Parenting often comes with a great deal of confusion and frustration especially when it comes to answering series of questions that will make your baby grow healthy. Some of the questions are what does a humidifier do for a baby? Is it healthy or harmful? At what age can you implement it? And many other questions going through your mind. Yes, I can relate, all these can be breathe taking.
In this case, one as a parent has to be able to make decisions that affects your baby’s health positively without having to consult many conflicting resources. How? By learning new stuffs day-by-day on your own and putting them into practice. Do not be marveled, you may have to experiment some of the answers without having sufficient evidences.
what does humidifiers do to babies’ health
Now back to our question, what does a humidifier do for a baby? This is what I will be answering in this article. By the time you are done reading, you will be able to weigh the pros and cons of using a humidifier for your baby and then decide if your kids need it.
To start with, I must inform you that there are arguments on the effect of humidifiers on baby. Some parent has a negative view while many others said their infants are healthy and happy with the increase in the humidity level in their nursing room.
These contradictions are normal because babies react differently to environmental factors but I must tell you from my own personal experience that there are numerous advantages of having a humidifier in a baby’s room.
In order to appreciate the presence of a humidifier, one would need to understand how humidifier function generally and the types of humidifiers that is available for baby in the market.
What is the function of Air humidifiers in a baby’s room?
Let me start by saying humidity in the real sense is actually how moisty your air is i.e., the amount of water present in the air which is otherwise known as relative humidity. Whereas, a humidifier is the device that is used to moisturizes the dry air during extreme hotness or coldness simply because dry air has a way of affecting health negatively by default.
Normally, the range of relative humidity of a room should be around 40 to 50% and this is not the case in almost every room. Therefore, Humidifier is unavoidably useful in the room during every season. As for the Cold weather that most people even think would hold enough moisture in the air, that is not the case. Cold weather holds a very low amount of moisture which is why air conditioner users are often advised to use a humidifier with AC.
Therefore, a humidifier is capable of producing moisture into the spaces of a room filled with dry air in order to balance the relative humidity, thereby limiting health issues that may be caused by the dry hair.
Most of these humidifiers have a way of controlling the amount of moisture that is been produced in such a way that your room won’t be overdamped. But in essence, choosing the suitable size of humidifier will go a long way in determining the quantity of moisture that will be produced in the room.
Types of Humidifier suitable for babies
At this junction, I know you would be thinking of ‘what kind of humidifier do I need for a baby’ or ‘should you put humidifier in baby room all night’ and some might even say when should I use a humidifier for my baby. Chill, I know you want the best for your baby just like every other parents.
But here is it, even though there are numerous kinds of humidifier in the market, there are generally two types when it comes to home use and baby nursing. The two types are the cool mist and the warm mist humidifier.
Cool mist humidifiers:
This type of humidifiers is the simplest as it doesn’t need to heat any water before releasing moisture into the air space. In other way round, we could say that this device makes a cold mist that is then released into the air to moisturize the room and level up the relative humidity
The working principle of a cool mist humidifier rely solely on either an evaporative wick model or an ultrasonic technology.
With the evaporative wick model, a saturated wick filter draws in some amount of dry air, then passes it through the filter for impurities to be removed, then the clean air is passed to the internal fan where it is forcefully evaporated alongside with the water in the humidifier for the release of an invisible cool mist into the directed space of the room.
For the ultrasonic model, a transducer is used to create a vibration of an ultrasonic speed which automatically breaks down the water in the device into a small tiny droplet of pure moist air that is then released into the surrounding space.
Generally, cool mist humidifier has the merits of quietness and zero chances of burning since there is no need for water heating. Above all, they have a purifier that removes all forms of irritant that are present in dry air
Warm mist Humidifiers:
This type of humidifiers makes use of heat to generate steam that is release into the spaces of the room. Before jumping into how it works, I must inform you that using this device requires you to obey some safety rules because of the heating component associated with it.
This humidifier releases warm mist into the space by heating certain amount of water to generate steam that is then passed through the purifier before been diffused out.
Also Keep it in mind that Vaporizers are also a form of warm mist humidifier whose advantages are portability with the same humidity effectiveness with the latter. The only distinction is that vaporizers works by generating vapor into spaces instead of the steam produced by the conventional warm mist humidifier.
How does humidity level affect a baby’s health?
Every parent wants their kids to be healthy starting from the tender age. This caring get so much attention simply because babies tolerance to environment can’t be compare to that of adults especially when it comes to their skin and respiratory system.
let me briefly share with you my humidity experience about our first born.
Babies just like we adults communicate intimately with the air around them. I mean any changes to the air around baby brings direct changes to the health of our new born, which is why they scream and cry whenever the air is hot and they laugh and smile when they receive fresh moist air.
