The Wee One has had three colds already in her short, 4-month-long life. When a baby gets a stuffy nose, they make a terrible gurgling sound when breathing, like they’re halfway underwater. And one thing that a parent does NOT need in their life is any additional reason to freak out about their baby’s breathing, like, all the publicity given to SIDS (a parents’ absolute worst nightmare, I think) is more than enough to freak me out, thank you.
So when your baby has a runny and stuffed up nose, you feel the need to do something about it. Luckily for me, I have top secret weapons from foreign lands. High-YA!
When the Captain was born, one of Sir Monkeypants’ good friends from high school, Emile, was living over in Singapore with his lovely and sweet wife, Yannie. They’d had a baby boy about a year before and as such, were totally up on the parental knowledge. They sent us a fabulous package of very strange, Asian-made baby items that they thought would be useful to us, that we probably couldn’t buy in Canada. Those crazy Asians, they make some VERY strange teethers, let me tell you. They also make a couple of rather scary nasal clearing devices that are probably not-at-all legal on the Canadian market.
In North America, if you want to clear out that phelgm, your only option is this:
That’s a nasal aspirator. You use it by squeezing the ball part, then sticking the clear part in your baby’s nose, then releasing the ball part — the resulting suction is supposed to be the equivalent of baby nose blowing. Sadly, this device just basically blows.
Now, when you have some chunky bits in there that need removing, and you have the means and opportunity to jet over to Singapore for the weekend, you want to pick up one of these little Asian babies:
These are my beloved nose tweezers, and they are the single most valuable baby item that I own. Any crusty things up here interfering with breathing are quickly grabbed and popped out, and then everyone can sleep happily. I wish I had kept the package that they came in — all the writing was in Chinese characters, so we couldn’t read it, but it was clear from the drawing on the package what they were to be used for. Apparently a smiley face with tweezers shoved up its nose is the universal symbol for “booger.”
When we were lending all our baby stuff to LittleSis last year for her first baby, I thought about giving her the tweezers, but they were just to precious to risk them leaving the house. Besides, even though my kids were getting older, what if one of them was playing with a plastic beaded necklace at night, in bed, and it broke, and one of the beads got wedged up their nose, creating a major crisis that could only be resolved with nose tweezers? Not that that happened to any friends of mine, or anything.
I like to imagine a day when one of my kids has their own first child, and I pass on the tweezers with great solemnity, giving them the gift of the greatest baby item ever. They’ll accept it, then later after I’m gone, they’ll turn to their spouse and say, “Can you BELIEVE my Mother used to stick this torture device up my nose?? Is this not conclusive proof that she is totally, utterly insane?” and then they toss it in the nearest trash bin.
Maybe I’ll just have it bronzed instead.
Emile and Yannie also sent us another snot-removing item. It’s super hardcore, though, and I never had the guts to use it on either the Captain or the Gal. But the poor Wee One was really suffering with a stuffy nose a few weeks back, and the aspirator and the tweezers just couldn’t seem to help her, so I had to break out the Super Sucker:
You can tell it means business because it has its own carrying case. With this thing, you stick the teardrop-shaped part of the bottle into the baby’s nose, then you suck on the end of the straw, creating as much or as little suction as you need. Then the crap in question gets sucked into the bottle (I like it that the bottle is so big — quite optimistic about the number of boogies it will be removing today!).
It really worked, too. They don’t call it the Super Sucker for nothing. I’m almost looking forward to the Wee One’s next cold.