Babies and boogers come hand in hand, which means parents are constantly looking for the best ways to get boogers from their child’s nose. Whilst not the most attractive aspect of parenting, removing boogers is essential for your baby’s comfort and ability to breathe and sleep effectively.
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What causes boogers?
Boogers are the product of dry mucus and that forms in the nasal cavity. As well as mucus, bacteria and any debris the gets up the nose make up boogers meaning that those with allergies may suffer from more boogers. Boogers can appear at any time but are common when there is a build-up of mucus or your baby has a cold or infection.
Can boogers be a good sign?
On average, people produce 1.5 quarts of mucus a day all over the body. This mucus helps to lubricate the body so that it carries out essential functions. Much of the mucus in your body will enter the digestive tract to help digest food and excrete what it does not need.
The remainder of mucus in the body will leave via the mouth and nose, with is why we most commonly think of snot and boogers when we think of mucus.
As well as lubricating our bodies, mucus will help rid our bodies of harmful particles such as dust and bacteria. While mucus does pose a problem when there is lots of it due to cold and it results in boogers, it does serve a purpose for your baby’s body.
Initially, the thought of removing boogers from your baby’s nose can leave you feeling squeamish but you will soon do it without batting an eyelid. When you see your baby in distress, as they have a mucus build-up, you will do anything to make them feel more comfortable. Luckily enough there are easy ways to clear mucus and boogers from your child’s nose, including these 5 simple tricks.
1. Bulb syringes
Also known as bulb aspirators, are very popular with parents and medical professionals. Air is pushed out of the bulb before the tip is gently placed inside your baby’s nose.
The build is then released slowly and the mucus is removed from the nasal cavity. There are dozens of bulb syringes for baby boogers on the market but be sure to read reviews to find the best one (Innovo Twister Bulb and Grownsy Nasal Aspirator are both popular brands).
You should look for a bulb that is easy to clean and comes apart so that you get in the hard to reach places. As you can guess, once used the bulb will become a ground for germs so it needs to be cleaned fully.
2. Nasal Sprays
Saline nasal sprays are another common solution to excess mucus and boogers. Your pharmacist or healthcare professional can recommend a suitable solution for your baby.
You can buy a ready-made saline solution from regular grocery stores or pharmacies or you can make up your own solution if you feel comfortable.
A few drops of the solution (look at individual instructions for guidelines) up each nostril at a time and wait a few seconds before moving on to the next nostril.
The saline in the solution can help loosen the mucus and break down boogers so they leave your baby’s nose more easily. You can either wait for them to exit and wipe away the booger or use it before a bulb syringe or snot sucker.
3. Manual Snot Sucker
Snot suckers may sound gross but they are very effective at removing mucus and boogers. This tool is gently placed at the tip of your baby’s nose and at the other end you will suck up their snot.
This device is cheap, easy to clean and causes no harm to your baby. You may need a little practice with this method but it will soon become a part of your routine and may even be satisfying.
4. Electric Snot Sucker
Manual snot suckers are cheap and easy to use but, if you want to remove boogers more quickly there is an electric version available. This is the option to choose if you cannot bring yourself to suck your baby’s not out yourself. The battery-operated vacuum will help remove boogers and excess mucus from your baby’s nose.
5. Use a humidifier
If your baby’s nose is very dry you can sit them in a room with a humidifier that will add moisture to the room and can loosen boogers.
Once the boogers are loosened they can be removed using one of the tools above. Humidifiers can be particularly effective for treating dryness of the skin, throat, lips and nose and can help remove boogers.
All of these tools can be found at specialist baby stores and pharmacies or you can look online. It is important that your baby is calm and relaxed before proceeding with any of these methods as any distress shown can lead to you accidentally damaging your baby’s nose if they start to wriggle around.
How not to remove boogers
All of the above methods are safe and hygienic for your baby. If you do not have any of the above booger aids it is wise to invest rather than use methods that may cause harm to your baby.
- Do not try to put your finger up your baby’s nose as this can cause damage and will also make your baby feel distressed
- Avoid user nose pickers which can be bought easily and are advertised as safe for baby but they can cause harm to your baby’s nose and are not a gentle way to remove boogers
- Do not put lots of tissue up your baby’s nose as it can become stuck up your baby’s small nasal cavity
If your baby is older or you have a toddler who likes to pick their boogers, try to discourage picking. Picking the nose can be a very effective way to remove boogers but it can lead to your baby spreading bacteria around the house and on to other people.
Picking the nose can also lead to bleeding and damage to the interior of the nose, especially if your baby scratches the nose cavity.
When you use your chosen booger removal method be sure to clean your hands thoroughly and do the same for your baby if you see them touch their nose a lot.
Removing stubborn boogers
From time to time, you will come across stubborn boogers that will not budge. In these circumstances do not revert to methods that can harm your baby. For stubborn boogers, you can try the following:
- Use saline wipes, such as Booger Wipes, which are tissues that contain a saline and water solution. They add moisture to the booger and help them come away more easily.
- Gently encourage your baby to sneeze by tickling under their nose
- Try to give your baby short breaks in-between attempts to use your chosen tool so that they do not become too stressed, which makes booger removal more difficult
- Give your baby a feed to increase their fluid intake and rehydrate
A good way to reduce boogers in babies is to prevent them from developing in the first place. There are things that you can do to help prevent boogers, including:
- Keeping your baby well hydrated as boogers are more common when the skin inside the nose is dry. Taking in plenty of fluids will also be good for overall hydration levels.
- Moisturizing the lining of the nose with a baby-safe oil, if your baby is prone to dry skin
- Using a saline spray to hydrate your baby’s nose (not too regular but if your baby produces lots of boogers then once a week during bouts
- If there is a lot of dry air in your home think about using a humidifier to regulate moisture levels
If your baby has a cold or an infection your doctor or pharmacist may be able to prescribe a nasal spray or decongestion that will help reduce the build-up of mucus.
Seeking medical support
If you are worried about the amount of mucus and boogers your child is producing you may want to think about calling your family physician. Mucus is perfectly normal for children and adults and is generally a sign that the body
If you notice any of the following you should seek advice:
- Blood in mucus ( that could indicate an injury/damage)
- Recurring nasal difficulties (that could indicate sinus problems)
- Signs that your baby is in pain
- Very green mucus or a change in the color of your baby’s mucus as this could indicate an infection
If you are grimacing reading this post, you will soon be happy that you have found a solution to getting your baby’s boogers out.