Table of Contents
- 6 Benefits of Humidifier for Baby
- 2 Types of Humidifier to Compare With
- Differences in Humidifier Types
- 6 Features for Reviewing Humidifier
- Best Selling Humidifiers in 2017
- 8 Shopping Tips to Watch Out
When you become a parent, one of your first responsibilities is to take care of your baby’s health. The few most important things include providing an environment that’s safe for your baby’s delicate body, to start with the right nutrition and the commitment to your baby. It is recommended to always choose the most trusted brand when buying baby products, this way you will be sure of the product quality and safety as that is proven safe for babies over decades’ research. Baby humidifiers will provide extra protection and make the air in any room safe for your baby’s lungs and skin. We give an overview of humidifiers in this article that includes benefits, types, features, and top brands in the market to help you grab the best humidifier for your baby.
6 Benefits of Humidifier for Baby
The babies’ body functions almost the same way as of an adult, but their immune systems and physiological processes are not well developed. Therefore, the humidifiers provide benefits to infants that adults probably wouldn’t need which are as follows:
1. Keeps Skin Moist and Supple
- In comparison to tough dermal membranes that cover adults, babies’ skin is quite thin and, hence, very easily dehydrated. Such dehydrated skin can become patchy and itchy. As babies cannot scratch themselves in a way adults do, such itchiness tends to interfere with their sleep. Further, such skin can become irritated and develop infections. A humidifier helps the skin remain moist after any creams or lotions you apply are properly absorbed by the pores in the skin.
2. Prevents Lung Problems
- Cold air encourages the growth of viruses and at the same time dries the membranes of the baby’s respiratory passage – nose, throat and lungs. When they are combined together, they can make respiratory infections and congested passageways. A lot of parents learn this when despite repeated medication their child continues to suffer from the same problem. Kids’ humidifiers produce fine water droplets containing decongestant agents and essential oils. While the improved humidity keeps the respiratory system moist, the oils help delay the growth of viruses and thus act as a preventive against viral infections.
3. Prevents Nose Bleeds
- There it comes to a part and parcel of the drying out of the respiratory system and nose bleeds when the mucosal membranes present in the baby’s nose rupture due to extreme dryness (just like parched lips do). Nose bleeds and it can be highly painful for the baby and is best avoided by installing a humidifier in the room.
4. Makes for Better Sleep
- Noises are intensified in the womb and so babies are used to sleep in a noisy environment. That is why gentle hum of the humidifier can help your baby enjoy a comfortable night’s rest, provided, of course, the sound is not too loud.
5. Makes Hot Environments Tolerable
- Just like adults, babies are more comfortable and sleep better in hot rooms if the air is humid. This is needed especially in winter when a heater or furnace may be present in the baby’s room and he/she may be wrapped up in multiple layers of clothing.
6. Prevents Static Shocks
- While it isn’t so dangerous, the presence of static electricity in your kid’s blanket can create uncomfortable sensations for him/her. A humidifier reduces the quantity of static in the room, thus reducing chances of a static shock.
2 Types of Humidifier to Compare With
We have prepared for you the list of types of humidifiers and their advantages and disadvantages to help you decide which is best for your requirements and the environment.
1. A Cool-Mist Humidifier for a Baby
A cool-mist humidifier must be cleaned every time before refilling with water. If you don’t practice this, it won’t remain clean and disinfect it with a little bleach otherwise, it will grow bacteria that can be breathed into your lungs. This type of humidifier must be carefully and meticulously kept clean.
2. A Warm-Mist Humidifier for a Baby
A warm-mist humidifier boils the water into steam. This makes the water sterilized before it is dispersed into the air. All
humidifiers will clog up with minerals from tap water if it is hard, and it usually is. We recommend you to use distilled water at about $1 per gallon at the supermarket.
The most important thing for all humidifiers for babies is cleanliness. Wiping down the humidifier each day with a 10% bleach solution of 9 parts water to 1 part bleach is one of the best ways to keep it clean, (Ratio 9:1).
Humidifiers are of great help for newborns, older babies, toddlers and everyone who is congested due to dry conditions. Dry climates at 2% to 20% outdoor humidity means the inside is the same. During the winter, heat sources are turned on and that makes the indoor air even drier. Humid climates having up to 100% humidity outdoors will not maintain that level of humidity indoors when the heat is turned on. Air conditioners remove humidity as well, making the interior dry, and humidifiers can be operated with the air conditioning running as well.
Differences in Humidifier Types
We prepared for you the main differences in humidifier types (cool-mist-humidifier and warm-mist-humidifier) as well as pros and cons for both of them. We believe it will make it easier for you to make the right decision for what you need.
- There are no significant differences in how a cool- or warm-mist humidifier functions; they both work in the same way extremely well to humidify the air.
- There is no appreciable difference in temperature once a warm-mist humidifier’s mist touches your baby’s skin or gets to the lungs. The temperature will remain same as is the room anyway.
- Ultrasonic humidifiers are the most silent humidifiers so that your baby can rest.
