Let’s start with the obvious: extracting stuff from your baby’s nose is kinda gross. Using your mouth to provide the suction to do this with the NoseFrida maybe adds an extra layer of grossness.
But, many things we do as parents are objectively kinda gross. So for us, the real questions are:
Does it work?
Does it work better than the alternatives?
Does the NoseFrida hurt the baby?
Is it easy to learn and use? (Anything primarily used in the middle of the night damn well better be)
To find out, we engaged in dozens of snot sucking sessions with the NoseFrida across two babies ages newborn to one year. And one adult, age 34.
So just how does the NoseFrida Nasal Aspirator work? Let’s start with a video. Then we’ll jump into the reviews, more on the Nose Frida, and some FAQs.src=”https://fast.wistia.com/assets/external/E-v1.js” async=””>
Both John and Paul (the Fathercraft team) are NoseFrida owners. We’ve included their NoseFrida reviews individually to provide different perspectives.
John used (and continues to use) the NoseFrida with his son Calvin (featured in the video), from newborn to 2 months. “I use the NoseFrida almost every night, in the middle of the night when Calvin is restless and you can clearly hear the congestion in his nose. This is a heavy use product.”
“Overall, this is a super useful product. It’s amazing how well it works – every time I use it and Calvin is fussy, I get an immediate calming response, with just a flinch.” And in the end, this was the most important thing to John. John ended up getting 2 NoseFridas to have one on standby and avoid having to clean in the middle of the night.
- Quick process for Calvin to endure, and seems painless – he gives a small flinch, but then goes right back to sleep.
- It’s really easy to clean and is not bulky, easy to take apart and put together.
- You have to clean it after every use, immediately – even if that’s at 3 in the morning
- Requires a light source so you can see to squirt saline and operate the NoseFrida, and that light source needs to be one that doesn’t totally wake up you and the baby
- The original box only comes with three filters, you’re supposed to change the filter every time, so this doesn’t last long (though neither of us ended up changing the filter every time). [You can get NoseFrida + saline spray + 10 filters on Amazon from less than $20 (affiliate link)]
We started using the NoseFrida out of desperation. Our daughter Ruby was born in the winter in Denver and was incredibly congested for the first few months of her life.
If you’re a parent, you’re probably familiar with the bulb syringe you get in the hospital when your child was born – this was just not very effective with Ruby. It was somehow both simple to use and a pain in the neck. And very frustrating when it didn’t work. We also didn’t like the fact you could never tell whether one was clean or not.
So, we picked up a NoseFrida. This was to be strictly a Dad Duty as my wife claimed she would never use one (she fairly quickly started using it).
The NoseFrida instantly became an invaluable tool for us – it was MUCH more effective than a bulb syringe, relatively easy to use, easy to clean, and in an odd way, pretty satisfying to see the volume of nasal gunk we were able to extract from Ruby’s nose.
- Dramatically better than a bulb syringe
- Easy to clean, easy to see when it was fully cleaned
- Low cost
- Sometimes required, or nearly required, two people as our daughter got older and would more aggressively move her head to try and avoid saline or sucking
- Doesn’t coil well for storage, and actually takes up a fair amount of room on a bathroom counter
The NoseFrida should be an essential item in the modern dad’s toolbox—in fact we’ve included it on Fathercraft’s list of baby essentials. It’s not perfect, but it’s far superior to the alternatives, works well, is inexpensive, and is easy to use. We’ve also more recently discovered the Oogiebear (Amazon affiliate link), which makes the perfect companion to the NoseFrida.
For more information, let’s discuss how the NoseFrida works and answer some frequently asked questions.
Let’s break this sucker (ha) down – how does the NoseFrida work?
