Humidifiers are fast becoming a “must-have,” with many parents ordering them online and adding them to baby registries in growing numbers. It’s tempting to go and buy the first one you see since it’s nice to have, but don’t do that just yet!
Allow us to show you a product recommendation AND fill you in on when it’s a good time to use a humidifier in your baby’s room.
So, When’s the Best Time?
To answer the query right away, you can use a humidifier regardless of how old your baby is, at any time. However, we highly encourage you to consult your child’s pediatrician for advice about humidifier use, especially if your child must deal with a health condition.
Use A Humidifier When Your Baby Is Sick
When your baby is sick, it’s heartbreaking hearing their little coughs and sneezes. But humidifiers can help. There are warm-mist and cool-mist types out there, and as you probably guessed, they emit different temperatures of mists.
And even though these are different in many ways, they both have their benefits when it comes to alleviating cold symptoms.
For babies, they are exceptional tools in helping the child get relief from congestion.
Helps with Sinuses
When the air is dry, your sinuses get dry. Ever blown your nose in winter and had a bloody tissue? The dry air is one reason why. The dry also causes the mucus in the nasal cavities to drain longer, which in turn makes breathing harder.
Unfortunately, babies are affected by this and, in turn, get insufficient sleep, which puts more stress on parents.
Humidifiers are great tools for keeping the air moisturized, and in turn, keeping the nasal passages in good repair. The moisturized air can help keep mucus thinned out, making it easier to get rid of.
They will also clear out in due time, and the stuffy feeling will go away, too. Plus, viruses and bacteria thrive in dry air we commonly experience during the winter, so by having a humidifier, you may be able to prevent these bacteria/viruses from surviving.
Remember when we were kids, and our parents used Vicks Vapo-Rub to help us clear our noses? You can use that for your baby- in a different way than rubbing it on the chest.
You can actually add Vick’s to the humidifier, which helps decongest your child and helps alleviate coughs. Of course, you should talk to your child’s pediatrician before using these vapors to ensure your child’s safety AND follow all package directions.
Great for Eczema and Great for Dry Skin
Some babies suffer from dry skin and eczema, and dry air only exacerbates these conditions. You can certainly treat these conditions with the help of a pediatrician, but you can also take steps in your home to keep the environment conducive to the skin health of your baby- one of which is using a humidifier.
The sensitive skin of a baby makes it prone to irritation when the air is dry. Keep moisture in the air by using your humidifier regularly. This will help your child’s skin stay hydrated, and it could lessen the effects of eczema and dry skin.
Great for Regular Use
You don’t have to use a humidifier only if your little one is feeling sick. You can use it even when they are in good health, as it promotes a good night’s sleep.
Humidifiers hum when you turn them on, which creates a soothing white-noise sound that your baby will enjoy hearing in the background as they drift off.
This is great news for babies that happen to be light sleepers- the hum of the humidifier will not keep them awake. It might also be good for sleep training- you can teach your child to sleep even if there are ambient noises taking place.
Plus, you can prevent coughs, itchy skin, and chapped lips from happening by keeping the air moisturized. You can prevent discomfort before it even starts when you employ a humidifier to help out.
Some humidifiers even have night lights on them that are great for little ones afraid of the dark and parents that come in to check on their kids as they sleep.
Great for Winter Use
Friends of ours live in Minneapolis, a place that gets VERY snowy and cold! Winter tends to last a bit longer in that area. If you live in a place like that, where winters tend to be quite chilly, consider getting a humidifier for your child’s room.
The furnace or heater running constantly is wonderful for our family’s warmth and comfort, but it can really dry the skin out thanks to the moisture loss it causes.
Add in the fact that cold weather makes babies more susceptible to respiratory ailments and that the dry air can make the symptoms worse, and you have two good reasons to get a humidifier.
May Provide Warmth
A small humidifier cannot take the place of a space heater or a properly functioning heating system, but it can help your baby feel more comfortable.
Thus, a good time to use a warm-mist humidifier is during chilly fall and winter days. Some parents choose to avoid them because they are apprehensive of the scalding risks they pose.
But, so long as you place the humidifier well out of the way of your child’s reach, they can bring numerous benefits to your baby.
First, the warm mist in the air makes the room warmer and more comfortable. Second, they tend to consume LESS energy than cold-mist humidifiers.
Can Help with Indoor Humidity Levels
According to the Environmental Protection Agency, humidity between 30-50% is ideal because this prevents mold growth in the home. 40-60% humidity is perfect for our bodies, as bacteria find it difficult to grow at this range.
One rule you can follow is to lower the indoor humidity by 5% for every 10 degrees it drops outside.
So, if the outdoor temperature drops 10 degrees, consider reducing the indoor humidity level to 40% (assuming your level was at 50%). If it’s very cold outside- as in, 20F-40F- 40% is an ideal humidity for your home.
You can keep track of the humidity level by using a hygrometer, and there are some digital thermometers sold that measure the humidity for you along with temperature and time.
Safety Comes First
We’d like to round out the article today by making sure you know about some important safety tips regarding humidifiers.
First, we want to address the use of warm-mist humidifiers. The AAP (American Academy of Pediatrics)advises against them in favor of cool-mist devices, thanks to the scalding risk they pose.
Ultimately, the choice is up to you as the parent. You should always make sure the humidifier is out of reach of your child, regardless of whether it is cool- or warm-mist.
Secondly, make sure you are diligent about cleaning the humidifier out. Mold can build up inside the tank thanks to stagnant water being left inside the device.
Make sure you clean and dry the device thoroughly to prevent harmful mold and germ buildup several times each week.
Now that you know humidifiers are great for year-round use and for babies of all ages, it’s time to show off our favorite humidifier. The TaoTronics Cool Mist Humidifier is compact and easy to use, and it works oh so well for making smaller rooms’ air moisturized.
It’s easy to place in a room and emits a safe, cool mist. It’s filter-less and even includes an auto-shutoff feature. Go check it out for yourself and get one today!