If you are reading this, either you have a baby and a humidifier, or just a baby, and you would like to know when to use a humidifier for a baby.
So, when do you need a humidifier for the baby’s room?
The first and most obvious answer is when the air is dry. The reason we use humidifiers is to inject some moisture into the air when it is too dry for our airways. Use a hygrometer to know the level of humidity in the baby’s room so you can know what level to set for the humidifier.
Buying a humidifier for a baby has many benefits. You can read my article on the benefits and disadvantages of using a humidifier.
Why a baby nursery should have a humidifier
If you live in one of those cities with very dry air, or you experience some seriously cold air in the winter, well, just buy a humidifier.
If you have a baby, you should buy a humidifier too, regardless of whether you live in an area with dry air or not. You see, a baby’s airways are quite sensitive. Therefore, even if the air is only slightly dry, they may experience some pain.
Thus, what you might think is right for you may not be right for the baby. That is why you need a humidifier for baby’s room so that you can set it up separately from those used by adults.
If you are looking for the best humidifiers for a baby’s room, here are a few that you can buy on Amazon.com. When I was looking at humidifiers there, I was able to read reviews left by other users, so I was not buying blindly.
Thankfully, this is why humidifiers were manufactured. There is no reason for your baby to suffer at all. You can see this article for information about the best humidifier for the nursery.
When to use a humidifier for a baby
This depends on a few important things. For example, it depends on the level of humidity that you have in the room. It also depends on the health of the baby.
Here, let us look at a few of the times when you may need to use a humidifier for your baby:
a) When it is cold
When it is cold, the air is drier than when it is warm. This is the reason why humidifiers see a lot of use in the winter.
But does this mean that cold air is generally drier than warm air? It is the opposite. Warm or hot air is drier. The reason why winter is the time to crank that humidifier is that your heater runs full-time. The heat removes moisture from the air.
If you are confused about what type of humidifier to use for the baby’s room, you can always ask your pediatrician. He or she will advise you on what to buy. If you are advised not to use a humidifier, that is fine too. Just follow the instructions.
What if you have a whole-house humidifier? Well, then most likely you do not need an extra humidifier in the baby’s room. However, if your pediatrician suggests that you ought to get one, you can always get a small desktop humidifier.
Is a cool mist humidifier good for cold seasons?
Yes, it is. A cool mist humidifier for a baby’s room is more recommended than a warm mist humidifier because of safety. However, when your baby is below crawling or walking age, you may use a warm mist humidifier.
You need to place it a good distance away from the baby so that the warm air can cool down some before it reaches the nostrils of the baby.
b) When your baby has a cold
Why do babies catch colds? Well, (tongue in cheek) because colds travel slower than heat. On a serious note, though, when your baby has a cold, you may be advised to use a humidifier in the baby’s room.
However, even without being advised, you know that one of the things to do when you have a cold is to drink lots of fluids.
If you have to consume a lot of fluids, then it is also logical that your airways would love a little “fluid” in the air. And that is what a humidifier does: it injects some mist into the air.
When your baby has a cold, their nasal membranes become sensitive, and dry air can hurt them. That is why you need to inject some moisture into the air so that you can make it easier on their nostrils.
The throat and the airways are also affected by colds and related infections. The nerve endings become raw and sensitive, something that may irritate when the baby inhales. Investing in a humidifier is going to make it easier for your baby to breathe.
There is one thing to note, though:
Just because your baby has a cold does not mean that this is the time to crank it up and over-humidify the air in your baby’s room.
On the contrary, you should make sure that you maintain optimum humidity in the room. Always find out how low or high your humidity is so that you can keep it at the recommended levels.
Too much humidity is not good, as it can trigger the growth of mold in the baby’s room. Mold could in turn cause the baby more infections, including chronic conditions like asthma.
c) When the baby is congested
Well, isn’t this the same as having a cold? Not exactly, because many things can cause congestion in your baby. One of them is dried mucus matter in the nostrils. In this case, some air with moisture would help dislodge the dried mucus.
The main purpose of using a humidifier when your baby is congested is to help clear the airways so that he or she can breathe better.
Make no mistake about it! This is so important. The reason for this is that babies cannot breathe through the mouth. When your nose is congested, you inhale through the nose. Babies really struggle because they cannot breathe through the mouth.
Thus, if you see your baby struggling to breathe, it is because their nose is congested. A humidifier would help them a lot. Once the mucus is dislodged, the baby will breathe much better.
So, as you think about helping your baby with congestion, you may wonder what to use—a warm mist or a cool mist humidifier. Well, in this case, just use a warm mist humidifier. I have done it several times, and there has been no harm whatsoever.
A warm mist humidifier will not only add some moisture to the air making it “silkier” and more breathable, but it will also make the air in the room warmer.
Warm air is much better for decongesting the airways, and soon you will see your baby start to inhale much more easily.
Please note that a humidifier is not a form of medication. In addition, be careful about adding cold remedies to the humidifier.
When your baby is not feeling well, always consult a pediatrician. The humidifier is just for comfort, not medication.
When you use a warm mist humidifier, keep it away from the baby’s bed. Keep it out of the reach of the toddler so that they do not harm themselves.
d) When the baby shows dry skin and lips
One of the indications that the air in your baby’s room is too dry is when the baby has dry skin. It should be easy to tell dry skin by the touch of your hands.
At the same time, dry skin is itchy and irritating, so the baby may not be able to rest comfortably. If you find the baby uncomfortable all the time, check the humidity level with a hygrometer.
Check the baby’s lips, too. Do they appear parched or just too dry? Well, that could be an indication of many things. The main culprits could be dehydration or dry air in the room, and most likely, it is the latter.
Because of the sensitivity of the baby’s skin, red patches form on the skin. The lips may also appear chapped and dry to the touch. If you see some redness on the skin of your baby, it may be time to turn the humidifier on.
e) When you see the paint in the room cracking
Cracking paint is one of the symptoms of dry air in a room. However, paint can take a long time to start cracking, so this may not be a very reliable indication.
You should consider other signs of using a humidifier for babies first before looking at the paint.
Still on the symptoms of dry air in the house, there are many of them. So you can stay on the lookout for them.
You may refer to my article on indications of dry indoor air. Generally, if the air in your house feels dry, it is the same in the baby’s nursery, so it is time to turn on the humidifier.
Now that you know when to use a humidifier for your baby, it is time to get one if you already do not have it. There are so many options on the online marketplaces.
You may also have a whole-house humidifier installed. This will help you deal with the problem of low humidity in the house once and for all.
The health of your baby is the biggest concern for you, and so you should not take any chances. Dry air is bad for grownups, but it is worse for babies.