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How to Get Rid of a Baby's Mucus

By Kristie Brown ; Updated April 18, 2017
Removing mucus from a baby's nose is easy with a few tools.

The Mayo Clinic advises that newborns and young babies should see a doctor at the first sign of a cold. For older babies, colds are a common occurrence and the average baby suffers up to seven colds in his first year of life. Colds are uncomfortable for everyone, but a baby relies on his parents to help him feel better. Ensure your baby receives enough fluids so he’ll stay hydrated and add moisture to the air through a humidifier. You can also thin and remove the mucus from his nose by following a series of steps.

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Use saline dose drops for babies if your doctor recommends them. Saline nose drops are available over-the-counter at pharmacies and grocery stores. Saline drops are made of salt water and are safe for most children.

Use a baby dropper to gather saline and then gently tilt your baby’s head back and instill one drop of saline per nostril. Your baby will likely not enjoy the sensation of the saline washing into his nose, so hold your baby firmly, or if possible, ask a partner to hold the baby while you introduce the saline.

Squeeze the bulb syringe to expel the air before inserting the bulb syringe into your baby’s nose. Insert approximately ¼ to ½ inch into one nostril and aim toward the back of the head and side of the nose.

Release the bulb syringe and hold it in place while it draws mucus into the syringe. Remove the syringe and empty the contents into the sink or into a tissue or cloth while squeezing the syringe.

Repeat in each nostril until the mucus is clear or gone.

Things You Will Need

  • Saline nose drops
  • Baby dropper or eye dropper
  • Infant suction bulb syringe


To make homemade saline nose drops, add 1/2 tsp of salt to 1 cup of warm water.

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About the Author

Kristie Brown is a publisher, writer and editor. She has contributed to magazines, textbooks and online publications. Brown holds a Bachelor of Arts in English from the University of Texas at Austin.

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