If your baby has a stuffed-up nose, it is probably not only making her uncomfortable but also makes it harder for her to breathe, eat and sleep.
When leaving the hospital, you probably received a rubber bulb syringe in your newborn kit. This syringes work relatively well, but there are a number of other newer products that may be more effective at removing mucus from stuffy noses. You may want to shop around and find the best nasal aspirator for your baby before settling on one.
Clearing Baby’s Nose with Saline
Before using the booger sucker (as it is affectionately known by many parents), you will want to use some saline to clean your baby’s little nose. Saline can help moisten and loosen up the mucus before you suction it out.
You can find different saline sprays online, including ones with soothing aloe. You can also make your own by mixing 1/4 teaspoon of salt in 8 ounces of warm water. If you make your own saline, make a fresh batch every day and store it in a covered jar.
When using the saline, make sure your child is laying down with her chin tilted up slightly. Squirt the saline spray once or twice into each nostril (or place one or two drops with an eyedropper), and try to keep your baby still for about ten seconds.
Using a Nasal Bulb Syringe
The saline itself is often enough to ease your baby’s congestion, but if it isn’t enough it is time to use the nasal aspirator.
Before and after using the nasal aspirator, you should always clean it. Squeeze the bulb with the tip in soapy, warm water and suck some water into the bulb. Now shake the soapy water inside the bulb and squeeze it out. Repeat several times with clear warm water. Once done, leave the syringe tip side down to dry.
Once the nasal syringe is clean and dry, squeeze the air out of it to create a vacuum. Gently insert the rubber tip into your baby’s nostril, then slowly release the pressure from the bulb, sucking the mucus out of the nose. Remove the syringe and squeeze the bulb forcefully into a tissue to release the mucus from within.
If your baby is still congested, wait at least 5-10 minutes before applying saline and suction again.
DO NOT suction your baby’s nose more than two or three times a day, as it may irritate its lining.
DO NOT use saline sprays or drops for more than four days in a row, as they can dry out the delicate insides of the nose.