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When you think about babies you think about the mess they make when throwing up their milk, or the constant need to change nappies and prepare accordingly for these potential hazards, although we've found one of the biggest issues our little one has had in their first months is a constant bunged up nose.
To combat this we bought a couple of these from Amazon for £2.99 each and I have to say, they have proved incredibly useful as the baby is in no state to blow its nose or wipe it and we in turn struggle to do much with the dainty little nose of our baby.
On arrival this didn't look particularly impressive, it has a round blue plastic base which is squeezable and a see through plastic nozzle at the top. It is very basic, but very effective nonetheless. It looks in some ways like a mini ketchup squeezer.
How is it used:
Well you basically put the nasal aspirator up to your babies nostril and squeeze the blue base, as the blue area reinflates this creates a vacuum effect which pulls any snot from the babies nose. It is very simple to use, however the most awkward part of the process is trying to do this with a baby trying desperately to keep you away from their nose.
Once used you can remove the clear plastic nozzle from the blue base and either use a tissue to clean out the contents or wash them out, the product is easy to wash up, although the nozzle requires a strong spray on it to clear out any residue.
Does it work:
Well yes and no really, you do have to struggle to stop baby pushing it away and it works better for us if we use a couple of saline drops prior to use to loosen the mucus in babies nose, alternatively we pull this out if baby has something green hanging in their nostril which is impossible for us to reach with wet cotton wool or a wet wipe.
The nozzle is fairly large and for the first 6 weeks it didn't fit close enough to babies nostril to have any effect, also don't expect this to pull the green stuff down unless it is very close to the nostril and irritating baby as the suction isn't particularly strong, this is fine for how we've used it, and I would worry about something with too much force anyway.
Overall I would suggest this is the kind of product you can take or leave, we've since got a Tommee Tippee version as well which I think is slightly better quality as a present, but nonetheless for £3 (Now £2 on Amazon) this is reasonable value and it will prove invaluable when baby is getting annoyed at being bunged up.
I would definitely recommend a nasal aspirator of some kind in conjunction with something to loosen up nasal congestion such as Saline drops, by doing this you give baby every chance to move any irritating mucus without getting too upset. However I would also say shop around because there are better versions on the market which are more suited to smaller babies when you most need a product like this.
I bought this the first time my son got a particularly blocked nose. It was something I got to try and stop my husband feeling the need to pick my son's nose all of the time.
This is more of a "tasteful"option on the market to help with baby's congestion. One option we saw was two tubes - one for baby's nose and one for mum or dad to suck the snot out with! Needless to say we put that one back on the shelf and grabbed this one very quickly!
It has two size ends, one for smaller noses and one suitable for a toddler though I do not think my son would now sit still long enough for me to use this on him.
As gross as it sounds it is better to use on a more of a snotty nose than a crusty one as we found it quite ineffective when this was the case.
It is easy to take apart to clean and comes in a case to store it in so you can use it straight away when needed.
This is far from an essential piece of kit but for a young baby who is quite bunged up it would be great in conjunction with a vapour plug in.
I purchased this item from Mothercare for £3.99 (I see that Amazon has beaten the price by 2p)
When my son was born, he had a squished nose. Poor thing. So he often got snuffly and when he had a cold it was a nightmare. His nose soon righted itself but he would still get such a stuffy and snotty nose from time to time.
I used the nasal aspirator a lot at first. It's very effective at extracting runny or sticky snot. But if it's hard or crusty it wont budge! Then after a while, the aspirator gets full of snot! (well obviously not full to the brim) I've got no clue how to clean the gross stuff out? Does it come apart? It doesn't appear like it does...and if it does, it's not easy to pull apart.
It's not reccommended for prolonged use as the literature that comes with it explains that you can damage the cells in the nose. You can also become a little obsessive when it comes to using it....just a tiny bit of snot will have you suctioning it out!
The aspirator is cheaply made (hence it's low price) and the air balloon thingy (so sorry, I really don't know how else to describe it) often get's stuck. Yet, it does the job and comes in a nice plastic tub. It also comes with a cover.
Is it worth the money? Yes, it is essential during those newborn days when a baby only knows how to breathe through its nose. It is not used so much these days, but I always keep it in my handbag just in case.
OK... If you are not sure what this is, i'll put it in laymans terms... it removes snot/bogeys/greenies or whatever else you like to call them!!! from your adorable child's nose!
It sounds a bit crude I know, but when you've been up and down with a baby that cannot breathe through their nose, it's a worthwhile buy!
I won't go through the exact credentials as the previous reviewer has done that, and his expertly written review does not need repeating!
On the whole I found it to be very useful, my baby wasn't too fond when I was performing 'the manouvre' on her, but was much happier afterwards once she could breathe again.
The fact that it comes with two tips for different ages means that it will last throughout childhood, and the tough plastic means that it will not break easily. It can be a little tricky to get the method right but once you do it really works! (and you realise exactly how much 'stuff' was up your babies nose and why they've been so miserable!)
The number of inventions and gadgets available for babies and infants these days is truly mind-boggling. It makes you wonder how previous generations could possibly have coped without such clearly indispensable conveniences (probably quite well I would imagine!). I thought I had seen it all, but then my wife brought home a bizarre looking contraption from Mothercare called a nasal aspirator.
Despite its space age and flashy looks, there is no real way to flower up the actual purpose of this item, so I'll just come out with it - but certainly not before warning you to stop reading if you happen to be munching on your breakfast or lunch.
It's a snot pump. My wife had bought my son a SNOT pump. Given that I was going to be expected to use this thing at some point, I put aside my incredulity and scepticism for a moment and forced myself to listen patiently to her explanation of what it did and how it worked.
WHAT IS IT?
The nasal aspirator from Summer Infant is a four piece ensemble that comes in a combination of clear plastic and a fetching aqua colour and is trimmed with a chrome effect collar around the middle. The top part of the product is hard plastic and shaped much like a baby bottle teat with a small hole on top. There are two sizes - the blue nozzle is smaller - for delicate infant nostrils, and the larger size, in clear plastic, is for toddlers. The bottom part is a soft rubber "balloon".
As most parents will know, very young children can't (or haven't yet learned how) to blow their noses. In addition, the medication you can give them to help with congestion is limited in both type and number. This product is designed to safely and painlessly alleviate a stuffy nose and clear nasal passages to assist with baby's breathing. The idea is to depress the balloon, insert the tip of the aspirator into a child's nostril, and then allow the suction created to suck the mucus out from their nose to help them breathe. The extracted snot is collected in the reservoir (the inside part of the "balloon").
The aspirator comes in a handy clamshell carry case and a small leaflet with instructions on use and cleaning. It is not dishwasher safe, so needs to hand washed with warm soapy water. The infant nozzle is suitable from birth to three months, and the larger one from three months onwards. We got ours from Mothercare for £4.99, but you can also get if from Amazon, where, surprisingly (and despite the advert at the head of this review) it is more expensive at £6.99.
DOES IT WORK?
The theory is sound but the product has lost something in the transition from drawing board to production line. You insert the tip you need onto the chrome collar and twist until it stops, where ostensibly it is supposed to form an air tight seal against the rubber base. The two knobbly bits on either side of the plastic "teat" which help with gripping the tip while screwing it on are a nice touch and well thought out. Both tips also have a small ridge just under the part you insert into the child's nose which gives you a guide as to how far to go in, as well as physically stopping you if you push in too far.
Unfortunately the fit is not quite tight enough, and although decent suction is generated when using the product, a fair bit of air escapes out of the sides, making it less effective. We have taken to smearing the rim of the tip (the part that goes on the collar) with a bit of Vaseline, and this improves matters considerably, especially as you are warned from inserting the tip into the centre of the nostril (you're supposed to suck from the sides instead).
The unit fits very neatly in the hand and is very easy to use one handed (you straddle the tip with your index and middle finger and use your thumb to apply the suction). It is, on the whole, well constructed and designed and does a fairly good job of performing an otherwise unsavoury task. It is quite gentle on baby - we tend to use it while he is still asleep and he has yet to wake up.
Cleaning is very easy - you just unscrew the top, wash, dry and then store. The infant nozzle slots on top of the infant nozzle and the entire assembly slots into the shaped clamshell case, holding the contents securely in place and making the unit compact enough to sit unobtrusively in the baby bag or medicine cabinet until it is needed.
Once I used the product a few times, my initial scepticism proved to be unfounded. Anything that helps your infant sleep at night (and, by extension, gets you some precious sleep as well) is a good buy in my book. The aspirator is fairly effective - it does a good job with stuffy and runny noses, but is less useful at removing dried snot (to be fair, it's not designed for that).
My only real criticism is that the suction could have been better (it should not have needed the "fix" we employ) and at it's RRP of £6.99 it seems quite expensive. If you can find it for under a fiver, it's a worthwhile buy. I would not call it an essential piece of baby kit - it's more of a "nice to have".
© Hishyeness 2009