Among the most common of infant illnesses are cold and throat ailments, and among the most common solutions to such problems is medication and temporary installation of a humidifier for baby in the corner of the room.
These are effective solutions, but what is often not realized that the greatest effectiveness comes from the ability of the humidifier to increase room humidity to a level comfortable for the baby.
Worse, most parents do not realize that maintaining adequate humidity is a full-time task – not something to be done only when the phlegm starts running and the baby starts crying.
However, as with anything involving your precious little one, it is never wise to go in for a humidifier without having a thorough knowledge of its operation, the benefits to be had and of course, the nutty gritty of purchasing the most suitable unit.
While humidifiers tend to be vary vastly in shape and capacity, their inherent functionality is simple and constant across virtually all products. This has allowed us to obtain information about humidifiers which can be applicable across all product categories and even climatic conditions.
As responsible netizens and parents, we’ve used this information and our own knowledge to compile a guide so your infant too can sleep and play around in the comfort of a well-humidified room.
With a water tank that allows for a whole day’s operation on a single refill, this Honeywell product is meant to work for long hours.
Equally importantly, the unit comes with a patented germ killing chamber technology that gets rid of 99.9% of all harmful bacteria within 2 hours of operation.
These germ removal capabilities are further enhanced by the presence of Protec antimicrobial treated filter called HAC-50AW.
What truly sets this Honeywell product apart though is the presence of a Self Regulating Evaporative System that tracks the amount of moisture present in the air and tailors the mist production accordingly.
Coupled with a renowned QuietCare system that keeps the unit 25% quieter during operation than the average humidifier, this feature allows the unit to run with minimal supervision, thus enhancing ease of use.
An all-time favorite, this TaoTronics offering comes with a remarkable 1 gallon water storage capacity and a 15 hour work cycle to match it, ensuring that the room reaches and stays at optimal humidity for long periods without the need for frequent switching on/off.
Speaking of optimal humidity, the unit can achieve any humidity level between 40% and 95% with ease, even when the size of the room is as great as 538 sq ft. Top these off with a microporous cartridge and you get high quality mist that is, however, free from harmful bacteria and calcium and magnesium ions.
Complementing these is a versatile timer mechanism that allows users to decide the duration of misting and allows the unit to go off to sleep after this duration, or when sleep mode is activated.
Regardless of the duration for which the product is run though, it maintains minimal noise levels while providing soothing cool mist courtesy of a whisper-quiet ultrasound mechanism. Last but not least, the presence of a bright LED display and handles for carrying out the water replenishment process make operation and maintenance of the unit a pleasant job.
One of the few units capable of continuous operation, this Air-O-Swiss product comes with a powerful high frequency technology motor that is capable of humidifying a 600 sq ft. room with ease. Beyond mere humidification, the unit can enhance the temperature of the room by pumping out mist at 104 degrees Fahrenheit when the pre-heating option is enabled.
Whether warmed or cool, the mist produced is always free from minerals and germs courtesy of an easily replaceable demineralization cartridge. A Hydro-Cell keeps the contents of the humidifier fresh and germ-free, reducing the need for regular maintenance.
Since this is an Air-O-Swiss product, it comes with ITC (Intelligent Temperature Compensation) technology that makes the unit change mist production according to the changes in ambient temperature.
This feature works during sleep mode as well, thereby ensuring that one does not have to check on the baby regularly during the night. Finally, the intuitive touch controls and a 1-8 hour timer allows for customization of the functionalities without breaking a sweat.
A rare example of a product that can humidify rooms as huge as 2300 sq ft., this product comes with two tanks with a total capacity of 3.4 gallons, allowing it to run continuously for 24 hours on a single refill. If refilling not be an issue, the unit can ramp up mist output to 9 gallons a day as well.
Despite such high capacity, the humidifier never errs on the bacteria question since it is endowed with an Air Washing system that removes dust and pollen even as a high quality anti-microbial filter keeps the water-borne germs at bay.
