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Do You Need a Humidifier for Baby? | What Will a Humidifier do for a Baby

We can be very meticulous most of the times and picky when it comes to selecting items to purchase for your new baby’s nursery, ranging from a comfortable waterproof mattress to blankets and drawers, there’s an endless list of products recommended for the crib of a child. During research, you might have come across a humidifier and its importance, but maybe you are not entirely convinced about its relevance to your child, and you are silently wondering “do you need a humidifier for baby Felix or Felicia (sounds like nice baby names)”?

This article would discuss the different importance of a humidifier to your child and some few other questions you might still have to ask.

The importance of your child’s health cannot be overestimated at any moment, alongside anything that would keep them healthy or help them get better in case they fall ill. This is precisely the function of a humidifier. In winter periods especially, the air tends to become dry and along with it comes with the effect of more frequent sore throats, dry sinuses, stuffy noses and croup infections in infants. You could easily help your child of croup cough and other allergies by getting the best humidifier for baby in the market.

Humidifiers simply add moisture to the air, combating the dry atmosphere, alongside the sickness and infections that are most common in cold seasons. Infants mostly fall prey to these infections and sicknesses but are helped by the humidifier, that causes relieve to irritated and dry skin.

This unit does more good than bad but before heading out to get one for your baby, take note that the good in a humidifier can be converted into worst if maximum maintenance isn’t provided for the unit, How? Humidifier always have waters in them; if proper care isn’t taken, this water has the tendency of breeding bacteria and mold which could spring forth another illness by breathing them into the system.

Over the years, all forms of humidifier have been linked with convenient sleep in babies. Infants always want some buzz in the kind of white noise to be a background sound when they are sleeping to avoid all kinds of disturbance. One other thing that is special about warm mist humidifier is its ability to prevent some snoring by dissolving the mucus that must have been blocking easy breathing at night.

Best Humidity Level for baby room

Research in previous times has shown that infants sleeping in a room with a certain temperature and humidity level can cause a lot of discomforts. When the humidity level is too high, you risk having molds and allergens building up in the room. Also, when in a room with a very low level of humidity, it encourages cracked and itching skins while causing discomfort by drying out nasal passages of the child.

The EPA (environmental protection agency), recommends that the best humidity level for the baby room is between 30% and 60% for a safe environment. Some children experts also recommend it being between 30% and 55%. Lower than 30% promotes the spread of flu viruses, and with a level higher than 60% there is a risk of mold growth. It will also help if you seek professional advice from a pediatrician before settling for conditions for baby’s nurseries.

Types of Humidifiers for babies

There are generally about four types of humidifiers for children nursery; we would be discussing each and giving a recommendation on what kind of humidifier is best for your baby.

Ultrasonic vs evaporative humidifier – which is better

Ultrasonic Humidifier:

This is the most recent type of humidifier design, and it makes use of a high-frequency sound wave. This sound wave vibrates the water at a high frequency, therefore turning it into mist and dispelling it into the atmosphere. These filter types don’t make use of normal filters but use a particular demineralization cartridge that removes mineral residues from the water before mystifying it. The downside to this type is that it is known to leave white residue on the surface of objects in the room, this is as a result of the minerals in the water used.

Evaporative humidifiers:

hese types of humidifiers makes use of a fan and wick filter to operate properly. The device runs the fan after it has been turned on, and the fan blows air towards the wick filter, causing the water to evaporate and release a mist into the atmosphere. This process also lowers the temperature in the room, because of the moisture created by the humidifier extracts surrounding heat from the air. This humidifier type also consumes very little energy, saving costs on electric bills and releases noise that could be an irritation to some people.

Impeller Humidifier:

This humidifier type contains a rotating disc and a diffuser. It operates by using the rotating disc in sending water through the diffuser. The job of the diffuser is to break this water into smaller droplets and sends these little droplets into the air, but shouldn’t be used with tap water because it could expel micro-organisms and mineral substances into the atmosphere.

cool mist vs warm mist for babies

Warm-mist Humidifier:

This device contains a heating element that is used in heating the water till it evaporates into steam. Although they are quiet, they consume a high level of power when compared to other types of humidifier. We wouldn’t recommend this type of humidifier for babies because the heating element makes the body surface hot, and could cause burns to your child when touched. Also, if the child is placed too close, he could even get skin burns from the steam released.

