When picking a repellent, it should be taken into consideration how much time your baby spends outside and where.

If your child is only going to be outside for very short periods of time, repellents with low DEET or Picaridin concentrations will work just fine.

Reading this article can save you ton of hours and money!

Before further a due, let’s look at our Top-3 picks.

Babyganics Natural Bug Spray, 6oz Spray Bottle (Pack of 2), Packaging May Vary
Top Pick
Sawyer Products SP544 Premium Insect Repellent with 20% Picaridin, Pump Spray, 4-Ounce
Sawyer Products SP520 Premium Controlled Release Insect Repellent Lotion, 4-Ounce
Product
Babyganics Bug Spray
Sawyer
Sawyer Premium Controlled
Substance
Citronella, Peppermint, Rosemary, Lemongrass, Geranium
Picaridin
Encapsulates DEET
Type
Liquid
Lotion/Spray
Lotion
DEET Free ?
Effectiveness
Upto 10 Hours
Upto 8 Hours
Upto 11 Hours
Amazon Prime Status
-
Babyganics Natural Bug Spray, 6oz Spray Bottle (Pack of 2), Packaging May Vary
Product
Babyganics Bug Spray
Substance
Citronella, Peppermint, Rosemary, Lemongrass, Geranium
Type
Liquid
DEET Free ?
Effectiveness
Upto 10 Hours
Amazon Prime Status
Top Pick
Sawyer Products SP544 Premium Insect Repellent with 20% Picaridin, Pump Spray, 4-Ounce
Product
Sawyer
Substance
Picaridin
Type
Lotion/Spray
DEET Free ?
Effectiveness
Upto 8 Hours
Amazon Prime Status
Sawyer Products SP520 Premium Controlled Release Insect Repellent Lotion, 4-Ounce
Product
Sawyer Premium Controlled
Substance
Encapsulates DEET
Type
Lotion
DEET Free ?
Effectiveness
Upto 11 Hours
Amazon Prime Status
-

If exposure to bugs is for extended periods of time, go for higher concentrations. If the baby is in an area of high bug activity, it is advisable to opt for repellents with DEET or Picaridin.

There are hundreds of products available in the market. I did extensive research and testing to come up with best mosquito repellent for babies so you don’t have to spend hours on research to pick the best one.

Safety Considerations

This concise video of Dr. Anthony J. Mancini from Ann & Robert H. Lurie Children’s Hospital, Chicago addresses several important considerations when using insect repellents on children

First and foremost, insect repellent should not be handled by little children themselves and should always be applied to them by an adult.

To avoid exposing the baby’s skin to excessive chemicals, the repellent should be applied in a thin layer and only to the exposed parts of the body.

These products are pretty safe if used according to the label when is approved by EPA.

Do not apply it underneath clothes. Make sure it is not applied near the mouth and the eye area or over cuts, wounds or any open skin.

Never spray the repellent directly onto the baby’s face. Apply it with hands so that you can carefully go around the mouth and eye area.

The repellent should also not be put on the baby’s hand as it could transfer to the mouth and eyes. Lastly, it is very important that at the end of the day, the repellent is rinsed off of the baby’s skin with soap.

Longevity of Repellents

The longevity of the repellent action depends on the concentration of the active ingredient in it. One application of repellent with 30% DEET can last up to 8 hours.

As can one of 20% Picaridin. In general, a single application per day is sufficient if the baby is not going to be outside for very long periods of time.

Due to chemical buildup, frequent reapplication is ill-advised. For this very reason, repellents that also double up as sunscreens are not recommended because sunscreen needs to be reapplied often.

Let us analyze some of the highly recommended repellents out there that offer protection to the little ones without compromising their health.

1. Sawyer Products Spray (20% Picaridin)

This repellent is Picaridin based and is safe to use on babies. With 20% Picaridin, it promises up to 12 hours of protection against mosquitoes and up to eight hours against other bugs like gnats and biting flies.

However, in most cases, eight hours is the maximum a repellent would last against any insect so the 12-hour claim may not prove true under most circumstances.

It comes in both a spray form and a lotion dispenser form. It has a slight citrus smell which evaporates upon drying. This repellent offers almost guaranteed protection, leaves no residue and is not greasy on the skin.

2. Sawyer Products Lotion (20% DEET)

This repellent has 20% DEET concentration and is very effective against mosquitoes and ticks. This repellent is baby-safe and offers 6 up to 11 hours of protection. It comes in an easy to use a spray bottle.

It has a special mechanism whereby DEET is enclosed in a protein and is released slowly over time. Slow release prevents DEET from evaporating from the skin as fast.

Delayed evaporation means it can work at repelling bugs for longer (claims up to 11 hours). This also means that it does not need to be reapplied often.

These characteristics make it especially suitable for children as it means using less product on them. It is also odorless. However, since it’s a lotion, its consistency can make it feel a little greasy on the skin.

3. Nature’s Defense Spray (Citronella)

This mosquito spray works great. This travel size – bottle is exactly 100 ml, that TSA will allow you to take if you go on vacation, and save money.

Otherwise, it is a more natural option which is almost as effective DEET or picaridin. This is now a must to pack for travel instead of spray cans and to use in the yard all summer. This can also layered with their sunroof lotion according to the website.

It also had a nice smell not buggy. Our citronella mosquito repellent is derived from plant based oils – citronella, lemongrass and peppermint. The fresh, light scent is fantastic, and not the terrible chemical smell of other sprays.

