In this review, we check out the best baby nasal aspirators. It is no secret that babies are mini snot and poop producing factories. Most babies have no trouble at all with the bowel movement situation, things tend to run their course quickly (and at all hours of the day and night). However, a blocked up nose can wreck a baby’s day. It will turn a pleasant and joyful baby into a crabby snot monster. The baby nasal aspirator (also known by the lovely name baby snot sucker) is one of the many tricks wise moms have up their sleeves to do a little “preventative maintenance” on their little love bugs.
First things first, we define what exactly a baby nasal aspirator is and how to use it. Then we delve into the different types of snot sucking devices and discuss the pros and cons of each. Head to the review section to peruse our list of this year’s best nose aspirators for babies and read up on why they are the most popular choices for parents.
What is a Baby Nose Aspirator?
Hopefully you don’t lose your lunch, but we aren’t going to hold anything back in this section. There’s no two ways around it this whole nose suction stuff is dirty business. An aspirator is defined as an instrument used for aspirating (sucking) fluid from a cavity or vessel. That’s right, these aspirators literally suck all the snot and boogers from your baby’s stuffed nose. You may be grossed out, but this device is featured on one of the first pages of the official parent survival handbook. If you haven’t heard of this handbook it is because we just made it up. But trust us, this is a helpful weapon to have in your baby gear arsenal, particularly when your little one comes down with a cold.
Many pediatricians believe one of the leading reasons for extra cranky babies is stuffed airways. At a very young age babies simply have not figured out how to blow their own noses. Blowing your nose is a learned behavior and not an innate one. Furthermore, there is a wide range of when babies learn to perform this action. Some babies may learn around 18 months of age while others learn at 36 months. On average, most babies learn to blow their nose at the 2 year mark. It is a very unfortunate state of affairs as babies are constantly leaking fluids from their noses. If they have a cold, forget about stopping that constant flow without a nasal aspirator, the best you can do is containment.
Baby nasal aspirators come in a few different shapes and sizes. There are bulb baby aspirators, human powered suction tube baby aspirators, and even electric aspirators to really clean out all that gunk. Sometimes you’ll get them from your hospital or pediatrician. However, most of these are not good quality. Most are cheap and only supposed to be used once or a few times than disposed of because they are impossible to clean. If you are willing to pay a little more and buy one yourself, you will get a product that is much more effective and easy to clean. Even the best baby nose aspirators are quite affordable.
Just as much as you probably won’t like using one, babies dislike the nose sucking experience too. But after about 30 seconds, your baby will be breathing freely again and that unpleasant memory will quickly slip away. No more tracks of snot leading from the nostrils to their mouth! The thing to keep in mind is that a moment of discomfort for both you and the baby is going to be a whole lot better than a full day with a congested baby nose. It can be kind of scary to watch your child struggling to breath. The first cold your infant experiences (and colds thereafter) really isn’t fun.
How to Use Baby Nose Suckers
Sure you may be disgusted by the idea of one of these contraptions. But most parents have been through a lot of dirty business already, cleaning up poop explosions, dodging projectile spit up, battling leaky diapers. You overcame each challenge so what’s a little sucking snot out of your baby’s nose? Depending on which type of infant nasal aspirator you buy, will determine how you use it. Some are powered by you creating suction with your mouth and others are electronic or battery powered.
No matter what kind you buy, how to use a baby nasal aspirator is pretty straightforward though. You want to suck up the fluid until you stop seeing flow. All of these products come with user manuals to show you exactly how to operate the device. Furthermore, most the popular models of baby nose aspirators have YouTube videos online that will walk you through the process step-by-step. For example, the video below shows how to use NoseFrida’s nasal aspirator, a very popular device.
Other idea you can help with stuffy noses, bad colds, and infections is running a cool-mist humidifier in your nursery. These are an effective way to clear up sinuses and may prevent your baby from getting sick in the first place. Sometimes the air will get too dry during the winter months and a humidifier totally corrects this problem. Another idea is to use saline drops to relieve stuffy noses. This is also great for clearing up stubborn dried snot. As you probably know, it is always a good idea to closely monitor your baby’s temperature if she or he becomes sick. If you detect a fever, take them to the doctor as soon as possible.
Types of Baby Nasal Aspirators
Baby nasal aspirators can be grouped into three broad categories: bulb aspirators, electric powered aspirators, and human operated suction nasal aspirators. Here we will include an illustration of each type so you can compare them and decide which type may be best for you.
