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Rubber Bulbs - 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:

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  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 nose.

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.

    This information is produced and provided by the National Cancer Institute (NCI). The information in this topic may have changed since it was written. For the most current information, contact the National Cancer Institute via the Internet web site at http:// cancer .gov or call 1-800-4-CANCER.

    WebMD Medical Reference from Healthwise

    Last Updated: August 21, 2013
    This information is not intended to replace the advice of a doctor. Healthwise disclaims any liability for the decisions you make based on this information.
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