Topic 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:

  1. Position the baby with his or her head tilted
    slightly back.
  2. Squeeze the round base of the bulb with
    your thumb.
  3. Gently insert the tip of the bulb tightly inside the
    baby’s nose.
  4. Release the bulb to remove (suction) mucus from the

Put a few saline nose drops in each side of the baby’s nose before
suctioning to help break up the mucus. Suctioning too frequently can make the
congestion worse and can also cause the lining of the nose to swell or bleed.

After using the bulb, wash it in warm, soapy water. Rinse well and squeeze to remove any water.


ByHealthwise Staff
Primary Medical Reviewer William H. Blahd, Jr., MD, FACEP – Emergency Medicine
Adam Husney, MD – Family Medicine
Specialist Medical Reviewer David Messenger, MD

Current as ofMay 4, 2017