We’ve previously talked about the top reasons to have a humidifier at home, but what about for our baby? We always get calls on whether our humidifiers are safe for babies. Well, not only are they safe, they’re also very beneficial!
Today, we’ll talk about how a humidifier can benefit your baby, what to look out for when buying a humidifier, and how to properly maintain a humidifier for use at home. Let’s get started! 🙂
How can a humidifier benefit your baby?
Humidifiers are on every new baby gift registry, but just how essential are they in the nursery? Many first time parents think that a humidifier is only necessary if the baby is sick or has a cold, but that’s hardly the case.
A humidifier can help your baby sleep better all the time, whether he’s sick or not.
Ideally, indoor humidity should be 30 to 50 % RH (Relative Humidity), but during winter, heating in your home pulls moisture from indoor air and can cause it to drop as low as 10%, making it uncomfortably dry.
Your skin starts to feel itchy and develop dry patches. Your lips get chapped. Nasal passages become dry, leading to a stuffy nose and congestion. In some people, it can even lead to persistent nose bleeds! You also get dry, itchy eyes, and start feeling sick more often.
If the lack of moisture in the air can cause us adults to feel so uncomfortable, imagine how your baby might be feeling!
It’s easy for adults and older children to turn to cold remedies and get preventative flu shots, but that isn’t an option for babies and young children.
In a winter environment where your home is usually filled with hot, dry air, a humidifier helps ease a cold by loosening secretions and helping to get rid of both nasal and oral secretions.
Humidifiers can also be helpful in treating a number of ENT disorders including croup, tonsillitis, congestion, sinus problems and more, as explained by Dr Hayes, an Ear, Nose & Throat Disorders expert.
Plus, adding moisture to the air can help prevent children from getting sick in the first place, as viruses thrive in drier air. Using a humidifier can kill viruses faster and create an environment that prevents viruses from thriving.
Dry air also makes your home feel cooler. In the hot, humid months of summer, the heat wouldn’t feel as bad if it weren’t so humid. The reverse is true in winter – more humidity in the air would make your home feel a lot warmer. While you can put on an extra sweater, the only way your baby can tell you he’s uncomfortable is by crying.
In all, a humidifier quickly promotes healthier, more comfortable air in homes that are dry, especially during winter months. A quick way to determine if your home is too dry is to check for the symptoms as mentioned above, or invest in a hygrometer (humidity meter) to monitor the humidity levels in your home.
So if you’ve decided to buy a humidifier for your own baby or for someone else’s, the next thing to ask is – what humidifier do I buy?
Here’s what to look out for when buying a humidifier:
1. Type of humidifier – cool mist or warm mist?
There are generally two types of humidifiers on the market – cool mist and warm mist humidifiers.
The difference is simple – cool mist humidifiers emit mist at room temperature, whereas warm mist humidifiers emit mist that is slightly warmer than room temperature.
Which one do you choose?
Most online articles will recommend you to get cool mist humidifiers for babies because warm mist humidifiers are considered not as safe around children. However, that’s because most warm mist humidifiers heat up the water to a much higher temperature before emitting it into the room.
The Ionmax ION90 humidifier – our top-of-the-range dual cool and warm mist humidifier – uses ultrasonic technology to heat water up before producing warm mist, making it absolutely safe around children and babies.
Warm mist humidifiers also help to spread moisture into the air at a faster rate and absorbs more readily into our skin, making humidification more efficient.
Cool mist humidifier models come in two types:
evaporative, which uses a wick filter to draw water up to a fan, which releases it from the unit as a mist, and
ultrasonic, which uses high-frequency sound vibrations to produce a fine water mist which gets released back into the room.
Most people consider ultrasonic to be the safest option as it does not pose as many risks to children, and it is quieter to run than its cool mist counterpart.
Pediatricians recommend that you get a humidifier with a built-in humidistat so you can monitor humidity levels in the nursery. The ideal level is 50% RH.
With the Ionmax ION90 humidifier, it’s easy. The ION90 has an LCD that displays the current humidity level as well as lets you set the desired humidity level.
It also has preset modes – including baby/atopy, sleep, and common cold – allowing you to leave the unit unattended while it self regulates to maintain the set humidity level.
Watch the ION90 in action below!
