Teaching Toddler to Blow Nose. Any Ideas?

Why aren’t children born knowing how to blow their nose? I know babies sneeze to clear their noses, but once past that stage, it takes years to get them to blow. And who out there has a baby who likes those bulb things?  When I use the bulb on my kids, they get so pissed, they cry harder, thus making more snot. So really in the mucus arena, I’m still just coming out even. Or in the negative.

A friend of mine said her mom gave her a tip on teaching her three year old to blow. Didn’t work with her. Figured I’d give it a try. Didn’t work with me either. In fact, I almost caught Fia on fire. The trick was this: have your child try and blow out a candle through their nose. Tell them to close their mouth. Fia kept opening her mouth and getting so close I got paranoid her eyelashes–or worse–would singe. So there went that idea.

In the meantime the snot just continues to get sniffed back up the nostrils. Swallowing that much snot certainly can’t be good for you either.

There has got to be a way. Any ideas out there? Did god/mother nature just forget about having this as an instinct when the human race evolved? I’m a bit baffled as to why this is learned behavior.

And if there isn’t a way, at what age can I expect my child to know how to do this?

Until then, I remain buried in a snot faucet…

Nose blowing picture via Shutterstock
Add a Comment
Back To Fearless Feisty Mama
  1. by Brittany

    On January 22, 2013 at 12:05 pm

    Try blowing bubbles in the bathtub. first with mouth to get the fun started, then with nose…

  2. by Jill Cordes

    On January 22, 2013 at 1:34 pm

    Do you mean, blowing bubbles into the water or blowing bubbles from a wand?

  3. by JoAnne

    On January 22, 2013 at 8:19 pm

    I know they are kind of gross, but the battery operated ‘nose suckers’ are a godsend!! OK, they call them nasal aspirators, but around here, we call it the ‘brain sucker’ because once I turn it on and insert it in the baby’s nose, we wouldn’t be surprised to see her brain come out too!! :-) Seriously, it works WONDERFULLY!!! Just squirt some saline spray into the nostrils first to help thin/loosen the mucus, and then the ‘brain sucker’ sucks everything out!!! We have an older model that you have to clean out after using it…that is daddy’s job :-) but the new ones have a disposable tip/baggy (like in the bagged vavcuum cleaners) that catches everything and then you just throw it away!

  4. by Kimberly Scanlon

    On January 23, 2013 at 8:08 am

    I work with so many cute (and snotty) toddlers who can’t blow their little noses. First, I would start with encouraging them to close their mouths. Then, with their mouths closed ask them to blow a tissue with their noses. Make it into a game (Who can make the tissue move the most? Of course, if their noses are stuffed it can be a little tricky which is why it’s best to try it when they can still breath! Lastly, put it all together, and tell them to blow like a choo choo train into the tissue and let the smoke come out! Less is always more when giving instructions. Have fun with it!

  5. by Anita T.

    On January 23, 2013 at 10:02 am

    I tried both the manual and automatic aspirators. Both cause my baby to freak out. The manual one is just hard to use because if you suck too hard, it causes nose bleeds. The automatic one works but only if your child is wiggle free, although my daughter does not sit still for either and I haven’t used the manual one in a long time (daughter is about 1.5 years old). The automatic one I have is quite loud, it comes with music to “calm” the kid but that didn’t really work.

    The automatic one is good but only if they stay still since it is a constant sucking instead of rapid inhalations by mommy or daddy through the manual one (yes, sounds disgusting).