How to Use a Bulb Syringe? Tips for clearing Baby’s stuffy nose

Does your baby have a stuffy nose? Learn how to help ease your little one’s discomfort, and soon everyone will be breathing easier!

It’s no fun when babies have bad colds and suffer from congestion. Because their nasal passages are so small, it doesn’t take much swelling and mucus to cause stuffy noses. Too little to blow their own noses, babies rely on your to help ease their discomfort.

Suctioning the Nose

Taking mucus out of your baby’s nose with a bulb syringe makes it easier for him or her to breathe and eat. Using the funny looking syringe isn’t difficult—and though your baby may not like the syringe, he or she is sure to like the relief of breathing more easily. Here’s how to proceed:Squeeze the bulb syringe to expel the air.

Insert the tip of the bulb—about 1/4 to 1/2 inch—into your baby’s nostril, pointing toward the back of the nose.

Release the bulb, holding it in place while it suctions the mucus from your baby’s nose.

Remove the syringe from your baby’s nostril and empty the contents onto a tissue by squeezing the bulb rapidly while holding it upside down.

Repeat as often as needed for each nostril.

Gently wipe off the mucus around the nose with tissues to prevent skin irritation.

Wash the cup, dropper, and bulb syringe in cool, soapy water. Squeeze the bulb several times to clean out the mucus. Rinse well with clear water.

Using Nose Drops

If the mucus in your child’s nose is thick, you may need to thin it with normal saline nose drops before using the bulb syringe. You may purchase over-the-counter saline nose drops or make the drops at home. The Cincinnati Children’s Hospital Medical Center offers the following directions for making and using your own saline drops:

To make and administer the drops, you’ll need:

an eight-ounce cup of warm watersmall blanket rollkitchen measuring spoonnose dropperssalttissuesclean jar with coverbulb syringe

Once you’ve assembled your supplies, it’s easy to make the drops:

Add 1/4 level teaspoon of salt to the 8-ounce cup of warm water.Stir to dissolve the salt.Keep the solution in a clean, covered jar.Discard the solution after a week.

Administering Nose Drops

  1. Roll up a small blanket or towel and place under your baby’s shoulders. (Note: Some children should not be placed in this position. Check with your child’s doctor before placing your child in this position.)
  2. Using a nose dropper, drop saline solution into each nostril. Use one to two drops of saline solution unless otherwise directed by your child’s doctor.
  3. Hold your baby in the position described above for about two minutes. This will give the saline enough time to thin the secretions. Suction your child’s nose after two minutes of waiting. Suction your baby’s nose before feeding. If you suction after your baby has been fed, the saline and suctioning may cause vomiting.

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