Best Mosquito Repellents For Babies & Kids In 2019

Last Updated On: 

January 19, 2019

Whether you’re planning a family camping trip or just enjoying some backyard fun, you might find that certain times of the year bring out mosquitoes and other little critters – ones you don’t want coming anywhere near your baby.

The good news is: there’s no need to let your little ones suffer. Equipped with some of the best insect repellents for babies out there and a few tips and tricks to keep in mind, you should be able to enjoy the great outdoors in peace.

Well, by peace we mean kids inevitably squealing at the tops of their lungs, scaring local wildlife and crying because they wanted the pink marshmallows, not the white ones. But hey, at least they’re safe and sound … right?

In the following sections below, you’ll find everything you need to know about insect repellents for children, including usage restrictions for babies, which types to use, what you should avoid like the plague, safety tips for application and other important tidbits.

But first, let’s have a quick look at what we believe to be some of the best mosquito repellents for babies today, shall we?

Best Mosquito Repellents For Babies – A Quick Look At Our Top 10 Recommendations

Pick #1: Babyganics Natural Insect Repellent
Pick #2: California Baby Natural Bug Repellent Spray
Pick #3: Babyganics Insect Wipes
Pick #4: Badger Anti-Bug Balm
Pick #5: Quantum Health Buzz Away Extreme Towelettes
Pick #6: Osana All Natural Mosquito Repellent Soap
Pick #7: Avon Skin Insect Repellent Towelettes
Pick #8: Simba Natural Mosquito Repellent Sticker
Pick #9: Simba Baby/Kids Natural Mosquito Repellent Bracelet
Pick #10: Avon Skin so Soft Bug Guard PLUS IR3535 Insect Repellent Moisturizing Lotion

*Note: Upon clicking on any of the links in this section, you will be redirected to the respective product listings on where you can learn about the product’s price, customer rating & customer reviews.

Table of Contents

Why Should I Get Insect Repellent For My Baby?

While there’s a whole host of insects that we’d rather avoid, it’s mainly mosquitoes, ticks and biting flies that we’re protecting our babies from by using repellent.

And there’s a few good reasons why:

Itchy Bites Are No Fun

According to Medical News Today, when a mosquito bites you, the body responds almost the same way it would to an allergic reaction.

Our immune system kicks in and releases histamine, and before you know it, the area starts to swell and itch.

While this is just our body’s way of fighting back, itchy bites can vary from feeling hardly noticeable to leaving you laying awake wanting to scratch your arms and legs off.

If your little ones have particularly sensitive skin, you might even find the itchy bites get quite red, inflamed and sore.

And while most adults know it’s best not to scratch what we feel like scratching most due to infection risks, kids don’t exactly know – or abide – by that. More often than not, they’ll opt for the short-term gain, scratching their bites and making them worse.

Bugs Can Spread Disease

Mosquitoes and ticks have long been known to carry diseases, which they can easily pass onto people through bites.

The types of diseases they may carry really depends on the species of the insect and which part of the world it’s in, but some of them include:

  • West Nile Virus
  • Encephalitis
  • Malaria
  • Yellow Fever
  • Dengue
  • Zika Virus
  • Lyme Disease

Suffice to say, you wouldn’t want your little one catching any of these. They can lead to all sorts of health complications, and sometimes even death.

You can learn more about these diseases and their symptoms over at WebMd.

Tick Paralysis

The Paralysis Tick has saliva that can be highly toxic to humans. According to the Australian Government Department of Health, tick paralysis is rare but can happen – especially in children.

It can result in a wide range of horrible symptoms including fever, headaches and even partial facial paralysis. Allergic reactions are also a cause for concern, with some victims developing breathing difficulties.

While perhaps not a risk in all parts of the world, it’s just another good reason to use insect repellent and protect your little ones against insect bites.

At What Age Can I Start Using Insect Repellent On My Baby?

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, insect repellents shouldn’t be used on children younger than two months of age. They also recommend not using anything that contains oil of lemon eucalyptus (OLE) or para-menthane-diol (PMD) on kids younger than three years of age.