- Warm-mist humidifiers heat the water with a built-in heating element. The cost to operate is about the same as a 60-Watt light bulb each month, just pennies.
Humidifiers can be used during the whole year, not just the winter or colder months in some areas. Humidity level can be maintained at about 50% all the times of the year so that your baby or toddler does not have congestion, a dry mouth, a nose so stuffy that nose breathing cannot be accomplished. A humidifier will help keep the baby’s mucous membranes moist in the nasal passages so there will be no bleeding from baby’s nose. Your little one will be happier and sleep better at night.
No matter what type of infant humidifier you buy, when you use hard water from the faucet you will have a white dust on the floor and furniture from the minerals in the water. There will be more mineral build up in the unit that requires more rigorous cleaning. We recommend you to buy distilled water. It might cost you a dollar a gallon, but it’s worth it in terms of clogging and cleaning buildup that must be removed repeatedly. Distilled water will also increase the life and efficiency of your humidifier.
6 Features for Reviewing Humidifier
1. Low Noise
- For your baby to relax and have a restful healing sleep when ill, you want a quiet humidifier.
2. Automatic Shutoff
- For when the water is about to finish so that you will not be concerned with the unit burning out when your baby is sleeping.
- That is adjustable for maintaining your desired humidity level in the baby’s nursery or room.
4. Antibacterial Qualities
- For keeping bacterial growth in water at bay such as ultraviolet (UV) lights, cartridges, or filters.
- Preferably a unit with a removable water tank for ease at cleaning and refilling.
- To make carrying easier with a wide opening for cleaning and refilling with water.
Best Selling Humidifiers in 2017
1. Pure Ultrasonic Cool Mist Humidifier
Pure Ultrasonic Cool Mist Humidifier is one of the best humidifiers on the market. Tests have shown that this humidifier lasted for over 14 hours. This is great because you can turn it on 2-3 hours before bedtime (maybe like 4pm) and it would go all the way to morning (about 8am). Another great feature is that this humidifier for a baby is very simple to operate: there literally is only one button that controls the power and whether the subtle glowing night light is on or off. These are some additional features: you can swivel the nozzle around 360-degrees to position it exactly how you’d like. It also shuts off automatically when the water level gets low, or if the tank is removed. We also think it is the quietest kids humidifier on the list – like, really super quiet (you’ll be surprised). There are no annoying filters to clean, no complicated features, and all at a really great price.
2. TaoTronics Ultrasonic Cool Mist Humidifier
With a price of $80, TaoTronics Ultrasonic Cool Mist Humidifier is the most expensive option on our list, but if you can afford it, the features are definitely worth the cost and make it the best cool mist humidifier for a baby. This product has 3 speed settings (low, med, high). The low setting is just as quiet as the Pure Ultrasonic Cool Mist Humidifier above, and the medium and high settings are still very quiet overall. It has a much larger tank than the Pure, coming in at just over a gallon of water. It is rated for 15 hours of humidifying, which tells us that this unit does an excellent job getting the moisture into the air. How can we know that? It’s pretty simple. If it has a bigger tank and is running out after 15 hours, then all that water is going somewhere. This infant humidifier also has several advanced features; a nice LED screen and a built-in humidity meter to tell you what the current conditions are in the room. There is also a sleep timer integrated, so you can set at night, a rotating nozzle, and a sleek profile. Refilling is a bit more cumbersome than the Pure because it’s a bigger tank to fit under the faucet (we used our kitchen sink). The cleaning procedure is the same as the other units: clean out the tank and brush off the metal ring. The reliability of this product is great, and the company is very responsive to any questions, queries or concerns. Other than being a bit harder to fill and expensive, there are no other drawbacks to this humidifier. Not for use with aromas or essential oils (see #3 for that).
3. Seneo Ultrasonic Cool Mist Humidifier and Aromatherapy
There are several reasons making Saneo Ultrasonic Cool Mist Humidifier and Aromatherapy so great. First of all, this cool mist humidifier is whisper quiet. It also has a continuous speed adjustment with about 25 settings, and from low to medium is extremely quiet. Refilling is very simple: pull the blue part off, unscrew the cap on the bottom, and fill it up with 2.6 liters (over half a gallon) of water from your sink. This cool mist humidifier has a subtle night light with 7 different colors, and you can choose whether to have the light on or off independently of the humidification. There is also a little tray hiding on the back that you can put a drop or two of essential oils into, which will give the room a nice subtle aroma. The reliability ratings are excellent, and that is surprisingly hard to find with a humidifier. There are no filters to clean or replace. When it comes to cleaning, you will only need to clean two things: first, clean the reservoir as you would with any other humidifier (usually once a week). Second, use the little brush (already included with the product) to clean the silver ring in the bottom of the humidifier (maybe once every few weeks). When we sum all these features, this is an excellent humidifier with some simple options.