#1 Bulb Aspirators
Also known as bulb synringes are the most common type of nasal aspirators. You’ll find them in many U.S. hospitals and used by many doctors. This leads to the common misconception that since professionals commonly use them they must be the best choice. That is not true. Hospitals only use them because they can purchase bulb aspirators in bulk and at low cost. These cheap bulb aspirators are used once and thrown away such as to clear a newborn child’s airways from the fluid of the mother’s womb. From the hospitals perspective, if their system is broke there’s no need to fix it. It makes sense, with the number of babies being born and coming and going it makes sense to use disposable baby equipment.
The leading problem for parents using these is that they are very difficult to clean inside and out. That means it becomes a very fertile breeding ground for all manner of mold and bacteria which becomes a health hazard. Another problem is that these are very inefficient and must be inserted multiple times into the nose. These just can’t handle a high volume of fluid very well because of their thin tips. Since you have to insert into the nose multiple times, it can irritate the inner lining of the infant’s nose. In turn, nosebleeds are more likely to occur.
- Low cost
- Straightforward design
- Hard to clean and sterilize
- Can harbor bacteria, fungi, and viruses
- Time consuming (small tip of bulb can only suck so much)
- May irritate the inner nose due to repeated use
#2 Human Powered Suction Nasal Aspirators
At first blush, the design of these baby booger suckers seem pretty repelling. However, because of how effective these are they are the most popular infant and baby aspirators on the market. These nasal aspirators generate a vacuum by you sucking on the mouthpiece. Fortunately, a compartment catches the snot and a filter prevents germs from reaching your mouth. Since you control the level of suction by how hard you suck this will help you efficiently remove even the most stubborn of snot for your baby’s nose.
- Ability to control level of suction
- Easily to tell when flow stops
- Quickly gets the job done
- Easy to clean
- More “hands-on” than other nasal aspirators
- Increased risk of catching your infant’s cold
- Required to change filters
#3 Electric Nasal Aspirator
For lazy parents or just those who very much dislike the idea of sucking and squeezing snot out of their little one’s nose, electric aspirators are the way to go. Push a button, gently push it into your baby’s nose, and wait for the snot to drain. It doesn’t get any easier than that. The one downside is that manufacturers are required to put a limit on the amount of suction these devices can generate for safety reasons. As a result of this weaker suction, these are best used on thin and runny snot. You’ll likely be able to generate more suction with a human powered baby aspirator.
- Don’t have to get your hands dirty
- Automated and easy to use
- Constant suction
- Must replace batteries
- Weaker suction
- Must buy replacement tips or wash tip after each use
Best Baby Nasal Aspirators of 2016
Here we check out the best nasal aspirators for babies. These apparatus are certified snot destroyers. All of these models get the job done and your baby will hate them all equally. But that’s not really the important part right? It isn’t supposed to be pleasant. Without further ado, here are our top baby nasal aspirator reviews.
NoseFrida Nasal Aspirator – The Snot Sucker
Probably the most popular baby nose sucker product out there is NoseFrida’s nasal aspirator device. This has been the savior of many a baby’s nasal passages. Arguable the best nasal aspirator you’ll find for the price, it is very prominent in online parenting communities. This device was invented by a Swedish doctor (and it is also recommended by many doctors) so you can have peace of mind that it is safe for your infant. Unlike some nasal aspirators — such as a bulb aspirator — you are not required to place this deep inside your baby’s nose for it to work.
How does it work? You simply place it on the underside of the bottom of the nostril then you suck. Yes it is powered by human suction. Not to worry, it collects all the snot in the cylinder so there’s zero risk of actually getting it inside your mouth. We think just about everyone worries about that their first time using it. There are filters that go inside the device that trap the nasties and prevent them from traveling up the tube. It comes with 20 extra filters which is sure to last you a long time. You can buy extra replacement filters if you run out. It differs from some infant aspirators as it has clear tubing, so you can see exactly what is going on. It is pretty amazing how much fluid and snot the NoseFrida collects, it doesn’t take long.
Maybe the best thing about NoseFrida’s product is the easy clean-up. It is dishwasher safe so you can throw it in there and don’t have to worry about getting queasy hand cleaning it. If a little snot doesn’t bother you, it also can be hand washed. All the parts can be dissembled and cleaned thoroughly. Of course, after a day’s use you really want to clean this sucker as comprehensively as possible. If it sits around for a few days it can attract all manner of gross germs and bacteria.
Due to its ultra effective snot sucking qualities the NoseFrida is the best all around baby nasal aspirator. They also sell additional hygiene filters in packs of 20 and 40. You can view their website here or check them out on Amazon.
Mom’s Choice Electric Baby Nasal Aspirator
This may very well be the best nasal aspirator for babies that is electric.
Graco NasalClear Nasal Aspirator
This is another very popular electric nasal aspirator by Graco.
BoogieBulb Nasal Aspirator
One of the only bulb designs that actually is pretty easy to clean!