my baby is due in July. i want to know if there’s any benefits to running a humidifier in my room or putting a humidifier in my baby’s room, or if that is only necessary during the winter months or if it should be there year round.”
You don’t need to use a humidifier in the summer, unless you’re in a desert climate. But a humidifier can be good to have if you have dry indoor air or your baby is congested with a dry, crusty nose. Having a dry nose is particularly annoying to babies because their nasal passages are small easily irritated and blocked, and also to pregnant women whose nasal membranes are extra-sensitive. Too much humidity will feel dank and clammy, and too little will make your eyes and nose will feel dried out. Run it in your room overnight People are most comfortable in relative humidity of about 25-50 percent. Here’s a trick to try: drop three ice cubes into a glass, add water, stir and wait for three minutes. If moisture does not form on the outside of the glass, the air is too dry.
An alternative to humidifiers is to use shallow pans of water placed around heat vents in the baby’s room, or bowls of water with a bit of the towel in the water. The towel increases the surface area for evaporation. Just be careful not to step in the bowl or pans, and pick them up before letting baby play alone in the room! Houseplants are also natural humidifiers.
If you use a plug-in humidifier or vaporizer, place it on a low table protected with some sort of cover to prevent water damage. Humidifiers use evaporating cool air and vaporizers use hot steam, so if you’re using a vaporizer take extra care to keep it and its plug out of the reach of a baby or toddler.