How To Get Boogers Out Of Baby’s Nose Easily And Painlessly

By Maria Wilcox •  Updated: 10/07/22 •  18 min read
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How to get boogers out of baby’s nose is a question many new parents find themselves asking once their baby falls ill. Sure, it seems like a simple enough task, but any parent will tell you that digging for boogers isn’t as easy as it might seem. Baby nostrils are small and you don’t want to hurt your newborn. So, what can you do? Thankfully you’ve got several (safe) options when it comes to clearing stubborn baby snot. Interested to know what they are? Stay tuned and we’ll dig deeper into this topic in today’s post. 

how to get boogers out of baby's nose

Are Boogers in a Baby’s Nose Dangerous?

Boogers themselves don’t pose any real danger to your baby. Outside of being hard and painful, they won’t cause your baby harm. Having said that, too many boogers in your baby’s nose may cause some issues. 

When there is too much snot in your baby’s nose, it can impact their breathing. Ever heard a baby struggling to breathe through its nose? It often makes a rattling sound. This, friends, is no good!

Because babies are nose-breathers, blockages in a baby’s nose can pose some serious issues. Excess mucus can be caused by intolerances to dairy, food allergies, seasonal allergies, a common cold, and so much more. For that reason, it is important that if your baby’s nose is clogged, you do something about it. But what can be done? 

There are several ways you can clear nose blockages in babies to help them breathe better. But please know that all methods you hear on the internet aren’t methods you should use. Remember that baby noses are small and sensitive. And because babies can’t talk, they can’t tell you when they feel pain or uncomfortable. 

In light of these truths, it is best to use simple, natural, and traditional methods for removing baby snot and boogers. This will be better than using the unusual viral strategies you may see online. Not only are these online trends not safe but they may cause your baby issues in the long run.

Stick around until the end to learn some of the most gentle and effective ways to remove boogers and snot from your baby’s nose.

how to get boogers out of baby's nose

Can I Leave Boogers in a Baby’s Nose?

Yes and no.

Here’s why.

Leaving boogers in a baby’s nose can be totally safe for a baby with “normal” nose junk who isn’t sick. To be honest, I rarely ever used any kind of device or spray in my baby’s nose. I just didn’t need to!

If there were exceptionally large boogers in her nose, they’d either clear on their own or were close enough to the front that I could easily scoop them out with a tissue.

Having said that, there are times when your little one will need a little extra help. Whether they’ve come down with a cold, are experiencing allergy symptoms, or have a nose blockage for other reasons, it is during these times that you should be seeking ways to assist your baby in clearing their nose.

Remember that babies cannot blow their noses the way adults do. Instead, you should seek to help your baby clear their nose whenever you feel their breathing is obstructed or that your baby is in pain. Either of these scenarios may warrant booger-removal strategies, but be careful. Baby noses are delicate and sensitive! You’ll need to use the right methods to keep them comfortable and safe. 

how to get boogers out of baby's nose

How to Help Baby’s Congestion

Now that you’ve got the details about why it’s important to clear congestion, let’s delve into how you can clear baby congestion. There are a number of ways you can help your baby breathe better when he or she needs it most. 

Remember that though these methods are helpful, gentle, and relatively safe, they aren’t meant to be utilized on a daily basis. Try to use the following methods only when your baby has a cold or really needs help breathing. Otherwise, you risk irritating your baby’s mucus membranes. 

With that said, ways you can help clear baby congestion include the following:

Bulb Aspirator

That’s right. A good ‘ole nasal aspirator is a great way to suck snot out of your little one’s nose.

If you don’t have one on hand, you can find one at your local drugstore or convenience market.

When using a bulb aspirator, collapse the bulb first by squeezing it. Then angle it so that the tip rests along the side of your baby’s nose. Gently release the bulb for it to work its magic. 

Note: Sometimes you may find that bulb syringes are too large for your tiny baby’s nose. First, remember that you aren’t to place the syringe very far up your baby’s nose. Only insert it ¼ to ½ inch before releasing the bulb. If the bulb still seems too big, opt for other devices, like the Nose Frida. Don’t worry–we will discuss the Nose Frida later in detail!

Nose Frida

You’ve likely heard moms rant and rave about this product, and for good reason.

The Nose Frida works by using your own breath to suction your baby’s snot out of their nose. Sound gross? It is, but only a little!

The Nose Frida utilizes a filter to keep snot from traveling up the pipe and into your mouth (yuck!). It also keeps all of the snot safely housed within a small tube that you can easily disassemble and clean to get all of the yuckies out. 

The Nose Frida costs a bit more than your typical bulb aspirator, but because you control the suction yourself, it tends to work much better. Even for preemies! 

