Sniffle Solutions

What’s the best way to teach my young daughter to blow her nose?

What’s the best way to teach my young daughter to blow her nose?

I taught my children by letting them watch me blow my nose and then by teaching them to blow out a candle while keeping their mouths closed. To do this, gently place your hand over your child’s mouth and teach her to blow the candle out by exhaling through her nose. (Of course, make sure to pull her hair back, and watch that she keeps a safe distance from the candle.)

It’s very important for parents to realize that not every child will master this immediately. Each kid has his own milestones and timeframes. You can start teaching a child who’s as young as 2, but they will rarely master it until they’re older and may not even have the power to blow hard enough at such a young age. Realistically, I’d say the earliest your daughter will be successfully blowing her nose on her own is around 3 years old -- and likely even 4. I suctioned out my kids’ noses until they were at least 2 and a half.

The key is to not push your daughter too hard. If you stress out, it becomes more difficult for both you and her. Just like with potty training, don’t push your child before she’s ready or it can backfire. I recommend that if parents try to have their kids blow their noses and it doesn’t work, they should wait another month and try again. Remember, it may take some time, so just know that you may need to continue using saline and suction to clear out your child’s nose when she is congested.



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