5 Ways To Clean Your Baby’s Nose Properly

Cleaning your newborn’s nose requires extra care because newborn babies have sensitive and narrow nasal passage. And most of the time, newborns suffer from stuffy nose which can cause them discomfort and difficulty in breathing.

To ensure that your baby breathes well, you need to make sure that his nasal cavity is clean. Your baby’s nasal passage can be blocked by excessive mucus build-up that if not immediately removed can lead to obstruction of respiration and further infections. Try to stay away from medications as much as possible because babies may not react to medicines as well as adults do. Decongestants can dry up the mucus resulting to further blockage on the nasal cavity and antihistamines can thicken the discharge. The baby is not capable of expelling excess mucus by himself because he doesn’t know how to blow his nose. This is why it is necessary for parents to learn how to clean their baby’s nose properly to clear away any blockage in the baby’s nasal passage. Taking care of your baby’s nose allows him to breathe comfortably and have a peaceful sleep necessary for growth and development.

The task of cleaning a baby’s nose can seem challenging but carrying out the following simple instructions lets you get the hang of it. Here are 5 effective ways to clean your baby’s nose and how to properly use them:

Saline Nasal Spray/Drops

Use Saline Nasal Spray Drops to Clean Baby's Nose

Saline Nasal Spray/Drops is easiest and most popular way to clean baby's nose © Shutterstock.com

Using a saline nasal spray or drop is simple. Lay the baby flat on his back and gently tilt his head back. Insert the tip of the squeeze bottle into the baby’s nostril and carefully squeeze 1 to 3 drops into each nostril. Let the baby lie down in this position for 2 minutes to give the solution enough time to thin out the mucus.

Saltwater irrigation washes out dried or thick mucus that is blocking the nasal passage. There are several brands of saline nasal sprays or drops you can buy over the counter. 

You can also opt to make your own saline solution at home by adding 2.5g of salt and 2.5g of baking soda into 240mL distilled water and mix the solution in a clean container. Fill a squeeze bottle or nasal cleansing pot with the homemade solution. However, homemade saline solution should be discarded after 3 days.

Baby Nasal Cleaners

Rubber bulb syringe and nasal aspirators can effectively clean the baby’s nose by sucking out mucus plugged into the nasal passage. Use these devices after spraying the baby’s nose with saline drops to make sure that the mucus has been diluted which makes it easier to suck from the nose. Wait for the saline solution to loosen up the mucus for 2 minutes.

Using a rubber bulb syringe


Using a rubber bulb syringe to clean baby's nose

Rubber bulb syringe is very popular, safe and easy to use © Shutterstock.com

Squeeze out the air from the bulb syringe to create a vacuum. Hold the bulb syringe and insert the tip gently into the baby’s nostril, make sure not to hold the tip against the lining of the nose. Slowly release the bulb syringe to suck out the mucus. Carefully draw out the tip of the rubber bulb and expel the mucus by squeezing the device into a tissue. Wipe the syringe before inserting it into the other nostril. You can repeat the procedure until the baby’s nasal cavity is completely clean.

Using a nasal aspirator


Using a nasal aspirator

Using a nasal aspirator © Shutterstock.com

Put the nozzle at the opening of your baby’s nostril and the mouthpiece into your mouth. Using your mouth, slowly suction the mucus out of the baby’s nose. The long soft tubing comes with a filter that keeps you from inhaling any bacteria. Wash the device with warm water and soap after every use.

When using baby nasal cleaners such as rubber bulb syringe and nasal aspirator, be sure to follow directions written on the product label to ensure that you’re using the device properly. Keep in mind to do the suction as gentle as possible. Forceful suctioning may irritate and damage the nasal lining which can lead to bleeding, making congestion worse and risk of infections. Use a baby nasal cleaner once a day only and stop using it once the baby’s nasal cavity is cleared.

Nasopharyngeal (NP) Suctioning

Check your baby for possible symptoms of a serious respiratory problem. These symptoms may include abnormal breathing sounds, oxygen deficiency due to difficulty in breathing, and eating problems due to clogged nasal passageway.

If symptoms persist after using saline nasal sprays and baby nasal cleaners, consult a doctor immediately. The doctor may prescribe nasopharyngeal (NP) suctioning which is usually administered by a nurse or a respiratory therapist.

In this procedure, saline irrigation is initially used to thin out the mucus. A small tube is then inserted into the baby’s nose until it reaches the back of the throat. Once the tube touches this part, the baby is expected to cough to drive the mucus to the back of the throat. After the baby coughed, a suction device connected to the tube will be activated to suction the mucus and clear the back of throat where most of the mucus is located.

In this procedure, saline irrigation is initially used to thin out the mucus. A small tube is then inserted into the baby’s nose until it reaches the back of the throat. Once the tube touches this part, the baby is expected to cough to drive the mucus to the back of the throat. After the baby coughed, a suction device connected to the tube will be activated to suction the mucus and clear the back of throat where most of the mucus is located.

Extra precaution should be undertaken if your baby is subject to NP suctioning procedure. Do not feed your baby 30 minutes before the procedure because doing so may cause vomiting. Since the procedure is invasive in nature, your baby might feel uncomfortable and misbehave during the procedure.

Cool Air Humidifier

To ease your baby into sleeping, keep his head slightly raised by placing a pillow or towel below his head. Slightly elevating the head can help your baby breathes easily and can provide some relief from stuffy nose. Then run a cool air humidifier to prevent dry air from drying up your baby’s delicate nasal lining.

Steam Clean

A natural remedy can also be taken to clean your baby’s nose. One of the best remedy is the use of steam to loosen up the mucus in the nose. You can do this in the comfort of your own bathroom. Allow your bathroom to turn steamy by running a hot shower for a few minutes. Then sit inside the steamy bathroom with your baby and allow the steam to work its way of watering down the mucus. Don’t forget to give your baby extra fluids before giving him the steam clean.

Joscelyn Booker

I’m Joscelyn! I’m a 30-something wife and working mom of two kids, a boy and a girl. I juggle work, kids’ activities, caring for the family and of course blogging. We love the great outdoors, camping, travel and vegetarian life. I enjoy sharing my thoughts on motherhood. We don’t have to try hard at being perfect mothers.

Click Here to Leave a Comment Below