4. Remedies Ultrasonic Cool Mist Humidifier With Oil Diffuser
Remedies Ultrasonic Cool Mist Humidifier, like the Seneo humidifier, can disperse aromas and essential oils from a small tray located at the bottom of the unit. If you add some soothing lavender or chamomile essence your baby’s room will smell great! This is not the only feature that makes this brand an excellent humidifier. It has a 2.8 liter (about .75 gallon) water tank, a huge range of speed adjustment, several night light color glow options (or you can turn it off), and it goes for about 8-9 hours according to our tests. In comparison to the above-mentioned models, this infant humidifier uses a stone filter that claims to get rid of water smells (like chlorine odor). We’re not sure how well it works, especially over time, but it’s a nice touch. Regardless of having that filter, you will still need to clean the tank like any other humidifier. This is a highly reliable model and the company is very responsive to any issues. The only disadvantage for this humidifier we found is that it is a bit louder than the Pure or TaoTronics. We didn’t use any sophisticated sound meter or anything, but it just seemed to have a louder hum than the above options.
5. Vornadobaby Huey Evaporative Humidifier
Vornadobaby Huey Evaporative Humidifier is for sure one of the better ones on the market for several reasons. Though the tank is exceedingly small at about .25 gallons of water, it is super easy to refill and clean. This model has a convenient little handle that you use to pull the tank out (about the size of a water bottle) and refill. Vornadobaby humidifier also has humidity adjustment instead of having just low and high settings for fan speed, so you can set the desired humidity level (we used 55%) and it will cycle on and off as needed. This baby humidifier uses a “wick” filter that you’ll need to replace every few months, at the cost of about $7 each. Just like all other described models on this list, you’ll need to clean the tank frequently. The water tank is really small so you’re not getting a ton of moisture into the air overnight. Bad thing is that it is not super quiet like the ultrasonic options on the list. In fact, it was the noisiest one we tested.
8 Shopping Tips to Watch Out
It’s not simple to recommend the best type of humidifier in absolute terms, since (as noted above) each variant has its pros and cons. However, as far as babies are concerned, there are certain features that every humidifier should offer as the needs of babies are somewhat different from adults and unlike the latter, they are unable to express preferences. Thus, the final selection of humidifier should be based on the following features:
1. Automatic Shutdown
- Automatic shutdown is a feature that makes the humidifier able to stop working when the water runs out. This also prevents the machine from running without water and thus burning itself out. More importantly for babies, since the noise increases when the water runs out, the automatic shutdown ensures that the baby is not unduly disturbed.
2. Anti-microbial Features
- Addition to the filters, many of the best humidifiers tend to have UV lamps and/or silver ion systems that prevent the growth of mold or bacteria inside the machine. This makes an additional layer of protection against the spread of germs and in doing so, keeps your little one safe and also reduces the need for repeatedly opening the unit and cleaning it out manually.
3. Replaceable Filters
- There are some models having permanent filters while others offer units that filter but need to be replaced after some time. The presence of replaceable filters may be costlier but they ensure that should anything go wrong with the filter, it can be changed. Permanent filters, on the other hand, may not require changing but should anything go wrong, professional help would be required to replace the filter.
- As a thermostat measures temperature, the same humidistat keeps track of the level of humidity in the room. Humidistat helps the unit to figure out when the humidity of the room has reached the optimal 50% and thus reduces the chances of the air becoming oversaturated with moisture. This feature is especially important for babies since they are often left unsupervised. If in such a scenario the humidifier exceeds the ideal humidity levels, the baby might come down with cold and breathing problems.
5. Adaptability to Hard Water
- While mist produced from hard water is completely safe for babies, at the same time the ions in hard water can damage the filters. This issue can reduce the efficacy of the bacterial defense systems built into the unit. Thus, it is recommended to ensure that the humidifier is compatible with hard water or at least compatible with filters that can handle hard water.
- We have already mentioned that the humming noise of a humidifier can make the baby feel more comfortable that it normally is. Regardless of that, babies too have a threshold beyond which noise becomes a hindrance to comfort. Large humidifiers are not recommended to be kept in small rooms because that may create noise and disturb baby’s sleep. So, while the type of noise produced by the humidifier is good, the level of noise must be kept within reasonable limits by buying a reasonably quiet unit that is suitable for the baby’s room size.
7. Price and Warranty
- Humidifier for babies that includes all the above-mentioned features must not cost more than $100 if you’re going in for tabletop models. In-duct units are much costlier and you may have to obtain professional opinions regarding the specifics of humidifiers to be used. The warranty also varies greatly, the majority of models have a warranty period of 6 months to a year, though some in-duct units might come with even lifetime warranties depending on the pricing and nature of installation.
- When it comes to safety, the cool-mist humidifiers are safer for toddlers and youngsters to be around since they have no heating element. The warm-mist boils water and can be riskier for the toddlers, young children, and pets around.
You should also be very careful when choosing a place to put the humidifier. That must be a flat surface but not on the floor or a high chest where kids and pets can get hold of it. Don’t forget to unplug the humidifier when not in use, and for cleaning. Never close the room door when it is running because the room will be too humid. You don’t need a sauna for your little one, but good air circulation.