FridaBaby Baby Nasal Aspirator NoseFrida the Snotsucker by Frida Baby
Buy on Amazon

Electric Snot Sucker

Another novel device, an electric snot sucker works by electronically sucking snot out of your baby’s nose.

Depending on the brand you buy, this could be a lifesaver or it could be your worst enemy. Some babies strongly dislike the feeling of these electric nose cleaners. Thus you may just end up with a fight on your hands instead of cleared nostrils. 

Whether or not these will work for you will totally depend on your baby and your preference. Give it a shot and see what you think!

FridaBaby Electric NoseFrida | USB Rechargeable Nasal Aspirator with Different Levels of Suction by Frida Baby
Buy on Amazon

Saline Mist, Drops, or Spray

You’ve likely heard of saline mists and drops. If you haven’t they’re typically non-medicated salt water solutions sold in a bottle at most drugstores. Their purpose is to soften boogers and thin mucus. 

When choosing saline drops, be sure to buy the ones specifically designed for babies and to use only as directed. Try to keep from using these too often, as it isn’t typically necessary to use them on a daily basis.

If you are finding yourself using them almost daily, skip down to the segment titled, “Humidifier”. It could be that the air in your immediate environment is too dry, causing your baby daily nasal discomfort. 

Little Remedies Sterile Saline Nasal Mist, Safe for Newborns, 3 oz
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Boogie Wipes

If you’re looking for a quick and easy way to grab the little boogies that make it to the front of your baby’s nose, Boogie Wipes can be a great pick. They’re made with actual saline that can help soften boogers as you attempt to remove them. 

Remember that Boogie Wipes are best used when boogers come to the forefront of when your baby’s nostrils are large enough that you can scoop boogies out with ease. 

When your baby is a newborn, his or her nostrils will be tiny. Thus, you may not be able to reach all the boogies you would like to using these. Definitely don’t forcefully try!

Boogie Wipes Wet Wipes for Baby and Kids, Unscented, 90 Count
Buy on Amazon


When a baby’s nose is stuffy, Q-tips aren’t the best pick. They won’t effectively “suck” the snot out and putting them too far up a baby’s nose is really dangerous.

Still, Q-tips are useful for grabbing those aforementioned boogers that make it to the front of your baby’s nostrils. Using these are an alternative to pulling them out by hand.

If, however, you see boogers deeply set in your child’s nose, please do not grab Q-tips. They may cause your child discomfort and it is all too easy to slip and jam them too far up your baby’s nose. This can cause both pain and injury to your little one.

Note: There are some tools on the market that are similar to Q-Tips but much safer. Give products like Ooogiebear a go, and see what you think!

oogiebear - Nose and Ear Gadget. Safe, Easy Nasal Booger and Ear Wax Remover for Newborns, Infants and Toddlers. Dual Earwax and Snot Remover. Aspirator Alternative
Buy on Amazon


Sometimes using a good ‘ole tissue helps, especially if your baby is producing snot that drips. For best practice, use either Water Wipes or very soft Kleenex to wipe your baby’s nose. This will keep it from causing too much irritation.

If that’s not possible, you can use toilet tissue to grab a stray booger or two, but try not to rake it across your baby’s skin too often. 

WaterWipes Biodegradable Original Baby Wipes, 99.9% Water Based Wipes, Unscented & Hypoallergenic for Sensitive Skin, 60 Count (Pack of 12) - Packaging May Vary
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Last but not least, a humidifier can be a total lifesaver when you’re dealing with snot and boogers.

Humidifiers work to release steam into the air to moisturize your immediate environment. As your baby breathes in the moist air, his or her snot and mucus will begin to thin. This can make the snot easier to clear out of your baby’s nose 

Note: Though a humidifier is an awesome and very necessary purchase for you and your baby, you’ll need to really keep it clean. Because humidifiers use water to release vapor into the air, they are very susceptible to mold growth. Mold growth is not only dangerous, but can exasperate stuffy nose issues. Always keep your humidifier clean and use only distilled water for safe breathing. 

DO NOT place essential oils in a humidifier used for young babies.

Frida Baby Fridababy 3-in-1 Humidifier with Diffuser and Nightlight, White 1 Count (Pack of 1)
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How to Get Snot Out of Baby’s Nose: Do It Safely

Knowing which devices and tools you can use is one thing, but knowing when and how to use them is another.

Check out the following specifics on how to use a sucker to get boogers out of a baby’s nose.

How to Get Dried Boogers Out of Baby’s Nose

If the dry little boogies are dry and on the outside of the nose instead of the inside they may be relatively easy to slough away. 

To begin, grab a slightly damp baby washcloth, Water Wipe, or Boogie Wipe, and gently scrub those little critters away from around your baby’s nose. 

Once completely gone, give the area a few more gentle swipes to pick up any residue left over.

