Nasal Aspirators

Written by Blaire Chandler-Wilcox
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Nasal aspirators are on every baby medicine-chest must have list. Since babies don't yet know how to blow their noses, congestion can be a real problem, interfering with comfortable breathing and sleeping. Nasal aspirators let the parent gently pull the mucous out of the nose and provide the little one with some temporary relief against congestion.

How to Use Nasal Aspirators

The rubber (or vinyl) tip is removed and the bottle-type bulb is filled with warm water. The tip is replaced. Laying the baby on its back, the parent squeezes gently on the bulb, which sends the warm solution into the baby's nose. As the pressure on the bulb is then slowly released, both the solution and mucous is drawn back away from the baby's nasal passages and into the bulb syringe.

To prevent cross contamination, it is very important to keep the tip of the nasal aspirator very clean. Always wash the tip before and after each use. Take care to keep it in a sanitary place between uses. If parents have more than one child, each child should have their own personal aspirator.

Nasal aspirators work best when the mucous is somewhat loose. Cool mist humidifiers work well to help mucous in the system remain liquid and easier to remove. Humidifiers should be thoroughly cleaned every couple of weeks so they don't become a bacteria breeding ground. For especially congested noses, commercially prepared saline solutions in the aspirator may provide additional temporary relief. Decongestant nose drops should never be used on infants since too much of the medication can be absorbed into the body through the nasal membranes. If you think your child needs medication beyond simple saline solutions, talk to your doctor about other decongestant options.

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