As the mothers of newborns we do some pretty strange things to keep our babies healthy & comfortable:
Would you use your teeth to trim your baby’s fingernails? Anything for my baby!
Would you squirt your breast milk into your baby’s eye at the first sign of conjunctivitis? You’d be crazy not to!
Would you suck snot out of your baby’s nose with a plastic hose? Of cour…..Wait a minute…..you want me to do what?
My name is Susanne, and I sucked my baby’s snot…..and you should too!
Just in case you don’t know what I’m talking about – This is a Nose Frida – The Snot Sucker, and the name says it all.
First, I must say that this is not a paid endorsement. Nose Frida did not ask me to do this post, in fact, there’s a good chance they may ask me to take it down. I was inspired to write a post after a friendly debate over at the Mom Babble Facebook page about whether or not we would ever use a snot sucker.
I am 100% pro-suck. (That came out wrong…)
With my first baby, whenever she would have a stuffy nose, I pretty much just had to let her suffer through it. Sure, I tried using one of those bulb nose sucking thingies ONCE and I’m pretty sure I blew up one of her sinus cavities like a balloon by forgetting to remove the bulb between sucks. In the end, I achieved nothing except for pissing her off and starting some type of science project inside the bulb. Seriously, have you ever cut open a squeezie bath toy? It’s like nuclear waste in there and that’s just from water. I dare you to cut open a bulb aspirator – I’m guessing it will look like all of those moldy applesauce pouch warning videos….and it’s living in your closet!
With my second baby, I became wiser…and more experimental. I was complaining to my dear friend, Virginie one day about my poor miserable baby who was so stuffy that I could hear him snoring across the room (somewhere around here I have some very entertaining video documenting this.) She asked if I wanted to borrow her Nose Frida and I assumed it was just a fancy version of the bulb and politely declined since the only thing grosser than using your bulb is using someone else’s.
She came back over with what appeared to be either a modern turkey baster or a catheter. In either case, I had no intention of putting it near my baby’s nose. She assured me that once you learn how to use it, it’s the best thing in the world and that it’s what French hospitals send home with all new moms & babies. Hmmm…
I assembled the snot sucker and hesitantly put the suckee end near my son’s nostril. Thanks to his squirminess and my poor aim, I ended up just sucking it to the side of his nose (Note to self: Test out Nose Frida for pore cleansing later.) Eventually, with her holding his head and me doing the sucking, we managed to make contact for a microsecond, just enough to get the tiniest bit of nose goo out.
Oh crap, well that was hardly worth it….
But wait! It was worth it!
He was breathing clearly, no more snorting…all from this miniscule drop of mucus? Here I had pictured us filling up at least half of the receptacle area with his nasty sinus grossness. Fortunately, when it comes to tiny baby noses, I guess it doesn’t take much snot removal to result in big relief.
I will admit that the first several times we used it, it wasn’t pretty. It may have been payback for how my mom used to have to take me to the ER to have five doctors hold me down any time she needed to give me medicine. Or, it may have just been that even babies are born with a natural instinct to resist people shoving plastic tubes up to their nostrils (please note it goes against the nostril, not IN the nostril and there’s no risk of jamming anything into your kid’s brain.)
Our preferred method was definitely a two-man job. We would put him in the bouncy seat so he was at a nice angle and had support behind his head. My husband would distract him and hold his head secure and I would do my best to make a silly game out of the process.
“Look at the pretty blue tube – Oooop it booped you on the cheek! Hee Hee! It booped you on the nose! Sluuuuuuuuuuuuuurp! All done – – Yayyyyyyyyyyyy!!!!”
After time he came to associate the long blue tube with serious relief and it finally became a one-person/one cooperative baby job. Eventually he would even sign for me to do it more after it was done just because it felt so funny and made him laugh.
A couple years ago we finally got to the point when he was old enough to go grab the Nose Frida from the cabinet and say “suck my nose!” It was about then that we broke the news to him that he was getting old enough that it was time to start blowing his own nose. Boooo!
I listed our used Nose Frida on our neighborhood Facebook Garage Sale list and I kid you not, within minutes I had a half dozen responses. We were sad to see it go but glad to know it’s giving relief and entertainment to one of our little neighbors now.
Since I’m sure there are some of you out there that are still not convinced, here’s my little FAQ guide & I’m happy to answer any questions about my experiences.
- Do you get any boogers/snot in your mouth? No – there are a few degrees of separation: You have the little collection unit, the long tube and the little foam filter thingee in the collection unit.
- Are you sucking up a bunch of germs? I don’t know – The little foam filter is supposed to help with this but I’m guessing microscopic germs can sneak through there. You know what else your kids germs sneak through? Just about everything else of theirs that you touched that day. Face it, you’re already getting whatever your kid has. You might as well give him a little relief in the meantime.
- What if the receptacal fills up and then it starts filling up the tube and then……? I never, even in our snottiest episodes, ever filled up the receptacle more than about ½”….(That’s not half-way, I mean one half of one inch.)
- What if I suck too hard? You won’t. No matter how hard you suck on it the pressure on the baby’s side is very gentle. In fact, I wish it would have been stronger a few times, but it always seems to get the job done.
- Can you use it on yourself? I have a friend that swears that she does for her tough sinus issues. I can neither confirm nor deny that this is true and I have never tried it on myself.
- What do I do with all the snot? If you’ve got a big job, bring a washcloth or something with you and ‘blow’ your collection into the washcloth in between sucks. When you’re all done, you just take the cap off and wash it. Boogers gone – No science experiment bulb to serve as a culture receptacle in your medicine cabinet.
Want more information? Here’s a handy video & a link to their website.
If you have time to spare, I highly recommend watching some of the user supplied Nose Frida videos on YouTube – They are highly entertaining and make me super sad I never thought to video tape any of our snot sucking experiences.
There are also tons of reviews at Amazon that support my Pro-Snot-Sucking stance. (Note, this is an affiliate link, so if you purchase a Nose Frida through this link I get a cut of the action but that in no way influences my snot sucking opinion.)
Once upon a time, Susanne Kerns was a Senior Account Director at an advertising agency working for two of the top brands in the world. Nine years ago she traded in her corporate life for a life as a stay at home mom, raising two of the best kids in the world. She started her blog, The Dusty Parachute as a way to dust off her online advertising skills and begin her job search. Instead, she now uses it as a way to spend lots of time on the computer so her kids think that mommy has a job.
Susanne’s essays have been featured in Scary Mommy, BonBon Break and Redbook and she is also a contributor in the upcoming books It’s Really 10 Months, Special Delivery and Martinis & Motherhood: Tales of Wonder, Woe & WTF?! You can follow her on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter.