Why Won’t Baby Let Me Suction Nose?

Unfortunately, removing excess mucus from your child’s nasal passage is an unpleasant aspect of providing care for them. However, it is a necessary skill that can greatly benefit them when they are congested or sick with a cold. Despite its importance, some infants may not enjoy having their noses suctioned.

Why won’t baby let me suction nose? Your baby doesn’t like having his nose suctioned because it’s not the most comfortable experience. While it’s wise and sometimes necessary to get excess mucus from your child’s nose, your baby doesn’t understand what is happening and may be frightened of the process. 

Fortunately, there are ways to make suctioning your child’s nose easier for both of you.

Clearing Mucus From Baby’s Nose

You are going to have the pleasure of clearing mucus from your baby’s nose at some point. Here are some details to help you when the time comes.

Why Babies Don’t Like the Process

If removing mucus is done too roughly, you can actually cause inflammation in your baby’s nasal passage. Fortunately, when done properly, suctioning can be a gentle process that your child won’t fear.

The reason babies don’t often like it even if they haven’t had a bad experience is that it’s a strange sensation and an unfamiliar process. 

Why Clearing Baby’s Nose Is Important

Clearing your baby’s nose isn’t something you have to do all the time, but it is important if your child has excess mucus.

Your baby’s airways are extremely small, and too much mucus trapped in the nose and airways can lead to difficulty breathing.

How To Remove Mucus From Baby Nose

You can use a bulb syringe or a Nosefrida (after using both, I prefer the Nosefrida) to gently remove mucus from your child’s nose, but you may want to put a couple of saline drops in each nostril before you start.

You can then wait a couple of minutes while the saline loosens the mucus. It will be easier to remove this way.

If you’re using a bulb, squeeze it before putting it into your child’s nose. Gently place the tip of the bulb syringe in a nostril and release it slowly. You will do this with each nostril, and make sure you wash the bulb between every use.

Some people like myself prefer the Nosefrida because it is easier to clean. To use it, begin with saline just like with a bulb syringe. Place the tip of the Nosefrida in your child’s nose, and then suck on the end that goes in your mouth.

Yes, it sounds gross, but there is a filter to keep any mucus from making its way into your mouth. You can also control how forcefully the mucus is removed since you control the air.

Is Nasal Aspirator Safe for Newborns?

When used properly, a nasal aspirator is safe for newborns. Be gentle when you use it, and clean it regularly for the safest experience.

How Often To Suction Baby Nose

You don’t need to suction your baby’s nose all the time. Doing it too often can lead to inflammation and even bleeding. Suction your child’s nose only when he has excess mucus.

Tricks To Make Clearing Baby’s Nose Easier

There are a few things you can do to make the nose-clearing process easier. They include:

  • Having another adult around to distract your baby while you suction.
  • Using saline drops to loosen mucus before suctioning.
  • Showing the child what you are doing. Maybe have a demonstration where you pretend to suction your partner’s nose. This works better with a toddler who will see and understand that your partner wasn’t harmed during the demonstration.

Cleaning Baby Nose With Cotton Bud

You should never put a cotton bud or swab up your baby’s nose. However, you can gently wipe underneath your baby’s nose after you’ve suctioned to clean up any excess mess.

How To Suction Baby Nose

A mother using a suctioning device to clear her baby's nose of mucus.

To suction your baby’s nose, make sure you have a bulb syringe or Nosefrida on hand. You will also want saline drops that are gentle for baby noses (find them here).

After putting in a couple of drops of saline, use your bulb or Nosefrida to gently remove mucus. Remember to squeeze the bulb syringe before you put it in your baby’s nose.

If you wait and squeeze it once it’s in your baby’s nostril, it will blow air up the nose, and that will be uncomfortable for your baby and send the mucus even more out of reach.

Some parents have their babies on the floor on their backs to suction the nose. Others choose to sit their baby on their lap with the head tilted forward so gravity will help move the mucus

How To Unblock Baby Nose Naturally

If you’re hoping to avoid suctioning your baby’s nose, there are other ways you can try to unblock mucus.

One is to let hot water run in your shower for a couple of minutes with the door closed so the bathroom will be steamy. Take your baby in the bathroom, and let them breathe in the steam. This helps dislodged mucus.

You can also put a cool mist humidifier in your child’s room. (The silent operation and rotating nozzle make this one ideal.)

Prop your child’s crib mattress slightly by putting books under the mattress so it will be easier for snot to flow out of your baby’s nose while he sleeps.

Breast milk is also known as the magic remedy for most ailments. Allow your baby to continue nursing when his nose is stuffy, and he will likely feel better faster.

How To Remove Hard Boogers From Baby Nose

Hard boogers aren’t easy to remove, but it can be done. Try standing near a steam shower with your baby before you even try to remove this kind of snot so it will loosen up first.

Remember to put saline in to soften the boogers before going in with the bulb syringe.

Don’t put your fingers up your baby’s nose since you can cut them trying to remove boogers this way. You can also introduce germs.

How To Remove Mucus From Baby Throat

When your baby has mucus in their throat, removing excess mucus from the nose is beneficial. In fact, all the things you do to loosen mucus in the nose can help loosen it in the throat.

However, you can’t easily pull it from the throat with a bulb like you can the nose. You may need to take your child to see the doctor if the throat mucus is causing them trouble.

Related Questions:

Can Newborns Breathe Through Their Mouth?

Babies don’t really learn to breathe through their mouths until the age of three or four months. They breathe through their noses, and this makes nursing or taking a bottle easier for them.

However, if your child has a stopped-up nose, he will attempt to breathe through his mouth.

Can Newborns Cough?

Newborns can cough, and it’s not something to be concerned about unless there are other symptoms. A coughing newborn who is cranky or won’t eat needs to see a doctor to rule out illnesses that need treatment.

Final Thoughts

While nose suctioning isn’t fun for you or your baby, it’s necessary to keep your child healthy and breathing comfortably.

Keep in mind that your little one will all too soon be able to blow their own nose, so treasure their total dependency on you while it lasts.