Interestingly, Honeywell has provided the product with unmatched customizability courtesy of a three-level output system and adjustable humidity control. With a 30% quieter QuietCare system ensuring the baby’s aural comfort, this feature can be used to obtain just the right amount of humidity for your precious one.
Compact but capable of running for a marathon 70 hours at a stretch, this PureGuaridan product’s uniqueness is further enhanced by the presence of a multi-directional nozzle that can spray mist to those specific areas that need to be humidified the most.
Complementing this is the fact that the interior of the product possesses silver protection, thus insuring the mist against bacteria or mold.
Alongside these features, the unit comes with an ultrasonic technology-enabled motor that ensures low noise levels during operation. With there being no filters to change, convenience of use is also among the notable points of this unit.
Put simply, a humidifier is a device that adds moisture to the air in the room. Since humidity is defined as the amount of suspended water vapor or moisture in the air, a humidifier increases the humidity of the environs. Inside the humidifier is a tray of water that (most often) contains a nasal decongestant agent (like Vicks Vaporub) or essential oil.
A motor inside the unit transforms the water into miniscule droplets, which are then pumped out at high speed into the air. Due to their small size, they remain suspended in the air and along with them, the agents and oil particles remain suspended too. Together, they produce a more aromatic and more importantly, comfortable environment.
But why would be need to increase humidity to improve comfort ? Well, the human body – infant or adult – is accustomed to atmospheric humidity in the range of 30 to 50%. In the dry winter months (or all year long in dry climes), the humidity can drop to as low as 10%.
In particular, when the air outside is cold and this cold air is heated when it enters the home, the moisture level in it drops dramatically. As the humidity drops, our mucosal membranes become dry. Such membranes line the nasal canal and various other sense organs. When dry, they tend to become easily irritated and/or infected.
This can lead to itching, redness, swelling and infection. Cold and cough are only the two most common types of infections arising out of dry mucosal membranes. By keeping ambient humidity in our comfort zone, humidifiers protect us from a range of illnesses while giving us a feeling of comfort and well-being.
Babies’ bodies function along the same principles as those of an adult, but their immune systems and physiological processes are not as well developed. This allows humidifier to provide benefits to infants that adults probably wouldn’t need
As noted above, humidifiers produce fine water droplets containing decongestant agents and essential oils. While the improved humidity keeps the respiratory system moist, the oils help retard growth of viruses and thus act as a preventive against viral infections.
It is hard to say which type of humidifier is the best 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 have given that the needs of babies are somewhat different from adults and unlike the latter, they are unable to express preferences.
The discussion so far has focused on studying the uses of humidifier and for this reason, we’ve talked of humidifiers as a single monolithic category. In reality, however, there are various types of humidifiers in the market and it would be a capital oversight if we didn’t guide you through at least the most common types.
Cool mist units use high pressure to change water into fine mist and hence, they do not use heat. Modern variants make use of ultrasound or chemicals to purify the water and thus prevent germs from spreading. These units are best used in conjunction with heaters or in rooms that are already warm.
Babies have the twin disadvantages of weak bodies and inability to express discomfiture clearly. Hence, a good amount of “what is good for baby” is a combination of conjecture and expert opinion from those who have experience handling infants.
This being the case, it may well be the case that despite our most earnest endeavors to provide the most accurate guide, your child’s needs and desires might be at variance with both expert opinion and our own understanding of the concept of dryness and utility of humidifiers.
Keeping this in mind, we would suggest carefully observing the child in the early stages of humidifier use to ensure he/she is comfortable and furthermore, being prepared to change the unit should the results be at great variance with expectations.
All considered though, we do believe the above guide is a good starting point for determining which is the best humidifier for baby. Coupled with careful consideration and observation of the child, the above paragraphs should be able to provide your baby with the comfort and rest that you dearly wish to provide him/her.