It's no fun when babies have bad colds and suffer from congestion. Because their nasal passages are so small, it doesn't take much swelling and mucus to cause stuffy noses. Too little to blow their own noses, babies rely on your to help ease their discomfort.
Suctioning the Nose
Taking mucus out of your baby's nose with a bulb syringe makes it easier for him or her to breathe and eat. Using the funny looking syringe isn't difficult—and though your baby may not like the syringe, he or she is sure to like the relief of breathing more easily. Here's how to proceed:
- Squeeze the bulb syringe to expel the air.
- Insert the tip of the bulb—about 1/4 to 1/2 inch—into your baby's nostril, pointing toward the back of the nose.
- Release the bulb, holding it in place while it suctions the mucus from your baby's nose.
- Remove the syringe from your baby's nostril and empty the contents onto a tissue by squeezing the bulb rapidly while holding it upside down.
- Repeat as often as needed for each nostril.
- Gently wipe off the mucus around the nose with tissues to prevent skin irritation.
- Wash the cup, dropper, and bulb syringe in cool, soapy water. Squeeze the bulb several times to clean out the mucus. Rinse well with clear water.
Using Nose Drops
If the mucus in your child's nose is thick, you may need to thin it with normal saline nose drops before using the bulb syringe. You may purchase over-the-counter saline nose drops or make the drops at home. The Cincinnati Children's Hospital Medical Center offers the following directions for making and using your own saline drops: