Infants are unable to blow their noses to clear their nasal passages. When a baby has a cold and a stuffed up nose, she needs some assistance to get rid of the mucus. Suctioning a baby's nose will help her breathe and eat better. A bulb syringe, purchased at a drug store, may be used at home to suction a baby's nose.
Determine if your baby needs his nose suctioned. A baby may have a cold but the mucus is draining from his nose on its own and he is breathing fine. If, however, your baby is having trouble eating and appears to be congested, suctioning his nose may help.
Position your baby. Place your hand on the back of the baby's head to hold her in place.
Squeeze the bulb of the syringe and than place the tip in the baby's nostril only slightly inside the nose. Hold on to the syringe but release the bulb which will allow air to rush back in. This creates suction. You should be able to hear the mucus being sucked up.
Remove the bulb syringe from your baby's nose and squeeze it onto a tissue to get rid of any secretions. Repeat in the other nostril if needed. Be gentle but quick. Completing the suctioning fast will make it easier on both baby and caregiver.
Clean the bulb syringe after each use with soapy water and rinse thoroughly. Squeeze the syringe several times to be sure it is rinsed.
Tips & Warnings
- Many young babies spit up frequently. It may also come through their nose. Keep a bulb syringe handy to suction out the mouth and nose to remove spit up.
- Do not place the tip of the syringe deep into your baby's nose. This is not necessary and may hurt the baby.
- Limit the number of times you suction your baby's nose to two or three a day. Doing it more frequently can injure the nasal passages and may cause bleeding.