Expectant parents are usually nervous and direct all this energy towards making the perfect nursery. They’ll obsess over every detail, making sure that they don’t miss anything. The funny thing is, one essential item is often overlooked - and that’s a humidifier.
When we had a baby in our home, we were intrigued by this device because our friends couldn’t stop raving about it. We took it upon ourselves to consult a pediatrician and confirmed that there are many humidifiers uses for baby rooms.
In this article, we’re going to explore why a small humidifier is a must in every nursery. We’ll tackle why your baby is more prone to sickness during the cold months of the year. It makes a huge difference in the health of your little one, and we’ll show you why.
What Does a Humidifier Do?
Simply put, a humidifier restores the amount of water vapor in a room when the weather is dry. Dry weather is what you experience during the winter. Notice how sometimes you’ll wake up with a stuffy nose and chapped lips when it gets particularly cold. The dry atmosphere is the culprit.
How Does a Humidifier Work?
There are three types of humidifiers, all of which can detect the amount of humidity in an enclosed space. They all add moisture to the air in different ways, though. Choosing the best humidifier for your home is up to you.
- Steam Humidifier
To produce steam, which carries water vapor, this type of humidifier boils water. It starts pumping steam into the room when it detects low moisture through its humidistat (works like a thermostat). When the humidity level is optimal again, it eases up on the steam. This method is the simplest out of the three, so this one is also the least expensive option.
- Evaporative Humidifier
This type of humidifier works on a wick system. Inside the unit, there’s a wick made of cloth, paper, or foam. You put some water in the unit, which the wick will draw from. A fan then blows on the wick to reintroduce moisture into the air. The wick automatically stops drawing water from the reservoir when there’s enough water vapor in the air, so it regulates itself.
- Ultrasonic Humidifier
With an ultrasonic humidifier, there’s a metal diaphragm that vibrates to create high frequencies. These frequencies produce an ultrafine mist. Tiny droplets of water are then released to the room. Despite the vibrations, you won’t hear this type of humidifier as it works because they’re silent.
Warm and Cool Mist Humidifiers
Another consideration is whether to get a humidifier that shoots out warm or cool mists. Here’s how they’re different:
- Cool mist humidifier
This is the one to pick if you’re worried about your baby accidentally playing with the unit and getting scalded by the heating element. If your child has symptoms of croup, this is also the better option. Using a cool-mist humidifier during winter will keep your baby from coughing.
- Warm mist humidifier
Warm air can kill some viruses, so a warm mist humidifier can help you disinfect your nursery. This will also reduce mucus build-up, assuring that your child has a clear sinus throughout the night. In fact, we advise that you use a whole-house humidifier if the family is coming down with a cold.
The Benefits of Baby Room Humidifiers
It looks like we’ve covered the basics. Now, let’s get into the advantages of having a humidifier in your child’s bedroom. We all want our little ones to sleep better and to have a clean bill of health, so let’s get to it.
Ease Cold Symptoms
Few things are more gutting than watching a baby who’s having trouble breathing. All of us have experienced getting cold at some point, so we can imagine how horrible it must be for a tiny tot. Plus, health experts will agree that giving cold medication to babies is not advisable.
So what do you do? Use a warm mist humidifier to help de-clog your baby’s noise by thinning out nasal secretions. If you get a go-signal from your pediatrician, you can add a few drops of soothing inhalants or essential oils in the humidifier for baby.
Get Better Sleep
Many first time parents tirelessly lean over a crib to make sure that their baby is breathing fine. When coughing spells hit the baby, mom and dad know that it’s going to be a sleepless night. Better get a humidifier.
If your baby hardly ever gets congested, it’s still good to keep the nursery’s humidity in check. As a bonus, the low hum of a humidifier can act as a white noise machine to create a calming environment for your tiny dreamer. When baby sleeps well throughout the night, the easier it’s going to be for you in the morning.
Prevent and Relieve Dry Skin
One of the drawbacks of the winter months is parched dry skin. This could lead to itchy and painful patches and sores. If your baby has an existing skin condition like eczema, dry air can make those symptoms flare up too.
Bringing moisture back into the air keeps the skin supple and hydrated. By getting the best humidifier for bedroom, your baby’s skin will remain soft, smooth, and healthy as it should be. There will be no need to slather on extra baby lotion.
Reduce Heating Costs
Artificial heating can cost a fortune, but it’s necessary if you don’t want to hear chattering teeth at night. Here’s a workaround. Let a warm mist humidifier work throughout the night and replicate a warm, humid climate for your baby. Best of all, it’ll take a load off your central heating - meaning, lower utility bills.
Final Humidifier Tips
Anything you bring into your baby’s room comes with some precaution. Here are a couple of tips you should keep in mind when you decide to get your choice for the best humidifier for baby:
- Use distilled water
You don’t really know what it’s your tap water. It likely contains mineral fragments that you don’t want your baby to inhale. So use distilled water every time you refill your unit to get pure water vapor.
- Clean out the unit regularly
If you keep using a humidifier without sanitizing it regularly, there’s bound to be some mildew, mold, and bacteria build-up in there. It takes about two days for damp items to start forming mold, so cleaning it out more frequently is necessary. Always follow the maintenance instructions that your humidifier came with.
- Let the unit dry between uses
Letting your unit dry before you refill it lessens the chances of mold and lint formation. If you keep the unit running 24/7, it could break down much faster. Try getting a humidifier with a timer if you’re too busy to turn it on and off yourself.
If you now think that getting a humidifier is a good idea but are still unsure about which one to get, ask your pediatrician about it. We know they get that question a lot, so they’re sure to have a couple of options for you. Do you have any thoughts about anything we’ve covered above? Let us know in the comments, and we’ll get back to you shortly.
Author’s bio: Richard Browny is a dad of two kids. When he’s not picking up after his kids, he writes childcare articles and reviews about the latest baby gadgets. He has an associate’s degree in child development and enjoys the occasional vacation with his husband. All the gadgets she reviews, you can find here.