You need a Nosefrida

One of the truest things I was told about parenthood is this: every parent you know will provide you a list of crap they swear by. Which you will register for / purchase. And then never use.

Here's a sample list of just some of the baby items we just had to have, and then never actually used:

  • The Woombie (a swaddle-type thing involving a zipper)
  • The Swaddle Sack (a swaddle-type thing involving velcro) 
  • The Bumbo (this was convenient for approximately five minutes until Avery realized that she could tip herself out of it, even with the strap on)
  • The Boppy
  • The Baby K'Tan (Avery screamed her head off if you put her in this)
  • The Hotsling (same problem as with the Baby K'Tan)
  • The infant insert for the Ergo carrier (word to the uninitiated: the Ergo is meant for babies who have head control. Before they have head control, using the Ergo requires wrestling them into the infant insert, which is basically like wrapping your baby in a North Face parka, smooshing her against your 98.6 degree body, and then expecting her to be comfortable. I mean honestly, would you be comfortable? There is nothing like watching a 2 week old sweat to make you feel like a shitty parent)
  • The Bebe au Lait (a nursing cover than I used maybe 3 times until I realized that if people had a problem with seeing my boobs in public when I needed to breastfeed my child, that was their damn problem, not mine.)
  • Diaper Rash cream 
  • Baby Oil
  • Baby Lotion
  • Baby towels (those hooded things that are basically just tiny, thin bath towels. We realized pretty quickly that regular grown-up bath towels work just fine and actually keep your slippery, cold, and displeased offspring much warmer and thus quieter).
Now that we've gotten that out of the way, I'm totally going to be that parent and tell you what you really just have to have (!) for your currently gestating bundle of joy.

You need the fucking Nosefrida.

Do not believe the nurses at the hospital when they tell you that the little blue snot sucker bulb works just as well as fancy baby snot suckers... ahem, nasal aspirators. They do not.

They are also impossible to clean, and when you are wrestling with your wriggling, kicking, screaming 7 month old who would rather drown in her own mucus than allow you to get near her with this thing, they become a total liability for things like:
  • Breaking your baby's septum in your desperation to shove it in there 
  • Impaling an eye
  • Forgetting to squeeze the bulb prior to insertion and thus blowing snot, germs, and God knows what else back into your baby's head
The Nosefrida, a device brought to you by the Swedes (of Ikea and delicious meatball fame), considerably reduces the risks of fuck ups like this. The portion of the device that makes contact with your baby's nose is much wider with a rounded end, make it much less weapon-like than the bulb.

The main problem with the Nosefrida, and the reason I waited so long before caving to this most magical of baby devices, is that it requires you, a human, to place one end of a straw in your mouth, and the other end in your baby's nose, and suck.

For me, this admittedly presented a bit of a psychological hurdle. But a solid two months into the never ending runny nose that evidently (according to other parents), constitutes the first four years of the human experience, I'd had one too many close calls with the snot bulb and I couldn't take it any more.

It turns out that the Nosefrida is not nearly as horrifying as I'd imagined. Indeed, those crafty Swedes made sure that transference of mucus from Avery's nose to my mouth (or even close to my mouth), was not going to happen. First of all, the tube is too long. Second, unless your baby has the world's biggest and most congested sinus cavity, there is simply not enough bodily fluid in there to make it through the straw. Third, the folks at Nosefrida, Inc. knew that selling $15 snot suckers was only going to go so far. They needed a subscription model. So in order to use the Nosefrida and prevent germ transference, you use these little blue foam filters that you're supposed to change every time. At about 50 cents a pop, I decided that 3-4 uses for each one was probably fine...

Naturally, the weird smiling baby on the front of the Nosefrida box is not really representative of how small children react to having their sinuses vacuumed. The reality is something more like this:

But let me assure you, the scrunch-face crying that accompanies the Nosefrida is not even close to as painful as what accompanies the bulb. It's also so much more efficient. Rather than spelunking for snot with the bulb 3-4 times per nostril every 15 or so minutes, you can actually vacuum out enough to give your kid a reprieve for a few solid hours (not to mention give yourself a reprieve from the Darth Vader/pig hybrid breathing that accompanies baby congestion).

It's a damn miracle. Please, learn from my mistakes, people.

So what else do you truly need?
  • Diapers
  • A strong constitution for when those diapers inevitably blow out, because there is no such thing as a blowout-proof diaper.
  • Wipes
  • Vaseline, which works just fine for preventing and treating diaper rash. Our 16oz tub is still going strong almost 8 months in and Avery has never once had a diaper rash (a pediatrician has earned a life time of good will for giving us this golden advice).
  • An apparatus in which your baby will sleep when they are very little or very snotty, such as a swing, a Rock'n'Play, whatever. Bonus points if it vibrates.
  • Pacifiers. So. Many. Pacifiers. Do not be deceived by the people who tell you that it will fuck up your baby's latch/teeth/self-soothing ability/self-esteem. We waited 10 days before conceding defeat and giving a pacifier. It changed our lives. Now, months later, she doesn't even care about the pacifier and we got so much more sleep than we otherwise would have.
  • Dr. Brown's bottles. Yes, you can use the Medela ones that come with your breast pump. You'll be a lot happier if you buy the Dr. Brown's.
  • A baby tub with an infant sling. Mark threw so much shade about this thing, but now it's far and away his favorite piece of baby gear.
  • A slush fund for baby carriers. You have no idea what your baby is going to like, and there is going to be trial and error involved. The magic bullet for us was the Beco carrier. Some people love the Bjorn. Others have babies who actually like the comfort of a sling (I imagine those are the same babies who enjoy swaddling). If you get away with spending less than $300 on carriers, count your blessings.
I welcome other suggestions in the comments from other parents. What was a waste of money? What item saved you in your darkest hour?

Of course, you can take or leave any or all of this advice. Except for the part about the Nosefrida. Just do it. 


  1. A yoga ball and an electric breast pump. Calvin often could only be soothed by near-constant bouncing- you can do it without a ball but you don't really want to. We had thighs of steel anyway!
    And no matter how little you think you'll need to pump you just don't want to do it by hand. It's worth hooking yourself up to the weird milking machine and feeling like a cow for a bit.
    We might have to try the Nose Frida next time... I used the bulb sucker on Calvin the other and I'm not sure our relationship will ever be the same.


Post a Comment

Popular Posts