A humidifier may be an essential accessory for your baby's nursery, especially in winter. This is because dry air often causes babies to develop breathing problems, swollen sinuses, and respiratory infections. Humidifiers also protect your baby from allergies and drying of the skin, both of which are common in winter.
Humidifiers are generally of two types: warm mist humidifiers and cool mist humidifiers. Warm mist humidifiers work by boiling water in a holding tank to add to the humidity level in the surrounding area. Cool mist humidifiers use a fan to evaporate the water, which is absorbed by a wick filter from a tank.
Here are some tips to help you choose a humidifier:
- Decide which type of humidifier to buy. Warm mist humidifiers are ideal for cooler climates as the moisture they release is warm. On the other hand, the moisture released by cool mist humidifiers is cooler and more appropriate for warmer climates.
- Ensure that the humidifier you buy is safe. Some pediatricians consider cool mist humidifiers to be safer as they do away with the heating element that is used by warm mist humidifiers, which could accidentally hurt the baby.
- If the cleanliness of the air is an issue, there are bacteria-free humidifiers that ensure that the moisture released is free from air borne bacteria. Warm mist humidifiers are better in this respect, as they work by boiling water into steam.
- A humidifier with an in-built humidistat will allow you to control the amount of humidity in the nursery. Between 30% and 40% is a comfortable level to set.
- Check that the humidifier you buy is not too noisy. This is especially a problem with cool mist humidifiers, which use a fan for their functioning. Some models allow you to select the fan speed, and thus, control the level of the sound emitted.
- Cool mist humidifiers are generally better at covering a larger area and so, more appropriate if you have a large nursery.