How to use a baby nasal aspirator


by Arabella Horspool |
Updated on

A baby nasal aspirator is a tool that helps to remove a build up of mucus from your baby's nose, whether from a cold, allergies or teething. Babies nasal passages are narrow so they can need a little help to clear their noses. These nifty little tools allow you to remove mucus from your baby's nose in seconds, so that they can breathe happily again.

There are different nasal aspirators to choose from, including manual and electrical devices (including ones you plug in and battery-powered devices), as well as a bulb syringe, which is made out of rubber and is generally safe for babies under the age of 6 months old.

After you've taken precautions and checked their temperature is at a safe level with the best baby thermometer to ensure they're not running a fever, using a baby nasal aspirator is an effective and often instant way to ease their symptoms. Whilst these devices work well, we also recommend that you keep them hydrated with plenty of fluids and add a humidifier to the room to moisten the air, as this will help to loosen up and thin the liquids in their nose.

Editors choice:

•Best for a manual option: Nosefrida Nasal Aspirator

Best for an electric option: Braun Healthcare Nasal Aspirator 1

Best for portability: Munchkin CosieNosie Nasal Aspirator

Best for a bulb aspirator: NUK Nasal Decongester

How to use a nasal aspirator

Firstly, before you start, you should lay them down and point their chin up slightly, then squirt a couple of drops of a saline nose spray into their nostrils to loosen up any dry snot and bogeys that have built up – this will make them much easier to remove. Make sure that their head is still for at least ten seconds or so, otherwise the saline could fall out before it's done its job!

Sometimes, the first step removes most of the build-up, but if that hasn't worked, it's time to use your nasal aspirator. The next step varies slightly depending on what type of aspirator you are using.

Bulb aspirator

These are shaped just like their name suggests. Simply squeeze the bulb so that no air is inside it and put the tip carefully into your baby's nostril, then release the bulb so that the air goes back in and draws out the mucus with it. To empty it, squeeze the contents out onto a tissue and repeat on the other nostril. Make sure you give it a good clean with warm soapy water afterwards.

Manual aspirator

A manual aspirator has a long tube with a mouthpiece on one side and a nozzle on the other which gets positioned in the nose. All you need to do is suck gently on it, which creates a seal and extracts the snot into the tube. These aspirators have filters, and the tubes are often long, so you don't need to worry about accidentally consuming some, as this shouldn't happen!

Electric aspirator

Start by putting the tip into the nostril and then turn it on via the button or switch. You may need to adjust the speed, depending on the amount of build-up there is. Once you've done both sides, clean the tip and then disassemble the aspirator so that you can clean it and get rid of the contents. This process should be the same for all electric aspirators, including battery and rechargeable varieties.

If you're unsure about what type to go for, we've compiled a little list of the best nasal aspirators for your baby, which are perfect for keeping in your baby bag or cupboard so you'll always have one around, ready for when that cold and flu season strikes.

The best baby nasal aspirators

Best manual nasal aspirator

 Nosefrida Nasal Aspirator
Price: $14.97
Alternative retailers
Target$14.99View offer

Developed by ENT specialists, this Nosefrida aspirator is non-evasive and easy to use. Simply slot it gently into your baby's nose and suck on the mouthpiece to draw out the snot. Don't worry, it comes with disposable filters so it's very hygienic!


  • BPA free
  • Some components are dishwasher safe


  • Filters can only be used once
Suitable for:All ages
  • Includes 4 disposable filters

Best electric nasal aspirator

Clear stuffy noses quickly with the Braun Nasal Aspirator 1. It's both quiet and comfortable, so it shouldn't frighten or disturb your little one, plus it's battery-operated so there's no need for manual suction.

Our Mum tester Alexandra said: "This product is excellent. With my first I honestly couldn't understand why people would use a tube to suck snot out their babies nose but then I discovered this! It's so hygienic, super soft, so easy to use and just works amazingly well. It clears my babies nose really well and the 3 year old also loves this."
Read our full Braun Healthcare Nasal Aspirator 1 review.


  • Adjustable suction
  • Removable components are dishwasher safe


  • Some say it could be stronger
Suitable for:0 months - 12 years
  • 2 suction levels
  • 2 nasal tips

Best for portability

With an internal chamber to prevent the spread of germs, this Munchkin CosieNosie Nasal Aspirator is brilliant for on the go. It comes with it's very own carry case, so it's easy to store and you don't need any filters. Result!

Our mum tester Lydia said: "This product has saved endless amounts of doctor trips! With the weather changing my little one has a running nose quite a lot. This product made our long nights shorter. It scoops up and pulls all the goo out what's troubling your child effortlessly. This product is great. It is simple to put together, easy to clean and works really well."

Read our full Munchkin CosieNosie Nasal Aspirator review.


  • Internal chamber collects the snot
  • Lightweight deisgn


  • Hand wash only
Suitable for:0-12 months
  • Three different nose tips
  • Carry case included

Best bulb nasal aspirator

We love this nasal decongester from NUK because it's BPA-free and only takes a few second to use. Give it a squeeze and gently place it in the nostril. Once released, it will collect all of the residue in the bulb which can then be emptied out onto a tissue.


  • Affordable
  • Compact size, so easy to store


  • Not suitable for microwave sterilisation
  • Replacement nozzle included

Best for adjustability

Available in sizes S and XL, the GROWNSY aspirator has three suction modes, ranging from soft to moderate to strong. Its standout feature has to be the lights and sounds, which distract your baby and keep them calm so you can extract the snot without harming them.


  • Latex-free
  • Waterproof design


  • Battery life could be longer
  • Quiet operation
  • LED buttons
  • Rechargeable via USB

Why should I use a nasal aspirator?

Babies (and some toddlers) can’t blow their noses, which can result in a restless night’s sleep and agitation, so some intervention in the form of a nasal aspirator is needed to get those passages clear again. If they are fully congested, it is very important that their nose gets cleared before they eat, as otherwise they won't be able to breathe properly.

How do you clean a nasal aspirator?

All nasal aspirators should be cleaned before and after you use them. Non-electrical devices such as a bulb and manual aspirators can be soaked in warm soapy water to remove germs. With the bulb syringe, you need to give it a squeeze and a shake to ensure the water gets inside and then empty all of the liquid out once this is done and leave it in a glass to dry.

To minimise the spread of illnesses and infections, you can sterilise a manual aspirator by leaving it in some boiling water for five minutes. Make sure it has fully cooled down and dried before you use it on your baby.

For electric aspirators, you need to rinse the collection tank out with the soapy water and give the tip a clean with an antibacterial wipe or a hot damp cloth and dry it with a clean towel.

Arabella Horspool is a Commercial Content Writer for Mother&Baby at Bauer Media. She's a bookworm who enjoys cooking and spending time with her many pets.

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