What Does a Humidifier do for Babies? - Joy Through Chaos

What Does a Humidifier do for Babies?

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mother reading to child with humidifier in foreground

Have you ever been at home and your little one starts coughing for what seems like no reason? Or maybe they’re playing peek-a-boo under a blanket, and their hair gets super staticky? If you answered yes to either of those, then there’s a good chance your home could benefit from a humidifier. There are several substantial benefits to having humidifiers in every bedroom, but specifically, what does a humidifier do for babies? Let’s find out!

What Does a Humidifier do for Babies?

In it’s simplest form, a humidifier adds moisture to the air.

Babies are much more susceptible to congestion, and all that snot can lead to other infections and illnesses that are so common in the winter. Here’s the kicker- did you know that dry nasal passages become irritated and inflamed, causing too much mucus to be produced. SO- dry air can CAUSE congestion and lead to secondary illnesses. Are you mind blown?

A humidifier adds much-needed moisture to the air and creates optimal breathing conditions, allowing your baby to sleep comfortably and loosen the build-up of mucus from congestion and also prevent congestion caused from dry nasal passages.

The extra moisture in the air from a humidifier can also help relieve your baby of irritated, dry skin. Baby’s skin is sensitive to dry climates and can result in red patches and tender, chapped lips. Dry air may also be aggravating to common skin conditions, such as eczema. By using a humidifier to add moisture back into the air, the skin remains hydrated.

Benefits of a Humidifier

We know what a humidifier can do for babies, but what about everyone else in the house?

Using a humidifier can relieve:

  • A chronic runny nose
  • Hay fever symptoms
  • Nosebleeds
  • Asthma and allergy flare-ups
  • Sinus congestion
  • Dry throat

Which is Better: Warm Mist or Cool Mist Humidifier for Babies?

Warm Mist Humidifiers

Warm mist humidifiers have a heating element inside them, so they produce a warm mist. Revolutionary, right? Some pediatricians and researchers promote warm mist humidifiers because they can reduce germs and bacteria in the air- the thought is that the organisms cannot survive in elevated temperatures.

Makes sense. That’s why our bodies become feverish when we’re fighting an infection or virus; warm temperatures make it hard for germs to live. BUT- there is something that does thrive in moist, warm places.

Yep. Mold. I’m not suggesting that all warm mist humidifiers cause mold, that’s not true. It’s just a consideration to be mindful of when choosing a humidifier for your baby.

From the benefits to exactly what a humidifier does for a baby, learn everything you need to know about humidifiers! And which one you need for your baby.

Cool Mist Humidifiers

On the other end of the spectrum, cool mist humidifiers do not have a heating element installed, so the mist they produce is slightly cooler (though I’d wager to say it’s relatively close to room temperature).

Which is best?

Ultimately, it’s your choice. Both are effective at adding moisture to the air. But there are a few safety considerations you should weigh before making a decision.

Hot water or steam from a warm-mist humidifier or steam vaporizer can burn a child if they get too close. And, if your child knocks over their humidifier (which, let’s face it- accidents happen), hot water might also burn your kid.

We exclusively use cool mist humidifiers for those reasons.

Plus, by the time the water vapor reaches your child’s lower airways, it’s the same temperature regardless of whether it started warm or cool.

So, do you need a humidifier for your baby?

Yes. You do. If for no other reason than in the winter to prevent uncomfortable symptoms like itchy skin and chronic congestion.

Best Humidifiers for Babies

You know why you need one. Now let’s chat about which ones are the best! I’m not going to mention warm mist humidifiers here at all because I don’t think they’re safe to use in a young child’s room and safety first is a mindset at our house.

We’ve gone through at least seven humidifiers over the past several years since our first daughter was born. Some were too loud, others were hard to clean, and some plain didn’t have a big enough tank to run all night. What a pain!

This is good for you though. Save some money. Learn from our mistakes.

These are the two best cool mist humidifiers for babies that we’ve found.

2. Crane Adorables Filter Free Ultrasonic Cool Mist Humidifier 

crane adorables humidifier

These are the cutest cool mist humidifiers you can find. Seriously- they’re so cute. Aside from the cute factor, they’re also incredibly functional.

They produce a mist by using ultrasonic vibration. The mist is very fine and doesn’t make the whole room feel like a damp rainforest.

The Crane Adorables are also the quietest cool mist humidifier we purchased. You turn it on and have no clue it’s running- except for seeing the green light on the front and the mist coming from the top. This is a HUGE plus if you have a sensitive sleeper.

We like that they’re filter-free, so we don’t have to worry about buying a new filter frequently.

One tank will last a full 24 hours even on the highest output setting!

And finally, They aren’t too terrible to clean, though you do need to keep up with it regularly. I like to use a bottle brush on the interior and in the water reservoir.

Click here to get your Crane Adorables Humidifier!

1.Honeywell Germ-Free Cool Mist Humidifier 

honeywell germ free humidifier

While this humidifier is not nearly as adorable as the Crane models, it does have some pro’s that the Crane can’t match.

For starters, it’s an evaporative humidifier which means that it releases moisture into the air via a fan. The mesh wick inside the unit draws up the moisture, and then the fan on the unit pushes the moisture into the room. So, no mist like the Crane unit.

The evaporative model also means it won’t cause any moisture build up on the unit itself or the floor around the unit. WIN.

It does have a wick that you’ll need to replace regularly. So, that’s a drag. But I think this part will win you over…

Everything that touches water is DISHWASHER SAFE!!! Yes. You can run these parts through the dishwasher to ensure that you’re cleaning and sanitizing the unit. And keeping a humidifier clean is quite a chore when you’re running it a lot during the winter!

Click here to get your Honeywell Germ Free Humidifier! 


There you have it! Precisely what a humidifier does for babies, the benefits of having a cool mist humidifier, and which models are the best ones for your baby’s room.

I hope you feel confident to answer ‘what does a humidifier do for babies, anyway?’ the next time you see that question pop up in your favorite Facebook mom group!


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Until Next time! Chrissie

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