Raise your hand if you just can’t wait until baby cold and flu season?

No?

No more holding down your baby or sparking a massive meltdown every time you grab your nasal aspirator or Kleenex box.

Discover how to make baby illnesses a little less awful by using these 5 simple tips to make blowing your nose fun for you and your baby.

Can I be honest with you for a second? It sucks when you baby get sick.

And it sucks even more when your baby AND your partner get sick, but that’s a whole different blog post. 😉 #mancoldssuck

I swear for about a year it seemed like we were caught in this Groundhog’s Day nightmare of one cold after another. It went something like this:

Step One: We had a horrible night of broken sleep with me asking, “Whhhhyyyy the heck is my baby waking up so much tonight???”

Related: Discover 16 surprisingly simple reasons why your baby is waking up overnight.

Step Two: Without fail, the next night he woke up with snot dripping down his nose, coughing and trying to clear things up but failing miserably.

Step Three: Before every nap and bedtime, I knew we needed to help him blow his nose so he could breathe and rest better.

But it always ended with me pinning him down to the floor while he screamed and thrashed his head from side to side.

Even though I knew our nasal aspirator was the key to helping my baby feel a little better, I was not a fan of restraining him and I hated listening to these massive meltdowns while I tried to clean out his nose.

This just wasn’t working for me.

So every time he got sick AGAIN, I asked myself:

“How do I blow my baby’s nose? Better yet, how do you blow your baby’s nose without holding him down and making him cry?”

I experimented with several hacks and changed up our routine to find exactly what works to support my baby to stop traumatizing him whenever I cleaned his nose.

Keep reading to learn how you can get your baby to stop crying every time you try to clean her nose too!

The Foolproof Trick to Stop the Crying While Cleaning Your Baby's Nose | Piece of Cake Parenting | When your baby is congested, all you want to do is clean out all of the mucus and boogers. But this is hard when she's crying and fighting you to stop. Learn the simple steps to stop the crying when you bring out the nose suction. #nasalaspirator #babytips #momlife #babycold

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How to Tell If Your Baby’s Nose is Stuffed?

Did you know that the average baby gets 8-10 colds per year? Surprising, right?

It doesn’t matter if you wash your hands so many times they’re raw or follow the strictest quarantine, odds are your baby is going to get sick at some point.

Since babies typically aren’t the biggest fans of blowing their nose or using nasal aspirators to clear up those pesky boogies, it’s helpful to have a quick reminder of the signs your baby is sick and stuffy.

Usually if your baby is stuffed up, she’ll have some of these symptoms:

  • Sniffling
  • Runny Nose
  • Discolored nasal mucus (especially yellow or green)
  • Thick nasal mucus
  • Interrupted sleep or more night wakings
  • Coughing
  • Difficulty eating or nursing, including a nursing strike or bottle refusal (especially after drinking a sip or two then then refusing the rest of the feeding)

Tips to Unstuff a Baby’s Nose (no crying required)

If you head to Amazon’s search bar and type in “blow baby’s nose,” you’ll get over 2,000 results, which clearly shows how desperate we are for ways to make this easier.

But here’s the good news.

The fancy tools enticing you to slap the buy now button and upgrade to overnight shipping aren’t as important as the approach you take with your baby.

When your baby does get a stuffy nose and lots of congestion, use these 5 tips to clear up your baby’s congestion with more giggles and less pinning baby down.

1. Before blowing your baby’s nose, always lay your baby on her back and start playing together.

The key to making it easier to blow your baby’s nose is to focus on playing and having fun every time it is time to clean you baby’s nose.

Trust me, if you can help your baby have fun and stay more comfortable, the entire process is going to be so much better.

Put your baby on the floor on her back and play for a few minutes.

We love singing songs, playing peek a boo, and talking together while I sneak in a few kisses.

Your primary goal is to set a calming and enjoyable environment for your baby.

This means that she feels comfortable and relaxed before you start to clean her nose instead of stressed and anxious. Plus it’s a great way to squeeze in more bonding time with your baby!

2. Touch your baby’s face in several places before trying to use the nasal aspirator or Kleenex.

After playing for a couple of minutes, start to touch different spots on your baby’s face.

We like to gently touch his eyes, ears, nose, mouth, cheeks, and chin and say, “boop” each time we move to the next spot.

This works like a charm because it helps your baby feel more comfortable and relaxed when you touch different spots on his face.

You’re making it a silly game and teaching your baby that this is fun!

Adding this step made a huge difference for us and was a game changer for helping my baby to stop crying when I cleaned his nose.

