My daughter has a stuffed nose which is driving her nuts at times. She has no trouble sleeping at all, but the leaking discharge irritates her, to say nothing of the redness around her nose.

From my ivory tower I can tell that the solution for her is to blow the nose. How can I train her to do this? Leading by example hasn't helped so far.

asked 07 Nov '09, 13:17

Max%20A.'s gravatar image

Max A.
accept rate: 0%


+1 Great question. Perhaps impossible to solve, but a great question :-)

(07 Nov '09, 14:06) Chris W. Rea

These are the ways we tried to encourage and teach "nose blowing" when she was around 1 and a half, (as you say the congestion and constant dripping can make them irritable), we discovered that it was easier to clean her nose with minimum input from our daughter, if doing in during the last stages of bathtime.

It could also be that, sore nostrils feel less tender, just after a warm bath, and so less painful. The steam and warm water helped tremendously if she was congested so little effort was needed on her part. We would gently press one side of the nostril and make her slowly blow her nose, then reverse to the other nostril.

This was something that took several attempts, she would make the blowing noise with her mouth and think that thats what we wanted. We would keep reminding her to close her mouth. Once she realised it was making her feel better, she wanted to press each side of her nose herself, and make an effort to try and blow it. So maybe you could start by trying it with one nostril at a time?

To discourage constant rubbing of a sore nose with a tissue, we played a "don't touch" game. Our only objective was to stop her from constantly rubbing the skin on the sides of her nose with a tissue... which we kept moisturised with a small amount of cream

Showing her the mucus and discharge may have had a positive effect as she got older... " well done, look you got it out all by yourself, "you clever girl" but motivational encouragement is always beneficial at any age I guess.

It got easier very gradually, as she got older. She is 5 now, and sometimes still needs to be reminded to blow her nose and how to do it, even though she is capable of doing it herself.

I learnt later, (this could come in handy for you) that playing a game with bit of tissue can help speed the learning of the blowing process. You place your hand on your mouth and then you blow, the tissue or little bit of paper flies of the edge of the table... then you get your child to do it... like a game, to see who can blow the paper away the furthest.


answered 07 Nov '09, 19:29

Emi's gravatar image

accept rate: 19%

My Daughter is 4years old and is still having problems learning to blow her nose. She seems to be only able to blow out her mouth, and thinks she is doing it correctly...

We are trying to get her to breathe in deeply as if she was at the doctors, like when he needs to listen to her chest and then blow out the air through her nose. This sometimes works a couple of tries for her, but she does find it difficult.

The other technique My husband has told me to try is to get her to try and blow out candles with the air from her nose. This has been a very fun task for her, and thankfully with a little persistence it has been working slowly. I think the whole process will take time, and the results you need to see is for her to be able to get that little bit of air coming from the nose eventually.

Good luck, Belinda


answered 07 Nov '09, 17:20

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Belinda Boogaart
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My husband plays a game with our daughter where he counts down and gets closer to her nose with the tissue and she plays along now and leans toward him. She doesn't blow yet but at least she lets him wipe up the runny stuff. Hope that helps.


answered 07 Nov '09, 14:46

dreamerisme's gravatar image

accept rate: 8%

Yea, we do this too, except w/o the countdown part. She enjoys having her nose wiped because that relieves the irritation. Now it's time to move on to the next level, though!

(07 Nov '09, 16:26) Max A.

Not an easy task, but we also lead by example. We would get our daughter's attention to our nose by flaring our nostrils and then making the blowing noise with our nose and our mouth closed (without using a tissue so she could see our nose). Then we asked her to try it. She thought it was funny and so after many tries (and laughing) she finally got the hang of it. I think she was about 1 1/2 when she could finally blow her nose.

I did want to mention an alternative to blowing noses though. If they are unable to blow their nose you can use a nose bulb to suck out the mucus and/or use saline drops. They of course don't usually like it, but it does help A LOT. We also use a humidifier at night.

My sister just told me about these Boogie Wipes recently. She raves about them and they do look VERY interesting. She got them at Babies R Us. Here is the description:

How are Boogie Wipes different than a regular baby wipe? •Made with Natural Saline to Dissolve Mucus •Hypoallergenic •Alcohol Free •Moisturize with Vitamin E, Aloe and Chamomile •Fun Scents Kids Love •Gentle Enough for All Ages •Phthalate & Paraben Free


answered 09 Nov '09, 09:29

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accept rate: 21%

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Asked: 07 Nov '09, 13:17

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Last updated: 09 Nov '09, 09:29