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Rubber Bulbs

Overview

A rubber (aspirating) bulb can be used to remove mucus from a baby's nose or mouth when a cold or allergies make it hard for the baby to eat or sleep. It is best to use the rubber bulb to clean the baby's nose before feedings and before the baby goes to sleep.

To use a rubber bulb correctly, follow these steps.

  1. Position the baby with his or her head tilted slightly back.
  2. Put a few saline nose drops in each side of the baby's nose, if needed.

    The drops help break up the mucus.

  3. Squeeze the round base of the bulb with your thumb.
  4. Gently insert the tip of the bulb tightly inside the baby's nose.
  5. Release the bulb to remove (suction) mucus from the nose.
  6. After using the bulb, wash it in warm, soapy water.

    Rinse well and squeeze to remove any water.

Suctioning too often can make the congestion worse and can also cause the lining of the nose to swell or bleed.

Credits

Current as of: February 10, 2021

Author: Healthwise Staff
Medical Review:
William H. Blahd Jr. MD, FACEP - Emergency Medicine
Adam Husney MD - Family Medicine
Kathleen Romito MD - Family Medicine
David Messenger MD - Emergency Medicine, Critical Care Medicine

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