3 Reasons Suction … Sucks!

Ooohh! I can’t stand seeing a child with a runny nose and snot just oozing down his face and clumping up on his top lip. And it gets worse when he takes the back of his hand wipes it across his cheek leaving a streak of yellow snot glue – or he sticks his tongue out and snatches it into his mouth like a frog catching a fly. YUCK!!  

If he’s two and under, he can’t help it.  That’s when you know it may be time for the dreaded task of suction. You may disagree, but I think suction is almost worse than changing a poopy. Let me tell you why …

1) It’s really a two-person job.
Once your child is old enough to walk, suctioning turns into a defensive sport. There is kicking, throwing blows, and wrestling involved. I prefer an extra hand – or arm even –  to help me bolt my kid down so I don’t catch a foot in my stomach! My child kicks and screams and cries – before I even touch him.

2) It’s gross.
It may not smell like poop – but it’s more liquid and gooey and just GROSS!

3) It’s more frequent.
When a child has nasal issues, you have to suction more than you change a poopy. More drama, more often.

And teaching a kid to blow their nose is one of the more awkward lessons I’ve come across so far. It is sorta funny to watch them get the hang of it (their little nostrils flare as they continue to suck up while looking at you like an alien as you coach them to BLOW OUT).

There are new devices these days, but I’ve always stuck with the tried and true – the little bulb (that’s what they used in the hospital). Despite the complaints and the hardships – by both the suctioner and the suctionee – it works!

What do you use? And how the heck do YOU teach them to blow out – not suck up?

*** Little known fact: What is the area between your nose and mouth with the two vertical lines called? The philtrum!

Philtrum highlighted by light

Image via Wikipedia

(I just found this out on yahoo.com and I was going to use this word in my blog but figured you’d be saying – the what?!) ***    


13 thoughts on “3 Reasons Suction … Sucks!

  1. It’s so funny that you wrote on this… it’s one of the blog drafts I have going right now!

    I agree that it become a two-person job once they are older. My daughter is 21 months old and now that it is “runny nose season” and I’m back to suctioning out her nose (almost) every day… it’s like trying to hog-tie an alligator.

    And I personally don’t think all nasal aspirators are the same. I favor the Little Noses one: http://www.littleremedies.com/products/little_noses/stuffy_nose_kit . I don’t know how the design is different, but I think it just suctions out a WHOLE lot BETTER than those regular ones you get from the hospital. I have a friend who’s husband LOVES to use one of those battery operated ones (something like this: http://www.gracobaby.com/Products/Pages/ProductDetails.aspx?ProductId=1750335). I just like my lil ol Little Noses bulb.

    I would love to know how to convince Baby C that it would be an excellent idea to blow her nose… so I am interested to see how people respond!

    Good post, thanks!

    • I can’t tell you how many times I read a post on a subject that I am also drafting a blog on – so weird huh? Another testament that we all do have so much in common… but you made me laugh with that hog-tie comment – funny and accurate! I’ll click on these links for the other aspirators b/c I’m curious- I’m really just hoping that soon we can teach him to BLOW!

  2. I am actually with a sick 5-month baby and it is heartbreaking (well mainly because it’s the first time she’s getting sick ever). Here’s the good thing. My mom is a NICU nurse and so it makes my life easier when she needs to put saline drops in and suction the hell out of her itty bitty nostrils. Baby hates it, but let me tell you, she can breathe. My mom, being in this profession for 35+ years, really does have her technique down. She cradles her and gets down to business. When my husband and I do it, I feel like it’s torture. I’m holding her down while he holds her head and suctions out. It kills me.

    The bad thing, is because she’s a nurse, I’m all, “Maybe I should bring her to the doctor”, her response is, “No, unless she has a fever, it’s not necessary. It has to work its course.” I’m sure she’s right. I mean, there’s not much more a doctor can tell you with a baby that is still so small to take anything. So, we continue with the humidifier, saline drops and bulb. It’s been a week and a half and she’s still same. Does that seem normal to you? Does it take this long?

    When I dropped Lili off this morning, she had dried boogies in her nose. So my mom continued w/ saline and bulb, but we also boiled water and added salt. Put a towel over her head and held her over the bowl of steam. Then we suctioned her out to the max. I’m hoping when I pick her up, she’ll be a lot better.

  3. RAS – I agree with Chicken Nuggets… but when they get sick at such a young age it is soooo discomforting and heartbreaking! It is nice to have a nurse mommy – I have one too. But I do understand wanting to see the doctor. She’s right though – the doc will send you home w/ the same advice as your mom if there’s no fever. Hope she feels better real soon – the nights are the worse!

    • The verdict is in and my little bear has mild bronchiolitis. We’re giving her nebulizer treatments 3x a day and so far, she is definitely coughing less and sounding much better. Hopefully she’ll be better before the holidays!

  4. I was eating dinner when I started to read this post (on my smart phone), so I had to stop reading after the second or third line — the visuals were disgusting! I use the regular bulb with both my 2 1/2 year old and my 7 month old. Both hate it, so it’s double the fun when I have to get them both. I try to sing songs, tell stories, blah, blah. Still teaching my 2 1/2 year old how to blow. More to come.

    • Disgusting visuals – that’s good! I wanted to make sure my point got across 🙂 Oh – I’m so glad the 4 year old can blow his own nose I don’t know what to do with myself! Of course, he doesn’t like when we use the bulb on the 2y.o.

  5. You have very creatively turned a fact of life into a hilarious commentary on parenting. I love it – keep up the amusing and awesome work! I’m not even a parent and I find myself in stitches reading over your posts! 🙂

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