First of all, humidity comes into play whenever we are talking about the susceptibility of babies to congestion. This is because the respiratory system in terms of lungs are not well developed as compared to those of adults. So, air of low humidity has a way of subjecting babies to colds, flu, cough and other forms of nasal allergies.
Nevertheless, our babies skin is very soft and tender. This makes them more likely to receive any form of skin infection the moment they are subjected to dry and harsh air. This is why there are recommendations for nursing mother to care for baby’s skin with lotion that contains high amount of moisture. Henceforth, it is advisable to keep the air moisty around the baby skin.
Summarily, babies’ health is fragile and needed to be care for. Most of the ailments that torture them can be traced directly to dehydration and relatively low humidity. Infection can arise whenever the baby is exposed to dry air which is why humidifier is considered to be a good remedy for babies at the tender age.
what does a humidifier do for babies
If you have been following me closely, you could say at this point that humidifiers are highly beneficial to babies’ health. If that’s the case, lets answer our question what does a humidifier do to a baby.
Humidifier has been found to:
- Reduces cough and nasal allergies in babies:
Major causes of cough and nasal infections is the inhalation of dry and harsh air that irritate the throat and nasal mucosal lining. By releasing moisture into the air, the chances of cough in babies are greatly reduced.
- Provide all day hydration for babies:
This helps in regulating the body temperature (Homeostasis) of the body by striking a balance between the internal and external environment. By hydrating the baby, ailments that arises as a result of dehydration have already been cancelled by default.
- Reduces the irritated skins in babies:
By using humidifiers, infections of the skins are limited. In what way? In babies, most of the skin irritations such as itchy, rashes, flaky and dryness of skin have been linked to low level of moisture in the internal and surrounding environment. Humidifiers keeps the air moisturized and healthy for babies.
- Relieves congestion:
Babies are more susceptible to congestion of the nasal and oral tract than the adults. Of the many remedies, humidifiers still provide the best and natural therapy. The warm mist is very useful when it comes to baby congestion, some of these humidifiers even offer the options of including medicated oil which is diffused out with the moisture to benefit the respiratory tract. The cool mist humidifier are the best humidifier for croup in kids and childeren between the age of 3-5
- Provides soothing background noise:
Over the years, research has proven that mild noise helps baby to fall asleep and keep sleeping. Most of the humidifiers make a gentle repetitive background noise that allows babies to fall asleep. In addition, the noise helps you to train your kid into developing a sleeping balance that cannot be altered by noise.
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Safety practice of using Humidifier in Babies’ room
There is nothing with a good side that doesn’t have that ‘but’ side, especially when that thing is not handled properly. There are some minor dangers that should be avoided when making use of humidifier especially in a baby’s room. Safety tips to avoid are:
- Don’t increase the power too high:
Since humidifiers have an adjustable interface just like every other home appliance, try as much as possible to put the power in the moderate level so that the air won’t be too damp not to start affecting the breathing of the baby.
- Replace the filter and always clean the Humidifier:
The filter in humidifiers are responsible for collecting impurities from the air thereby making itself dirty. It would be dangerous to leave it like that since bacteria and molds can easily find their way in, and then spread more infections. weekly cleaning can easily alleviate this.
- Don’t add too much of essential oil:
Don’t compare yourself with your baby, their systems can’t tolerate too much of mentholated and medicated additives like the grown-ups. From experience, babies tend to sneeze whenever additives are used with humidifiers. Therefore, I do advise nursing mothers to even do away with using any form of additives for babies.
- Don’t place it close to your baby:
Knowing where to position the humidifier is the key. Most parents are always looking for that best place to put the humidifier so that it will moderately fill the baby’s space, yes, positioning is good. But be careful not to place it any closer to the adorable boy/girl especially when you are using the warm mist humidifier. Close range can leave burns on babies’ skin and even affect their breathing.
You should try to put it in a place that cannot be accessible for toddlers and crawling kids because of the electric power of the humidifier
Bottom Line: What does a humidifier do for a baby?
To recap everything that we’ve been discussing about the effects of humidifier on a baby, we can confidently say that humidifiers are very beneficial to our babies’ health. In fact, they are a great leverage when it comes to healing babies of the major ailments that easily befall them.
Summarily, things you should keep in mind as a parent planning to buy the idea of using humidifier for your baby are:
- Humidifiers generally helps the baby by improving the air quality thereby relieving the effects of dry air which could have caused ailments to your infants;
- Warm and cool mist humidifier are the commonest and suitable kind of humidifier for your infants;
- Warm mist humidifiers are also useful in relieving your baby of cold, flu, and sinus infections of any kinds
- Try as much as possible to learn the precaution measures when introducing any form of humidifier into the babies’ environment.
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