Babies are delicate, beautiful creatures that elicit tender emotions in many, especially members of the immediate family. Anything that makes them uncomfortable and prone to crying therefore makes everyone around them concerned. Cleaning a baby’s nose is one of those things that make parents wonder whether there is a better way of going about it that would be more comfortable for the baby. Often, it brings about a negative vibe, causing the baby to cry loudly and the parents to feel bad and guilty for being the cause of discomfort.
Truth is, cleaning a baby’s nose can be arduous and very uncomfortable for the child if done without tact. Moreover, it is very necessary since a stuffy nose can interfere with the baby’s nursing ability and sleep patterns. A baby’s natural instinct is to breathe through the nose, even when it is stuffy. I am going to share with you some of the tips and strategies that you can use during the process so that you can clean your baby’s nose with minimal chances of her crying.
Choose the right aspirator
Just as you have unique tastes and preferences, babies have their preferences too. No two babies are the same. An aspirator that may be perfect for one baby may cause another baby to scream her lungs out. The trick in choosing an aspirator mostly lies in trial and error. However, most go for the classic bulb aspirator. The Nose Frieda aspirator for instance has been getting rave reviews of late among many moms. Look around and find what works for you. Visit forums, discussions, and you might end up with something that will not upset your baby much.
Prepare your supplies
After you have your ideal aspirator, before starting the process, make sure that all your supplies are well prepared and within reach. A nice warm blanket, tissues, a saline solution and a dropper are all you will need. Preparation is important so that you can minimize the time spent cleaning the baby’s nose as much as possible.
Preparing the baby
Use the blanket to wrap the baby tightly. It should be tight enough but not too tight such that the baby becomes uncomfortable. The blanket will play a two-fold role: It will help keep the baby secure by ensuring that the legs and hands do not wiggle free which would present an added challenge of securing the baby. Secondly, the warmth of the blanket will help the baby associate positively with the process, which is the chief aim if you do not want your baby to cry.
In line with making your baby associate positively with the process, make a point of treating the baby tenderly and softly throughout. Babies take note of such tiny details and use them to know how to associate with certain activities. Talk to your baby in a warm but calm voice. Smile and kiss the baby often to get them comfortable and feeling okay. You can speak to the baby about what you are about to do in an explanatory manner for example.
Let the baby see all the supplies so that she can be comfortable around all that you will be using. Think of the baby as a contributing partner. You can go a step further in a bid to make the process likable for the baby; if she likes a specific sound, or song, you can play it to enhance the mood. If the baby likes toys, you can make a point of using a battery operated aspirator, or any aspirator that looks like a toy. The idea here is to customize the environment according to what your baby likes and responds to positively to increase chances of the baby associating with the process positively. It might not work automatically but with time, it can produce great results.
The cleaning process:
How to hold the baby
The baby should be held securely to increase precision and reduce movement. Ideally, you should sit in a comfortable chair with one leg crossed over the other. The baby’s legs should be between your legs with the head on your thigh, close to the knee. You can then use one of your arms to make sure that the baby’s head is secure. If you find it too much of a hassle, you can utilize another person to hold the baby steady provided it is someone the baby is used to. As a warning, if you do not make sure the baby is steady, chances of injuring the baby and making her cry become higher.
Loosen the baby’s boogers
The first thing you have to do to is to loosen up the mucus. The easiest way to do this is by using the saline solution. Apply two to three drops of the solution to each of the nostrils using a dropper or anything similar. Trying to remove dry boogers will only make the process harder for you and for the baby. Moreover, some mucus may remain in the baby’s nose despite your best efforts. In addition, the baby will feel more discomfort and even pain in some instances, which will only result in crying.
If you do not know how to make a saline solution, it is very easy. It is simply a salt solution, which mimics the body’s concentration. It is as simple as dissolving salt (half a teaspoon) into a cup of warm water.
After softening the mucus, you can then use your preferred aspirator to remove the boogers. However, make sure that the aspirator you go for is not long and thin, as it would increase the chances of hurting the baby.
You should maintain a positive attitude throughout the process. Do not get angry or wear a negative facial expression even if the baby cries. As mentioned before, babies take note of such tiny details and use them to construct negative or positive mindsets. Also, remember to congratulate the baby after you are done by using something your baby likes like a warm hug, a kiss or a toy.