each.
These sunglasses have a strap that keeps the sunglasses close to the head. Even though they might look like goggles, they’re also much harder for babies to pull off, making these a great choice for children under age two. They’re also a great option for active kids since the strap helps the lenses to stay on. Plus, they’ll be much harder for your child to lose, meaning they can enjoy the sunglasses’ protection for longer. The downside to this style is that parents have to make sure the sunglasses and the strap fit just right.
Sunglasses with Arms
These baby sunglasses work like small versions of adult-sized sunglasses. Instead of a strap, they have arms that wrap around the baby or toddler’s head. These kinds of sunglasses can be easier to fit than the sunglasses with the strap. However, the sunglasses with arms don’t stay on as tightly. Sunglasses with arms are also a great choice for kids who like a more stylish look or are less likely to pull off their sunglasses, so sunglasses with arms are better for toddlers or small children.
The Best Baby Sunglasses With Strap – Reviewed
Tuga’s Zolioz Sunglasses are meant to grow alongside the kids who wear them. The sunglasses come with two sets of Neoprene straps: one for ages 0-2, and the other for ages 2-5. The small strap fits 17-19.5 inches around, while the large strip fits 19.5-21 inches around. Not only are the straps adjustable, but they’re also comfortable — a big win for kids who might not want to wear them otherwise.
The Zolioz sunglasses also have some other great features. The lenses are shatterproof polycarbonate and are rated for 100% protection against UVA and UVB rays, perfect for active kids who love being outdoors. The sunglasses come in four bright colors and a carrying case for easy packing.
These sunglasses not only come in three designs, they also have 100% protection against UVA and UVB rays. They all have a carrying case and a comfortable adjustable strap. There are two versions: a toddlers’ size from ages three to five, and a babies’ size for up to age two. The main difference between the two sizes is in the strap length and how much the lenses cover the eyes. The Baby Solo sunglasses are designed and packaged in the USA and are BPA-free.
A smaller version of the adult Adventure Banz sunglasses, the Baby Banz sunglasses have several kid-friendly features. First, they have nineteen different colors to choose from, ensuring that parents can pick something (or two or three somethings) that they know their kids will like. The Neoprene strap is sturdy and has a hook-and-loop closure, making it easy to use.
The lenses have 100% protection against UVA and UVB rays and are built for kids who like to move. When they want to take a break, though, the glasses also come in a bag for easy storage. Finally, the company has a guarantee against frame or strap breakage for one full year. These sunglasses are sized for babies up to two years old.
Baby Banz also makes a different kind of sunglasses with oval lenses. These particular glasses look more like a miniature version of adult sunglasses, rather than the Adventure Banz’s goggle-style lenses. The Retro Banz are not only meant for active kids, they’re perfect for picnics, long walks, or relaxed days on the beach.
Rated 100% effective against UVA and UVB rays, these sunglasses have a strap on the back to keep babies from pulling them off. They also come with a small cloth bag, so you don’t have to worry about getting them scratched in the diaper bag. The glasses have a similar Neoprene moisture-wicking strap as the Adventure Banz, and they come in several colors. They are also guaranteed against frame or strap breakage for a year. The glasses are for babies up to two years old.
One Step Ahead makes a full line of products to protect kids from the sun, and these Sun Smarties sunglasses are great by themselves or with their swimwear. The impact- and shatter-resistant polycarbonate lenses block 100% of UVA and UVB rays, and the lenses are only removable by pushing outwards, not inwards. This is important because the Sun Smarties sunglasses can be used with prescription lenses. The Neoprene strap has a hook-and-loop enclosure that makes it very adjustable for babies of all sizes. The sunglasses come in three colors: pink, green, and blue. They are meant for babies up to two years old.
The Best Baby Sunglasses With Arms – Reviewed
These sunglasses are a light, stylish choice providing 100% eye protection against UVA and UVB rays. The frames are made from soft, flexible, BPA-free material that comes in twelve different colors. The sunglasses curve in gently so that they easily and readily fit on a baby’s head.
The Roshambo shades are safe for your baby to chew, and the company also claims that these glasses are difficult to destroy. The frames can be fitted with prescription lenses so that you don’t have a spend a lot of money on custom frames. The sunglasses are meant for children up to age two, but they can be used for toddlers as well.
Unlike many of the sunglasses on this list, Carter’s offers you two baby sunglasses for the price of one. Their main point is their durability — the sunglasses have rubber temples and shatterproof lenses. Even if your baby manages to break one (as babies do), you’ll have a backup to use. The sunglasses are rated for 100% protection against UVA and UVB rays. Carter’s has a variety of colors and styles for baby boys and girls, and the glasses can be used for children up to three years old.
These baby sunglasses are especially great for style-conscious babies and toddlers. The pink and teal frames are 100% rubber. This makes them strong, flexible, and up for whatever your child can throw at them.
The impact- and shatter-resistant lens are polarized and offer 100% protection against UVA and UVB rays. Not only are they functional, they’re also fashionable. They’re designed to mimic vintage-style round glasses, making your baby stand out wherever they go. Their design is not meant for active wear, but the glasses are perfect for lazy days in the backyard, park, or beach. These sunglasses are meant for babies and toddlers up to three years old, but they can be used by older children with a smaller head.
These light baby sunglasses have a sporty look to them, and they’re a smaller version of adult sports sunglasses. The lime green and white arms are fully bendable, comfortable, and curved to fit around a baby or toddler’s head. Whether your toddler is hitting the slopes for the first time, swimming in the pool, or just enjoying a day outside, these glasses will be able to stay on and stand up to the rays. These sunglasses are rated 100% for UVA and UVB protection. Not only are the sunglasses protected in a cloth bag and a box, they’re also protected by a lifetime warranty from Bebe by Me. These glasses are meant for both boys and girls aged one to three.
These baby sunglasses may be more fashionable than functional, but they are still a good choice. With metal rims and polycarbonate lenses, they’re designed after classic aviator glasses. These give your toddler or small child a fashion-forward look. But these aren’t just fashion glasses — they also shield little eyes with 100% UV protection and polarized lenses. The frames come in both silver and gold for both boys and girls. They also are shipped in a microfiber pouch, making cleaning and storing the glasses a breeze. Since the glasses have a wider frame, they’re meant for boys and girls aged two to five.
There are so many affordable options, even for the best baby sunglasses. So there’s no reason not to make this small investment in your baby’s eye health. Not only will your baby look adorable on the street or in photos, getting them into the habit of wearing sunglasses will protect their vision for years to come.