You can either touch your baby’s face with your finger or with your favorite nasal aspirator.

I liked to mix it up and do a little of both.

I start with my finger and then boop him with the nasal aspirator so he gets used to this and thinks this is fun too.

3. Quickly use the nose suction on your baby’s nostril and then play again.

The Foolproof Trick to Stop the Crying While Cleaning Your Baby's Nose | Piece of Cake Parenting | When your baby is congested, all you want to do is clean out all of the mucus and boogers. But this is hard when she's crying and fighting you to stop. Learn the simple steps to stop the crying when you bring out the nose suction. #nasalaspirator #babytips #momlife #babycold

After you’ve “booped” your baby’s face a few times, quickly use the nasal aspirator on one nostril.

This should take 1-2 seconds at most.

Then go back to playing and touching different parts of your baby’s face.

Continue to sing, laugh, and gently touch her face a few times and then sneak in another quick cleaning until both nostrils are cleared.

Because it is so quick and it’s snuck between play time, I noticed that my baby stopped being upset by it. He hardly knew that I was doing it before we were back to singing and playing together.

Which meant that he finally stopped crying when I cleaned his nose!

This works with both the bulb style and the suction style.

This is the bulb style that I use. I think it’s amazing because you can take it apart to clean it out between uses instead of letting germs build up inside.

I’ve found this works the best when I want to get boogers out of my baby’s nose.

On the other, I love these suction aspirators when my baby is congested.

It is shocking how much mucus builds up in your baby’s nose when she has a cold.

Every time I use it, I’m genuinely shocked, a little disgusted, and amazed at how much we get out. Because it works so well, this is my go-to tool when he has a cold so I can clean out his nose and help him to breathe better.

Pro-Tip: It is very important that you are gentle with your baby while using any nasal aspirators. Do not insert the tip too far into your baby’s nose. Also, don’t use nasal aspirators too often as this can irritate the lining of her nose. I shoot for a maximum of 2-3 times per day.



4. Let your baby touch her nose aspirator.

Letting your baby play with the nasal aspirator for a little bit allows your baby to see it, touch it, and feel more comfortable with it.

It’s not a scary taboo item that she can’t touch.

Instead, she can look at it for a minute before you start. Or touch and play with it during the middle or end of cleaning out her nose.

So, I also always let my baby hold our nose sucker when he’s sick before we get started.

And any time my baby starts to look anxious during this process, I let him hold his nose sucker again for a second.

This instantly calms him down because he’s able to investigate and satisfy his curiosity while we take a quick break

5. Hug and praise your baby.

Woohoo!! You did it! And you finally cleaned your baby’s nose without crying or needing to hold down his arms!!

To end this process, make sure to hug and praise your baby.

Tell her that she did a great job being patient and she is so brave.

This positive reinforcement rewards your baby for doing a great job. And it guarantees that the ending of this process is as fun and comforting for her as all of the other steps.

Bonus Tip: Recruit Help

The Foolproof Trick to Stop the Crying While Cleaning Your Baby's Nose | Piece of Cake Parenting | When your baby is congested, all you want to do is clean out all of the mucus and boogers. But this is hard when she's crying and fighting you to stop. Learn the simple steps to stop the crying when you bring out the nose suction. #nasalaspirator #babytips #momlife #babycold

If your partner is home or you have other children, recruit them to help you turn cleaning baby’s nose into a game.

Encourage your helper to sit near your baby’s face and read, talk, and sing with him throughout the entire process.

This is a great distraction that is fun for your baby and great bonding for the two of them.

Related: Check out these tips to bond with your baby while reading together.

This person can also continue to play with and distract your baby while tapping different parts of your baby’s face, head, and upper body while you use the nasal aspirator.

We’ve found that this is the perfect way to keep our baby distracted and make cleaning boogers our of our baby’s nose much more relaxing and fun for him.

Babies get sick. But cleaning your baby’s nose doesn’t have to be stressful.

Although this process takes a little longer than just using the nose sucker and quickly cleaning out your baby’s nose, it is much more enjoyable and less stressful.

By turning it into a fun game and time to bond together, you’re creating a safe and relaxing environment for your baby.

This means that you no longer need to force down your baby’s arms or try to hold your baby’s head still. And you don’t have to dread the piercing cries while cleaning your baby’s nose.

Instead, you can play and laugh and clean her nose without any extra stress for either of you!

Does your baby hate to have her nose cleaned? What tips help make this easier for your family?


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