Today I am going to discuss two of the less glamorous aspects of parenting.
Suctioning a Baby’s Nose
If your baby is born in a hospital you will probably be sent home with a bulb syringe like the one pictured above. However, you may not know how to use it.
When your baby’s (or your toddler’s) nose is stuffy a bulb syringe is a great way to clear the nasal passages. Since babies are primarily nose breathers, having a clear nose is a must, especially before nursing or taking a bottle.
- Lay your baby on her back with her head tilted back slightly.
- Put a drop or two of a nasal saline solution, or breastmilk, into her nostrils.
- Squeeze the bulb syringe to release the air inside and don’t let go.
- Gently insert the bulb syringe into your baby’s nostril while gently pushing the other nostril closed with a finger from your other hand.
- Slowly release the bulb syringe in order to clear away the mucus.
- Remove the syringe from your baby’s nose and squeeze the mucus onto a tissue.
- Repeat the process for the other nostril.
Remember to always squeeze the bulb syringe before inserting it into your baby’s nose or you will blow air into her nose.
You can also use a bulb syringe to clear mucus out of your baby’s mouth. The process is similar, but doesn’t require any saline drops. Be sure to keep the syringe near baby’s cheek instead of in the middle of her mouth where it could touch her throat.
Your baby probably won’t enjoy this process but definitely won’t if you are suctioning too forcefully. A calm, gentle approach works best.
My two girls holding hands-Julia almost 12 & Janna 2 months.
Trimming Baby’s Nails
I remember the first time I trimmed Julia’s nails nearly 12 years ago. I used a pair of baby nail clippers but was so afraid I was going to clip her skin. I really didn’t feel like I had control.
The next time I cut her fingernails I used a pair of manicure scissors. It was so much easier to get under the nail and avoid clipping her skin. I have used manicure scissors on all of my children with success.
A few years ago a gal at our church asked me to cut her baby’s fingernails because she was so nervous about it. I showed her how I used manicure scissors.
However, I did suggest to her that she try filing her baby’s fingernails instead of cutting them. This way she wouldn’t have to worry about hurting her baby and her baby wouldn’t scratch herself with fingernails that were too long.
I have heard of women biting their babies’ nails, but that wouldn’t be my first option for trimming nails. How do you trim your baby’s nails?
I will say that I don’t prefer to cover my babies’ hands with the little mitts. I think babies need their hands free to learn more about the world around them. If you keep your baby’s nails short she more than likely won’t scratch herself.
Previous Baby Basics Topics:
- A Brand New Baby
- Cord Care
- Newborn Skin Conditions
- Tummy Time
- Clothing a Newborn
- When You Suspect a Problem
- Essential Gear
- Knowing Your Baby