Of course, all new parents know how miserable stuffy noses are with their babies and toddlers.
It’s gross, it makes breathing super hard for your baby, and it completely ruins sleep for a few days.
Luckily for us, we’ve worked for the last few months to teach our baby how to blow his nose and it’s been an absolute game-changer this week!
Instead of constantly trying to keep his nose clean (and prevent him from crying or getting upset when we try to clean out his nose), we give him a tissue, say “Blow your nose,” and smile at how cute he is when he clears out his boogies and throws away his tissue.
If you want to help your child get better faster (or at least feel less miserable during their next cold), keep reading to learn how to teach your child to blow their nose in 3 easy steps.
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When can a child learn to blow their nose?
The research varies a little on this and every parent has a slightly different experience.
But the good news is that it is literally never too early to start teaching this skill to your child.
Even as a newborn, every time you help your baby to blow her nose, you’re building the foundation for her to learn this.
However, your child probably won’t understand the concept of blowing her nose until toddlerhood.
Some of the kiddos I’ve worked with have started to grasp this concept around 9-12 months and our baby really mastered it after working on it between 12 and 15 months.
For some kids, it takes a little more time and practice, and most master nose blowing by the time they go to kindergarten.
Why is is helpful to teach your toddler to blow their nose independently?
Teaching your toddler to blow his nose by himself is super useful.
First off, you won’t have to force your child to blow his nose and can easily eliminate crying while cleaning out your little one’s nose. The more control and autonomy he has, the smoother this will go.
Second, your child will start sleeping SO much better during colds and illnesses once he becomes more independent and can get rid of all of that extra mucus in his nose.
How to Teach Your child to Blow Her Nose:
Step One: Let your child watch you blow your nose
Our kids are constantly watching us and they copy everything we do (in both good ways and bad 😅).
Let your toddler watch you blow your nose and feel free to describe it while you do it.
Also, feel free to point out when other people are blowing their noses around you, saying something like, “Grandma has a runny nose. She is blowing her nose. Now she can breathe better.”
Step Two: Teach your child to intentionally breathe out of his nose
It’s a learned skill to intentionally breathe out of your nose, so you’re going to want to work with your child to teach.
For young babies and toddlers (in the 9-24 month range), be super intentional about demonstrating this to them and then encourage them to copy you. The more they watch you do this and practice with you, the sooner they will begin to learn this.
For older toddlers (2-5 years), you can start to use different phrases and blowing nose activities to help your little one understand this concept.
Here are a few of my favorites:
Blow Out the Candle With Your Nose
Light a candle and show how you can keep your mouth closed and blow out the candle with your nose air.
This is fun for your toddler and an amazing visual to help understand the concept of blowing out through her nose.
Blow Fire Out Your Nose Like a Dragon!
Read a dragon book and show your toddler a picture of the fire coming out of the dragon’s nose.
Then ask your child to blow fire out of her nose too.
If you want to teach your child to blow harder, say “That was a baby dragon. Now try a mommy dragon!”
Take a Big Breath and Blow It All Out Your Nose
Teach your toddler to take a super big breathe and then close his mouth.
Then as hard as he can blow it all out his nose.
Step Three: Put it All Together
Now it’s time to put everything together to teach your toddler how to blow his nose.
First take a minute to blow your nose. Make sure your child is watching and be a little exaggerated.
Then give your toddler a tissue and help to hold it up to his nose.
Finally, tell him to blow out all of the air and wipe his nose with the tissue.
After copying you a few times and practicing it together, your little one will have this mastered in no time!
What is your favorite way to teach your toddler to blow her nose? When did your child learn to blow his nose independently?
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