Suck It Up

Oh man. ¿Anyone happen to know the age at which kids can blow their own noses? Because I’m getting way too intimate with my son’s boogers. All I can say is thank God for Swedish design. “What,” you may be wondering, “does IKEA have to do with clearing nasal passages?” Nothing at all. I am referring to the Nosefrida. Behold:

This kinky little device is a miracle. While it superficially resembles a penis pump, it works on an entirely different principle. How would I know? Good question. Forget I brought it up.

You place the (red) end of the hose in your mouth, insert the business end into your baby’s nostril, then you make like the Jets and suck. There is the discomfiting illusion that you are slurping up your baby’s mucus with a Krazy Straw. But a small spongy filter prevents your ingesting anything.

Some people are oddly squeamish about deploying the Nosefrida. Let them fumble with the less elegant bulb syringe or, worse, electric nasal aspirators. The Nosefrida is the most effective to use and maintain.

Depending on age and temperament, some babies are prone to repel nasal invasions. In that case, attempt a bit of misdirection. If that doesn’t work, you and your partner could try the old “good cop/bad cop” routine.*

You might try pretending to use the Nosefrida on yourself, and act like you’re having the time of your life. Or toss it in among your baby’s toys instead of only producing the Nosefrida when she’s feeling miserable.

Clearing stuffy noses can facilitate better sleep while also speeding recovery. And as long as I’m sharing trade secrets, here are a few other things you can buy to help both your baby and the struggling economy:

1. KidsMist, by SinuCleanse [gratuitous italics theirs]: Spritz this saline into the nose to help dissolve mucus. Its secret is an articulated delivery arm that can be kept out of your baby’s peripheral vision until you spritz.

2. Cool mist humidifier & eucalyptus essential oil: Add just a couple of eucalyptus drops into the humidifier (along with the water) and place near the crib at night. It’ll help keep air passages clean. Bonus: also gives your baby’s nursery the freewheeling ambience of a Turkish bathhouse.

I like Crane’s line of animal humidifiers. They’re totally worth the forty bucks for the cuteness factor alone. But they’re also easy to clean. Check ’em:

                    

3. Lastly, keep a handy supply of Boogie Wipes for pampering the proboscis. (For a fuller description, read my review from awhile back.)

For brand new parents, a baby’s first couple of colds can be mildly distressing. The important thing is to do something. The effectiveness may be negligible, but it’s better than doing nothing. (Of course, with a second child, this methodology is inverted, and the first course of action is to do nothing.)

As always, if your wife asks when you became an expert in nasal triage, mumble something about a passing interest in pediatric decongestion. Be sure to feign modesty, while never disavowing full credit. Don’t mention this blog. If pressed, just be all, “Daddy Confidential? Sounds gay.”

 

* not an actual parenting technique (at least not for babies)

 

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3 Responses to Suck It Up

  1. Amanda @ Confessions From HouseholdSix January 25, 2012 at 6:48 am #

    I never thought to try the eucalyptus oil in the humidifier. Vicks has had us by the proverbial balls with their plug in. I think we’ll try the more economical in the long run oil. Boogie Wipes are also our friends all winter long. As far as when can a child blow their own nose? It depends on the kid. My youngest has been able to blow his nose (if we hold the tissue) since he was 3 1/2 or 4. I know it’s been at least a couple winters. The current 10yo still needs asked if he needs a tissue since he thinks driving me insane by sucking his snot is way more fun. So I guess even if they *can* they won’t necessarily do it without being told.

  2. Jill February 21, 2012 at 11:54 pm #

    We have a similar aspirator from Japan. It has a jar that the boogs go in so you just unscrew the top and rinse it in the sink. Genius.

    My daughter started blowing in a tissue at 20mo old, if I hold a tissue… but she also then started blowing it into her hand, her blanket, the air… so maybe waiting until they’re older is better. My son didn’t start until around 3yo.

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