How To Suction Your Child’s Nose The Right Way

4-16 months

Jun 1, 2021

No matter where you are and how old your child is, we all have the same struggle: suctioning your child’s nose. How do you do this? What do you need to avoid? How much is too much suctioning? This blog is all about the proper way to suction your baby’s nose.

How To Suction Your Child’s Nose The Right Way

I have a team member here at Little Z’s Sleep who is a former pediatric registered nurse. Kate actually worked in the emergency room at Children’s Mercy Hospital in Kansas City.

And I asked Kate to demo the proper way to suction a child’s nose. I have never in my life seen such a thorough demonstration. I am so excited for you to learn from Kate Morris, pediatric RN and sleep support specialist here at Little Z Sleep!

From Kate: 

My name is Kate and I am the resident pediatric nurse here at Little Z Sleep. I am here today to demonstrate how to suction your child’s nose. The two methods that we will be going over today are the bulb syringe and the nasal aspirator. You probably received a bulb syringe when you had your baby, but they are available at most local pharmacies. My favorite nasal aspirator is the Nose Frieda.

To get started, you’ll want to wash your hands and gather your supplies. I definitely recommend having some saline spray or drops on hand. This will help loosen up the mucus before you suction it and make it easier to suction out.

The next item I recommend having will be a tissue. Once you get everything suctioned, this will be what you expel everything into. And then, as I’m sure you’re aware, whenever you have a cold and a runny nose, wiping your nose constantly with a Kleenex can be very irritating. So I like to use these little saline wipes called Boogie Wipes. They are really gentle and will prevent irritation.

Once you have your supplies, lay your child down on a firm, flat surface, swaddling their arms by their side if you don’t have a helper. Gently grip their head with your arms so that they can’t wiggle their necks.

Starting with the bulb syringe and saline spray, spray each nostril one time. Then, with the syringe, press down on the bulb before inserting it into their nostril. Slowly release the bulb within the nostril, followed by emptying the drainage into your tissue. Repeat on the other side. Repeat this process until you have removed all of the congestion.

Moving onto our nasal aspirator, the red tip is where you will suck with your mouth, and this will prevent anything from coming into your mouth. Similar to the bulb syringe, you’ll begin by spraying each nostril with saline. Gently suck from the red tip and expel the drainage into a tissue. Repeat that process as many times as it takes to make sure everything’s nice and clear in your child’s nasal passages.

To clean, fill a bowl with warm soapy water and squeeze the cleaning solution in and out of the bulb. Allow the bulb syringe to air out with the tip up. With the nasal aspirator, consult the device’s directions, but generally, you clean them in a bowl of warm, soapy water and then allow them to air dry.

Safety Tips for Suctioning your Child’s Nose

Before you begin suctioning, please wait an hour after a feed. Often times suctioning can stimulate a gag reflex and cause your child to vomit. We want to avoid them choking or aspirating on their milk. Second, do not suction and add saline more than two to three times a day, four days in a row. Overuse of saline and sectioning too frequently can create more inflammation and swelling for your child. Always consult your pediatrician for more questions regarding suctioning.


Thanks so much, Kate, for sharing how to suction your little one’s nose. I bet you never thought in your wildest dreams you’d be reading a blog about this, but such as the life of being a parent, right? There are so many things that we’re learning and we’re learning them together here at Little Z’s Sleep.

Sweet dreams. See you next time.



How to suction your infant's nose the fast and safe way | LIttle Z Sleep

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