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Ask The Pediatrician…Why Does My Child Need A Humidifier?

Question.  Hi Dr. Katie! I am pregnant with my first baby and I am just starting to tackle my registry. Lots of moms have recommended a humidifier to help with nasal congestion. I wanted to know your thoughts on humidifiers. Do you think they are truly helpful and, if so, what brands do you recommend?  Thanks, Lauren

Answer.  First off congratulations on your pregnancy! I know creating a registry can be very overwhelming.  Just remember that nothing is written in stone and you can always order stuff after the baby comes. That is what Amazon Prime is for! I absolutely recommend a humidifier as it will not only help you during the newborn phase, but will be something that you will need as your child gets older and starts preschool.

How does a humidifier work? There are many advantages to having a cool mist humidifier in your nursery as your little one sleeps. Humidifiers help put moisture into the air creating humidity, which serves as a natural decongestant to clear your baby’s nasal passages. Newborns breathe primarily through their nose.  So when they are suffering from nasal congestion, it can be pretty miserable for them.  Nighttime is particularly hard due because congestion is worse while laying down. Humidifiers provide a natural method to help alleviate congestion and get a good night sleep. As your child enters school and becomes more exposed to viruses and bacteria, your humidifier will become an important tool in fighting night time cough and congestion. Humidifiers not only relieve the symptoms of cough, cold, and flu, but they can work well to relieve sinus irritation, nose bleeds, and dry skin and hair.

Which brand to you recommend? There are many great humidifiers on the market, but my personal favorite is the brand Crane.  It is important when choosing a humidifier that you make sure it is a cool mist humidifier. There are hot water vaporizerS and cool mist humidifiers. The hot mist humidifiers are a safety risk, as steam can burn you or your baby.  We treat many burns at the ER from warm mist humidifiers. Crane humidifiers are not only cool mist but utilize ultrasonic technology.  One of the best features of the Crane humidifier is that is has a clean control antimicrobial material in the base, which is proven to help reduce mold and bacteria growth up to 99.96%.  It is important when using any humidifier to properly clean out the water after every use. Left over water can serve as place for bacteria and mold to grow. The biggest reason Crane’s products stand out to me amongst their competitors is the adorable and fun characters they have created.  They are kid friendly and there are many options to fit with your child’s bedroom decor.  They not only fight off cough and congestion but they look adorable in any nursery!  I hope this helps with your journey!




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