Cool Mist Humidifiers: Help for Your Baby’s Congestion

cool mist humidifiers can be a great aide when treating your baby's congestion

If your baby is under the weather, you naturally want to do everything you can to help. Using a cool-mist humidifier can help ease congestion. If you choose to use a humidifier, it’s essential to use only a cool-mist humidifier.

How Does a Cool Mist Humidifier Work?

Traditional or evaporative cool mist humidifiers feature a filter, which absorbs the water from the water tank. Then, a fan blows air through the filter.

The water evaporates, which appears as a thin, invisible water vapor in your room. This adds more moisture to your space and is especially helpful if you have dry air in your home.

Ultrasonic humidifiers work similarly, but they use a vibrating diaphragm to expel water droplets into the air.

In most cases, evaporative humidifiers are the preference as they make less of a mess than ultrasonic humidifiers. Ultrasonic humidifiers can also over-humidify a room.

Should You Leave a Cool Mist Humidifier on Overnight?

It’s safe to leave a cool-mist humidifier on overnight. Some humidifiers can be noisy, which may keep your baby awake.

Others have a soft noise that can resemble a white noise machine. As long as your baby can sleep with the humidifier on, there’s no reason to shut it off at night.

Note that some humidifiers automatically shut off after a certain amount of time.

If you would like to use a humidifier overnight, you should look for one without an automatic shut-off or one that stays on longer.

Some can stay on for 24 hours with the right amount of water in the tank.

Using a Cool Mist Humidifier for Congestion

A cool-mist humidifier is something that can be used for the entire family, even once your baby gets older. Most commonly, cool mist humidifiers help congestion as a result of the common cold or allergies.

In addition to helping with congestion, humidifiers help by increasing the humidity levels in the home. Ideally, the humidity level in a home should be around 50%.

If your home’s humidity level is below 30%, cold and flu can spread more easily.

What to Do If You Don’t Have a Humidifier

If you don’t have a humidifier, you can still use mist to help with your baby’s congestion. Simply turn the shower on and sit in the bathroom with your baby.

The steam from the shower works similarly to a humidifier. The benefit of using a humidifier is that you can use it longer without wasting water.

Other Ways to Help Baby Congestion

Nothing is worse than seeing your little one sick. If your baby has mild congestion, you shouldn’t be too concerned. There are several things you can do at home to give your baby some relief.

It’s important to go to the doctor if your baby’s symptoms worsen or don’t improve within a few days. You baby might need an antibiotic, or the doctor might have additional home remedies for you to try.

It’s a good idea to chat with your baby’s pediatrician before trying anything at home.

You can use any of these ideas in conjunction with a humidifier.

Warm Baths

First, try bathing your baby. They can play in the tub and enjoy the feeling of the warm water on their skin. The warm water can also help with congestion.

Breast Milk or Saline Drops

Next, try using saline drops or breast milk to soften the mucus in your baby’s nose. The mucus should slide out of their nose easily.

Sinus Massage

Give your baby a sinus massage. Rub the nose, eyebrows, and cheeks gently to give the baby some relief. This can calm them down if they’re uncomfortable too.

When your baby is sick, it’s essential to make sure they are eating enough. They should have a wet diaper every six hours or more often. If not, you should contact the pediatrician.

Can a Cool Mist Humidifier Be Used for Other Purposes?

Babies tend to sleep better in cooler environments. Cool mist humidifiers not only help with congestion and coughing, but they can also help your baby to sleep more soundly.

This can be useful both when your baby is under the weather and when your baby is healthy. Try using a cool-mist humidifier to improve your baby’s sleep.

Humidifiers are useful for adding moisture anywhere that it’s needed. If you have dry skin or dry eyes, try running the humidifier.

It can help to prevent nose bleeds and cracked lips that result from dry air. Once again, this can be beneficial for your little ones or you.

Some people have even found success with using a humidifier for allergies and eczema.

Tips for Using a Cool Mist Humidifier

First, it’s important to remember to follow all of the instructions that come with your humidifier.

Most humidifiers have similar functions, but it’s always good to read the manual to know how the humidifier functions. Each type of humidifier varies slightly.

Tap versus Distilled Water: Alway Refer to the Manual

In most cases, using tap water is fine for humidifiers. You can easily refill the humidifier in the bathtub or sink.

However, some humidifier manuals specifically recommend distilled or purified water. Room temperature or cold water works best for humidifiers.

There is no reason to add hot water to a humidifier.

Clean Regularly

It’s essential to keep your cool mist humidifier clean to help with the device’s overall functionality.

Without proper cleaning, then different bacteria and molds may develop. It’s recommended that you clean the humidifier every few days if you are using it consistently.

Some models are easy to clean, which is great for busy parents.

Do Not Use Essential Oils in Humidifiers

If you like to diffuse essential oils, be sure to use a designated essential oil diffuser.

Some humidifiers specifically warn against adding essential oils to the tank, as this isn’t typically part of a humidifier’s design.

Note that diffusers do not contain enough water to add moisture to the room.

Why Shouldn’t You Use a Warm Mist Humidifier?

Some humidifiers emit a warm mist rather than a cool mist. When you have young children in the house, you should use a cool-mist humidifier.

The warm steam can be too hot if a young child accidentally gets too close. There are also sometimes hot parts on the humidifier.

Plus, a cool-mist humidifier works well and will give your child the relief they need. There are no advantages to a warm mist humidifier.

Buying a Cool Mist Humidifier

If you decide to buy a humidifier, it’s important to do your research. There are many different humidifiers on the market.

Overall, they all have the same function. As with any purchase, you should compare prices, read buyer reviews, and look at the differences between the products you’re considering.

First, you need to decide whether you want to purchase an evaporative humidifier or an ultrasonic humidifier.

Running Time Options

Next, you should determine how long you hope to use the humidifier. Some run for 24 hours and have a large water tank for that purpose.

Others are smaller, which makes them great for small spaces, and run for less time.

Review Features Offered

Also, you will find some humidifiers that have unique features. Some rotate, offering 360-degree moisture.

Others have night lights, which can be appealing if you have a little one at home. They come in all different shapes and colors. You can find cute animal-shaped ones too.

Have One On Hand, Ready for Cold Season

It’s a good idea to purchase a humidifier before your baby gets sick, if possible. This will give you more time to find the best one for your family’s needs.

Plus, you will have more options. If your baby is sick and you run into the nearest drugstore to grab a humidifier, you may only have a couple of options, and you might not end up with one that you genuinely like.

Ultimately, the decision is up to you. It depends on what is most important to you. What’s great is that they all work to put additional moisture into the air.

Use Your Humidifier Along With Other Treatments

If your little one is congested or experiencing other cold symptoms, it’s helpful to set up a cool-mist humidifier for the baby. This will help with stuffy noses and help your baby start to feel better.

A humidifier works well when used with other at-home remedies. Try giving your baby a sinus massage and using saline or breast milk to break up the mucus in their nose. If your baby’s symptoms persist, be sure to contact their pediatrician.