How to use a bulb syringe or nasal aspirator to clear a stuffy nose:
How can I clear my child's stuffy nose?
Clearing that stuffed-up nose will probably make it easier for your little one to breathe, eat, and sleep.
Most new parents get a rubber bulb syringe in their newborn kit from the hospital for this purpose, and it generally works pretty well. There are also a few new products on the market (do an online search for "nasal aspirator") that may be even more efficient at removing mucus from a stuffy little nose.
Start by squirting a little nasal saline into your child's nose to moisten and loosen up the mucus before you try to suction it out. You can buy saline at pharmacies or make it easily at home by dissolving 1/4 teaspoon of salt in 8 ounces of warm water. Make a fresh batch each day and store it in a clean, covered glass jar. (If you get your water from a well, it's a good idea to boil the water first to sterilize it.)
Lay your child down with her chin tilted up slightly. Place one or two drops of saline in each nostril with an eyedropper (or squirt once or twice if you're using a saline spray) and try to keep your baby's head still for about ten seconds. Wipe the dropper clean after each use.
The saline itself may ease your child's congestion. But if her nose is still stuffy after a few minutes, you can break out the suction device.
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How do I use a rubber bulb syringe?
Squeeze the air out of the bulb of the syringe to create a vacuum. Then gently insert the rubber tip into one nostril. Slowly release the bulb to suction out mucus. Remove the syringe and squeeze the bulb forcefully to expel the mucus into a tissue. Wipe the syringe and repeat the process for the other nostril.
If your baby is still congested after five to ten minutes, apply saline drops again and resuction. Don't suction your baby's nose more than two or three times a day, though, or you'll irritate its lining. And don't use the saline drops for more than four days in a row because over time, they can dry out the inside of the nose and make matters worse.
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