Having a built-in humidistat is handy, but humidifiers without a humidistat can be much cheaper for those with a budget. Although they may raise the humidity enough to cause condensation on windows if not being monitored actively, regular checking or using a timer to remind yourself to switch it off can be good enough to save you some money..
For light daily use, you might find a simple humidifier like the Ionmax ION50 cool mist humidifier a more affordable option. With an easy to operate control knob, adjustable mist control and auto switch off when the tank is empty, the ION50 is easy to use and perfect for budget-conscious parents.
See it in action below!
3. Safety around children
Although our humidifiers are safe for use around children, you should always exercise extra care when using it around the home.
Place the humidifier somewhere safe, stable, and on a flat surface where children and pets will not be able to reach it. Always unplug the unit from the power source before moving it, and when not in use.
Spillage is also a potential hazard, so keep it away from other electrical devices.
Safety features like automatic switch off on an empty tank, a timer to switch it off after a certain amount of time, and audible warnings to alert you of its status, are great added features that will benefit you over the long run.
Humidifiers like the ION90 have all of these and more, and is a great model to look at if you’re after a comprehensive and safety-focused humidifier.
4. Water cleanliness
Some humidifiers come with a water filter to remove contaminants from the water before producing the mist. This is important as you’d want the mist that it produces to be as clean and healthy as possible as well.
If buying a humidifier without an included filter, you can choose to use distilled water in the humidifier – this will ensure that the mist it produces is clean of contaminants.
Some advanced models even include sterilisation technology – such as Ultraviolet sterilisation technology in the Ionmax ION90. This helps to decompose smelly particles in the water to achieve maximum deodorisation and sterilisation effects.
Whichever type of humidifier you get though, you will always need to clean the water tank regularly to prevent the growth of mould and bacteria from standing water.
5. Ease of use and cleaning
Is the humidifier portable enough for you to bring around the house? Is the water tank easy to remove and refill when needed, and easy to clean?
Mould and mildew can grow very quickly in a humidifier, so if you are going to use one on a regular basis be prepared to make cleaning it part of your daily routine, like brushing your teeth.
Mould can grow within 48 hours on wet surfaces, and mould in the tank or in the water can then be transferred into the air, potentially causing itchy eyes and breathing troubles.
Refer to the manual for instructions on how to clean the humidifier.
For the best results, follow these tips:
- Change the water daily. Cleaning the water tank and drying it thoroughly will help prevent bacteria and mould growth inside the unit.
- Clean the water tank regularly. Minerals in tap water can cause an accumulation of scale, which should be removed regularly with vinegar, or as recommended in the user manual.
- Replace the filter when required, especially if you’re using hard water. Or, you can remedy that by using distilled water, which has a lower mineral content than most tap water and can help boost your humidifier’s efficiency.
- Clean the humidifier before storing it.
Light Use and Low Budget – Ionmax Serene Ultrasonic Aroma Diffuser (Discontinued)
For something that is extremely simple to use, small, and lightweight – we recommend the Ionmax Serene Ultrasonic Aroma Diffuser.
It functions as a humidifier and aroma diffuser; used with some essential oils, it can help alleviate asthma and allergy symptoms.
The best part is that it is multifunctional and a perfect nursery gift thanks to its soothing nightlight, timer, LED clock and alarm function, which switches the unit on and starts up the nightlight and aroma diffuser function.
Moderate Use, Moderate Budget – Ionmax ION50 Ultrasonic Cool Mist Humidifier
Simple to use with added features, the ION50 is convenient for moderate use and is compact and portable, making it easy to move around.
With a large 4.2L tank capacity and up to 10 hours continuous humidification, the ION50 is a small but powerful humidifier for home use.
Regular or Heavy Use – Ionmax ION90 Dual UV Cool / Warm Mist Humidifier
For the best, top-of-the-range humidifier with the most functions and features, look no further than the ION90 humidifier.
With UV sterilisation, dual cool and warm mist function, various pre-set modes, LCD display and ability to manually adjust desired humidity levels, the ION90 is one of the best, most advanced humidifiers on the market.
Have something to add to this story? Tell us in the comments section below! Also, be sure to check out our full range of humidifiers here:
Disclaimer: The information provided in this article is for general reference only. Please seek advice from professionals according to your needs.