Friday, May 2nd, 2008
Review Part 2: NoseFrida Nasal Aspirator for Babies
Last year I reviewed and praised the NoseFrida super-baby-snot-sucker.
It was a theoretical review with my wife as a test subject. Today I have a sick baby boy with a week-long cold accompanied by gobs of mucous.
His torment is your educational gain. Let’s take a look, shall we?
American parents are well acquainted with bulb aspirators that you squeeze and insert into a nostril, release and then wipe clean… repeating the process a dozen times to extract snot. They are extremely inefficient and nearly impossible to clean and dry properly.
On the other hand, a tube aspirator is what parents often use in Europe, Asia other parts of the world. The idea is slowly spreading in the US, but unfortunately has been twisted into battery-operated contraptions.
I’m here to say the NoseFrida tube aspirator is fast and efficient, and you don’t need batteries. You control its relative strength using your own lungs. (Crazy idea, right? Whodathunkit?)
The NoseFrida consists of a 5-inch-long cigar-shaped plastic cylinder placed at the base of one of your baby’s nostrils. Attached is a smaller 15-inch flexible tube with a mouth piece that… goes in your mouth. You start sucking and mucous magically shoots into the cylinder chamber.
In practice, each nasal passage gets well cleaned with one or two sucks. Between sucks you move the cylinder to a snot cloth and blow its contents onto the cloth. The cylinder is transparent so you know exactly how much yucky stuff is inside.
Our son wails as you would expect, but for less time than if we were using a bulb aspirator because NoseFrida is more efficient.
A small replaceable filter connects the cylinder to the tubing, but in our experience mucous comes in contact with the filter perhaps 10 percent of the time. You’re supposed to toss and replace the filter, but we usually just rinse it.
You clean the cylinder with warm soapy water, but half the time we just place the cylinder under running water and any remaining mucous immediately flushes out.
When mucous is especially thick, NoseFrida and other aspirators become less effective. Per our pediatrician’s recommendation, a few times we have used a saline nasal spray or “drops” to loosen things up. We applied a small amount to each nostril, it drained out and NoseFrida beautifully performed the clean-up.
Caution: some over-the-counter saline sprays indicate they are not for use with infants under six months. Read your labels and consult your pediatrician before doing anything.
Our 3-year-old daughter is well aquainted with NoseFrida after several colds this past year. Why? Because although she can blow her nose, she doesn’t have the strength to handle serious congestion.
Unlike her little brother, my daughter knows what’s coming next. The thought of NoseFrida puts a tremble in her voice and she cries while I cradle her in my lap and hold her down as her mother aspirates the nose. There has been no residual discomfort after the snot is sucked out.
If all this seems shocking, you may feel differently after you’ve slept on your child’s floor and comforted her as she wakes up every hour throughout the night because she can’t breathe. One minute of NoseFrida fear saves her hours of suffering.
It’s a little peculiar because sometimes she will consent to having her nose sucked when we ask, and negotiate the situation by insisting that Dad holds her down and Mom sucks her nose. It’s as if she knows it’s good for her, but will throw a fit nonetheless while we’re clearing her breathing passages.
Money / Mouth
My NoseFrida was provided to Thingamababy for review last year. The test of any positive review is the question: would I actually buy the product? Yes. Last month, I bought a NoseFrida as a baby shower gift for our neighbors from Benin. Of course, they were well acquainted with the idea of tube aspirators and thankful to have one now.
In short, I am an enthusiastic supporter of this nifty little baby snot sucker.
NoseFrida is made in Sweden (the word translates to “nose relief”), but is available in the US via NoseFrida.com. The main unit is $15 plus $5 shipping while 20-piece filter packs are $2.50 (shipping included). Or you can pay slightly more via Amazon.
Update: Kaisa from NoseFrida informs me that NoseFrida is now being sold at Whole Foods Market’s 22 San Francisco Bay Area locations. Slowly, but surely, the armor of the bulb aspirator cabal is being chipped away.