In which case, you might be wondering “How am I supposed to protect my newborn from bugs, then?”. Don’t worry, until then, here’s a few useful tips that don’t involve actual repellent:

  • Avoid being outdoors with your little one during times when mosquitoes and other bugs are most active – dawn and dusk.
  • When outdoors, dress your baby in clothes and socks that provide good skin coverage.
  • If you’re going for a walk, you might like to cover your pram with a net to keep hungry little critters out.
  • If possible, avoid travelling with your infant to places where tick and mosquito-borne viruses are a problem.

And remember, when your baby hits two months old and you can start using insect repellent products, don’t just scrap the above tips! They’re still relevant safety precautions and will provide extra protection.

What’s In Insect Repellents For Babies? And Which Ones Are Safe For My Kids?

Well, we all know insect repellent is something you use to ward off those hungry little creepy crawlies. But what’s actually in it? What are these products really made of?

It really depends on the individual product you’re looking at, but generally speaking, you’ll find that most repellents use either synthetic chemicals or oils from plants.

With some help from the writings of Pediatrician Dr. Clare McCarthy, here’s a breakdown of some of the most common chemicals and other natural ingredients that you’ll find in insect repellents for babies.

Important Tip Before We Begin: Always read up on any product before you use it. It would be best if you do your own research as well. The information below is general in nature, so if the specific repellent you’re using has its own safety guidelines and recommendations, go with that.

DEET (also known as N,N-diethyl-meta-toluamide)

DEET is a chemical that apparently insects don’t quite enjoy the smell of.

It’s widely considered to be very effective at deterring mosquitoes and ticks, but it’s also known to have some possible side effects (such as skin irritation) if it’s misused.

The amount of DEET in a repellent varies from one product to another. The more DEET there is in an insect repellent, the longer it should work. However, be warned that there is such a thing as too much DEET, especially for babies and children.

This is why it’s important you follow the product’s application guidelines at all times.

Is It Safe For Kids? – Babies younger than two months old shouldn’t use it. Children over this age can use it, but should never use anything with more than 30% DEET.

Check out the interview below with Dr. Nandi if you’d like to learn more about DEET.


This one’s mainly used for mosquitoes and is quite similar in effectiveness to DEET. However, it may not be as effective as DEET at repelling ticks.

It’s got some advantages, though, because unlike DEET, it’s got no odor and is non-greasy.

According to Kids Health, if you’re looking for Picaridin in the active ingredients in a repellent, you may find it under the name “KBR 3023”.

Is It Safe For Kids? According to the National Capital Poison Center, Picaridin is not recommended for use in children under two years of age. For older children, however, this is a common repellent ingredient.


It’s made from alanine and provides about two hours of protection against mosquitoes and ticks. It can irritate the eyes, but aside from that, it doesn’t really have any major health risks you need to worry about.

Is It Safe For Kids? – According to the National Capital Poison Center, there’s no specific recommendations for avoidance with kids, so it can be assumed to be safe for your baby. However, it’s always a good idea to remember that repellents in general are not recommended for babies younger than two months, no matter what ingredients they do and don’t have.


Any insecticide with permethrin isn’t meant to be applied on skin – instead, it’s applied to clothing.

According to Healthy Children, its purpose is to kill ticks on contact. If you’re visiting a high-risk area for insects, using a combination of skin repellent and treated clothing can be a good strategy.

Is It Safe For Kids? – According to The Royal Children’s Hospital Melbourne, clothes treated with permethrin are safe. However, and we’ll say this again, it’s always a good idea to remember that repellents in general are not recommended for babies younger than two months.

Oil of Lemon Eucalyptus or PMD

This works against both mosquitoes and ticks alike. It’s actually quite effective, but according to WebMD, it doesn’t work for as long as DEET does. Nonetheless, it still is considered to be longer lasting than other essential oils.

Is It Safe For Kids? – According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, it’s not to be used on children under three years old under any circumstance.

Essential Oils

If you prefer a more natural approach, you can check out repellents made from things like citronella, cedar and soybean.

There are varying opinions on their effectiveness, but it’s generally agreed that they won’t last as long as things like DEET and will need to be reapplied more regularly.

Some people like to use these on their children as a way to avoid the use of chemicals, keeping things as natural as can be. However, it’s still worth remembering that while they’re natural, that doesn’t mean they won’t cause any allergies.

