A baby aspirator is used to clear excess mucus from a baby’s nasal passages—usually when he or she has developed a bad head cold or upper respiratory illness. This is definitely one of those jobs no one likes to do, but who wants to see a baby suffer? Certainly no one wants that.
Since no parent or caregiver wants to reinfect the baby with subsequent uses either, it’s important to thoroughly clean the aspirator following every use. It’s a baby care task that must be performed with safe cleaners. You definitely don’t want to use harsh chemicals on something that will be reinserted into your baby’s nose. That’s another one of those yucky—but oh, so necessary—jobs that are necessary when there’s a baby under your care.
Items Needed to Clean a Baby Aspirator
- Antibacterial soap
- Clean, dry hand towel
- Rubbing alcohol
- Small saucepan or pot
- Paper towel or clean dish cloth
Cleaning the Baby Aspirator
Fill your kitchen or bathroom sink with hot water and a few drops of liquid antibacterial soap. This is among a list of safe cleaners approved by most pediatricians. Agitate the water with your hand to create suds.
Submerge the aspirator into the hot soapy water following its use. Allow it to soak for a few minutes.
Squeeze the bulb end of the baby aspirator to remove all of the air inside of it. Let go of the aspirator and allow it to fill up with the hot soapy water.
Allow the water to remain inside the aspirator for a minute or so. Depress the bulb end again in a forceful manner. This will remove the soapy water and the mucus from the baby aspirator.
Repeat this process several times in a row. Empty the sink of its soapy—now contaminated—water, and scrub the sink with a few drops of the antibacterial soap. Rinse all traces of the soap down the drain.
Refill the sink with hot water. Repeat the same steps as you used for cleaning the aspirator. This will rinse any traces of soap from the inside. Remove the aspirator from the sink and lay it on a clean, dry towel in preparation for its next use.
How to Use a Baby Aspirator
If your baby is stuffed up and uncomfortable using an aspirator is not hard to do but you do need to be careful. Start by using a little saline solution first to moisten the mucus if is appears needed. Squeeze the air out of the bulb of the syringe to create a vacuum. Then gently insert the baby aspirator tip into the baby’s nostrils. These steps allow air to flow freely to and from the baby’s nostrils, temporarily alleviating the congestions, and making them far more comfortable.
Sterilize the Aspirator
Once your baby is well and no longer requires the constant use of the baby aspirator, it’s important to sterilize it. This will help prevent the spread of any germs that may remain inside the bulb.
Start by performing the aforementioned process of cleaning the aspirator in a sink filled with hot soapy water, following that with the rinsing process. Once these steps have been completed, it’s time to sterilize.
You sterilize an aspirator the same way you would a baby bottle. Bring a small pot or saucepan of water to a full boil. Drop the aspirator into the boiling water and turn the temperature down so the water is simmering. Allow the baby aspirator to remain in the simmering water for a full ten minutes.
Turn off the stove, but allow the aspirator to remain inside the pot of water until the water has completely cooled off. Remove the aspirator from the pot and pour out the water.
Wipe down the outside of the aspirator with a paper towel or clean dish cloth that you’ve wet with rubbing alcohol. Since rubbing alcohol quickly evaporates, it is also on the list of several options for safe cleaners for use on baby items. Lay the sterilized aspirator on a clean, dry towel until it has completely air dried.
Storing the Clean and Sterilized Aspirator
In order to ascertain your clean and sterilized baby aspirator remains that way until the next time you use it, store it inside a zippered plastic bag. You may opt to use a sealed food storage container instead.
While this is definitely one of those seldom enjoyed jobs that come with having a baby, it’s a necessary part of keeping the child as healthy and free of germs as possible. By the time a parent has washed a wealth of diapers and all the baby clothes, jobs like cleaning a baby aspirator don’t tend to bother them much at all.