Using an Aspirator for Babies
There is a very good chance that your baby will contract several colds within it's first year of life. Fortunately, the common cold is seldom dangerous, even in small babies, and more of a nuisance than anything else. There is no cure for the common cold, and treatment usually involves controlling fever, keeping your baby well-hydrated, making sure it gets plenty of rest, and trying to make it as comfortable as possible. In most cases, the cold will run it's course in 7 to 10 days, or rarely, up to 25 days. One of the symptoms that causes babies a lot of stress is the associated runny nose. A baby's nasal passages are small to start with, and mucous build-ups restrict their breathing even further, and babies have not learned to breath through their mouths, yet. This creates a lot of respiratory distress. One way to make your baby more comfortable is using a nose aspirator for babies to keep their nasal passages clean, and open.
In selecting a nose aspirator for babies, there are several types to choose from. They all work equally well, so it is mostly a matter of personal preference as to which type of nose aspirator for babies you decide to use.
Some are just variations on a simple rubber bulb-syringe. These are simple to use, but a little harder to keep sterile. You just squeeze the bulb, insert the nozzle gently into the babies nostril, and slowly release pressure on the bulb. Repeat for the other nostril. This type of nose aspirator for babies does not disassemble, so all you can do it rinse it out with a weak chlorine solution to sterilize it.
Another type of nose aspirator for babies is sort of like a siphon tube. One end goes in the babies nostril. This is attached to a hose that runs to a reservoir that has a biological filter in it to trap mucous, and viruses, while letting air go through. The hose runs from the reservoir to a mouth piece. You just suck on the mouth piece to provide the suction. It sounds worse that it really is. They are really quite efficient.
There are nose aspirators for babies that are battery powered. These are great for those that are squeamish about sucking the mucous out themselves, or are really into gadgets. These battery-powered units have the advantage of minimizing the risk of exposure. A small electric motor provides the suction. A reservoir collects the mucous, and these can be taken apart and completely cleaned and sterilized. And some even play music to distract your baby.
If you are really into high-tech, there are even nose aspirators for babies that attach to your vacuum cleaner (a la Tim Allen...). Although more noisy that other methods, they actually work quite well. They have regulators that keep the vacuum at safe, gentle levels. And some babies like the sound of vacuum cleaners.
Whichever type you use, there are a few safety measures you should always take. Always clean and sterilize your nose aspirator for babies before, and after every use. Always spray a mild saline solution in your babies nostrils first, to loosen up any dried mucous. Dried mucous will hurt when it comes loose. Never use any nasal sprays like Afrin, or any other decongestant, or antihistamine on a baby unless specifically told by your doctor to do so. Only use saline.
Sometimes, cleaning a baby's nose out can cause a gag reflex. It's a good idea to clean your babies nose out before feeding them. It will lessen the chance of them spitting up.
When used properly, a nose aspirator for babies can be a valuable tool for making your bay more comfortable when it has a cold.
This article is for informational purposes only, and is not intended as medical advice of any kind. If you suspect your baby may have a health issue, seek the advice of a licensed physician as soon as possible.