Are They Safe For Kids? – This category covers such a wide range of possible oils that it’s hard to make a sweeping statement that speaks for all of them. It would be best to find a couple you want to try and then double-check with a medical professional.

How Do I Safely Apply Insect Repellent To My Baby or Child?

Whether it’s in the form of a spray, wipe, balm or lotion, you can pretty much follow the same safety precautions for all the different types of baby insect repellents out there. Here’s what Baby Center have to say on applying it to your child:

  • Don’t put repellent on your baby’s hands, in case they put them in their mouth or eyes later (which they almost always do).
  • No need to apply it underneath your child’s clothes – just stick to the exposed skin and apply just enough of it, because a thicker application probably won’t provide any better protection. You’ll just go through the product at a faster rate.
  • Be careful when applying it on the face, so that you don’t get it too close to your child’s eyes or mouth.
  • Watch out for any cuts and scrapes on your child’s skin, because some repellents may aggravate them.
  • If you’ve got spray, don’t use it directly on their face. Instead, spray it on your hands so you have more control and precision when applying it, and then wipe it on.
  • Give their skin a good wash when they come inside to get the repellent off.
  • If your child gets a rash or shows any signs of discomfort or sensitivity to the repellent, wash it off immediately, keep a very close eye out for any unusual symptoms that might appear, and seek medical attention for further guidance if need be.

When Should I Use Insect Repellent On My Baby?

For everyday use, it’s all at your discretion. If you’re in the backyard and see mosquitoes about, grabbing some repellent is probably a good call. Or if the kids are heading to the park, you might want to pack it just in case.

If you’re heading on a camping trip or a hike, think about the climate and environment you’ll be heading to and whether it’s likely to be a hotspot for bugs.

For example, if you’re heading somewhere swampy or going on vacation somewhere hot and humid, it’s probably best to bring along the repellent.

When Should I Not Use Insect Repellent On My Baby?

If you’ve noticed mosquitoes loitering around the nursery at night – we all know that dreaded buzz – reaching straight for the repellent is probably not the best course of action.

Instead, you might want to just kill that particular mosquito and then set your sights on finding out how it got in so you can prevent that from happening again in the future.

For example, check to make sure all the doors and windows are shut, and have a good look to see if there’s any holes in the screens that need repairing.

What Are All The Different Ways I Can Apply Repellent On My Baby?

Insect repellents come in a variety of forms, each form having its own method of application.

Here’s some of the more common ones you’re likely going to come across when doing your research/shopping:


This is pretty well-known and quite common, probably the most common type of insect repellent for babies out there.

You just spray the repellent directly onto the skin, with little need for getting your hands messy.

The only downside is that some kids might not like getting sprayed and could get fussy, making it hard to spray each area of their skin properly and accurately with good enough coverage.


Speaks for itself really, but it’s basically a case of pouring the lotion into your hands and applying it on to your little one’s skin.

The main advantage to using a lotion is that you have more control than a spray on where you’re applying it. The main disadvantage, though, is that things can get a bit messy.

Wipes or Towelettes

Just like a lotion, wipes give you more control and you can more accurately get the repellent applied where you want it.

If you’ve got a fussy baby that doesn’t like being sprayed, it can also make the experience less stressful for them. If they’re an older child, they might even find it fun to wipe themselves with the repellent, but you’d have to remember to wash their hands immediately afterwards.

If you’re travelling or hiking somewhere, it’s also a relief to know that you’re not taking along any lotion or spray bottle that might accidentally leak in your bag and cause a huge mess inside.


Applying balm would be pretty similar to lotion, but obviously the consistency would be different. To put it short, it feels less “watery”.

Just like wipes, there’s probably less chance of a balm leaking into your bag than there is with a spray or lotion.


If you don’t like the idea of applying any of the aforementioned products onto your baby’s skin for any reason, there are stickers you can buy that are treated with insect repellent. You just stick them onto your child’s clothes and call it a day.

You can also try hiding them from your child if you’ve got an extra naughty one and they’re likely to fidget with the sticker, by putting them in hidden spots such as on their back or behind their leg.


Just like stickers, bracelets are a good option if you don’t want to apply repellent directly onto skin.

The bracelet itself is treated with repellent, and you can usually decide between putting it on your child’s wrist or ankle – whichever you (or they) prefer.


