How to Clear Snot out of Baby's Nose

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Clearing snot of out a baby's nose can be challenging, however, when done correctly, can provide dramatic relief to the congested child. There are many causes for snot or mucus to accumulate in the nasal passages. These causes include viral or bacterial infections, and allergies. Clearing snot of out of a baby's nose, if done improperly, can cause injury to the delicate mucus membranes of the child's nasal passages. When parents are unsure about how to remove mucus blockages from a child's nose, they should contact their pediatricians.

Bulb Syringe

Using a bulb syringe to remove snot from a baby's nose is highly effective in restoring breathing. It is very important that parents learn the proper technique, because improperly using a bulb syringe can push mucus further up into the nasal passages, possibly raising the risk for a bacterial sinus infection. Before the bulb syringe is inserted into the baby's nose, it should be cleaned with hot, soapy water to remove bacteria. After the apparatus has been completely cleaned and dried, it can then be inserted into the nostril. The bulb syringe should be depressed prior to insertion, and gently released while still in the nose. Depressing the bulb while it is already in the nose will push mucus higher up into the nose, and irritate the delicate lining. Releasing the bulb sucks out the mucus safely so that breathing is restored.

Encourage Fluids

Encouraging fluids helps thin out viscous mucus secretions so that they can be easily wiped away with a tissue. Snot or mucus that is thick is difficult to remove, however, as it thins out, it simply slips out of the nostrils. When giving the baby additional fluids fails to thin out his nasal secretions, the pediatrician may recommend a mucolytic, which is a medication that helps relieve congestion, while thinning out mucus.


When bacterial infections occur, oral antibiotics may be needed in order to clear away snot from a baby's nose. Snot or mucus build-up is sometimes the result of bacterial microorganisms, but they are usually very sensitive to antibiotic treatment. Before antibiotics are given, the pediatrician will make sure that the baby does not have a viral infection, because antibiotics are of little use in the treatment of viral infections.

Even crying can cause an over production of nasal mucus. Once the baby calms down, mucus production will decrease, and the nasal passages will once again clear.

Cite this page: N., Sam M.S., "How to Clear Snot out of Baby's Nose," in, September 9, 2013, (accessed August 17, 2022).