It’s no secret that you want to protect your baby. As your child is getting used to the world around them, it’s inevitable that they’ll meet some bugs. Whether this involves something as unpleasant as a bee sting or something as magical as watching a caterpillar transform, your child will be around bugs.
Insect bites can be itchy and irritating, but they can also be dangerous. Mosquitoes can carry a number of different diseases, many of which your baby’s immune system isn’t developed enough to fight off yet. For this reason, it’s important to pick a good mosquito repellent for your baby.
But you don’t want a repellent that’s full of harsh chemicals. Some insect repellents have chemicals so harsh that they can be more dangerous to your baby than a bug bite! We’ve broken down the best insect repellents for babies and young children, along with some tips for making your next purchase.
Best Natural Mosquito Repellent for Babies
|Product||Type of Repellent||Active Ingredient||Hours of Protection|
Our Best Pick
|Balm||Citronella, lemongrass, cedar essential oils||2 to 3|
|#2. California Baby|
|Spray||Citronella, lemongrass, cedar essential oils||2|
|#3. Cutter Lemon|
|Spray||Lemon, eucalyptus oil||6|
|Spray||Citronella, lemongrass, cedar, peppermint, rosemary essential oils||2 to 3|
#1. Badger Anti-Bug Balm
This item on the list is a bit different. Rather than being a traditional liquid spray, the Badger insect repellent is a balm that you rub on your skin. It comes in small two-ounce tins, but a little goes a long way. The product has been certified organic and contains no DEET or other potentially harmful chemicals.
The balm has undergone independent lab testing that proves it can repel stable flies and mosquitoes. If you have trouble with sprays, this balm is a great option. It may appeal to new parents who are worried about accidentally spraying their infant’s eyes or mouth.
Like many natural repellent sprays, the balm’s active ingredients are a mix of essential oils including cedar, citronella, and lemongrass. Meanwhile, the balm base is made of castor oil and organic extra-virgin olive oil, so it softens and soothes your skin as you wear it!
#2. California Baby Natural Blended Bug Repelling Spray
This natural bug repellent from California Baby comes in a 6.5 ounce bottle. That provides enough bug spray to last a while, though if you have a lot of family members sharing, you might want to buy a few bottles.
If you’re a person who hates the smell of bug sprays containing DEET, this is a great alternative. Though it doesn’t smell good to mosquitoes, it’s appealing to the human nose, including a citronella candle scent.
All the ingredients are based in plants and vegetables. Vegans will appreciate the lack of animal products. Another advantage is that the spray is specifically designed for babies. None of the ingredients are toxic or invasive. There aren’t any synthetic chemicals used, and no common allergens are present in the product. Of course, if your baby has any unusual allergies, you should double check the ingredients list of any product you buy.
Since the spray doesn’t contain DEET, it’s safer for use around babies than traditional bug sprays. The ingredients are cedar, lemongrass, and citronella essential oils. The strong scents of the essential oils have a natural repelling effect on biting flies, mosquitoes, ticks, and fleas. Since the spray doesn’t have the fumes found in other sprays, it’s a great choice if you or your child has sensory issues.
This product makes the top of the list because it’s won an award for the best baby skin care product from the 2013 Eco Excellence Awards. In addition, the spray has been allergy tested. It contains no oats, dairy, soy, gluten, or nuts aside from coconut.
California Baby creates all their products in a solar-powered facility registered with the FDA in Los Angeles. You can use this product for multiple bugs during both the night and day.
#3. Cutter Lemon Eucalyptus Pump Spray Insect Repellent
Cutter has been a leading brand in insect repellent for years. When looking for DEET-free insect repelling sprays, this is one of the best options on the market. Unlike the California Baby spray, this repellent is designed specifically for mosquitoes. It won’t necessarily protect you against ticks or other types of flies.
However, if you’re not engaging in activities that put you at risk of ticks, there’s no need for a multi-bug spray. For example, if your baby or child spends time on the porch or in a mowed lawn, but they don’t play in high grasses or woods, you probably only need mosquito protection.
Unlike many other natural sprays, this spray is formulated with a long-lasting effect. The other two sprays on this list only work for two to three hours. The Cutter spray works for a maximum of six hours after you spray it, meaning that it offers two to three times longer protection. You don’t have to reapply it constantly.
This repellent uses oil of lemon eucalyptus as its active ingredient. This is the only non-synthetic, plant-based active ingredient that the CDC recommends when buying mosquito repellents. Though it works chiefly on mosquitoes, the compound can also repel deer ticks.
This particular format is a pump bottle. You hold it upside down and spray it to cover your skin before engaging in prolonged outdoor recreation. The same spray is also available in aerosol form and wipe form. The wipes may be good for those with babies and very young children.
#4. Babyganics Sunscreen Spray and Natural Bug Spray Bottle Combo
Rather than being insect repellent alone, this combo pack from Babyganics includes two essentials for protection. Babyganics creates products specifically for babies and young children. With this package, you get a six-ounce bottle of natural bug spray and six-ounce bottle of SPF 50 sunscreen spray.
Like the insect repellent, the sunscreen is designed with natural ingredients that are safe to use around your baby. It has a powerful sun protection factor of 50, but it doesn’t contain nano particles, fragrances, parabens, phthalates, or PABA. The sunscreen has been tested and proven effective in areas with high UV exposure, and it’s water-resistant for up to eighty minutes.
Both the insect repellent and the sunscreen are formulated without any common allergens. They have undergone testing by dermatologists and pediatricians to ensure they’re safe for a baby’s skin.
Since the insect repellent is DEET-free, it’s safe to use with children of all ages, even infants less than two months old. The active ingredients are essential oils that have a pleasant combined scent that repels mosquitoes. You’ll smell geranium, lemongrass rosemary, peppermint, and citronella.
#5. Bug-Out Waterproof Mosquito Repellent Bracelet
Maybe you’re nervous about putting any creams or sprays directly onto your child’s skin. Maybe you or your baby have sensory issues and can’t abide the feeling of bug repellent. Maybe you just prefer a more convenient option that you don’t need to rub into your skin.
Whatever the case, these bracelets are a compelling alternative. Unlike sprays and creams, which have to be reapplied every few hours, each of these bracelets provides 120 hours of insect repelling protection. You will need to replace the bracelet once it stops being effective, though.
All you have to do is wrap the bracelet around your wrist or ankle. The ingredients are all DEET-free, and the adjustable design means that children of all ages and sizes can rock this stylish look. The scent is also much more pleasant than strong-smelling traditional insect repellents.
When you’re looking for a good mosquito repellent made from natural ingredients, you’ll need to keep a few things in mind. One is how many hours of protection the repellent provides. Another is the active ingredients. The active ingredients matter because some natural repellents still contain ingredients that aren’t good for very young children.
You’ll also need to decide what form to purchase the repellent in. A balm can be rubbed on the skin, which makes it a good alternative to sprays that might get in your baby’s eyes. The Badger Anti-Bug Balm is the best natural balm on the market.
If you want bands that provide 120 total hours of protection, the Bugout bands are a good choice. When you’re looking for bug sprays, the Cutter Insect Repellent has the longest working time, offering six total hours of protection from the time it’s sprayed. However, the Babyganics spray has the largest number of active ingredients, so it might be the most effective option.
The California Baby spray is your best option if you want to repel a variety of insects. In addition to mosquitoes, it repels ticks, black flies, and other biting flies.