Believe it or not, there are also soaps you can use that can be of great help to your little one when it comes to repelling bugs.

These soaps usually use natural ingredients, so they’re generally considered safe to use (outside of potential allergic reactions, of course).

What Should I Be Careful Of When It Comes To Insect Repellents For Babies?

DEET is a common ingredient in insect repellents, but the precise amount included in insect repellents for babies varies on product by product basis.

When applying on your children, The American Academy of Pediatrics recommends insect repellents with no more than 30% DEET as a maximum. This is a very important safety recommendation you should always remember, as higher levels could cause serious health complications.

If you’re looking at the label, it will usually tell you how much DEET is in the product, or it might even say DEET-free if it’s a more natural product and doesn’t contain any.

If you can’t see any mentions of DEET, then double-check the ingredients list again, as it may also be listed as “N,N-Diethyl-meta-toluamide”.

What Sort Of Things Should I Look For In The Best Insect Repellents For Babies?

Here’s a few criteria to consider when you’re checking out different products.


It’s always important to know what you’re putting on your child’s skin.

Always look to see what ingredients are listed on the product and make sure you’re okay with what you see. And, equally as important, make sure that they’re not allergic to anything on that list of ingredients.

Obviously, if it’s got DEET in it, you need to check and make absolutely sure that it contains no more than 30%.


Different insect repellents last for varying amounts of time, mainly depending on their ingredients. Some last for two hours, while others might last for six hours.

You might be going on a long hike with your kids or just a walk to the park, so find a repellent that suits your needs.


They come in sprays, balms, lotions and wipes, and everybody will have a preference for one reason or another.

Consider all the pros and cons for each of the different types, and find a repellent that is practical and user-friendly for your family.

Which Insect Repellents Should I Avoid With Kids?

  • Anything with more than 30% DEET.
  • Products or brands that aren’t transparent with the ingredients in the repellent.
  • Anything that your child could be allergic to.
  • Any repellent that is not age-appropriate for your child.

Best Mosquito Repellents For Babies – A More Detailed Look At Our Top 10 Recommendations

Pick #1: Babyganics Natural Insect Repellent

If you’re looking for a natural insect repellent spray that’s small and can easily fit into your parent bag, this product by Babyganics is well worth considering.

It’s only 2 ounces, so you can carry it with you while hiking or taking your little one for a stroll to the park, and you should hardly notice it’s there – leaving plenty of room for your other essential items.

We also love that it uses all natural oils, so you don’t need to worry about any possible toxic reactions from things like DEET.

It combats mosquitoes, gnats and flies, so it’s a good “all round” option to consider.


  • Small bottle that is very easy to carry on you and takes up very little space.
  • DEET-free.
  • Made with 100% natural oils.
  • Not tested on animals.
  • Smells pretty good.


  • Some people might find the product a bit too greasy for their liking.
  • Some people might find the scent a bit too strong for their liking.
  • May not be the most effective product on ticks.

Click Here To Check Price & Read Customer Reviews On Amazon

Pick #2: California Baby Natural Bug Repellent Spray

If you’d prefer a larger spray that can be used on the whole family without running out so quickly, this 6.5-ounce repellent might be a good option.

It’s a great natural option, especially if you like the smell of citronella.

Also, because it’s a spray, you can keep your hands relatively clean and there won’t be any annoying greasy incidents for you to deal with. You’ll only need to touch the product if you’re applying it to your child’s face.


  • Large spray bottle that’s perfect for the whole family, not just for baby.
  • Has a natural citronella candle scent.
  • Made from natural ingredients.


  • Not the most effective of options out there, and you may find yourself sometimes needing to reapply regularly for it to be effective.
  • If you or your baby don’t like the smell of citronella, it’s probably not the best option for you.

Click Here To Check Price & Read Customer Reviews On Amazon

Pick #3: Babyganics Insect Wipes

If you’ve got a little wriggle worm who doesn’t like being sprayed, these great-smelling wipes might be just what you need.

They’re easy to use and will probably appear less hostile to a little baby. All that’s ever needed is a gentle wipe and they’re all done! No spraying or messy ointments needed.

If you’re travelling somewhere and carrying them with you, it’s also nice knowing there’s no bottle or container that can leak into your bag and cause a huge mess.


