Tuesday, August 11, 2009

'Snot Such a Good Idea

When I talked to the pediatricians' nurse on Saturday, she suggested using saline drops to break up Peeper's congestion, and then clearing her nose with the bulb syringe.

I had heard that breastmilk was effective for that, as well, so I tried it first, but didn't have much luck.

It seems like you should be able to just squirt it up there, but if I get a boob anywhere near her face, she latches!

I tried expressing some, and dripping it in there with my finger, but that wasn't working either.

So, I gave up and bought some saline drops and a new "better" snot-sucker yesterday and tried that.

When I'm rinsing her hair in the bathtub and end up pouring water over her face and she blinks and sputters a bit, I joke that it's "Time to waterboard the baby" and that's all funny, hahaha.

But, when I put the drops in her nose, for just a second, there was a look of absolute terror in her eyes. I really think she thought (as much as she can understand such things) that I was trying to drown her.

I've seen her look startled, and look apprehensive and look like "where's my Mama?" but this was totally different.

I know it sounds like I'm being melodramatic, but I think it really scared her.

And why wouldn't it?

She was lying on her back, being held down, and liquid was going up her nose. Sounds pretty terrifying to me.

It was awful. It was bad enough the first time, but then I did I put some in the other side, and she looked exactly the same way.

So I picked her up and comforted her, and held her while I suctioned her nose and - didn't get a damn thing out of it.

I scared the shit of her for absolutely nothing, felt like a total jerk, and she was still snorting like a baby rhino.

I'm sure that she's probably completely forgotten about it, and I'm mostly over it, but when I picture that look in her eyes - and of course, she was looking at me like "What the FUCK?!?!" - ugh, I just feel awful.

Then, later, when she was still not wanting to nurse (because she was wakeywakeybaby, but also snottysnortybaby) so I tried the other technique described on the saline bottle.

Instead of laying her down and dripping drops into her nose, I let her sit up, and put the bottle, upright, in her nose and squeezed, to spray a mist up it.

Seemed like it might not be as effective (which is why I didnt' do it in the first place) but maybe not quite so traumatic.

Evidently she agreed, because she laughed about it!


(I suppose it tickles?)

Yeah, so not only did I waterboard her for nothing, since it didn't help, but I waterboarded her when I could have tickled her instead!

Oh, but it still didn't get any snot out, so the whole damn thing was pointless anyway.


  1. As I was reading this I was planning on responding that they have a kind that is a mist... Oh, okay. Personally, I have always found that the mist works better. Not only is it less objectional, but that it actually works better. Since she doesn't object to the mist I would suggest you keep giving it a try, maybe it will help a bit. Oh, I usually wait a little bit after using the saline before "blowing" to give it a chance to loosen things up.

    Oh,for the record, I consider a bottle of saline to be a one illness use item. Even if I am careful not to let it "touch" I just think it is going to get germy. I toss it and get a new one next time, it's cheap enough. (Actually, I try to keep one on hand, because, when you need it, you need it.)

  2. I agree. Throw it out, it is a good germ growing medium. Is she sick or just miserable and stuffy? How about you and Shrike?

  3. Apparently she is not too sick to learn to walk. :D

  4. Yeah, I hadn't really thought through it that far, but I totally agree it should be a one-illness per bottle thing. Yuck.

    Actually, she's doing pretty well. Still sounds a little bit snorty, but just the tiniest bit.

    She doesn't seem to be running any more fever, either, although maybe still a bit cranky?

    Or, maybe she's just pissed off that I keep wanting her to sit still, when she wants to take me walking all over the house?

    My throat tickle and "blah"ness hasn't developed into anything and Shrike's not reported any symptoms at all.

    So, I think that, once again, we've kicked this little bug's ass pretty quickly!

  5. Btw, the directions on the saline bottle first said to drop in drops, and then said, "Or, you can spray a mist...."

    In retrospect, I don't know why I thought the drops would be good at all.

  6. I have never had any success with the saline drops. When my daughter has a bad cold we spend a lot of time breastfeeding in the bathtub. I can usually manage to run a warm bathtub, hop in with her and then position her so that she's mostly out of the water and add a lot of hot water. The steam seems to work wonders and as long as she has a boob in her mouth she's happy to hang out for a good 20 minutes or longer. Or you could took a hot shower to steam up the room while she plays on the floor.

  7. I agree with Rachel - in fact last time Bubs got a cold I bit the bullet and invested in a humidifier for his room. It cost around £40 (roughly $60) but was SO worth it - he hardly woke in the night at all and the congestion seemed to clear much more quickly than normal. A very worthwhile investment!

  8. Oh yeah, I forgot to blog about it (how dare I!) but we did the steam thing a couple of times.

    I ran the shower as hot as possible, while we sat in the bathroom, breathing.

    I think it helped a bit. It always helps me.

  9. When Joseph got sick last month we got a very cheap humidifier and that did the trick. Plus when he was smaller and had a terible cold he would sleep in his carseat in our bed, sitting up makes it easier to breath. I only use the saline mist a few times to break up the mucus but never suction, just too scary for me.

  10. We need to get a humidifier (or find the one that I think we have somewhere???)

    She usually doesn't mind the suction at all - thinks it's funny, so that's good.

  11. Was going to say the same thing as LadyKay, about waiting a minute after saline before snotsucking.
    I also second the recommendation for a humidifier-- especially a warm mist one. We were told that the cold mist one was healthy but it did jack shit for Alice. The warm mist humidifier worked its magic after one night. We got the Vicks vaporub kind that has a receptacle for pouring in liquid vaporub. Look for it during your next Target run!


What say you?