Snotty little noses are far from cute—but mucous is both a ubiquitous and very necessary bodily fluid; in short a flushing system that helps remove bacteria and viral infections from the body. Still; you need to be able to at least stem the tide of grossness for the sake of furniture and your breakfast. Here’s the best way to deal with your lil’ cherub’s nasal drool.
Suction devices are supremely effective, but they can be too harsh on sensitive nasal linings if overused. What’s more, over-usage simply stimulates more mucous production. Use max a couple times a day, with saline drops to soften things before hoovering out the yuck. The process can also be a trauma for young ones. Sarah Stampflee, assistant nurse manager, explains: “I wouldn’t recommend holding them down because it isn’t pleasant and they can get some mixed messages that may create anxiety when they see (the apparatus).”
“If they’re able to clear the snot themselves, you don’t need to suction them out to clear the snot.”
Essentially, you can just go old school with a wipe down, and then a smear of hypoallergenic balm to soothe irritation.
The goal is to get your child to the point where he can take care of the booger business himself (no, not by picking—they master that with ease), but by learning the indelicate art of nose-blowing. Make a game of blowing noses—a tot as young as 1 can join in—and add songs or funny noises.
A steamy bath, or humidifier can also help thin things out before bed, so littlies can breathe and sleep better.
Importantly, you want to keep an eye on colour and consistency; clear and thin mucous is eeww but fine. Thick, green, yellow or anything technicolour is a potential illness—check it out with your health practitioner. And marked difficulty in breathing is another definite call to the doc.