If there is one thing that can wreck any baby’s day it’s a blocked nose. The mere onset can turn your perfectly pleasant baby into an unhappy snot monster.
Unfortunately, your baby does not yet know how to blow their nose to clear it. If you want to clear your baby’s blockage you are going to need to lend a helping hand. That’s where a nasal aspirator comes in.
A nasal aspirator is essentially a small device that uses suction to draw snot from your baby’s nose. They are incredibly easy to use, cheap, and can have your baby breathing normally in as little as thirty seconds.
Different Types of Nasal Aspirator
Let’s take a look at the different types of nasal aspirators available on the market.
Bulb nasal aspirator
Squeeze the rubber bulb to release all the air inside. Insert the tip into your baby’s nostril and release the bulb. The bulb will refill itself by sucking in air and, more importantly, the goop inside your baby’s nose.
Also known as nose bulbs or bulb syringes, these nasal aspirators are some of the most commonly available? Why? Because this type is frequently used in hospitals and often given away to new mothers.
It’s used by doctors and hospitals, so that makes this the best nasal aspirator, right?
Bulb nasal aspirators are used because they are inexpensive and are not really designed to be used more than once.
Cheap and disposable
It is these two characteristics that make bulb nasal aspirators perfect for hospital use. But how do they fare at home? Not good!
Bulb nasal aspirators are notoriously difficult to clean. While some will open up for easier cleaning, they must be thoroughly dried or you risk mold or mildew growing inside the bulb. But why take my word for it when you can see the results for yourself.
Nothing unusual here, just your run of the mill nose bulb. But what would happen if you were to cut it open?
Yes, that is mold. The above image was published by Mitzi Johnson (via Facebook). This is a bulb aspirator that she routinely cleaned with hot soapy water. Do you really want to stick something like that up your baby’s nose?
If you really want to go with a bulb nasal aspirator, stick with the ones that you can open up to view the insides. In addition to the cleaning problems, bulb nasal aspirators do not suck as well as other varieties. If your infant’s mucous is thin and runny then this may not be a problem but you will definitely struggle to suck out the thicker stuff.
A low-cost “use once and throw away” solution for removing runny snot from your baby’s nose.
Human suction nasal aspirators
Don’t’ understand how this nasal aspirator works? I’ll give you a hint: Parent powered
As you may have guessed, a nasal aspirator generates a vacuum by you sucking on the mouthpiece. Using the above picture as an example, the blue tube goes in the nose, the red piece goes in your mouth…. Then you give the mouthpiece a good suck to draw out the snot.
Ugh.. Gross! I don’t want to inhale snot!
I know, it’s a thought that makes you want to gag. But here’s the good news…
Any snot that is sucked out is caught and collected in the container… For you to eat later (kidding!). No snot will enter your mouth.
But what about the germs?
Your baby is most likely snotty due to a cold. You don’t want to get it yourself, do you Fortunately any quality nasal aspirator that requires you to suck on it is going to include a replaceable filter system; designed to prevent germs from reaching your mouth.
So why would you choose this type of nasal aspirator?
The answer is suction. The level of suction is entirely regulated by how hard (or not) you suck. This level of control will allow you to remove even the most stubborn snot from your baby’s nose while keeping your little one comfortable.
Still disgusted by this type of nasal aspirator? Consider this…
As a parent you have:
You overcame each and every one of these situations. Sucking snot out of your baby’s nose seems like nothing now, doesn’t it?
Probably the most effective type of nasal aspirator, suction is entirely controlled by your mouth but isn’t for those of you who are easily disgusted.
Electric nasal aspirator
This nasal aspirator requires no squeezing, sucking, or anything that remotely resembles manual labor. Woohoo! Lazy parents rejoice! Simply push the on button, shove it up your baby’s nose (gently, of course) and wait for the snot to drain. Pretty easy, huh?
Electric nasal aspirators provide continuous suction. That stubborn booger that is holding on to your baby’s nostril for dear life doesn’t stand a chance.
It sounds too easy… What’s the catch?
While the suction of electric nasal aspirators is constant, it is not necessarily the strongest. Manufacturers seem to have deliberately put a limit on the amount of suction these aspirators can produce, and the suction cannot be adjusted. Probably so you don’t suck your baby’s brain out of the nose.