Pitch the soiled wipes in the trash or toss the washcloth in the waste bin to be washed up later. 

How to Get Hard Boogers Out of Baby’s Nose

If there are hard boogers in your baby’s nose, well, those are a little more difficult to remove.

To get these out, you’ll need a gentle and safe suction tool that won’t run the risk of going too far up your baby’s nose. But before we get to that step, you’ll need to first soften the boogers to get them ready to be suctioned. 

To begin, grab either some baby-safe saline, or mix up your own by placing ¼ tsp salt in ½ cup of distilled water. Place only a couple of drops of saline in each of your baby’s nostrils. Allow this to sit for some time (about 5-10 minutes) before moving on to the next step. 

Once the saline has sat in your baby’s nose, the boogers shouldn’t be as hard. Grab your normal bulb syringe or Nose Frida (preferable) to begin suctioning your baby’s nose according to the manufacturer’s instructions. 

Note: It is often these thick hard boogers that can cause the most discomfort for our children. They can be uncomfortable and painful when left untreated. Still, you must be sure to resist the urge to grab Q-tips or tweezers to pry these dry boogers away. 

Not only do the tools present a hazard when placed inside the nasal cavity, but prying at dry boogers can be oh-so painful! Opt to use saline, or even a humidifier, to soften boogers instead. 

How to Get Boogers Out of Newborn Baby’s Nose

Last but not least, soft but thick mucus can cause the most trouble when it comes to obstruction of breathing. Because of its thickness, it can be hard for air to pass through. This can spell trouble for your nose-breathing newborn. So, what can be done? 

First and foremost, if your baby experiences frequent and thick mucus when he or she is sick, you may be better off purchasing an electric nose sucker or Nose Frida for the job. Although your typical aspirator will work here too, the tip is often more narrow than these others nose suckers. As a result, they may not get all of the goop the first time around. 

By using a Nose Frida or electric sucker instead, you can get the job done faster– and maybe even a little better! 

When suctioning soft boogers or mucus, you can use saline to thin things out, but you also may not have to. Use any of the suckers mentioned in this article to gently suction mucus and boogers from your baby’s nose. Be careful not to overdo suction as this can sometimes lead to irritation in your baby’s nasal lining. 

How to Unblock Baby Nose With Mouth

Have you heard about the method of blowing into a baby’s mouth to clear snot and boogers?

Apparently, by creating a seal over your baby’s mouth with your own, you can breathe into your baby and cause him or her to shoot his or her snot all over the place.

Sounds fun, right? 

Many moms and dads proclaim it works well for boogers and foreign objects in the nose. Still, there are sources that deem this approach a bit risky. You may even end up with snot– and possibly milk!–in your hair!

Thus, it may be better to simply stick with normal saline and suctioning to remove the gunk instead. 

How to Get Boogers Out of Baby’s Nose? The Ways Are Many!

There are many ways to get boogers out of a baby’s nose, but not all ways are safe. Consider using saline to soften them first. Then, use a suction tool to gently remove them. Whatever you do, try not to put long objects up your baby’s nose. These include Q-tips, tweezers, and the like. 

Though they may seem like good devices for removing boogers, they also come with risks. Stay safe and stick to products specifically made for baby boogies. 

Stay sane out there! Until next time! 


Can a baby suffocate from a stuffy nose?

At the very least, your baby will be very uncomfortable as they struggle to breathe through a stuffy nose. Please ensure that you have the right tools on hand to be able to assist your baby’s breathing when he or she acquires a stuffy nose. 

Can babies breathe with boogers?

That depends on how many boogers there are and how thick they are. If there are a lot of boogers and snot, you need to try to clear them. If it’s just a few and your baby seems to be breathing okay, then he or she should be just fine.

Why does my baby have huge boogers?

Because a baby’s nose is tiny, its boogers can seem exceptionally large. With this said, baby boogers that pop up consistently may be a result of too much dried mucus. Try using a humidifier to increase the humidity in the room. This will thin your baby’s mucus so that boogers are less frequent. 

What position should a congested baby sleep in?

Propping a baby up to sleep has not been deemed safe. Thus, it is important to keep your baby upright if they are congested while awake. Also, do your best to clear the mucus before laying your baby down on their back to sleep. 

How to get deep boogers out of baby’s nose?

Use saline first to soften the boogers. Then, use a suction device design for tiny baby noses to clear out the gunk.

How to get boogers out of a baby’s nose if syringe is too big?

If the syringe is too big, try using saline mist and a humidifier to thin the mucus. Sit your baby upright the entire time he or she is awake. This can help clear mucus without the need for suctioning.

Maria Wilcox

Former instructor with an M.A. in Education turned grateful stay-at-home mama to one, I look to share helpful insights related to babies, toddlers, kids, and families for the benefit of real people just like you.

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