Treats: Stuffy, runny noses
Why use a bulb syringe? Most parents find that holding a tissue to Baby's congested nose just sets off an impromptu game of peek-a-boo. Most children are not developmentally capable of blowing their noses until around age two, so until your baby responds when you say, "Blow!", you'll need to find alternative remedies to treat nasal congestion. For very young babies, an infant-size nasal bulb syringe works well to relieve a stuffy, runny nose.
How to use it: First, cradle your baby in a semi-upright position, making sure his head is well-supported. Squeeze the bulb and gently place the rubber tip into one nostril. Slowly release the bulb—the suction produced will draw the clogged mucus out of his nose. Because an older baby might bat the syringe away or jerk his or her head, experts agree that this method usually works best in infants younger than 6 months.
Keep in mind: "Use the bulb syringe only when your baby's nose is so clogged that he or she is having trouble sucking to drink or is having difficulty falling asleep," advises Dr. Miller. "Basically you are blowing the baby's nose when you use a bulb syringe, and you could do it all day long and end up with a cranky baby who has a really sore nose." To avoid irritation, Dr. Miller recommends squeezing a few drops of saline into your baby's nose before inserting the bulb syringe.