Are Humidifiers Good for Babies?

This is an all too common question for concerned parents and expecting parents. In this article, we'll go over the benefits of having a bedroom humidifier in your baby's nursery and what to look for in a humidifier when searching for one. 


Why You Should Have a Humidifier in Your Baby's Nursery

  • Softens and Prevents Dry Skin
  • Helps with Cradle Cap & Eczema
  • Eases Coughing and Congestion
  • Helps Your Baby Sleep
  • Prevents Snoring
  • Reduces Viruses and Bacteria
  • Soothes Dry Lips for Breastfeeding

and much more. Continue Reading to learn why humidifiers are good for babies.

Softens and Prevents Dry Skin

Newborn babies have soft, delicate skin. After nesting for nine months in amniotic fluid, babies aren't used to the dry environment outside the womb.

Your baby's skin can become very dry and flaky, even with regular baths and moisturizing cream. It may get worse in the winter as you run your heating system or in the summer as the air conditioning dries out the air.

Running a humidifier in your nursery can help add moisture to the room and your baby's skin. This eases the discomfort of dry, peeling skin and can help prevent the problem from occurring in the future.

baby feet

Helps with Cradle Cap and Eczema

Many newborns suffer from cradle cap, eczema, and other irritating skin conditions. You can give your little one baths with a gentle baby wash and use creams and products your doctor recommends. But there's more you can do.

A humidifier can help soften rough, dry patches of cradle cap and eczema. This may lead to less redness and irritation for your baby.

A humidifier can't cure these conditions. But it's another helpful tool you can use to ease the symptoms of these stubborn skin conditions. 

Eases Coughing and Congestion 

You do everything you can to keep your baby healthy, but all babies catch a cold once in a while. When this happens, it's hard to watch your baby cough and struggle with nasal or chest congestion.

Many pediatricians discourage the use of cold medicines with babies. This can leave you feeling helpless about how to help your little one.

A humidifier provides continuous moisture that soothes the throat and opens up nasal passages. This can make breathing easier for your baby and can help you and baby get some rest.

Helps Baby Sleep 

Some babies have difficulty staying asleep or sleeping through the night. This is especially true if they have congestion. 

If it's time for your baby to start sleeping through the night, you may want to add a humidifier to the room. The white noise emitted by the humidifier is comforting and can help lull your little one to sleep.

The moisture in the air moistens your baby's nasal passages. This makes breathing and sleeping so much easier.  

Adds Comfort 

When your baby is fussy, you check to see if they're hungry, need a diaper change, or a little comforting. Sometimes your baby may feel agitated if the air in the room is too dry.

This can happen in the cold and warm months if there's not enough moisture in the room. When your baby is fussy, try turning on a humidifier. 

This can help regulate body temperature and relax your little one. And it may be hard to believe, but the humming sound of the humidifier mimics the sounds they heard in the womb.

This soothing sound can help them feel less nervous and agitated for a daytime nap or a good night's sleep.

Less Snoring

Yes, babies do snore. It's perfectly normal.

This is especially for newborns who are still clearing amniotic fluid from their nasal passages. Congestion and dry, clogged nasal passages cause snoring too.

A baby's snoring is not serious or harmful. But the sound can startle them and wake them up during the night. 

Adding a humidifier to the nursery can help moisturize the nasal passages. This may ease breathing and reduce snoring.

An optimal breathing environment helps your little one relax and sleep better.

Helps Prevent Viruses

Babies' immune systems are not fully developed. This makes them more susceptible to colds and other types of viruses like the flu.

During the winter months, these illnesses are common. And they're especially dangerous for infants.

As you use the heater to warm your home, the dry indoor air is favorable for bacteria and viruses. This puts your baby at risk.

A humidifier adds needed moisture to the air. And bacteria and viruses don't travel as well in moist air. Using a humidifier adds an extra layer of protection between your baby and these common seasonal illnesses.

Of course, using a humidifier isn't a guarantee that your baby won't get sick. So, be sure to talk to your pediatrician about all the preventative measures you can take.

Soothes Chapped Lips

A baby's skin is sensitive to dry air which can result in dry, chapped lips. This delicate skin can crack and bleed, causing pain and discomfort.

Chapped, irritated lips can make breastfeeding or taking a bottle painful for your baby.

A humidifier provides extra moisture to the air. This helps soothe and moisturize your baby's skin and lips. 

Are Humidifiers Good for Babies?

You should maintain and clean your humidifier on a regular basis. It's an important piece of equipment for your baby's nursery and their general health. 

Hydration is so important for babies. It helps their skin, lips, throat, and nasal passages stay moist and healthy. 

When your baby is breathing easier, they are comfortable and more likely to sleep through the night. That can help you sleep a little easier as well, and that's a big benefit for any new parent.

Choosing the Best Humidifier for Your Baby

When you start shopping for humidifiers, you'll notice two main differences. Some emit cool mist while others emit warm mist.

Both of them work well and have their own set of benefits and drawbacks. Deciding which type to choose is a matter of preference. 

There are a few things to consider before making your choice.

Warm Mist Humidifiers

Warm-mist humidifiers or vaporizers have a built-in heating element that produces steam. These humidifiers make a soft humming sound and are quieter than most cool mist humidifiers.

They are less expensive than most cool mist models and less likely to break. Because they emit warm vapor, they tend to make a room feel warmer.

You may want to turn down the heat and using a warm mist humidifier in your baby's room. This can help your baby feel more comfortable and breathe easier.

The biggest drawback of a warm mist humidifier is the potential for burns. 

When the unit is on, the tank contains hot water. If the unit spills or falls over, it can burn your little one. Children can also burn their hands or faces by getting too close to the steam nozzle.

If you choose a warm mist humidifier, you must be sure to place the unit and the cord out of your baby's reach. Even if you have a newborn, it won't be long before they can reach out.

So, if you choose a warm mist variety, take those precautions now for your baby's safety.

Cool Mist Humidifiers

These humidifiers use only cold water, so they don't carry the same burning risk as the warm mist models. They add moisture into the air and can soothe dry skin, chapped lips, and clogged nasal passages.

The water in the tank stays cold. But cool mist humidifiers carry their own potential risks. You must clean and maintain them on a regular basis to avoid mold and bacteria growing in the tank.

A well-maintained cool mist humidifier poses little risk to your baby's health. They're easy to use and are a popular choice with new mothers.

Both cool and warm mist humidifiers are good for your baby's general health and wellbeing.

Both types of humidifiers work well. But many pediatricians prefer warm mist vaporizers because steam kills bacteria that can be harmful to your child.

Ultrasonic vs. Evaporative Humidifiers

If you choose the cool mist variety, you can choose between a traditional evaporative humidifier or a high-tech ultrasonic unit. Ultrasonic humidifiers use sound vibrations to break water droplets into a cool mist.

They are quiet, take up less space, and use less electricity than other models.

These humidifiers do not have filters. But they can sometimes emit fine white dust on the unit itself and nearby furniture.

This is a natural by-product of the minerals in the water and will not harm your little one. 

Evaporative humidifiers use a fan that blows cool mist into the air.

Air flows through a water-saturated filter. This increases the humidity in the air while it retains impurities from the water.  

Evaporative humidifiers do not emit any dust but do require more space and energy than the ultrasonic models. They tend to be noisier than other models as well.

Things to Consider When Buying a Humidifier

Before you make a purchase, check out the features available on different models. Some features will be more useful to you than others.

You want your nursery to be a safe and healthy environment for your little one.

Choosing a humidifier doesn't have to be difficult. You want to choose the right one for your family's needs.

Room Size

Most humidifiers will fit well in a small to medium nursery. If you plan to spend time with your baby in much larger spaces, you may want a larger model. 

Some people choose to buy more than one humidifier. But humidifiers are portable, so you can move them from room to room as needed.

You can even travel with them to keep your baby comfortable wherever you go.


As humidifiers become more popular for nurseries, their designs are becoming more kid-friendly. You can find humidifiers in bright colors, animal themes, and other cute options for your baby's room.

You can choose a humidifier that provides for your child's comfort and complements your nursery decor too.


Some humidifier models have a nightlight feature. This provides a gentle glow in your baby's room. This can be helpful when you need to check on your baby in the middle of the night.

The soft light is comforting to your baby, and you won't need to turn on the overhead lights when you enter the room.


You have enough to worry about, so you want to choose a humidifier that's easy to clean. Some have detachable, easy-to-clean parts that you can put in the dishwasher.

Stagnant water in a humidifier can breed bacteria and mold, so cleaning it on a regular basis is a must. The easier the cleaning process, the better for you.

Helpful Tips to Consider

Use only distilled water in your humidifier. Tap water creates a mineral buildup that's hard to clean.

Clean your humidifier at least once a week. Choose a model that's dishwasher safe and make cleaning the tank a part of your regular routine.

Allow your humidifier to dry between cleanings. This helps prevent any mold or bacteria growth within the unit.

If your humidifier has a filter, change it on a regular basis. Follow the manufacturer's directions for the regular maintenance of your humidifier.

Keep the humidity level between 30-50%. Running the humidifier too high or too low is not good for your baby.

Be sure that all humidifiers, especially a warm mist humidifier, are out of reach of children.

Don't add essential oils to your baby's humidifier. Discuss this with your child's pediatrician first. 

Taking Care of Baby

So, are humidifiers good for babies? The answer is yes! 

You want your child's nursery to be a safe and healthy environment where your baby will thrive. A humidifier is a wonderful addition to any nursery. It can help your baby breathe easier and sleep soundly. 

If you are looking for a humidifier for your child's nursery or other areas of your home, contact us today. 

mom hugs a newborn

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