Cool mist humidifier:

This unit makes use of internal wick filter to absorb water from its reserve then disperse it into the atmosphere via the fan. This is done in most cases by the evaporative working operation. The most clinic recommends this type of humidifier for infants due to the safety assurance it offers. Cool mist humidifier does much work like the warm mist humidifier if not even more than it.

From all the available types of humidifiers out there, we would recommend the evaporative cool mist humidifier which is the best type of humidifier for a baby because of its safety, and it is also energy efficient, just causing a little spike in your electricity bill when compared to other types. The evaporative humidifier also efficiently releases moisture into the atmosphere like any other humidifier type.

Also read: Best Humidifier for Nosebleeds

Humidifier on floor or nightstand – how close should humidifier be to your baby

The position to place a humidifier has for a while been a subject of debate, and if you are still undecided on whether to put the humidifier on the floor or nightstand in your babies’ room, this is for you.

The simple answer to ‘where to place humidifier in baby room’ is Night stand. Regardless of the type of humidifier, it should be placed in a position where the impact can be maximum and also safe. We advise you place it at least about 2feet from the ground on a small table, night stand or another piece of furniture. If placed on furniture, you should also place a towel underneath to protect the furnishings. Place at least 1ft from the baby for safety sake.

Humidifiers placed on the floor tends to affect areas in direct contact or close by with the device, making them moist and therefore slippery. Grounds like this can cause accidents or create mold issues with the carpet or floor underneath it. They should be most certainly be placed at a safe distance away from the kids, where they wouldn’t accidentally turn, touch it or drop it on themselves.

Leaving humidifiers on the floor can also cause people to bump into it more frequently, causing it to fall more often and causing damages. Your device falling on the floor also means it could accumulate dirt more quickly, which could lead to an unhealthy atmosphere when it releases a dirt infested mist. Also, the rate of circulation from the floor cannot be compared with that of the height of night stand.

Can I use a humidifier in baby room all night?


If you are calmly wondering in your mind “can I use a humidifier in baby room all night or not?” The answer is YES YOU CAN if you adhere strictly to the safety rules. There are certain dangers involved in running a humidifier in your infant’s room all night, and if you can avoid them, then you’re good to go.

I know that the reason why this question spring forth is because you felt to the device could cause a danger to your dear baby overnight. Let me put your mind at rest by saying humidifier doesn’t do more than what it was programmed to do, i.e., it fills the air with a mist of cool or warm water. You can start worrying only when the device start malfunctioning or you noticed that the air is too dense and humid.

Firstly, you must ensure the humidifier is set to a convenient humidity level which is about 30%-60% as said earlier, and the device should also be cleaned regularly to avoid the build-up of mold that could infect your child or even cause allergies.

If your humidifier leaves a residue of white dust, you should ensure you clean the furniture in the nursery regularly to avoid build-up of bacteria, and we advise you use distilled water instead of regular tap water in the humidifier. It should also be placed at a considerable distance away from the child to avoid skin burns or the infant coming in contact with it.

Bottom line: Do you need a humidifier for baby?

  • Yes, your baby needs it for various reasons. In fact, some of the things you worry about with your baby could just be because you don’t have one.
  • If you must use this humidifier, you must ensure that the humidity level in the room isn’t more than 60% and isn’t less than 30%. At higher humidity level, air gets dense, and breathing is difficult. At lower humidity, dehydration sets in, and your kid starts sweating.
  • The evaporative cool mist humidifier remains the best if you are considering the best type of humidifier for baby’s health
  • Placement matters when it comes to the effectiveness of humidifier and its safety for babies. You should put it on nightstand about 2ft from the ground and about 1ft from the newborn.
  • You can use a humidifier in babies’ room all night provided it is appropriately maintained and placed at a perfect distance from the baby.

Recommended Read: Best humidifier for croup