Fact: Moms do all kinds of unbelievably disgusting stuff we never, ever would have imagined ourselves doing before we had kids, from thoughtlessly finishing half-chewed pizza crusts (not ours) to reaching into the toilet for some beloved plaything. But while some moms manage to maintain some sense of propriety, others (understandably) lose the ability to get grossed out — like the parents who are willing to actually put their lips to their congested baby's nostrils and slurp the boogies away. Eww factor aside: Is it safe to suck your baby's snot out with your mouth?
Look, we get it. When your baby has a cold and he can't breathe (or eat, or sleep), you can get a little desperate. Maybe he won't let you get anywhere near his nose with a bulb aspirator. But it might not be the smartest, safest decision to put your own mouth to your baby's congested nose to suck the snot right out of it. What are you supposed to do though? It's not like your infant is going to know what to do if you toss him a handkerchief. Meanwhile, if you lean in close with your mouth, he's going to assume you're trying to give him a kiss and probably NOT react in anticipatory horror.
So the reasoning behind your desire to suck that snot out old school style is perfectly understandable. And while some experts will tell you it's not the worst thing ever (after all, odds are you've been pretty well exposed to whatever germs your baby is carrying anyway), Dr. Tanya Altmann says it's not the best option in the world, either. Cooties aside, there are more effective ways to go, she says:
"There are devices you can use (such as the NoseFrida Snotsucker) where parents suction with their mouth and the tube goes into a baby's nose, but the mouth is not in direct contact with baby’s nose," Dr. Altmann tells Romper.
"There are also battery powered similar devices on the market now."
Dr Titus Ibekwe, meanwhile, was quoted in an interview as advising against the practice of sucking snot out directly with your mouth, saying:
“It is not a healthy practice; especially the sucking with mouth, all the organisms that are causing this infection you are trying to take in; to ingest it, and that may even predispose the mother to an infection that she never bargained for."
Well, sure. It doesn't take a medical professional to figure out that probably eating a sick person's snot is going to up your odds of catching whatever it is they have. (Except that, as we noted before, you probably already have those germs anyway. Ah, parenthood!)
Still, sometimes you gotta do what you gotta do — haters or no haters. British singing sensation Rochelle Humes posted earlier this year about the all-too-real experience of sucking the snot out her infant daughter's mouth:
"Just put Valentina to bed, she's not been very well actually the past couple of days, she's teething, and got a cold and everything. So bunged up that last night, wait for it, I sucked the snot out of her nose. Yeah. The joke of it is that she actually looked at me like, 'Mum, what on earth are you doing to me? Get off me. This is disgusting.' And I'm sort of looking at her like, 'I've just tasted snot for the first time.'"
Comments ranged from the "you do you" variety to the "what, why?!?!" (and probably most people fell into the latter category), but hey, at least the lady and her little one got some relief! Still, since there's not a ton of official info out there on how to suck the snot out of your baby's nose with your mouth safely (and because there are seemingly some differences of opinions among pediatricians on whether it should be done at all), it might be a good idea to give your baby's doctor a ring before you give this undoubtedly ancient remedy a try.
Check out Romper's new video series, Romper's Doula Diaries:
Watch full episodes of Romper's Doula Diaries on Facebook Watch.