As a result of the weaker suction, electric nasal aspirators work best on thin, runny snot.
While some electric nasal aspirators have an AC adapter, that majority will run off batteries. Like all battery operated baby gear, it can be frustrating to have the batteries die on you in the middle of using it.
A great automated approach to clearing your baby’s blocked nose. It’s just a shame about the weaker suction.
The three best baby nasal aspirators
It’s time to take a look at the leading nasal aspirators on the market. These nasal aspirators were designed specifically for babies and they do their job incredibly well.
If you get past the horrible sounding name (Snotsucker… Really?), you will experience what is hands down the best nasal aspirator on the market. There is a reason why this nasal aspirator is held in such high regard by parents all over the world.
It works and it works well!
Unlike other nasal aspirators, you do not have to shove the tip all the way up your baby’s nostril. Instead, you simply place the tube against the base and suck through the mouthpiece.
You don’t want to catch your baby’s cold while you suck on the mouthpiece. The Snotsucker comes with a filter (and 20 spares) to prevent snot from traveling up the tube. You only need to replace the filter if it actually comes into contact with mucus.
The Snotsucker is completely see-through. This allows you to easily monitor just how much (or how little) snot you are sucking out of your baby’s nose. Once you see the amount of snot coming snot sucked through the tube slow to a trickle, you will know you are done.
When the time comes to clean the nasal aspirator you can easily wash it by hand or throw it in the dishwasher. The fact that the aspirator clear allows you to easily confirm that the device is properly cleaned before storing it away.
This is the nasal aspirator I personally use on my baby and could not be happier with the results.
Bubzi Co Nasal Aspirator
Another excellent nasal aspirator that is operated by your mouth. This came so close to taking our first position as there are so many great things to love about this nasal aspirator.
If this thing is going up your baby’s delicate nose then it makes sense you want it to be as comfortable as possible. Rather than hard plastic, the tip of this nasal aspirator is made from soft and flexible silicone.
This aspirator also features something so simple, yet necessary that it seems like an oversight that other nasal aspirators don’t have it.
A nozzle cover.
This thing is going up your baby’s nose. A cover will prevent dust and other dirty objects from coming into contact with the tip of the aspirator, keeping it clean and hygienic. The cover is particularly important if you through your aspirator at the bottom of your diaper bag where it can come into contact with all manner of grime.
So why didn’t this win first place for best nasal aspirator?
Unlike the Snotsucker mentioned earlier in the article, not every piece of this nasal aspirator is see-through. This means that you cannot follow the trail of snot as it is sucked out from your baby’s nose to the container.
You would be surprised just how useful monitoring the amount of mucous coming out can be. It is a shame as this one oversight saw what is otherwise the perfect nasal aspirator dropped to second place.
It really was a toss-up between the Snotsucker and this for best nasal aspirator. Either would be a great choice.
BoogieBulb Nasal Aspirator
The new BoogieBulb can now be cleaned and dried to eliminate mold!
Despite my constant warnings about bulb style nasal aspirators, parents are still going to buy them. As a result, I am going to include the greatest bulb-type nasal aspirator in this list. The BoogieBulb… a truly reusable bulb nasal aspirator.
At first glance, this may seem like your ordinary nose bulb. For the most part, it is. However, upon giving the bulb a twist you will find that it separates into two different distinct sections.
The ability for the aspirator to come apart gives it a huge advantage over every other bulb nasal aspirator on the market. It is easy to clean. With proper cleaning, this bulb will never see mold or mildew build-up, a common problem among other nose bulbs.
As far as sucking snot from your baby’s nose goes, the BoogieBulb is just as efficient as any other bulb aspirator on the market. A narrow tip will allow you to insert the tip further up your baby’s nose if you so choose.
Again, I don’t like bulb aspirators but if you are determined to head down this route then you can do no better.
Now chances are that your baby will not particularly love any nasal aspirator you buy. Why? Because it turns out having snot sucked from your nose is not the most pleasant of experiences, least of all to a newborn who has no idea what is actually going on.
When using a nasal aspirator think of the greater good. A moment of discomfort is much better for your baby than going a full day with a congested nose. So the next time your baby has a blocked nose, reach for the nasal aspirator for some quick and effective relief!