HOW HUMIDIFIERS HELP BABIES
- Protect Your Baby from the Effects of Poor Humidity
Protect Your Baby from the Effects of Poor Humidity
Having the right humidity in your home isn’t just a nice-to-have benefit, it can protect you from a lot of harmful health problems. For your baby or toddler, these problems can be even more severe because they have more sensitive bodies and immune systems. As an adult, we experience direct effects of dry air like cracked skin and respiratory issues, which can affect your child even worse. In most homes, we face dry air rather than too humid ones because modern heating and air conditioning will dry out your home.This is where extra humidity from a humidification system will work wonders for you and your baby’s health. You’ll bless your baby with better skin, more comfortable breathing, protection from asthma or allergies, and reduced risk to infection from bacteria or viruses. On top of all of this, the sound of a humidifier can help your baby sleep by providing white noise in the background.
(image from https://babycenter.com)
Humidification Benefits for Your Baby
Here’s some more information on each of the benefits you can give your baby by placing a humidifier in their room.
Babies are sensitive to dry air and susceptible to problems related to dry skin. Excessively dry air can start off by causing dry and scaly skin. If bad enough, dry skin can become itchy and cracked, which exposes your baby to skin infections and can cause a lot of pain. Lotions help keep skin moisturized, but a humidifier can address the problem at the source. A well-humidified room can also help prevent things like nosebleeds. Lotions or nasal sprays, on the other hand, aren’t so easy to use on young children or infants.
Dry air is often a culprit in chronic breathing problems. Sore throats in the morning, chronic coughing, or asthma symptoms. Your sensitive mucous linings can dry out when the humidity is too low, and you can bet that your baby’s at risk, too. Dryness can also cause nasal congestion as your body tries to fight against the dry air by producing more mucous. Better breathing for comfort and better sleep is one of the number one reasons parents choose to place a humidifier in their baby’s room.
(image from https://jonwayneheatingandair.com)
Not having enough humidity also encourages the spread of germs like bacteria and viruses. Combined with dry air, which puts your child at risk for respiratory infections, you’ll want to maintain the best humidity possible to prevent the spread of infectious germs. Keeping up the air quality in your home has also been shown to reduce not only asthma symptoms in children but to prevent asthma from developing.
Who doesn’t want their babies to sleep better? Or longer? By improving the air quality and making it easier for your baby to breathe, they’re sure to be more comfortable as they sleep. And while humidifiers are often bought for their humidity generating powers, they also generate white noise to help babies sleep under their relaxing drone or hum.
Factors to Consider for Choosing a Humidifier
Humidifiers come in several different types. The main ones you’ll see on the market are ultrasonic humidifiers, steam vaporizers, warm mist humidifiers, and cool mist humidifiers. Each comes with its own sets of pros and cons for things such as size, the safety of your baby, noise, and maintenance.
Consider how big of a humidifier you need. How big is the room that your baby sleeps in? The larger the room, the bigger the humidifier you need. If your humidifier is too small or weak, it could run out of water before getting the room to a good humidity level. The size also affects maintenance needs. Larger humidifiers will generally require maintenance less regularly.
The different types of humidifiers create moisture in different ways. Steam vaporizers and warm mist humidifiers will kill off bad bacteria and mold spores, but they also have boiling hot heating elements that pose a safety risk for active children. On the other hand, cool mist humidifiers will spray anything in that’s in your water into the air. Ultrasonic humidifiers are popular because they’re very quiet, but they generate dangerous dust that can be breathed in.
(image from http://www.momjunction.com/)
Depending on what you and your baby needs, you might want a quiet humidifier or a louder one. A quiet humidifier keeps it from disturbing your baby when they’re sleeping. But a louder humidifier can also help babies sleep with white noise that’ll drown out other sounds that might wake them up.
People often overlook maintenance as a feature of humidifiers. How easy is it to clean? This isn’t just a matter of convenience. Since you’re buying a humidifier to protect your baby’s health, it’s equally as important to keep your humidifier clean to avoid growing and spewing bacteria and mold. If your humidifier is hard to clean, you’re more likely to clean it less, either putting your baby at risk by harmful germs or by using the humidifier less to address the problems of having dry air.
Different Types of Humidifiers
Each of the different popular types of tabletop humidifiers have their own advantages, but in the case of providing a humidifier your baby, some advantages are going to be clearly more important than others.
A Sharper Image ultrasonic humidifier (image from https://www.sharperimage.com)
Ultrasonic humidifiers are great for 2 main reasons: they’re very quiet and usually cheaper to run. There have no potentially dangerous heating elements that could be a risk for your baby. They are also effective at humidifying because they produce a very fine mist that evaporates more easily to increase the humidity in your room. Generally, ultrasonic humidifiers also don’t use any filters for the water, which makes it cheaper but leads us into the main drawback of using an ultrasonic humidifier. Since there’s no filter, anything in the water will also be released into the air. If you’re using tap water, the minerals in the water will be released as the mist evaporates into a fine white dust. Severe injuries have been reported from babies that have inhaled the white dust that comes from ultrasonic humidifiers. If you’re using an ultrasonic humidifier, use distilled water to avoid the harmful effects of dangerous particles in the air.
Cool Mist Humidifiers
These humidifiers are a popular alternative to ultrasonic humidifiers. They’re generally impeller humidifiers, but might see the term “cool mist” be used to refer to impeller, evaporative, or even ultrasonic humidifiers. Both evaporative and impeller usually have filters that’ll help filter out minerals to avoid generating the white dust you get from ultrasonic humidifiers. The main difference between the two is that impeller humidifiers use a rotating disc to spray a mist into the air. This mist will usually have whatever germs are in the water as well. Evaporative humidifiers, however, spread minimal germs compared to other cool humidifiers.
Steam vaporizers work as you might expect. Water is boiled to produce steam to humidify a room. The heat of the steam will kill any germs in the water, but you’ll have to ask yourself if you want the extra heat in your baby’s room. In the winter, you can avoid extra heating from your furnace drying out the air. But the danger here is that steam can burn your child, especially if they’re an active, curious type.
Warm Mist Humidifiers
Warm mist humidifiers produces vapor the same way a steam vaporizer does with one difference. It cools the steam as it leaves the humidifier, giving you a warm mist instead of a steaming hot one. Just like the steam vaporizer, the entire process will kill any germs that go through the heating element. And although the danger of hot steam is much less with warm mist, the presence of a heating element is still a small risk factor, especially with active children.