  • Convenient wipes that are very easy to use.
  • DEET-free.
  • Made from essential oils.
  • Easy to transport.


  • You may need to reapply regularly for it to be effective, because it’s made from essential oils and contains no DEET.

Click Here To Check Price & Read Customer Reviews On Amazon

Pick #4: Badger Anti-Bug Balm

If you prefer balms to lotions or sprays (for any one of many possible reasons), this certified organic repellent is worth checking out.

It’s great if you like the smell of citronella and rosemary. The balm also incorporates extra virgin olive and castor oil, helping to soothe and soften the skin.

They’ve done laboratory testing to confirm the effectiveness of the product, which found the balm to work effectively against mosquitoes and stable flies, so you know for a fact that you’re not just getting sold on false hopes.

Also, because it’s a balm, you might find that a little bit goes a long way, which is always a bonus!


  • DEET-free.
  • Certified organic.
  • Leaves skin feeling soft and soothed.
  • Compact container that is easy to travel with.


  • Strong smell.
  • Some people find the texture a bit greasy or oily.
  • May need to be reapplied regularly to be effective.

Click Here To Check Price & Read Customer Reviews On Amazon

Pick #5: Quantum Health Buzz Away Extreme Towelettes

If you’re a fan of insect repellent wipes and will be using them for the whole family, it can be helpful to have fast and easy access – and it’s difficult to get more “easy access” than Towelettes! Which brings us to why this product made it onto our list of recommendations.

This pack of 25 towelettes comes in a convenient pop-up dispenser, so you can just pull them out whenever you need them.

It also does a good job at repelling against mosquitoes, black flies and ticks.

The wipes themselves give your baby fairly good coverage, allowing you to wipe everywhere you need with less risk of getting repellent in the eyes or mouth.


  • Comes in a very convenient dispenser.
  • DEET-free.
  • Made of essential oils and plant-based preservatives


  • Strong smell.
  • May need to reapply regularly.

Click Here To Check Price & Read Customer Reviews On Amazon

Pick #6: Osana All Natural Mosquito Repellent Soap

There’s no way we could have a list of recommendations for the best baby insect repellents without mentioning this unique and innovative product that takes a proactive approach to all of this.

You see, unlike most other repellents, you don’t need to spray, wipe, smear or stick on anything. You just replace your child’s usual soap with this repellent soap, and that’s basically it.

On the same token, because you’ll essentially be doing all the “hard work” at bath-time, you’ll save time later with no need for application.

Made from herb extracts, it’s a natural and safe option, making it well worth considering if your child has sensitive skin.


  • Saves plenty of time and effort by simply replacing the usual soap you have your little one use.
  • Made from 100% natural ingredients.
  • The brand strives to ensure that all ingredients are sourced responsibly.


  • May require very specific amounts of usage to be effective – e.g. daily washing with the soap. Therefore, you’ll need to be committed to the process to get results. If not used consistently, it likely won’t be effective.

Click Here To Check Price & Read Customer Reviews On Amazon

Pick #7: Avon Skin Insect Repellent Towelettes

If you’re looking for a repellent that’s easy to store on your person for general everyday use, these wipes are a great option to consider.

While packaging may seem like such a mundane feature to drive a recommendation, we can’t help but love that they come individually wrapped.

Unlike wipes that come in a dispenser, these individually wrapped towelettes are a lot less likely to dry out, keeping them fresh and ready to do their job.

It also means you can literally store a couple in your purse, pocket, pram or backpack without taking up too much space, or worrying about any spillage or leaking.


  • They come individually wrapped.
  • DEET-free.
  • Each towelette goes a long way.
  • Easy to pack and carry with you.


  • Because it’s a towelette, you need to handle it with your hands (unlike a spray). So, if you don’t like the idea of repellent on your hands, perhaps this isn’t the best of options for you.

Click Here To Check Price & Read Customer Reviews On Amazon

Pick #8: Simba Natural Mosquito Repellent Sticker

If your little one has particularly sensitive skin or allergies, we understand why you wouldn’t want to risk applying any repellent on to their actual body. Luckily, with this clever repellent sticker, you don’t have to!

You can attach the sticker anywhere on your baby or toddler’s clothes, and they’re good to go!

