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How to use a nasal aspirator for your baby

Updated on November 21, 2010

This may seem like a very simple thing to some, but to others, there is no familiarity with nasal aspirators. Many new moms are using them for the first time, never having any use for them before and therefore not necessarily knowing the proper method for use.

Sometimes we learn about something only when it becomes relevant to us and our lives. If they did not grow up around babies/ younger siblings, some moms-to-be will learn about nasal aspirators while they are pregnant and researching baby stuff. Others will learn about them after they have their babies and are in the maternity ward being instructed by the nurses and doctors on newborn baby care.

If your baby was born some time ago and you still do not have a nasal aspirator, it is important to get one to add to the list of items you have for your baby. Nasal aspirators are often available in baby first aid kits or as stand alone items and they can be purchased at many retailers that provide items for babies. The retailers include Babies-R-Us and Target as well as pharmacies such as CVS and Walgreen's.

What is a nasal aspirator?

A nasal aspirator is used to remove the mucus buildup in a baby's nose. The mucus can cause congestion, difficulty breathing and discomfort for the baby. Since a baby can not blow his nose for himself when he needs to, the nasal aspirator is a very important tool for parents to care for their babies.

The most important things to remember with using nasal aspirators are as follows.:

1. The bulb of the nasal aspirator must be squeezed prior to placing the tip of the nasal aspirator in the baby's nose. The bulb must be released after placing it in his nose. This action will help to loosen the mucus and draw it out of the nose.

2. Make sure your baby is staying still and receptive to your using the nasal aspirator. If he is struggling and crying, stop using it and try a bit later. Think of it this way: the crying it is causing is only going to cause more mucus to build up. Give the baby a break and try again when he is more willing to cooperate. Having him stay still will be important when you are trying to use the nasal aspirator.

3. Do not use the nasal aspirator continuously for too long. For each side of the nose, four to five tries of squeezing and releasing the bulb should be enough to draw out some if not all of the mucus that's causing the problem.

4. If you see the mucus reach to the opening of the nose without coming out completely, you can use a cotton swab to gently move it away.

5. Keep the nasal aspirator clean, washing it with antibacterial soap and warm water after each use. Allow it to air dry.

Below is one of the many nasal aspirator demonstrations available on YouTube.:


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    • Journey * profile image

      Nyesha Pagnou MPH 7 years ago from USA

      You're welcome Hello, hello. Thanks for your lovely comment.

    • Hello, hello, profile image

      Hello, hello, 7 years ago from London, UK

      You gave a fantastic advice how to use nasal aspirator. Thank you.