Safe Mosquito Repellent For Babies – 6 Safe, Effective Options

This post contains affiliate links for safe mosquito repellent for babies, which means I may receive a commission at no extra cost to you if you make a purchase after clicking one of my links. All opinions are my own.

Summer is here and there’s nothing better than taking your kids outside to enjoy the world around us. Spending time in nature has many significant benefits for people, especially children. These benefits include better function & control over ADHD behaviors, better self-discipline, lower levels of aggression, and better motor fitness & mental health.

It’s hard to deny that spending time in nature is healthy and vital for growing kids, however, some of us are wary due to concerns about too much sun exposure & the newly raised concerns about mainstream sunscreens, or the potential of getting eaten alive by bugs and being exposed to the diseases carried by ticks & mosquitoes.

What About Mainstream Repellents?

Many mainstream bug repellents contain a chemical called DEET. DEET has a lot of fear-mongering surrounding it. I thought we were supposed to avoid it for the longest time. However, I take safety against insects pretty seriously as I personally know more than a handful of people who have contracted tick and mosquito-borne illnesses, such as Lyme and encephalitis. These diseases are no joke, and while it depends a lot on where you live, the risk is real and the health effects significant.

For my family personally, when we are going to be spending significant time in areas riddled with mosquitoes and ticks, such as when camping, we choose a more traditional insect repellent containing DEET. Many natural repellents just don’t last as long as a repellent with DEET. Since the broad scientific consensus is that DEET is perfectly safe, we will continue to use it in “higher risk” situations.

If you need proof about the safety of DEET from a more naturally-minded source, check out these articles from the EWG (Environmental Working Group): EWG’s Guide to Bug Repellent and EWG’s Best Bug Spray Guidelines

Another chemical commonly found in bug sprays is picaridin. It is generally considered safe, but DEET has had more safety testing done.

What About All Natural Bug Repellents?

I acknowledge that any chemical can pose a threat to someone at some point in time. When it comes to everyday use in the back yard or at the park, we often opt for more natural repellents.

Also, while some say DEET is safe on babies as young as 2 months old, others say they should be at least 6 months old.

DEET & Picaridin are not the only chemicals in bug sprays, so you may be wondering how to not only avoid those but maybe avoid some other ingredients in traditional bug sprays. I will admit it is VERY difficult to get explicit ingredient information for bug sprays. That can make some families nervous.

This list will contain the top-rated, safest bug sprays for babies and young children. There will be a mix of DEET options and all-natural options for those concerned about harsh chemicals. Not all bug sprays are created equal. Here you can find out our favorites for babies and every member of the family.

1. Cutter Skinsations Insect Repellent

Cutter Skinsations is a bug repellent containing 7% DEET. Since this is a lower concentration of DEET, you may need to apply it more often (possibly as often as a DEET-free spray).

What I love about this bug spray is that it is a pump spray, not an aerosol. That is not only better for the environment, but it is also better for us because it reduces the chances of inhalation and uses less toxic chemicals.

See Cutter Skinsations here at Amazon.

2. Cutter Backwoods Insect Repellent

Also a pump spray, Cutter Backwoods Insect Repellent has a higher concentration of DEET (25%) which means it will last longer than the previous one. That concentration of DEET is still safe for children and babies over 6 months of age.

Click here to see Cutter Backwoods Insect Repellent.

3. California Baby Bug Repellent Spray

If looking for a DEET-free option, California Baby Bug Repellent Spray is one of the best natural insect repellents you can get. It has the most positive reviews and more happy customers than many other natural brands.

Some essential oils naturally repel insects, including citronella, lemongrass, and cedar. This spray may be a little pricey compared to some, but the peace of mind you receive from its efficacy makes the price worth it. Not many other natural repellents are as effective.

Get the California Baby Bug Repellent Spray at Amazon.

4. Burt’s Bee’s Herbal Insect Repellent

The Burt’s Bees Insect Repellent is a top pick according to the EWG’s Think Dirty App. If you’re looking for a tried and true natural option, this insect repellent is a great choice!

Essential oils make up this repellent, though a slightly different blend than the California Baby repellent. This blend includes rosemary, lemongrass, cedar, peppermint, citronella, clove, and geranium oils.

Burt’s Bees Insect Repellent is available at Amazon.

5. Babyganics Natural Insect Repellent

Babyganics Natural Insect Repellent comes in a spray bottle or in convenient disposable wipe form! While I generally like to avoid single-use disposable products, I can’t deny that these wipes can make life easier when an angsty toddler doesn’t understand why they are being sprayed with things… 😉

Babyganics has no DEET, parabens, sulfates, phthalates, artificial scents or dyes. Citronella, peppermint, rosemary, lemongrass, and geranium oils make up the blend.

Get Babyganics Natural Insect Repellent at Amazon.

6. Belursus Mosquito Repellent Patch

These patches are a great, natural option for when you don’t want to deal with sprays, reapplications, or trying to remember to reapply throughout the day. These patches work reasonably well and are good for 24-hours of protection.

The Belursus patches go on clothes and are safe for kids and babies. Some adults may need to wear one or two patches at a time for complete protection. A combination of essential oils makes the patches effective.

See more about the Belursus Mosquito Patches by clicking here.

Don’t Get Eaten Alive!

Wanting to enjoy the outdoors is hard when it’s at the expense of you and your family’s comfort. Finding a safe mosquito repellent for babies goes a long way toward helping you love your outdoor experiences with your kids.

What is your favorite safe mosquito repellent for babies? Let me know in the comments!


Holly Lee

I'm Holly and I'm the mom of two awesome young boys with a girl due summer 2020. We have been cloth diapering for 6 years. My family and I live in Minnesota with our dog, Ruby, and cat, Gherkin. Outside of Rocking the Cloth, I am also a middle school teacher. Thank you for visiting Rocking the Cloth--feel free to email me at if you have any questions or concerns. I'd love to help!

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  1. Feji ben says:

    Hello there & thanks for this awesome article! This is helpful to know what is safe for our babies when spending time outdoors. When you have a baby in the house, a major necessity in warm weather is a good mosquito repellent that causes less harm to the human body, especially the baby, and I think you have done a nice job as these are great choices for repellents.

    1. Holly Lee says:

      I’m glad you found it helpful! Outdoor safety is so important with our babies and kids!

  2. Lenka says:

    This overview of repellents is very helpful and I like your attitude regarding chemicals versus safety, my approach is similar. I like natural things and ingredients but if there’s no other choice, I go for safety. Last summer, I wanted to avoid all chemical repellents and read somewhere that lavender repels the insects so I bought a small pot with lavender and took it with us on our road-trip but it didn’t work. Maybe the plant was too small or I would have to rub a lavender oil on my skin in addition. As we were in an area with many mosquitos around, we had to go to a pharmacy and buy a strong repellent. I’m not sure if it contained deet or not but there was citronella in it and worked very well. 
    I’m glad I’ve found out there are patches as well, I’ve always thought there were only sprays. 

    1. Holly Lee says:

      That’s awesome, Lenka! I do know some essential oils can be effective repelling mosquitoes to an extent, but you are right that if you’re in a very buggy area, you need to weigh safety over chemical fear-mongering, especially since DEET has been proven safe.

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