o little girls (sisters, friends) in their pajamas at home, looking out the window at the first snow

Placing a Humidifier in your Baby’s Room

The Best Strategy for Placing Your Baby’s Tabletop Humidifier

A humidifier is an easy and effective way to protect your baby or child from the negative effects of really dry air. There are many other natural ways you can humidify a room, but a humidifier can give you more moisture directly when you need it with usually less effort. It requires less physical work or effort to setup compared to a fish tank or several bowls of water around the room. And in addition to the ease of use, a humidifier is very good at doing what’s it designed to do: increasing and maintaining the humidity in a room over a period of time.

Improving the humidity levels can give your child better skin health, improved breathing, protection from germs, and more sleep. Low humidity usually becomes the worst during the winter, when it’s cold and you’re keeping your home heated with a furnace. That’s where a tabletop humidifier comes in handy. But despite the simple operation of a humidifier, you need to make sure that you place the humidifier in the best location for your child.

Exploring Top 5 Humidifiers For babies 2019

 Comparison Table



Max run time per fill



# of settings

Vicks Warm mist Humidifier (V745A)

1 gallon

12 hours



1 gallon

24 hours




3 gallon

24 hours




0.3 gallons

16 hours




1 gallon

15 hours




Does Placement Really Matter?

You can risk your baby’s health if you don’t place a tabletop humidifier properly in the room they’re staying in, whether they’re sleeping or playing. It’s easy to think that anything could work as long the humidifier just sits in the room. Without good planning, however, you can risk your baby’s comfort and safety. The most important of these is always safety, which should be the first consideration for all types of humidifiers.There are several factors, however, you should consider when setting up the humidifier. For each type of humidifier, you need to understand any safety concerns and place the humidifier a good distance from your child.

Strategies for Different Types of Humidifiers


For ultrasonic humidifiers, the number one safety concern is the risk of dust that can form from the very fine mist of the humidifier. Always use distilled water when possible when using an ultrasonic humidifier. Injuries have been recorded from babies inhaling the white dust from ultrasonic humidifiers.

For distance from your baby, be sure that the humidifier is not close enough to cover your baby or child in mist. Also consider that air conditioning or drafts in the room can sometimes blow the mist towards your baby.

Steam Vaporizer

Regarding health, steam vaporizers are one of the best choices because boiling the water will kill any bacteria or viruses in the water you’re using. However, the steam vapor can be very hot, hot enough to burn your child if you’re not careful. For a sleeping baby, the steam should be a good distance away from your child, and if your child is playing in a room with a steam vaporizer, always keep the humidifier away from arm’s reach. They should also not be able to pull on the cord to the humidifier, which can topple the humidifier.

Warm mist

A Warm mist humidifier works in much the same way as a steam vaporizer. There’s a heating element that boils the water, but the main difference is that the steam is slightly cooled to a Warm mist before being sent into the air. This means your child is at less risk for being burned by the mist, but any carelessness around the humidifier means an active child could still injure themselves on the humidifier.

Evaporative Cool Mist

An evaporative cool mist humidifier, like an ultrasonic humidifier, should be kept away from potentially covering your child in cool mist. You don’t need it to be too close because a tabletop humidifier can humidify an entire room for your child. But also like an ultrasonic humidifier, there is no burn risk with a evaporative humidifier since it doesn’t boil any water with a heating element.

The One Humidifier Type You'll Never Have to Worry About

If you truly want the safest bet for your child - while at the same time delivering humidifier benefits across your entire house - we encourage you to consider a whole home humidifier. These humidifiers either attach to your furnace or are large but still portable devices designed to humidify all rooms in your house. 

With this approach the appliance is well out of reach for your child, and moisture is still reaching them whether she is in her crib or playing on the kitchen floor. 

Consider Your Baby

Placing Humidifier For Baby

You should always consider your child and your specific situation when choosing a humidifier and where to place it. The age of your child, how active they are, and their temperament can all be a part in how much risk a humidifier has against them.

If your baby is still an infant and too young to move around on their own, you have less safety risks to worry about. They won’t be able to crawl, climb, and pull on humidifier cords, risking their own safety. Since they’ll likely only be in the same room as a humidifier to sleep or play in a crib, you’ll mainly just need to make sure the humidifier isn’t close enough to spray mist directly on them.

As your child gets older, you should be aware of how their activity level can endanger them around a tabletop appliance like a humidifier. Some children are masters of escape, finding mysterious ways out of their play pens. Others love to pull and climb on everything they can, which means you need to heavily weigh the risks of having a humidifier with any kind of heating element.

Whether your child is the active, curious type or not, if you can’t always be there to watch them, the best strategy for safety is to consider even the slightest risk as a definite possibility. This way, you’ll have all your bases covered even if something slightly unexpected happens.

(image from Flickr user Easement)

An Easy Trick To Know If It’s Too Close

Whether you have a humidifier ranging from cool mist to hot steam, there’s an easy trick to know if your humidifier is too close to your sleeping baby. If any excess moisture from the mist can collect on your hand near your baby’s crib or bed, then the humidifier is too close. Your child does not need to be directly in the mist or near it to get the benefits of a humidifier.

And again, if your child is old enough to move around, consider the safety of having in humidifier within arm’s reach. If he or she can touch the humidifier or pull on its cord, the humidifier is probably not in a good spot for your child.

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