How to use a nasal aspirator on a baby Ask A Doc Cook Children's

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How to Use an Infant Aspirator

Three Methods:

If you want to use an aspirator to clear the nose or mouth of a congested baby, you can easily remove mucus, spit up, or saliva. To ease your child's congestion, use premade saline drops, which come in a squeeze bottle that only releases a few drops at a time. Administer the drops, and then use the aspirator to suction out the mucus. Research shows that the combination of saline and suctioning can relieve congestion caused by infection or colds.


Suctioning Your Infant's Mouth

  1. Clear your baby's mouth if they have congestion or have vomited.If your baby has a cold, respiratory infection, or influenza, they might have trouble getting mucus, saliva, or vomit out of their mouth. If your baby makes choking or gurgling sounds and has a persistent cough, it's a good idea to use the infant aspirator to clear their mouth.
    • Remember that you're not pulling out mucus from the back of their throat. Instead, you're just using the aspirator to take out the mucus, saliva, or vomit that's in their mouth.
  2. Compress the infant aspirator before inserting it in your child's mouth.Squeeze the bulb of the aspirator between your thumb, index, and middle fingers to force the air out of the bulb.
  3. Lay the baby on their back.If you find it easier, you can raise up your baby's head a little by propping them up or putting a pillow under their head.
  4. Insert the aspirator and suction out 1 side of your baby's mouth.Put the tip of the aspirator next to 1 of their cheeks. Release your thumb so the suction pulls the mucus, saliva, or vomit into the aspirator. Remove the aspirator from their mouth.
  5. Clear the aspirator of the saliva, vomit, or mucus.Squeeze the bulb of the aspirator over a cloth a few times to clear the saliva, vomit, or mucus from the bulb.
  6. Suction the other side of the baby's mouth.Squeeze the bulb to force out the air, then insert the tip of the aspirator near the other side of the baby's mouth. Release the suction to suck up more saliva, vomit, or mucus.
    • Clear the aspirator again before using it on the baby's nose.

Clearing Your Child's Nose

  1. Clear your baby's nose if it's blocked or congested.If your baby has trouble sucking, you hear a rattling near their nose or mouth, or you can see mucus stopping up their nostrils, you should clear their nose with an infant aspirator.
    • Studies show that using an infant aspirator with a saline solution is an effective way to manage upper respiratory infections.
  2. Purchase a bottle of saline solution from a drug store.The bottle that the saline comes in will make it easier to administer the drops. It releases only a small amount of the solution at once, so it will be less likely to harm your baby.
  3. Get out a bowl of warm water and a cloth.Set out a bowl of warm water and place a cloth near the baby. You can use these items to clear out the aspirator in between uses.
  4. Place the baby on their back and hold them in place.If you're clearing a very small baby's nose, try swaddling them so their arms can't wave around. For older babies, hold their arms down so they can't knock the aspirator out of your hand.
    • If your baby is really squirmy, ask someone to help you keep the baby still while you clear their nose.
  5. Put 2 to 3 drops of saline solution into your baby's nostrils.Squeeze the saline solution bottle to put 2 to 3 drops of saline solution into each nostril. This should be enough to thin the mucus. The saline solution will help thin the mucus in the baby's nose.
  6. Squeeze the bulb of the aspirator and insert the tip into a nostril.Squeeze the bulb of the aspirator with you thumb, index, and middle fingers. Place the tip of the aspirator about 1/4 in (1 cm) into your baby's nostril.
    • Avoid pushing the end of the aspirator deep into your child's nostril because this can damage their nose.
  7. Release your thumb to suction the nostril.This will make a vacuum that sucks the mucus out of the nostril and into the bulb. If the bulb doesn't reinflate when you remove your thumb, take the bulb out and clean it. You'll need to suction the nostril again.
  8. Clear the aspirator and rinse it.Remove the infant aspirator and squeeze it a few times over the cloth that's next to the baby. The mucus should squirt onto the cloth. Insert the aspirator into the bowl of clean water. Squeeze it to fill the bulb and then squirt the water out into the sink to clean it.
  9. Wipe your baby's nose and suction the other nostril.Wipe away any mucus on the outside of your baby's nose with a clean tissue or cloth. Remember to squeeze the bulb of the aspirator before inserting the tip into the other nostril. Release the pressure to suction the other nostril.
  10. Suction your baby's nose up to 2 or 3 times a day.Because repeated suctioning can irritate or damage the inside of your baby's nose, limit how often you suction.

Cleaning the Infant Aspirator

  1. Squeeze the mucus, vomit, or saliva out of the aspirator.Squeeze the bulb of the aspirator a few times onto a cloth. The excess mucus, vomit, or saliva should squirt out.
  2. Suck soapy water into the bulb of the aspirator and squeeze it out.Fill a small bowl with warm soapy water and squeeze the aspirator bulb. Insert the tip into the soapy water and release the bulb. The aspirator will fill with the warm soapy water. Squirt out all of the soapy water.
  3. Fill the aspirator with clean water and squirt it out.Fill another bowl with clean water and squeeze the bulb of the aspirator. Insert the tip into the clean water and release the bulb so it fills with water. Squirt out the water.
  4. Let the aspirator air dry completely.Ensure that there's no water left in the aspirator bulb and set the aspirator down to air dry. Point the tip down so water can drip out as the aspirator dries.

Community Q&A

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  • Wash your hands with warm soapy water before and after you suction your baby's nose or mouth.
  • If you need to suction your baby's mouth and nose, suction their mouth before clearing the nose.
  • Discard homemade saline solution after 3 days. Make a new batch before clearing the baby's nose again.
  • Along with aspiration, try raising the head of your baby's crib or bed by placing a phone book under each of the top posts. This extra height will help the mucus drain while your child sleeps.
  • You can also run a cool mist vaporizer to help keep the air moist in your baby’s room. However, keep the vaporizer clean because it can develop mold easily.
  • Using love pats may also help your baby to cough up mucus. Lay your baby on your lap at a 30 degree angle and pat them gently on the back a few times.
  • If your baby can eat and drink fine, and doesn’t seem bothered by the cold, then you do not need to do anything.
  • Always talk to your child’s pediatrician before administering any cough or cold medication, especially if your child is under 4 years old.


  • Do not use the infant aspirator more than 3 times per day, or you may irritate the sensitive nasal lining.
  • See the pediatrician if your child has a cough or stuffy nose for more than 10 days, or if your child is congested and has a fever.

Video: How to suction an infant's nose with Amy Seery, MD

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Date: 30.11.2018, 19:05 / Views: 73255