As I’ve mentioned before, this year’s cold and flu season really took a toll on both Aimée and my families. I felt especially bad for little Modette while she had her cold — such a big cough for such a little body. Since there are really no safe over-the-counter cough medicines for children under two, sadly there is not much parents can do to help when baby has a cold. It is hard not to do *something* though and most pediatricians recommend putting a humidifier in baby’s room.
If you’ve ever purchased a humidifier you know there are loads of options. The biggest consideration is whether to buy a Vaporizer -vs- Humidifier. These two terms are often used interchangeably, but there is actually a distinct difference between the two. They are both equally effective at adding moisture to the air and providing relief for nasal congestion. The difference lies in how the moisture is created. A steam vaporizer uses a heating element to create steam to disperse into the air; whereas, a cool-mist humidifier creates vibrations that make a fine, water-vapor mist. Since a Vaporizer produces hot steam a significant burn risk exists, which is why humidifiers are normally preferred for a young child’s room (or really any household that has young children).
I love the White Drop Cool Mist Humidifier that Crane sent us. It puts out an amazing amount of vapor plus it doesn’t create an eyesore — obviously not a consideration when baby is sick, but since it fits in so nicely with Modette’s nursery decor, I have no problem keeping it running all through cold and flu season, which can actually help prevent some illness. It is vital, though, to make sure a humidifier is cleaned properly or it may actually do more harm than good.
HOW TO CLEAN A HUMIDIFIER
Bacteria and mold can multiply in standing water so it is important to take these steps to keep your machine clean.
DAILY: Empty your humidifier’s tank and basin and replenish with fresh water every day. (Distilled water is actually recommended.)
WEEKLY: Clean the humidifier each week. Begin by unplugging the basin and emptying water from both basin and tank. Fill tank and basin with water and add 2 tablespoons of white vinegar to each. Replace cap on the tank and shake vigorously. Let both tank and basin set with vinegar-water solution for about 20 minutes. Empty the vinegar and water then rinse well. NOTE: Never immerse the humidifier basin (part with plug) in water — it can ruin your machine.
END OF SEASON: When it’s time to put the humidifier away, be sure to empty the basin and tank and let set out for a day or so to air dry completely before storing.1