The NoseFrida is pretty darn simple to use. Here’s a 1-minute rundown of the part of the process where you actually use the NoseFrida on your baby:
And here are the steps we ended up using (after many, many snot-sucking sessions across a couple of kids) after getting good at this process:
Put it together
Insert a foam filter into the blue end of the thin sucking tube, then connect the large blue chamber to the sucking tube where you put the filter. Connect the orange mouthpiece.
Gather your supplies
Here’s what we’ve found you’ll need:
- The fully-assembled NoseFrida
- Saline spray
- Some tissue or other nose-wiping materials
- A small light to light your way, but ideally not so bright to disturb your baby in the middle of the night
Get your baby in place
We’ve found putting your baby on a changing pad works best, but you may be able to leave your baby where they are if they’re accessible. Consider having your partner on-hand to hold the baby if they’re particularly squirmy.
Squeeze the saline firmly into both your baby’s nostrils, 1-2x per side. Fortunately, the saline spray works while the bottle is upright or sideways, so you won’t need to worry about positioning the baby at any particular angle. Be ready to wipe excess saline, and beware your baby may aggressively move his or her head – if you don’t watch out for this it can be easy to spray saline right into your baby’s eye. Wait about a minute after this to allow saline time to break up mucus and make sucking easier.
Place the pointed end of large blue chamber against your baby’s nostril and suck. You’ll want to experiment with different angles of sucking, how hard you suck, whether or not you use a finger to cover the other nostril, and how firmly you place the end of the NoseFrida against the baby’s nostril – all of these can affect your success rate.
At this point, snot should be suctioned from your baby’s nostril into the chamber of the NoseFrida. Repeat as necessary with both nostrils.
If you’re not successful, move to the other nostril – you may find that one produces much more snot than the other. Also, try another squeeze of saline spray if you’re not getting much out. Finally, keep in mind that not every snot sucking session will be a huge success – sometimes your baby will have more chest congestion than nose congestion.
Put your baby back in the crib and clean NoseFrida.
Hopefully, your baby will go right back to sleep (ours both did). See below for our tips on cleaning the NoseFrida.
Some frequently asked questions about NoseFrida
How do you clean the NoseFrida?
To clean the NoseFrida, FridaBaby (the company that manufactures it) recommends washing the large tube (where the snot is sucked into) with warm water and soap and then putting a couple of drops of rubbing alcohol into the small tube (the one you suck through). Again, they also recommend disposing of a filter each time.
From our experience, we’d also add to slowly pour water through the big tube to drain snot out and into the sink before doing the soap and water washing.
Does the NoseFrida hurt baby? Is the NoseFrida safe?
Using NoseFrida seems rather barbaric. But does it hurt the baby? Is it safe? We had the results of two babies to go on. Calvin barely flinched. Ruby cried during, but stopped immediately and went right back to sleep after. So it seemed like the answer was no, but we took the next logical step and try it on an adult to make sure.
So, what was it like? The anticipation was definitely the worst part, by far. And, fortunately, babies aren’t anticipating much. Squirting saline up your nose is more ticklish than anything. And the process of having snot suctioned from one’s nose was, in my experience, only mildly unpleasant.
FridaBaby also says it’s impossible to suck too hard and harm your baby.
Does NoseFrida pass germs?
FridaBaby (again, the manufacturer) says the filter in NoseFrida is clinically proven to prevent germs from passing from your baby to you while operating the NoseFrida.
We’d also add from our experience we haven’t caught any of our kids’ colds while doing this.
Where can you buy NoseFrida?
The NoseFrida is available in most major stores – Target, Walmart, Buy Buy Baby, Babies ‘r Us, etc. You can also just have it shipped from Amazon (affiliate link) and get free, fast shipping if you’re a Prime member.
Regardless of where you get it, pick up an extra pack of filters with your order, or you’ll be heading back out to get those soon.
We hope you found this information useful. If you have additional questions we didn’t answer, we’re here for you – hello[at]fathercraft.com / contact us.
Now go suck some snot.
- This review was originally published in December 2017, but was updated with new information and republished in July 2019
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