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What are Nasal Aspirators? And How Can They Help my Baby?

What are Nasal Aspirators? And How Can They Help my Baby?

It is common for babies and young children to suffer from nasal congestion. But unlike older children and adults, they can’t clear their nose on their own. To make matters worse, babies can’t breathe through their mouth for the first year of life! Fortunately, you can provide relief with a nasal aspirator—a device that uses suction to remove mucus safely from a baby's nasal passages.  

It’s true that sucking the snot from your little one’s nose is probably not the bonding moment you dreamed of sharing with your baby. And depending on the age and willingness of your child, the event can more closely resemble a jiu-jitsu match or a bar fight than a tender parenting moment. Sometimes it makes for great comedy—maybe you’ve seen Sebastian Maniscalco’s hilarious bit on sucking his baby’s snot (Google it!)—but it can also be very distressing for parents concerned that their baby can’t breathe. This is often a two-person job and leads to a new understanding of your partner’s wrestling abilities!

What are Nasal Aspirators?

Before inventing the NozeBot, pediatric ENT Dr. Steven Goudy fielded hundreds of concerns from parents lamenting the trials and tribulations of trying to clear their child’s nasal passages. Whether they were using a bulb syringe, the manual method, or an electric device (we’ll get into all that in a moment), the task can feel like it takes three arms—or three people—to keep a child still and administer ample suction. Dr. Goudy was inspired by these families to create a solution for home use that was fast, easy, and provided the same safe and effective suction he was able to offer at the hospital.

Types of Nasal Aspirators

If you’ve ever searched for nasal aspirators online, you’ve probably noticed there are many different kinds.

Bulb syringes are perhaps the most familiar nasal aspirator. Snot is suctioned out by repeatedly squeezing the bulb. An inexpensive and easy option, they are difficult to clean inside and do not provide a steady stream of suction. It also occupies your whole hand, leaving with you one hand to restrain and/or comfort your child.

bulb syringes

Manual aspirators work by using your own mouth suction to pull snot from your child’s nose and through a tube that occupies your whole hand. While the thick mucus is stopped by a filter before it can reach your mouth, this doesn’t prevent virus particles from being inhaled into your own lungs. These aspirators have the benefit of a compact design. However, many caregivers find it cumbersome to hold down a squirmy, sick child with only one hand while trying to suction the mucus out themselves.

manual aspirators

Electric aspirators are a popular choice for those with no desire to use their own mouth suction or want a cleaner, more effective alternative to the bulb syringe. However, not all electric nasal aspirators are the same. The nosepiece should be wide enough to capture thick mucus. And suction strength matters. Except for the NozeBot, these devices completely occupy your whole hand, thus leaving you to manage your baby’s flailing limbs with the other.

electric baby nasal aspirator

The NozeBot is an electric nasal aspirator that provides hospital-strength suction and an ergonomic nosepiece that only requires two adult fingers to use—not an entire hand. You can support your baby’s face with the same hand that is suctioning. It is portable, rechargeable, adjustable, dishwasher-safe, and strong enough to make the suctioning experience quick and painless for child and adult.

When Snot Gets Serious

Mild symptoms like a runny nose, coughing, and sneezing aren’t cause for alarm. In most cases, you’ll be able to provide cold relief to your child with a combination of nasal saline, hydrated wipes, and nasal suction as well as an oral electrolyte solution and fever reducer as needed. If this is your baby’s first cold, check with your pediatrician to see if they have a recommended regimen, particularly for newborn babies.

However, according to Dr. Goudy, you should be on the lookout for fast breathing, flaring of the nostrils, or belly exertion (pushing the belly in and out). If your baby is lethargic, struggling to breathe, or not eating, he or she may need to be treated in a hospital.

Most viruses only last for 7-10 days and cause mild to moderate symptoms. Respiratory syncytial virus (RSV), on the other hand, is an example of a more serious virus. It is the most common cause of pneumonia in infants. RSV can cause mild respiratory symptoms (cough, runny nose), or it can become severe and require hospitalization for respiratory support.

Dr. Goudy says trust your instincts. “If your child is using additional muscles to breathe, they look lethargic, or you just feel like something's seriously wrong, you need to seek medical attention right away.”

If you have any questions about nasal aspirators or want to know how to use your NozeBot, don’t hesitate to contact us!

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* The content on this site is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health provider with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition for you or your child.

Babies can’t breathe through their mouth for up to the first year of life.

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