On Using the Snotsucker: A Letter to My Colleague
by Sharon Tjaden-Glass
Last weekend, one of my colleagues became a father for the first time. Thinking we had plenty of time, our work planned to have a baby shower for them today. Well, life happens, and his wife gave birth a full three weeks before her due date.
A healthy (8 pound!) baby girl.
Our work is still hosting a shower for them today. And frankly, my hat is off to these new parents if they actually show up to this shower when their baby is not even one week old yet.
Unfortunately, I won’t be able to attend.
Still, I wanted to do something nice for them, beyond the typical baby registry items. So I emailed my colleague and asked him what they still needed. He requested some diapers, size 3, for the future. I got those.
But what else?
What else could I get them that would actually be something they would really need as first-time parents?
Then it came to me.
A.K.A. “The Snotsucker”
But such a gift would require some explanation.
So here is the letter that I wrote to go along with my colleague’s gift.
Okay, so listen.
Your baby is going to get sick.
Maybe (hopefully) not right away. But she will get sick. And it’s going to suck. Big time. Not just because it hurts to see your kid in pain, but also because you don’t get any sleep if your kid doesn’t get any sleep.
And your kid can’t sleep if she’s so congested with thick mucus that she keeps coughing. And bonus, she can’t blow her nose either.
So with that in mind, I’m presenting you with several items that can help you get through a bad cold. Not all colds will require this level of care. But—God forbid—if she gets RSV (Respiratory Syncytial Virus), getting out that thick mucus could save you from a trip to Children’s Medical Center (and the hefty bill that goes along with that.)
Looking at the Nosefrida (A.K.A. “The Snotsucker”), I know what you might be thinking.
Ain’t no way I’m doing that to my kid! Sick! That’s sooo gross! Forget it!
I thought that, too. And hey, I completely understand the repulsion that drives you to arrive at that decision. In fact, go ahead and continue to think that. You are totally justified in thinking that. It seems rational. It makes sense now.
You’re thinking, I hate snot! You don’t understand. I really have a gag reflex. I’ll puke all over my kid at the very thought of sucking snot out of my kid’s nose!
Yes, I know how you’re feeling. Go ahead and continue to feel that way.
As long as your child is healthy.
But when it’s 2:00 a.m. and your kid has been coughing and coughing and coughing… And you know she’s not going to get better unless she sleeps… And you are out of your mind without sleep… You’ll try anything.
So when you’re ready to “try anything,” here’s what you do.
- Get your wife. You will need two people to do this.
- One of you holds your daughter’s head in place. She’s not going to like this at first.
- The other person sprays the saline mist into each nostril. Be prepared. Your daughter is going to cough. And if she’s a hefty cougher, she might take it too far and actually puke. It probably won’t happen. But better to be prepared.
- Get the Nosefrida. Make sure the blue spongy filter is in place.
- Put the light blue end of the Nosefrida up to your baby’s nostrils. Pin the other nostril closed with your finger.
- Put the red part of the Nosefrida into your mouth.
- Suck in air. As hard as you can. If you need to empty the gunk in the blue tube into the sink before doing the other side, do that.
- Repeat on the other side.
- Wipe your baby’s nose with a Boogie Wipe. They will keep her nose from getting too raw.
- Evaluate if you need to repeat. Listen to her to determine if her breathing is less rattling.
- Comfort her back to sleep in whatever way works for her.
- If you have a humidifier (and I recommend you get one), turn it on close enough to where she sleeps so her breathing passages don’t get too dry. This is especially useful in the winter.
So there are my tips for getting through that first awful cold. Like I said, not every cold is going to require this level of care. But some do. And having things on hand to help you get through it will make life a lot easier.
One last little truth. Even though taking care of a baby can be tough, the love that you have for your child numbs you to how hard it really is. You’ll get through it.
Wishing you both all the very best,
(P.S. Here is my cell phone number in case you need clarification on what to do.)