We can be meticulous and picky when selecting items for your new baby’s nursery, from a comfortable waterproof mattress to blankets and drawers. There’s an endless list of products recommended for a child’s crib. You might have encountered a humidifier and its importance during the research. Still, maybe you are not entirely convinced about its relevance to your child. You are silently wondering, “do you need a humidifier for baby Felix or Felicia (sounds like nice baby names)”?
This article will discuss the importance of a humidifier to your child and a 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, especially, the air tends to become dry. Along with it comes the effect of more frequent sore throats, dry sinuses, stuffy noses, and croup infections in infants. You could easily help your child with croup cough and other allergies by getting the best humidifier for the baby in the market.
Humidifiers add moisture to the air, combating the dry atmosphere, alongside the sickness and infections most common in cold seasons. Infants mostly fall prey to these infections and sicknesses but are helped by the humidifier, that causes relieves irritated and dry skin.
This unit does more good than bad. But before heading out to get one for your baby, note that the good in a humidifier can be converted into worst if maximum maintenance isn’t provided for the unit. How? Humidifiers always have water in them; if you don’t take proper care, this water has the tendency to breed bacteria and mold, which could spring forth another illness by breathing them into the system.
Over the years, all forms of humidifiers have been linked with convenient sleep in babies. Infants always want some buzz in the white noise to be a background sound when they are sleeping to avoid all kinds of disturbance. Another special thing about warm mist humidifiers is their ability to prevent snoring by dissolving the mucus that must have been blocking easy breathing at night.
Research 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 molds and allergens building up in the room. Also, when in a room with a very low humidity level, it encourages cracked and itching skin while causing discomfort by drying out the child’s nasal passages.
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 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 the baby’s nurseries.
Types of Humidifiers for babies
There are generally about four types of humidifiers for children’s nurseries; we would discuss each and recommend what kind is best for your baby.
Ultrasonic vs evaporative humidifier – which is better
This is the most recent type of humidifier design, and it uses a high-frequency sound wave. This sound wave vibrates the water at a high frequency, turning it into mist and dispelling it into the atmosphere. These filter types don’t use normal filters but use a 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, resulting from the minerals in the water used.
These types of humidifiers use a fan and wick filter to operate properly. The device runs the fan after it has been turned on. The fan blows air toward the wick filter, causing the water to evaporate and release a mist into the atmosphere. This process also lowers the temperature in the room. This is because the moisture the humidifier creates extracts surrounding heat from the air. This humidifier type also consumes very little energy, saving costs on electric bills and releasing noise that could irritate some people.
This humidifier type contains a rotating disc and a diffuser. It operates by using the rotating disc to send water through the diffuser. The job of the diffuser is to break this water into smaller droplets. It sends these little droplets into the air, but it shouldn’t be used with tap water because it could expel microorganisms and mineral substances into the atmosphere.
cool mist vs warm mist for babies
This device contains a heating element used to heat the water until it evaporates into steam. Although they are quiet, they consume a high level of power compared to other humidifier types. 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. Also, if the child is placed too close, he could get skin burns from the steam released.
Cool mist humidifier:
This unit uses an internal wick filter to absorb water from its reserve and then disperse it into the atmosphere via the fan. This is done in most cases by the evaporative working operation. Most clinics recommend this type of humidifier for infants due to its safety assurance. 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. It is the best humidifier for a baby because of its safety. It is also energy efficient, causing a little spike in your electricity bill 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 the humidifier be to your baby
We can debate the correct position to place a humidifier. If you are still undecided on putting 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 Nightstand. Regardless of the type of humidifier, it should be placed in a position where the impact can be maximum and safe. We advise placing it at least 2 feet from the ground on a small table, nightstand or other furniture. If placed on the furniture, you should also place a towel underneath to protect the furnishings. Place at least 1ft from the baby for safety’s sake.
Humidifiers placed on the floor tend to affect areas in direct contact or close by with the device, making them moist and slippery. Grounds like this can cause accidents or create mold issues with the carpet or floor underneath it. They should be placed at a safe distance from the kids. This avoids accidentally turning, touching, or dropping them on themselves.
Leaving humidifiers on the floor can also cause people to bump into them more frequently, causing it to fall more often and causing damage. Your device falling on the floor also means it could accumulate dirt quicker, leading 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 the nightstand.
Can I use a humidifier in the baby’s room all night?
If you are calmly wondering, “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. Certain dangers are involved in running a humidifier in your infant’s room all night. If you can avoid them, you’re good to go.
I know that this question springs forth because you felt that the device could cause danger to your dear baby overnight. Let me put your mind at rest. The humidifier doesn’t do more than it was programmed to do: it fills the air with a mist of cool or warm water. You can start worrying only when the device starts malfunctioning, or you notice that the air is too dense and humid.
Firstly, as said earlier, you must ensure the humidifier is set to a convenient humidity level of about 30%-60%. The device should also be cleaned regularly to avoid the build-up of mold that could infect your child or even cause allergies.
Suppose your humidifier leaves a residue of white dust. In that case, you should ensure you clean the nursery furniture regularly to avoid bacteria build-up. We advise using distilled water instead of regular tap water in the humidifier. It should also be placed a considerable distance from the child to avoid skin burns or the infant coming in contact with it.
Bottom line: Do you need a humidifier for a baby?
- Yes, your baby needs it for various reasons. In fact, some of the things you worry about with your baby could 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%. The air gets dense at higher humidity levels, and breathing is difficult. At lower humidity, dehydration sets in, and your kid starts sweating.
- The cool evaporative mist humidifier remains the best if you are considering the best type of humidifier for a baby’s health
- Placement matters regarding the effectiveness of humidifiers and their safety for babies. You should put it on the 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