If your baby is often crying and restless, it may be due to a blocked nose. Many parents rely on nasal aspirators to free their baby from the mucus in the nose. What should be considered when using them and what is the best way to deal with a baby cold? Find answers to these questions and more here.
Table of contents
What Is A Nasal Aspirator?
A nasal aspirator is a small pump made specifically for babies with a stuffy nose. Although there are different types of nasal aspirators, they all work on the same principle.
By pumping, a negative pressure is created. This ensures that your baby is freed from the mucus in the nose and can breathe properly again. This negative pressure can be either manual or electric.
Once the mucus is removed from the nose, it is much easier to breathe. In addition, suctioning also prevents the spread of pathogens. A simple baby cold can lead to middle ear or sinus infections in some cases.
Before you reach for a cold spray, the mucus should first be removed from the nose. This is the only way for the ingredients to take full effect. However, a nasal aspirator does not necessarily have to be used when your baby has a cold.
Sand or dirt that has gotten into the nose while playing in the sandbox can also be removed super with it.
These Types Of Nasal Aspirators Are Available
The selection of nasal aspirators for babies is large – and thus the decision all the more difficult. Basically, there are 4 different models. They differ mainly in the way the negative pressure is generated.
Electric Nasal Aspirator
With an electric nasal aspirator, the negative pressure is generated by battery. This type is particularly convenient when you are on the road and it must go quickly. However, these devices are usually much more expensive than conventional nasal aspirators. In addition, they are not silent.
Nasal Aspirator With Pump Ball
In this model, there is a plastic ball at the end of the attachment. To create negative pressure, you need to squeeze it. This way, your baby can be quickly and easily freed from the mucus in the nose.
This variant sounds a bit strange. To create negative pressure, you have to suck on the other end of the tube. However, you don’t have to worry about the secretion getting into your mouth. This is prevented by a collection container.
Vacuum Cleaner Attachment
This is the name of an (unusual) type of nasal aspirator that attaches to a regular vacuum cleaner. However, the vacuum cleaner should be turned on before the nasal aspirator is inserted into the baby’s nose. This way, there is hardly any risk of your baby getting scared.
It is up to you which model you finally decide on. The only important thing is that your baby can be helped with a cold.
How To Use The Nasal Aspirator Correctly
Nasal aspirators can already be used on very young children. Most suppliers do not specify a minimum age. Nevertheless, it is important to read the package insert before use.
Important: Make sure that you do not put the nasal aspirator directly into the nose. It should only be held at the entrance to the nose. This will prevent your baby’s nasal mucosa from becoming irritated.
Tip: Before using the nasal aspirator, you can test the intensity of the negative pressure on your arm.
If hard encrustations are already stuck in the nose, they cannot be sucked off so easily. These incrustations can be easily softened with a saline solution. You can buy these solutions, which are specially formulated for babies, at the pharmacy.
Did you know? A drop of breast milk can also be used to dissolve dried mucus. To do this, you can put a drop on a cloth and use it to moisten the crusts and then remove them.
Pay Attention To Hygiene
Regardless of which model you choose, hygiene is essential. You should clean the nasal aspirator after each use. For example, you can clean it in the dishwasher or in a sterilizer. You can also find more detailed information on cleaning on the package insert – this always varies somewhat depending on the model.
8 Tips For Using A Nasal Aspirator
Before you decide to buy a nasal aspirator, you should read these tips carefully. This will help you avoid mistakes during use:
- The package insert of the nasal aspirator should be read carefully.
- Keep your baby in an upright position during nasal aspiration.
- Hold one nostril closed during suctioning.
- Never put the attachment of the nasal aspirator directly into the nostril.
- Never (!) use pressure or force.
- You can test the force of the vacuum on your arm.
- Hard encrustations can be softened with saline solution or breast milk.
- Residues from playing, such as sand, can also be removed with the nasal aspirator.
Nasal Aspirators For Babies: Harmless Or Dangerous?
If you use the nasal aspirator for your baby correctly in case of a cold or flu, there is nothing to be said against its use.
It is always important that you carefully read the operating instructions – every model is different. In addition, the nasal aspirator should not be inserted too deeply into the nose. This can prevent injury to the nasal mucosa.
If your baby has a cold, he or she is already cranky anyway. Therefore, your baby may fidget a little. Also, make sure that your baby does not injure itself on the nasal aspirator or the attachment while fidgeting.
If you want to use an electric nasal aspirator, you should first test how your baby reacts to the humming sounds. If your baby gets scared or even starts crying, you should rather use a manual nasal aspirator.
Doctors also warn that air getting into the nose can lead to sinusitis. However, the risk is very low if used properly and not constantly.