Every parent always wants the best for their babies and there’s nothing worse than seeing your little one struggling at night when they have a cold, causing them to be tired from lack of sleep and uncomfortable from the difficulties of breathing. A good humidifier that will keep your baby breathing easily is one of the best solutions.
Humidifiers are a great way to help keep moisture in the air to prevent it from becoming too dry and prevent mould or bacteria build-up, meaning you can sleep better at night knowing your little one can breathe more comfortably through cold and flu season. It'll be particularly helpful to your baby's breathing and skin in the colder months where cranked up heating could dry out the air more than usual.
Our pick of the best baby humidifiers:
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Should I use a baby humidifier?
Babies come with a lot of products and finding room for more might be difficult, but adding a humidifier to your list of ‘baby must haves’ will show benefits for the whole family and not all will take up that much room on the shelf.
It might seem like a big investment too, but the benefits of a humidifier are great, as they can help ease a range of symptoms from allergies and eczema to colds and flu.
Sleep Consultant Lucy Wolfe says, 'They can be helpful to add moisture to the air that can support clearer breathing and avoid drying out your fragile skin, especially when the air is dry due to climate and central heating. It is certainly becoming a more popular parent purchase, but I don’t typically recommend them unless the parents themselves feel strongly about them.
'My understanding is that moisture is gently distributed into the environment that helps to avoid the mucus in the nostrils from drying up which may help to avoid congestion or avoid common coughs and colds. As a result of the moisture, that is balancing out a dry atmosphere, largely caused by insulation and central heating, this may also help to avoid their baby skin from also drying out and becoming itchy.
'So helpful for children prone to coughs, colds and congestion and maybe also children with skin irritation. Some models make a slight sound too and this may act as a “white noise” background sound that can be comforting for some children as it is reminiscent of the womb. I don’t feel that there are any disadvantages per se, but whether it is a necessary purchase I can’t say.'
While it might not be necessary, there are certainly many benefits for you and your baby from using a humidifier in the home. There are a number of different types of humidifiers including aromatherapy, cool mist and warm mist humidifiers and we've included a range of them here for you to browse.
The best baby humidifiers for your baby's nursery
This noiseless humidifier is expertly designed to provide clean and healthy air for your baby. You can monitor the temperature; humidity rate and even diffuse essential oils. It’s also helpful for reducing congestion and flu symptoms, keeping you assured your baby is in the healthiest environment.
- Weight: 750g
- Dimensions: 26.8 x 24.2 x 35 cm
- Key feature: Nightlight with 7 colours
One reviewer said: "I think this humidifier is brilliant! My son has enlarged adenoids and uses a humidifier all night. This one is great because you can turn the direction of the air easily without moving the whole appliance, you can remove the plug when you need to empty the appliance, no filter is needed and it provides a great level of vapour.
"The only thing that I would like is to have a level less of steam and I also found the instructions quite poor so I had to watch the videos on YouTube."
The 2-in-1 humidifier is safe to use around children, as there is no risk of burns. It’s also compatible with Vicks VapoPads that can help clear children’s airways, meaning they can breathe easier during the night. During cold season, it can help reduce the survival of cold and flu viruses too, so if you have a cold it can help keep your little ones healthy.
- Dimensions: 33.8 x 28.9 x 28 cm
- Weight: 2.5 Kg
- Key features: 3.8 Litres tank that can last up to 24 hours
One reviewer said: "Very quiet. Easy to use. It is quite large. Great for a little one that has a persistent chest cough/constant colds! Vapour plugins are expensive but great when needed for that extras bit of airway clearance. I do think it’s a little overpriced really but still a great product."
Your little ones will sleep and breathe easier at night, as the humidifier emits a cool and calming mist. It helps to relieve cough, cold and flu symptoms as well as nasal congestion and dry coughs. It also helps to reduce mould and bacteria growth, so you can sleep knowing your little one is in a clean environment.
- Suitable for room size 23m².
- Dimensions: Size H34, W22, D22cm
Easy clean filter
One reviewer said: "Read lots of reviews and 99 per cent all positive, it's a well-known brand so I bought it. Using it for about three months and it's great. The amount of mist it produces it excellent, capacity is huge and will last all night. I use it at night to help with my hayfever and my sons and it does help. Found that the overnight mid setting leaves the floor/carpet a bit damp from the huge amount of mist it creates."
Ideal for larger nurseries or bedrooms, this diffuser works for up to 16 hours to convert your favourite essential oils into a cool mist, to help relaxation, relieve stress, ease allergies and more. It can be controlled using a remote control to easily turn it on and off and change the settings and mood light. Alternatively, you can set a timer to suit you. Please note, research the essential oils you use to make sure they're suitable for babies; generally you should wait until your baby is over three months old before using essential oils.
- 500ml capacity
- Dimensions: 5.3x5.3x4.5in
- Weight: 10oz
One reviewer said: "I have one of these now for almost every room in my house. This was for my son's room as it served a dual purpose, both offering light and fragrance. He's a teenager so it was hard to get an oil that he agreed was nice smelling so I went into pound land chose my favourite smelling man's fragrance and bought that. I give it about ten sprays to 300ml of water. And his room smells like heaven, no more toxic smells. They work really well with the plugin air freshener oils too just one or two drops lasts hours (approx three)."
Designed with kids in mind, this small, cute whale humidifier could be used as an aromatherapy diffuser or as a humidifier to keep moisture in the room. It has a colour changing light with seven colours, and is made to automatically shut off after five to seven hours. The ultrasonic technology also means it is extremely quiet when it is working to not disturb you when you are studying, working or sleeping.
One reviewer said: "We have been having problems with my niece she has had a really bad chesty cough but would scream if we tried to put Vicks or similar on her pillow, but we wrapped this up as a little gift for her and she immediately loved it. She was just so happy to see the steam coming out of the dolphin's head, then when she saw the night light changing colours she was amazed.
"Her mum sat with her for a while watching the colours change but in no time she was fast asleep and slept the whole night. Her chesty cough has still got a way to go but it is getting better. "
Despite being a rather powerful tool, this humidifier uses silencer technology for quiet operation to make it super quiet for sleeping babies. It has different modes and timer settings for sleeping with eight different coloured lights and sleep mode. You can also add aromatherapy oils to the diffuser making it ideal if your tot is struggling with a cold. It's also portable so you can take it away with you too.
- Weight: 300g
- Up to 9 Hours Working Time
- 150ml Capacity
One reviewer said: "This has been an absolute lifesaver for my coughing toddler with olbas oil added. Makes it through most of a 12hr night on the 'sleep' setting, or a few hours on the 'mist' setting when he's been particularly bad. The night light is good too, especially the fact you can choose a colour."
Where is the best place to put a humidifier?
You want to place it somewhere in your baby's room where they will not accidentally knock it over or be able to reach any wires. You'll also want to place it somewhere where the mist can disperse well into the room so you don't get a build-up of moisture on any surfaces or the ceiling.
Be sure to check what size room your humidifier is made for. If your room is too small, you could find the humidifier causes condensation and damp. If the room is too big, it could be ineffective.
How often should you clean it?
As with anything in our homes, it's important we keep it clean to reduce the spread of bacteria. To keep our humidifiers and our rooms clean, it's important to clean out the water tank every one to three days and to change the water daily. Follow Paediatrician Sara Connolly's advice on how to clean your baby's humidifier efficiently:
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