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Humidifiers for Babies: Everything to Know

Humidifiers for Babies

The health of a newborn is critical for their development in the early year of their lives. While parents spend a lot of time and capital on caring about the basic needs of their baby, they often ignore the importance of humidifiers for babies.

A humidifier will keep the baby’s room clean from dust particles that are not visible to the naked eye. Humidifiers for babies help by adding moisture into the dry air, which ensures a healthier and moist air.

Goodbye Dry Air!

In cold weather, the air inside most homes in the United States becomes very dry. The dry air is a result of the heating system, which sucks moisture from the air. In fact, the dry air is among the most important factors contributing to sickness and infection during cold months. As a result of dryness, everyone in the home is prone to sore throats and stuffed nose, which are early indicators of unhealthy air.

The dry air will continue to haunt you even if you live in warm climatic zones such as Texas, Arizona, and other regions in the Southern hemisphere. In these arid zones, humidifiers for babies keep the air clean by adding moisture, which prevents the build-up of mucus and unhealthy dust particles.

Dangers of Dry Air

You need to remember that babies are easily irritated by dryness due to their soft skin. The dryness causes rashes and chapped lips, which can annoy babies causing a lot of anxiety. The end result is lots of restless nights for the baby and its parents.

Experts also recommend humidifiers for babies because these humidifiers also produce a gentle humming sound, which absorbs unnecessary sounds around homes such as dog barks, street noise, and noise coming from the television. The humming sound is often called white-noise because it creates a soothing sensation allowing the newborn to feel the comfort and warmth felt inside a mother’s womb.

Warm-Air and Cool-Mist Humidifiers for Babies

There are mainly two types of humidifiers, which are distinguished based on their function. Here is a brief explanation of each type so you can choose that suite your baby:

Warm Mist Humidifier

As the name suggests, the humidifier keeps the air warm in cold climates. The warm air helps kill germs and viruses present in dust particles. The build-up of moisture in a warm climate also helps clear up the nasal passage and respiratory airways of babies helping them feel relaxed and comfortable.

Cool Mist Humidifier

The type of humidifier is used to keep the surrounding air moist and cool. The released air is just a touch cooler than the room temperature. Unlike warm mist humidifiers, doctors recommend these humidifiers if the child is prone to cough in warm temperatures. The health condition is also known as croup, which causes swelling of windpipe and voice box.

Cool mist humidifiers are perfect for coping with these health conditions because they do not interfere with the airflow. Another advantage of cool mist humidifiers for babies is the absence of any heating system in the equipment, which can scald a baby, if touched.

Types of Humidifiers for Babies

Based on the physical characteristics, three types of humidifiers for babies are available in the market. These are:

Tabletop Humidifiers

These are the most common and least expensive humidifiers in the market. They are built to be placed anywhere on a desk, which also allows anyone to move them to another place when required. The only drawback of these humidifiers is their vulnerability as siblings and small children often break these after accidentally bumping into them.

Console Humidifiers

These are larger versions of table humidifiers. A single console humidifier can hold anywhere from 3 to 10 gallons of water, which is enough to moist an entire floor of a house. It is usually placed in the living room or a central corridor enabling the moist air to circulate easily around the room.

It is beneficial because it keeps everyone healthy and fresh by removing dust particles from home. Besides, it does not affect babies that have croup issues because the warm air is distributed evenly throughout the home. They may be more expansive, but they are definitely your best bet for a cleaner and healthier environment.

In-Duct Humidifiers

These humidifiers are installed in the air duct system of the home allowing them to disperse clean air throughout the home. You will need an expert to install them into the duct system of the house. While they can cost several hundred dollars, these humidifiers are easy to maintain and provide homeowners greater control.

Precautions and Health Issues

While humidifiers for babies help them keep healthy, there are certain precautions that will help you get the most from the investment you’ve made in your lifestyle.

Cleaning of Humidifiers

Just like any electronic device, you must clean the inside of the humidifier with a clean cloth. After every four to five days, you should open the humidifier to clean the mold that builds up due to the moist conditions inside the compartment. It is even more practical to read the cleaning instructions written on the humidifier and follow them diligently.

Even without the instructions, you should be ready to clean the humidifier as needed. Depending on the environment, it can take less than 24 hours for dust particles to settle inside the filters; therefore, you should schedule a routine cleanup.

Burns and Scalding

As indicated earlier, the most common types of humidifiers for babies are heat-emitting humidifiers that add warm air to the room. The machinery inside the equipment is hot and dangerous if handled improperly. This is specifically true for tabletop humidifiers for babies, which can attract undue attention from babies. Sometimes, the outer surface is hot enough to burn the soft skin of your baby; therefore, it’s wise to keep humidifiers at a safe distance from the child.

The water vapors from the warm-air humidifier are also dangerous to the skin. If you have other young children at home, it’s your responsibility to talk to them and ensure that they understand that warm-air humidifiers are not toys. Irrespective of the type of humidifier, parents should be able to judge circumstances that can lead to potentially dangerous situations.

Water distillation

Water is an important component of humidifiers. These humidifiers add water to the immediate environment creating a healthy moist atmosphere; therefore, you should try to use distilled water. Distilled water is better than tap water because tap water can contain lots of minerals that can interfere with the air inside the house.

Areas well-known for hard tap water contain lots of minerals hazardous for human digestion. To prevent the mineral buildup, it makes sense to use distilled water, instead. The water may be more expansive than tap water, but it will create a healthy environment that is worth every penny spent on improving the health of your household and the baby.


Most table-top humidifiers for babies will require minimum maintenance. The only precaution you need to take is to clean the inside of these humidifiers before putting them away for storage. In fact, you will also need to clean them on a regular basis.

Maintaining console humidifiers is also easier, but you will need to schedule regular cleaning after two or three days. Just make sure that the cleaning is done by a responsible adult who is aware of the hazards of a large water container and electrical outlets.

In contrast, you will always need a certified technician to clean your in-duct system. In-duct humidifiers do not require maintenance as often as the other humidifiers, but keeping them in perfect working order is as important as others. You can read the accompanying booklet or ask the retailer when to clean the humidifier because these humidifiers only require maintenance once a year.


Any reliable humidifiers for babies will keep them happy, relaxed, and active. As a result, you will also get more time to take care of other issues that come with parenthood. If you’re not sure where to start, ask your pediatrician to guide you according to your individual circumstances.

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