If you’ve tried repellent bracelets before and find your child keeps fiddling with them or taking them off, you’ll be glad to know you can ‘hide’ the sticker in a spot where your little one can’t reach it.

They stick quite well on clothes, too, so you don’t need to be too worried about them falling off.

Plus, we love their cute design and the fact they smell so good – and so will your little one.


  • Sticks onto clothes so you don’t have to apply to skin.
  • DEET-free.
  • Made from citronella and lemon extract.
  • Sticker designed to last up to 48 hours, which is quite impressive.


  • May only work for single-use.
  • The smell isn’t bad, but some people may consider to be quite strong.

Click Here To Check Price & Read Customer Reviews On Amazon

Pick #9: Simba Baby/Kids Natural Mosquito Repellent Bracelet

If you don’t like the idea of applying any kind of spray or product to your child’s skin (natural or otherwise), then these clever bracelets could be well worth a try.

They’re also a good alternative if you’ve tried the Simba Stickers (or any other brand of sticker-type-repellents out there), but find your little one feels compelled to constantly peel them off (and succeeds in doing so).

The adjustable band means you can make them fit just right, so they sit comfortably on your child’s wrist or ankle. This means they won’t be too tight, nor too loose.

Alternatively, there’s nothing stopping you from hanging them off your backpack, pram, or around the campsite while your little ones play.


  • Effective repellent bracelets that can be worn on wrists or ankles, depending on what you or your little one prefer.
  • Can also be hung on backpacks, prams or other objects for extra protection.
  • Easily adjusted to get the right tightness.
  • DEET-free.


  • Perhaps not the right choice if your little one is prone to chewing on them, unless you don’t mind buying replacements.
  • Some people find these bracelets have a strong smell. This is not to say it’s bad, but if you’re sensitive to smells, you might really notice it.

Click Here To Check Price & Read Customer Reviews On Amazon

Pick #10: Avon Skin so Soft Bug Guard PLUS IR3535 Insect Repellent Moisturizing Lotion

Our list of recommendations wouldn’t be complete without an option for a two in one product – bug repellent combined with sunscreen, which many people find very useful.

The lotion is SPF 30 and uses the repellent ingredient IR-3535, which means you can combat mosquitoes and ticks while also shielding against sunburn at the same time.

We also love that it’s a moisturizing lotion. So, not only can you rub it in and ensure full skin coverage, but it will also help leave your little one feeling all soft and smooth.


  • Combines bug repellent with sun protection.
  • SPF 30, making it a safe and effective product.
  • Helps to moisturize the skin.
  • Because it’s a lotion, you can easily apply the repellent/sunscreen wherever you need it.


  • You’ll need to be mindful that you may need to reapply with sunscreen depending on how long you’re out for. In which case, you’ll probably need to carry extra sunscreen with you.
  • If you’d prefer something more natural that uses essential oils, it’s probably worth checking out some of the other products on our list which are designed with exactly that in mind.

Click Here To Check Price & Read Customer Reviews On Amazon

Remember – Everyone Is Different

When reading product reviews or talking to friends, you’ll likely find that everyone has their own favorite insect repellents for their kids. That’s because people have different reactions, results and experiences.

One product might work for one child, but not as well for another. By talking to the former’s parents, you might feel like this product is the greatest thing since sliced bread. By talking to the latter’s parents, though, you’d think it’s a disaster.

So, here’s our final tips on the subject:

  • Do your research.
  • Use products cautiously (e.g. you might want to try applying just a little bit at first on a small section of your baby’s skin to see if there’s a negative reaction).
  • If the insect repellent doesn’t work, try to figure out why this is the case first. Oftentimes, we’re not applying products the way we should be. If all else fails, try a different one – there’s certainly nothing wrong with a bit of trial and error!

Wrapping it Up

Here’s a fun fact: Did you know that it’s actually only the female mosquitoes that bite? So says the Seattle Children’s Hospital.

She needs the blood to nourish her eggs, which is ironic, because she’s busy trying to have ‘kids’ and here we are trying to protect ours from her bites!

On that note – good luck with your quest into finding the best insect repellent for your babies, and be sure to let us know in the comments if you have any tips of your own that you’d like to share with everybody else!

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