How to use a bulb syringe or nasal aspirator to clear a babies’ stuffy nose?
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In newborn babies, there is often a condition seen called “stuffy nose.” An infant may feel difficult to breathe in that condition due to the mucus accumulated in his nose. This can be extremely uncomfortable for a baby, and mothers mostly get worried and don’t understand how to ease the baby. For that uneasy state of the baby, mothers tend to go for different methods and remedies. But most of those remedies seem to go in vain, and the baby suffers so much in that situation.
For such conditions, to clear the stuffy nose or ears sometimes, nasal aspirators or bulb syringes are the tools that are mostly recommended by doctors. This article will discuss the approaches to clear stuffy noses by nasal aspirators, also called snot suckers. So if your baby gets a stuffy nose more often and you are worried about how to remove it, then you are on the right page.
Why do babies get stuffy noses?
Stuffy nose is a condition often referred to as nasal congestion in medical. Newborn babies have stuffy noses due to the fluid present in the womb. In the gestation period, a baby is surrounded by a lot of fluid in the mother’s womb. That fluid may get accumulated in the baby’s nose and cause a “stuffy nose.”
Within the early days of birth, babies sneeze to get rid of that fluid. This fluid may lead to difficult breathing for the baby, and a “snuffly” sound is heard during breathing. Due to blockage in the nose, the baby tries to breathe with the mouth, and it is a very uncomfortable state for him.
Sometimes dry air and some environmental factors (any viral infection) lead to the accumulation of mucus in the baby’s nose. As infants cannot clear their noses, all the mucus gets accumulated and leads to breathing problems. A newborn is extremely sensitive to changing weather conditions, and this can cause some allergies. Most of the time, the membranes of the nose may swell and lead to mucus production that ultimately causes a stuffy nose. Doctors recommend using a bulb syringe or aspirator for noses under such conditions.
What is a bulb syringe / nasal aspirator?
For a parent of newborn, nasal aspirators is a must-have. These small tools help in clearing the baby’s stuffy nose and clear his nasal passageways. As all mothers know, the stuffy noses of their babies cause extreme uncomforting things. The baby suffers in breathing and feeding. Due to this state, a baby stays restless, and it’s hard to pacify him. Nasal aspirators have eased the job and are real game changers for mothers. Mothers need to stop looking for home remedies and just simply use these bulb syringes.
Nasal aspirator or Bulb syringe: The difference?
These tools are almost the same in function, but there is just a minor difference in their working mechanism. An aspirator is simply a tube put in the baby’s nose from one end, and on the other end, it has to be sucked to draw the mucus out of the baby’s nose. The stuffy nose gets clear by sucking and is gathered in the tube and is cleaned.
On the other side, a bulb syringe is based on a vacuum principle. In this tool, the air is removed from the bulb to create a vacuum, and hence when the tip is placed in the baby’s nose, the mucus spontaneously draws in the pipe itself. The secretions are then cleaned with tissue or a piece of cloth.
Aspirators/bulb syringes? How-to-use guide:
Although the aspirator tools are simple to use, some tips and tricks are used efficiently without making the baby uncomfortable. Some suggestion steps are mentioned below;
Calm the baby first: Babies do not really like their noses to be cleared. Toddlers get incredibly uncomfortable when the suction tip is placed in their noses. So the most important thing to do at first is to calm and relax the baby so that you can perform the whole process easier. Make sure the baby isn’t rocking back and forth much. Take the help of someone if necessary to hold the baby.
How to use a bulb syringe?
Many of you might have this question regarding the usage of bulb syringes. Following steps are kept in consideration while using a bulb syringe to clear your infant’s stuffy nose:
- Firstly, squeeze out the air from the bulb before using it to create a vacuum in the bulb, then place it in the baby’s nose.
- Now gently put the tip end in the baby’s nostril. Be gentle while doing that. Keep the bulb squeezed.
- Now slowly release the bulb to let air back into it, and the vacuum created will draw the mucus out of the nose in the tube.
- Squeeze out the mucus on the tissue.
- Perform the same process for the other nostril.
If you are using a nasal aspirator for suction, there is a slight difference in working compared to the bulb syringe. A nasal aspirator consists of a long flexible soft pipe that has a nozzle end to be placed in the nostril at one side, and on the other side, there is a mouthpiece for sucking. You use the mouth to suck the mucus out of the baby’s nose, and it is accumulated in the pipe that is cleaned regularly.
Be gentle while suction:
While using an aspirator, always be gentle while sucking the pipe. The baby’s nose is extremely sensitive, and he has delicate nasal pathways. So while sucking the pipe of the aspirator, do not suck too aggressively deep. Slowly clear the stuffy nose and do not rush. Do not perform this more than thrice a day as it may irritate the nasal lining.
Rinsing the pipe: Cleaning
You should always clean the pipes of aspirators and bulb syringes after using them. The hygiene of this tool is essential as it gets in direct contact with the baby’s nose. Cleaning the nasal aspirator or bulb syringe is a must-to-do. Use a little warm soapy water and then rinse with clear water several times to ensure cleanliness. Also, use wipes to clean the baby’s nose afterward to avoid any infection around the nose.
Doctors recommend using saline solutions before suction to thin the boogies and mucus. Saline is very helpful in clearing the stuffy nose of your baby. Saline solutions basically liquefy the nasal mucus, and it is beneficial to draw thick secretions out of the nose. Using saline solutions for nose blockage helps the baby in easier breathing.
Hold the baby in a slightly reclined position with your one arm support and put few drops of saline solution in his nostrils. Let it stay for 10-20 seconds, and then clear the nose with the help of an aspirator or bulb syringe.
Do not use any other saline drops without the proper guidance of doctors.
Benefits of using aspirators and bulb syringes:
There are a lot of benefits of using bulb syringes and nasal aspirators for your baby’s stuffy nose. Some are;
- Easy breathing: Babies feel difficult to breathe when their noses are congested. By clearing the stuffed nose, a baby actually feels relaxed and can breathe more easily.
- Easy feeding: Babies may find it uncomfortable to drink milk with stuffy noses, and they may leave feeder bottles or mother’s milk due to their uncomfortable state. They are unable to suck milk. But by clearing the nose, a baby feels relaxed and continues his feed regularly.
Calm and relaxation: The light and cleared nose of the baby keeps him happy and in a light mood. He sleeps in calm and enjoys his day even more.
When to see the doctor?
- If the baby gets irritation in his nose while using suction tools, then consult with the doctor for some proper guidance to ease him.
- If the stuffy nose does not clear by using tools for more than a week, then it is time to seek a doctor’s advice for this.
Your baby’s better health is linked to his proper breathing, and it is only possible if his nose is light and cleared. We would love to hear your reviews and experience of using nasal cleaners. For any questions related to clearing a baby’s stuffy nose, reach out to us in the comment section.