How to use the nasal aspirator in newborns

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Catherine Le Nevez
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Nasal aspirator in infants

- nasal aspirators for babies can be very useful and effective if the baby has a closed nose. Let's find out what they are, what they are for and how to use the nasal aspirator in newborns

In this article

  • How to clean the baby's nose
  • How to use the rubber bulb syringe 
  • Rubber bulb syringe, how to clean 
  • New nasal aspirators, how they are used
  • Which nasal aspirator to choose
Read also: Colds in infants: symptoms, prevention, how to intervene

How to clean the baby's nose

Cleaning a closed nose with great probability will allow the baby to breathe, eat and sleep better.

To clean the nose you can use the "rubber bulb syringe" present in the baby kit that new parents buy or receive from the hospital. This works quite well. But there are also some new products on the market that may be even more effective at removing mucus: you can search online for "nasal aspirator". 

Saline solution and nasal aspirator, how to use them

  1. SALINE SOLUTION. You can start cleaning by putting a little bit of saline solution nasal in the baby's nose: this is intended to moisten and loosen the mucus (before aspiration). You can buy the saline solution at the pharmacy or make it easily at home by dissolving 1/4 teaspoon of salt in warm water. Prepare a fresh amount every day and store it in a clean, covered glass jar (if the water comes from the tap, boil it first to sterilize it). Specifically, gently position the baby with the chin tilted slightly upwards. Put a drop or two of saline solution in each nostril with a dropper (or spray it once or twice with a spray), trying to hold the baby's head still for about ten seconds. Clean the dropper after each use.
  2. NASAL ASPIRATOR. The saline solution itself can relieve baby congestion. But if the nose is still closed after a few minutes, try thenasal aspirator
Read also: Children and personal hygiene, how to teach the basics and make them autonomous

Cleaning the baby's nose, how to use the rubber bulb syringe

First squeeze the air out of the syringe bulb (which is the nasal aspirator in this case) to create a vacuum. Then gently insert the rubber tip into one nostril. Very slowly release the bulb to suck up the mucus. Then remove the syringe and squeeze the bulb firmly to expel the mucus on a handkerchief. Clean the syringe and repeat the procedure for the other nostril.

If the child still has nasal congestion after five to ten minutes, apply the saline drops again and suck up again. However, do not suck the mucus from the baby's nose more than two or three times a day, or you will create irritation. And do not use saline drops for more than four days in a row because they can dry out the inside of the nose, thus making the situation worse.

Remember that this process should be very delicate. If you suck in the mucus too aggressively, the nasal tissues could become inflamed (or even bleed), making congestion worse. If the child is resisting, leave him alone for a while and try again later.

Read also: Baby's room: cleanliness and hygiene

Rubber bulb syringe, how to clean

Wash the rubber bulb syringe well with warm soapy water after each use, making sure to clean the inside as well. 

Rinse well several times with warm, clean water. Then put the syringe, with the tip facing down, in a glass to dry.

New nasal aspirators, how they are used

I new nasal aspirators they consist of a spout to be placed at the opening of the baby's nostril, a long piece of soft tube in the center and a mouthpiece at the other end. You then need to use your mouth to gently suck the mucus from the baby's nose. A filter in the tube blocks bacteria and prevents you from inhaling any germs. The device can be taken apart and washed with warm soapy water.

These products are provided with complete instructions on their use. They may cost a little more, but some parents find them more effective, less invasive, and easier to use than a bulb syringe.

Read also: Newborn hygiene: everything you need to know

Which nasal aspirator to choose

The choice is personal and subjective:

  • the nasal aspirators with the pump are practical, comfortable to use, have disposable filters supplied that allow you to weight the suction force and prevent the arrival of mucus in the mouth. They are sold in practical kits complete with spare parts;
  • the electric nasal aspirator costs a little more but has different speeds.

How often can the nasal aspirator be used?

The advice of pediatricians is to use the aspirator only if the child has nasal congestion that prevents him from breathing well, however never more than two, three times a day. They also recommend using a drop of physiological solution before proceeding with aspiration in order to soften the phlegm.

  • care and health of the newborn
  • stuffy nose newborn
  • clean nose
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