Instruction to use

Shake well before using.

  1. Hold bottle 6-8 inches away from your skin while spraying.
  2. For maximum protection, apply evenly with hand after application.
  3. To apply on face first spray small amount into the palm of your hand and then spread carefully and thoroughly to your face and neck.

Adult supervision is required when applying for children. Avoid contact in eyes or mouth. It may cause irritation.

4. All Terrain Kids Herbal Armor (Oil-Based)

All Terrains Kids Herbal Armor is an effective bug spray. It will shield and safeguard everybody from irritating bug bites. It is the best safe solution to protect your whole family against mosquitoes and some pesky insects. This spray is perfect for active kids and families on the go.

This product was make in USA with domestic and imported ingredients. And it qualifies for EPA exemption registrations. Because its natural insect repellent. GMO-free, DEET-free and non-irritating. The lifespan of the Kids Herbal Armor is 3 years.

This repellent for kids is chemical-free. With six essential oils such as soybean, citronella, peppermint, cedar, lemongrass, and geranium. Though it has strong smell like citronella, it fades away, after few minutes.

It has many uses such as:

  • Insect repellents
  • Sunscreens
  • Topical first aid
  • Itch relief
  • Bandages

Directions how to use

  1. Shake well, before using.
  2. Use adult supervision when applying to children.
  3. Apply liberally and evenly to exposed skin as needed.
  4. For application to face, apply to hands and wipe on face avoiding contact with eyes and mouth.
  5. Product may also be applied to fabric.
  6. Wash your hands with soap properly, after applying.

Let’s keep our family safe and protected. With this effective insect repellent, protecting you outside so you feel better inside.

5. Babyganics Spray (Plant-Based)

Protecting babies against insect bites while maintaining the integrity of their sensitive skin is important. This natural spray is Pediatricians and Dermatologist tested. It will spare you and your kids of most bug bites. And helps you to keep mosquitoes, gnats and flies away.

Babyganics bug spray is an effective all natural bug spray. What’s listed is what’s in it. This company and product is amazing. Works better than any other bug spray out there.

It is made with 100% natural essential oils—Citronella, Peppermint, Rosemary, Lemongrass & Geranium. Gentle plant-based ingredients that are safe to use on your baby with no chemical residue. You will not worry about poisoning of your infant and kids with the chemicals that are used in other bug sprays.

Directions for use:

Shake well before each use. Apply just enough product to evenly cover exposed skin. Do not spray directly on face. Do not apply under clothing, diaper or underarm area. Avoid applying on cuts, wounds or irritated skin. For children use, apply to your own hands before applying to them. Careful on contact to eyes and mouth. Reapply after 90 minutes.

Why you need repellents?

Little babies are unsuspecting targets for swarms of bugs out in the open. At best, their bites cause discomfort. At worst, they can cause serious illnesses like malaria, dengue fever, West Nile disease, and Zika fever.

That is because insects, especially mosquitoes, are known carriers of pathogens that cause these diseases. Hence, extra care should be taken to prevent these bites.

Loose fitted clothing that covers most of the baby’s skin fixes a whole lot of the problem but some areas remain inevitably exposed. This is where repellents come in.

Are Repellents Safe for Babies?

First off, repellents can sound a little too “chemical” and dangerous but it should be noted that they are not pesticides. They do not kill insects. They keep them away by masking human scents that attract them.

That said, baby skin is thinner than adult skin. It absorbs chemicals more readily so caution has to be practiced before putting anything on it. Although insect repellents are considered safe for babies that are 2 months or older, it doesn’t hurt to know about the active ingredients in there.

DEET is one of the repelling agents used in a lot of insect repellents. Research has revealed that while a small fraction of people can experience adverse reactions to DEET when used as prescribed, it is harmless for the majority of the people, is effective and can provide prolonged protection.

Further Resources: Natural Bug repellent for babies ( Product mention int this article are natural and can provide good protection for few hours and even entire night)

However, it has an odor and can leave an oily feeling on the baby’s skin.

Another widespread repelling agent is the CDC (Center for Disease Control) recommended Picaridin. It is as effective as DEET but has no smell and feels less oily.

Oil of lemon eucalyptus is also CDC approved and has an agent called PMD in it. Though less effective than DEET or Picaridin, it is still good at driving away bugs and is safe to use.

Concentrations of active ingredients can vary in repellents. Higher concentrations do not make the repellent more effective at driving away insects but do make the effect last longer. Most repellents use either DEET in concentrations ranging from 10% to 30% or Picaridin in up to 20% concentration.

These are the advised concentrations for each chemical and can protect against bug bites for up to eight hours. While choosing a repellent for your baby, please note that it is neither recommended nor effective to go beyond these ranges.

It is also important to make sure there are no other additives that could be irritants for the baby for example, perfume or artificial scents.

Wrap Up

As you go through the plethora of options available, it is important to remember that the repellent you pick should have no more than the advised concentration of active ingredients, should not contain any potential irritants and ideally, should not double up as a sunscreen.

In addition, extent of exposure to bugs is an important factor to take into account. In general, Sawyer Products Premium Insect Repellent with 20% Picaridin is a good, foolproof pick. It is odor and residue free, and highly effective while being safe for your baby.

If you have any discussion, drop in comments below.