The icky business of snotty noses is no easy task with children. Moms are familiar with the arsenal of nose suctions and sprays to keep noses clear and parents eagerly await a time when their child can clear his nose himself.
There’s no specific age at which your child should master this skill, but it is a skill that needs practice and time, so be patient.
You can start playing these games with your little one from about the age of two to familiarise him with the idea of blowing his nose.
Bath time fun
Children learn best through play. Introduce blowing bubbles in the bath. Show your toddler how you blow bubbles in the water.
- Starting off by blowing with your mouth. Your little one should follow, as long as he is comfortable with putting his face in the water.
- Once that is mastered, show him how you blow your nose out of the water. Let him watch your face and feel the air coming out your nose. Ask him to do the same.
- Let him try in the water. Show him the bubbles that he’s making and praise him for it. The excitement and fun will get your little one happy to blow bubbles.
- