Having a sick baby is no fun. Unfortunately it’s the time of year where we have to start prepping for cold and flu season and thinking about the best nasal aspirators, humidifiers, and thermometers. Runny noses, stuffy noses, fevers, stomach aches and a whole host of sicknesses can run rampant through our homes. We fight an uphill battle all winter long to keep our little ones safe and healthy.
*We recommend products we believe moms will love. If you use the following recommended links, we may earn a commission. Learn more
As moms we do everything we can to ensure the health of our kids. But sometimes those germs still find their way into our homes. And if you’ve ever been up all night with a baby that has a stuffy nose, you know exactly what I mean. It’s hard not only to watch your little one suffer but it can also be hard on moms not getting much sleep .
One of the main culprits of sleep-deprivation is the infamous stuffy nose. When baby can’t breathe, everything stops. Of course we want to make it better as quickly as possible, but what’s a mama to do?
Don’t worry, mama. We’re here to help. After years of trying different snot suckers, we’re here to give you the breakdown of the two most popular nasal aspirators because we know that if we had questions in the beginning ,then there are other moms who have the same questions.
Related: Does My Child Need to See a Doctor?
What Are Nasal Aspirators?
There are two basic types of nasal aspirators commonly used for infants. The bulb syringe is most common and is often given to new parents in the hospital. You may be familiar with this tear drop shaped baby snot sucker. The second is the NoseFrida nasal aspirator.
Let’s compare the key differences and similarities between the two most popular baby snot suckers so we can be prepared for when sickness strikes.
Both nasal aspirators can be used from newborns until children are able to blow their noses themselves. They are both used to remove excess mucous from nasal passages to clear the airway for better breathing. Both are most effective when used in conjunction with saline solution to soften any mucous and make it easier to remove. They should both be cleaned regularly and there should be one reserved for each child to limit cross contamination.
Now that we know some commonalities, let’s look closer at each nasal aspirator and compare.
- snot catching tube
- disposable filter
How to Use NoseFrida Nasal Aspirator
NoseFrida is designed to place one end (the mouthpiece) in your mouth and the other end at the opening of baby’s nostril to form a seal. You then suck, which loosens and removes mucous from baby’s nose. The disposable filter in the snot catching tube keeps bacteria and snot from transferring.
There are several pros to consider for the NoseFrida. The first is that it does not go into baby’s nose so it is more comfortable than a traditional bulb syringe. Babies are already irritable when they cant breathe due to stuffy noses, and sometimes sticking something up their nostrils makes them even fussier. Since the NoseFrida sits on the outside of the nostril, it forms a seal and is a lot easier on baby’s nose.
The NoseFrida adjusts to your sucking power. What we mean is that it can be as powerful of a “sucker” as you need it to be. If there is a need for some deep cleaning you can suck harder. If there is no need, then use a smaller suction to clean baby’s nose.
Another pro to the NoseFrida baby nasal aspirator is that it is easy to clean. It’s true that it comes with many peices, but they are all able to be washed and some are even top rack dishwasher safe. As a rule, it’s a good idea to clean any nasal aspirator after each use to insure that it stays hygenic, and the NoseFrida makes it that much easier with pieces that easily come apart for cleaning.
Speaking of being easy to clean, the NoseFrida is cleverly designed as a see-through nasal aspirator. We say clever because moms care about making sure that what we use for our babies are properly cleansed. And being able to see in the NoseFrida makes it easy to not only see how much mucous we’ve extracted but also if its been cleaned and dried properly. Some bulb syringes are opaque, making it hard to tell if they are clean or dry inside. Dark, wet, enclosed spaces are breeding grounds for mold and bacteria. Ick!
Watch How NoseFrida Works
Even with all the good things about NoseFrida, there are some cons to consider. At $14, the price is nothing to sneeze at. In addition to the initial investment, you must also consider that the filters will need to be replaced accordingly. They are disposable, so once you’ve used them all (20 count), you need to buy more for the duration of your use of the NoseFrida.
Along with the cost, you have the added responsibility of remembering when you are running low on filters. There’s nothing like waking up to a crying baby with a stuffy nose and reaching for your NoseFrida only to suddenly realize that you forgot to pick up a new pack of filters on your last trip to the store.
Also consider that since this device is made to be used in the mouth, it won’t be so simple to have help cleaning baby’s nose. To avoid sharing germs, you may want to have a second NoseFrida on hand (another expense) for when another person is caring for baby. Another option is to clean the mouthpiece after each use which may be inconvenient when someone else needs to help before you’ve had the chance to clean it. It’s not a deal breaker, but definitely worth mentioning.
Another con is that there are many different small parts to the NoseFrida which ultimately means more pieces to possibly lose. Each piece of the NoseFrida is an essential part of it, so losing even one piece would render the entire nasal aspirator unusable and it would need to be replaced.
Bulb Syringe Review
- One or two piece bulb (some split in two for easier cleaning)
- usually made from silicone or rubber
How to use a bulb syringe nasal aspirator
Bulb syringes can be used as nasal aspirators by compressing the bulb with fingers and while compressed, place the tip of the syringe at the opening to the nostril. Let the bulb inflate drawing mucous out of the nostril. Repeat as many times as necessary to remove mucous.
There are several reasons you may want to consider a bulb syringe. The first being the price. Bulb syringes can range in price from two dollars through $13. At the lower end, it beats the price of the NoseFrida and makes it a good investment. Bulb syringes are also easier on your pocket because they do not require replacement pieces. There are no filters to remember to buy-just a one time investment and you’re done.
Many modern syringes now come in two pieces so that they can be easily split open and thoroughly cleaned which is extremely important for the health and safety of young children. Because of their bulb design, once they are opened they can easily be washed with hot soapy water and dried for the next use.
Another pro of using a bulb syringe is that there are far less pieces to keep up with . No searching in the middle of the night for that lost piece to give baby relief from a stuffy nose.
Since bulb syringes only require one hand to operate, it is much easier to share them with another care giver to help comfort your little one without the worry of cross contamination from a mouthpiece.
One of the biggest pros to having a bulb syringe is that it actually has multiple uses. In addition to being used as a nasal aspirator, some can also be used as an ear wax syringe. So you’ll get double the use out of it should you need to.
Watch How to Use a Bulb Syringe
With all the pros to using the bulb syringe, there are some drawbacks as well. Depending on the type of bulb syringe you have, it can come in an opaque color, meaning you can’t see into it. In recent years this has been a major cause for concern as parents have been unable to see if they’ve cleaned the inside well enough.
There have also been reports of mold growing inside the bulb because of the lack of airflow in models that can’t be opened. This could pose a serious health risk to children.
With bulb syringes, it should also be noted that you’ll have less control over the suction power. You will only have as much suction power as squeezing the bulb will allow. So when you need a stronger suction, you may have to resort to another method.
Another consideration is that by the nature of the bulb syringe, the tip has to be placed in the baby’s nostril to work. This can make babies even more irritable and cause discomfort.
Which Nasal aspirator is better?
Now that we know the similarities and differences between both types of nasal aspirators, which would we recommend? We recommend having both the NoseFrida and bulb syringes on hand. It’s always a good idea to have a backup. One may have worked for one child, but you find another works better for the next child. Keep replacement filters and both nasal aspirators on hand so you’re always prepared.
As we’ve discussed, there are pros and cons to both devices. The decision comes down to your level of comfort as the parent and baby’s needs and level of comfort. With this information, you’ll be able to make a well thought out choice about the best nasal aspirator for your baby.