Pregnant women are told to buy a lot of things. We need nursing pillows, and cloth diapers, and 452 Aden + Anais swaddling cloths. Truthfully, we don’t need a lot of the stuff we’re told to buy. I never once used my wipe warmer, or baby powder, or most of those expensive swaddling cloths. But there is one new baby item that all expectant parents need, and that is the NoseFrida. Yes, the “snotsucker.” The NoseFrida arguably the single most disgusting baby invention of the past 1,000 years, but it is essential and I love it. Every parent needs to own one.

What is a NoseFrida?

The NoseFrida is a tool for clearing mucus out of a baby’s nose. Babies can’t blow their own noses. When a baby’s nose gets stuffed up, we have to clear it out for them. Basically, people in charge of babies are responsible for butts and noses for probably a little over three years, maybe more.

nosefrida

Image: Fridababy.com

The NoseFrida is a small plastic cylinder with one end that goes in the baby’s nose. The other end is attached to a long tube that goes into an adult’s mouth. Then the adult sucks on the tube with their mouth, and basically just sucks all the mucus right out of the baby’s nose. With their mouth.

I realize this sounds repulsive.

Here’s a video that shows exactly how the NoseFrida works.

Why would anyone ever use that?

If you don’t have experience caring for a baby with a stuffed up nose, you probably think this is far too gross to consider. Maybe you’d rather use a more traditional bulb syringe, which keeps all mucus at arm’s length and nicely away from your mouth. That’s fine! Go for it. That was my plan, too. But buy the NoseFrida anyway, and just stash it somewhere. Because this is what happened to me:

The baby caught a cold, and her nose got stuffed up.

When the baby’s nose gets stuffed up, the baby can’t sleep. And if the baby doesn’t sleep, the parents don’t sleep.

The baby couldn’t sleep because of her stuffed up nose. So I used the bulb syringe and realized immediately why it doesn’t work. The bulb syringe can only suck a tiny puff out of the baby’s nose. There’s no possibility for sustained suction, which is what is necessary to actually get everything out of there.

“If I could just keep the suction going long enough, this would work!” I whined. And then I remembered the NoseFrida at the bottom of the changing table.

“Fuck it,” you will say. And then you will try it.

The NoseFrida is brilliant. Because you provide the suction with your mouth, you can control exactly how long and how hard the NoseFrida sucks.

Thanks to the NoseFrida, you can also use your brain to figure out how much suction and what kind you need for each job. Maybe you need to suck as hard as possible really quickly. Maybe you need a long, gentler suction to try to loosen harder pieces of mucus stuck way in the back. That’s very useful, because parents are smarter than bulb syringes.

I realize this sounds repulsive, but babies are full of drool and mucus and all sorts of gross things. The NoseFrida is just the fastest and most efficient way of dealing with it.

But won’t I get baby snot in my mouth?

Do not worry. You can’t actually get anything in your mouth when you use a NoseFrida. The NoseFrida itself is several inches long, with a little sponge filter at the end of it. After the filter there is a very long rubber tube. At the end of that, there’s a little mouth piece. It’s not possible for anything to go all the way up the NoseFrida, get past the filter, and then travel all the way up the tube, then get through the mouth piece.

You are totally safe.

That’s why I love the NoseFrida, and why I buy them for every baby shower. I get a lot of weird looks and people shouting, “Ew!” But it works, and everyone who has ever used one knows it.

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(Image: iStock / monkeybusinessimages )