It can be difficult to take care of a baby that has a cold. Adults can take medicine or use home remedies to soothe aching throats or relieve sinus pressure. However, these solutions are not generally recommended for babies. There are other options to help keep your baby comfortable during the day and sleeping better at night when they have a cold. WebMD does recommend using a humidifier to help with babies that have congestion though. Other people might recommend a vaporizer for the same thing. In this article we shed some light on both of these recommendations.
Humidifier vs Vaporizer for Babies
In general, manufacturers use the word humidifier to refer to the kind of device used to restore proper levels of moisture to the air. If you are searching for this kind of product, that is the best search term to use.
On the other hand, a vaporizer can also refer to this same kind of device but it can also reference products for essential oils. If you want to most relevant results for simply adding moisture to the air, look for a humidifier.
The images below include humidifiers we review elsewhere on this site. To read those on specific humidifiers for your baby’s room check out our article here. Otherwise these links will take you to the product listing on Amazon.com. Once you are there you can explore other product listings as well.
Different Types of Humidifiers for Babies
The best kind of humidifier for use in a baby’s room or nursery is a cool mist humidifier. If you take a look at the cute, animal shaped humidifiers they are almost universally cool mist humidifiers. There are two reasons for this. A cue humidifier should put you in a good mood and help keep a smile on your face when you are in your baby’s room. Also, for safety reasons.
Cool mist humidifiers do not heat the water in order to release mist into the air. They use ultrasonic vibrations (silent, so your baby can easily sleep) to agitate the water. This agitation causes small droplets to become airborne and add humidity to the surrounding environment.
Warm mist humidifiers are less safe for a nursery. This type of humidifier heats the water to cause steam to add humidity to the air. Heated water adds the risk of burns if the humidifier somehow tips over. The American Academy of Pediatrics also recommends using a cool mist humidifier for this same reason. Safety is always a priority when it comes to babies and small children. Stick with a cool mist humidifier to help your baby through their cold or cough.
Other ways a humidifier can help
An added bonus to using a humidifier to help your baby and their stuffy nose is that it works for adults too. If you need relief and do not want to deal with the hazy feeling cold medicine can bring, try a humidifier. This has some of the same benefits as taking a warm shower. Humidifiers will use a lot less water than taking a shower. You can also keep the humidifier on your nightstand if it is not already in use in your baby’s room.
Baby’s skin is also not as good at retaining moisture as adult skin. Babies frequently develop rashes and irritation if the air is too dry. This may happen before you even notice there has been a change in your own skin.
People also use humidifiers to help them manage:
- Baby congestion or stuffy nose
- Partial relief from asthma or allergies
- Dry or possibly bloody noses caused by cold winter air – We have an extensive article about this topic here
- Managing the pain and shortness of breath that comes with bronchitis
It is important to use common sense and seek medical help if you or your baby is sick. Humidifiers can help, but they are no match for the expertise of a medical professional.
Humidifiers, Bacteria and Viruses
The EPA regularly conducts a Community Water System Survey. In the last survey took place in 2006 and it indicates not all community water systems treat their water.
It is reasonable to assume there are unwanted contaminants in your drinking water. (Remember Flint, Michigan?) If you use a humidifier in your baby’s room then be sure you take steps to clean the water.
There are also humidifiers that comes equipped with ultraviolet lights designed to destroy bacteria, viruses and molds that may be present in water. The two top models are the Honeywell HCM350W Germ Free Cool Mist Humidifier and the Vicks V3900 Germ Free Cool Mist Humidifier.
Check out this article that provides an in-depth review of the Honeywell HCM350W Germ Free Cool Mist Humidifier. Alternatively, check out either of these products on Amazon by clicking the links below.
Wrapping it all up
Hopefully this article has helped answer the question of which is better for a baby, a humidifier or a vaporizer. Humidifiers are the most commonly used term for the product you are looking for to help your baby with congestion or a stuffy nose. Additionally, a cool mist humidifier is safer in the event of a spill since the water is not heated up. This distinction is important and recommended by several different agencies, including the American Academy of Pediatrics.
For reviews on specific humidifiers for your baby’s room check out our article here. We review three different humidifiers including the Crane lineup of cool mist humidifiers that come in cute animal shapes your baby is sure to love. The lineup below is a small sample of available shapes and designs.