Do Babies Need a Humidifier? Nothing makes parents happier than knowing their baby is getting a lot of solid, deep sleep. Sleep is a key ingredient of well-being, and a baby who sleeps soundly at night is far likelier to be a happy baby.But babies often come down with colds and minor upper respiratory infections as they grow and develop, particularly in the winter. When the furnace is running 24 hours a day, the air in your home can dry out badly, which can be tough on infants. The solution is often putting a humidifier in the nursery, which helps your baby breathe more easily.How else do humidifiers work to make your baby more comfortable? Are they as beneficial as people say? Are there any drawbacks?This article offers tips for choosing a humidifier for your baby’s room, tips for making it work most efficiently, and where you should place it. For more info on this helpful piece of equipment and how it can benefit your baby, read on!
1- First, Do Your Research
There are several types of humidifiers on the market today, including cool mist or warm mist models. Before going shopping to buy one, do a deep dive into the varieties and models available, including the kind of mist they emit and what sizes they come in.Your choice should be determined, in part, by how much room is available in the nursery. It’s fine to begin this research online, but you should check them out at the store before buying. Specialty stores, those that specifically carry heating and cooling equipment, usually have the widest array of products for you to choose from.
2- Talk To Your Pediatrician If You’re Unsure Whether To Buy One
If your baby has a chronic condition related to the respiratory tract, talk to your doctor. Ask them what they recommend for dealing with your baby’s respiratory issues.Should it be a warm mist humidifier, for example? Do they think it’s a good idea to install one at all? If they recommend one, do they suggest you run it year-round or only when your baby is stuffed up?Your pediatrician knows your baby’s health, so getting their opinion will help you feel more certain you’ve made the right choice.
3- Is The Nursery Roomy Enough?
When you install a humidifier in the baby’s room, be sure it’s placed, so that moist mist does not blow directly onto the bed or the baby. While moisture in the environment is suitable for your baby, having it blow right into their face is definitely not.Choose a model of the appropriate size – big enough, so the mist covers the entire room’s square footage, but not so big that it creates a drafty breeze into your baby’s face. Placing it in a spot that lets it blow air into the whole room but not directly in the path of the bed or crib is the ideal place to put the humidifier.
4- Be Sure Minerals, Mildew & Mold Don’t Build Up
Once you purchase a humidifier, it’s crucial that you keep it clean. Check the manual’s directions on cleaning it and what solution you should use. Often warm water and soap or a mild detergent do the trick. And don’t forget to unplug it before you begin!
5- Some Humidifiers Come With Washable Filters
Obviously, the goal is to ensure that the emitting water moisture is as clean and germ-free as possible. To that end, humidifiers have filters, some disposable and some washable.Humidifiers that come with washable filters are usually a little more costly upfront but may save you money over time because you’re not replacing filters as frequently. This is one factor you should investigate thoroughly before making your selection.Any humidifier you purchase nowadays is bound to have a filter system. The key is knowing which one is best for your home and your baby.
6- Choose One With a Built-In Humidistat
A humidistat informs you of the level of humidity in the air, and most modern humidifiers are equipped with one. Pediatricians recommend baby rooms stay at a 50 percent moisture level. Choosing a humidifier with this feature built-in eliminates guesswork – a quick check each morning lets you know whether the unit needs a top-up.
7- Don’t Put Scents Or Other Additives Into The Water
When a baby is stuffy and having difficulty breathing, it’s tempting to add (for example) menthol of some kind in an attempt to increase the effectiveness of the humidifier. But experts say no to this.Most pediatricians and other doctors say that unadulterated warm mist is fine for the baby and doesn’t need an additive. These don’t cause any harm, but they aren’t necessary and will cause you to have to clean the humidifier more frequently.
Benefits Of a Humidifier In Your Baby’s Room:
There are many! Here is a roundup of how much good a humidifier can do in your nursery.
1- The Steam Makes Breathing Easier
It isn’t just babies with respiratory issues who benefit from the warm moisture in the air. All babies benefit, particularly when their environment is dry in the wintertime. You know that wonderful feeling you get in a steam room or sauna at the gym after a tough workout?You sit and breathe in the moist air, and it feels like your lungs have opened wide! That’s the feeling your baby gets once they begin inhaling the warm, moist air created by a humidifier. And when they breathe more easily, you do too.
2- Humid Air Softens Skin
Babies have the softest skin on earth, don’t they? The expression “smooth as a baby’s bum” is right on! But even little ones can feel the effects of dry air on their skin, and that’s what a humidifier combats. Because the humidifier converts warm water into steam, soothes, softens and reduces itchiness.Babies are less apt to scratch at their skin when it doesn’t feel irritated and dry. This goes for chapped lips, too – a humidifier relieves flaky, dry lips and softens the skin under a baby’s nose and around their mouths.
3- The Sound Helps The Baby Sleep
In addition to all of the physical benefits for your baby, the hum of a humidifier can help them nod off. Just like certain sounds help adults fall asleep – a fan running, a clock ticking – babies are lulled to sleep by certain sounds too.The low, steady sound of a humidifier operating masks noise from other rooms and creates a kind of aural cocoon that helps your baby block out those other sounds.
4- Humidifiers Don’t Only Benefit Sick Babies
Some parents plug in a humidifier when their infant gets sick with a cold or lung infection. However, childcare experts and sleep specialists agree that leaving a humidifier running in the baby’s room is smart in all cases, not just when the baby is ill.The steam makes breathing easier, and it soothes their skin. And as everyone knows, a comfortable baby – whether they are sick or not – sleeps more soundly. And the more rest babies get, the more consistent and deep sleep they get each night, and the more rest parents get, too!
Our Final Thoughts
We did a lot of research into whether putting a humidifier into your baby’s room is beneficial and worth the cost. After all, humidifiers don’t come cheap, and we wanted to be sure we are recommending a wise purchase for your baby’s room.The answer is yes – installing a humidifier in your nursery is definitely a good move. It can help your baby breathe more easily, which in turn helps them sleep better and more soundly. It relieves dry, itchy winter skin and even eases chapped lips and flaking nasal passages. If a baby’s nose dries out too much, it can occasionally cause nose bleeds. This is particularly true in the cold winter months.Humidifiers cost anywhere from about $100 (USD) to as much as $1,000 for higher-end models. The cost depends, in part, on how big an area you want the humidifier to cover. But ultimately, the cash outlay is well worth it because your baby will sleep better and more consistently.We know that all parents want their babies to be as comfortable as possible. That’s why we think buying a humidifier for your nursery is the best way to go. When they sleep better, moms and dads sleep better too, and that makes for a happier and healthier family!