Loving parents always want what’s best for their babies. Providing for a baby’s well-being includes a safe and healthy environment with the right humidity level, temperature, and high air quality. After all, the right sleep environment needs to be free of mold growth or dust mites, yet have air that is sufficiently moist to avoid dehydration.
The United States Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) report that pollutants can be even more harmful to infants and young children than to adults for three main reasons:
- Their body’s internal organs, such as their lungs, are still developing.
- They breathe, drink, and eat more than adults relative to their body size.
- Differences in behavior (not just biology) can make them more vulnerable.
Fortunately, there are many ways you can make your baby’s room safer and more comfortable for little ones. One of the best ways of regulating air quality is the inclusion of a humidity control system in your baby’s room to provide the ideal humidity level.
Ideal Humidity for Nursery
Dry air can be irritating to a baby’s sensitive respiratory system and lead to dehydration. This is especially true with winter air and cooler months when indoor air becomes dry and heating systems exacerbate the problem.
One way that parents can measure the humidity level in a room is through a handy device known as a hygrometer. An indoor hygrometer is a reliable instrument that can calculate the humidity level inside your house. For example, the ideal humidity for a baby room is between 30 to 50% relative humidity (RH).
With high humidity, a musty smell can develop, indicative of mold growth and mildew. With low humidity, dry, itchy skin can result and may even cause the skin to crack. A baby’s skin is sensitive to dry climates, resulting in red patches and tender, chapped lips. Common skin conditions such as eczema can result. By using a baby room humidifier to add moisture into the surrounding air, a baby’s skin can retain its natural moistness and stay soft and supple.
Why Humidifiers Are Important
There’s no doubt that moist air can help your baby’s health by easing upper respiratory symptoms and soothing sore throats. It is not nice to hear the dreaded, barking cough that comes along with croup. A sick and irritable baby or infant is not ideal either. For lots of parents, this makes a humidifier a must-have, especially during cold and flu season when the sleeping temperature at night is low.
A nursery room humidifier offers benefits for your baby, such as:
- Preventing itchy, dry skin
- Preventing dry, chapped lips
- Relieving blocked sinuses
- Preventing sore throats
- Soothing cold and flu symptoms
- Assisting with a restful night’s sleep
- Ridding unwanted pollutants and bacteria that contribute to illness
- Reducing static electricity
Having a humidifier in your baby room provides many benefits in naturally dry climates. If you are using a nursery room heater to provide additional warmth in cooler months, you’re likely to find a humidifier to be essential.
How Humidifiers Work
Essentially, there are two popular types of humidifiers: warm-mist and cool-mist.
A warm-mist humidifier works by heating water to its boiling point and then combining that steam with air. Since the water is heated to create steam, a warm-mist humidifier will slightly warm the room it is in. A baby may be able to breathe better with warmer humidity that can reduce a mucus build-up plus open up the respiratory passage.
A cool-mist humidifier has a metal diaphragm that creates a fine water mist through vibrations. The moist air it releases is cool which means that a toddler or young child will not be burned if they come into contact with it. Sometimes, doctors recommend cool mist humidifiers for babies who suffer from croup. If you do opt for a cool-mist humidifier, it is best to use distilled water (better for your baby’s health) as the water in these machines is not heated.
How to Reduce Humidity in Your Home
In naturally humid climates, or where there are other factors leading to high indoor humidity, mold and mildew can be a big problem. In turn, these growths pollute the indoor air with allergens and irritants, which can be harmful to the health of your whole family.
To reduce the humidity in your baby room, you may want to do the following:
- Use a small dehumidifier
- Use exhaust fans in nearby bathrooms
- Never store wet or damp clothes, or spoiled diapers in the room
- During dry days, open windows to allow natural airflow
- Place house plants outside instead of inside
- Use fans to circulate air.
The indoor humidity level is vitally important for the health of your baby since they are highly sensitive to skin conditions and certain respiratory illnesses. Humidity control systems in your house certainly help to regulate the surrounding space and maintain consistency all year round.
It is often not possible to attain the ideal humidity level without a humidifier, dehumidifier, or a combo system. Luckily, there are many affordable options on the market to give parents peace of mind.