Cleaning Baby's Messiest Parts

Stuffy Noses, Using Eyedrops

Stuffy Nose Detail

Somewhere in your drawers of baby paraphernalia, you have a little bottle of saline drops and a teardrop-shaped suction bulb. This odd couple is what you use to suction mucus out of your baby's nose when she's stuffed up.

How to: Cradle baby in your arms at a 45-degree angle and place your hand on her forehead to keep her head steady. "Never lay baby flat on her back when you're putting medicine into her mouth or nose," says Dr. Eisenberg. "It can cause her to choke."

Squirt three to 10 saline drops into each nostril. Don't stress over a stray spritz or two -- "the solution is similar in content to tears and doesn't sting the eyes," says Dr. Eisenberg.

Leave it in for a minute or two to loosen up the phlegm. If baby's nose still seems stuffy, break out the bulb. Squeeze air out of the aspirator, then insert the tip into the nostril. (Blowing air into the nose will force unnecessary pressure on the nasal passages.) Then loosen your grip on the bulb so it suctions out the mucus (have a disposable tissue on hand so you can clean up the mess), and tackle the other nostril.

To clean, follow Kupperman's lead: "I like to have a small bowl of warm, soapy water on hand so I can immediately soak the aspirator after each session."

Eyedrop Drama

At some point, you may have to give your squirming baby a dose of medicine for his eyes. Considering how hard it is to put drops into your own eyes, you may need a little guidance.

How to: Lay the baby flat on his back on a changing table and secure the safety band, or put him on the floor on a clean blanket or towel. (If you think your baby's active when you change his diaper, just wait until he sees a medicine bottle lunging toward his eye!)

If he won't keep his eye open, drop the prescribed amount on the inside edge of the eyelid, suggests Dr. Eisenberg. Don't worry about what dribbles out; the prescription will take spillage into account.

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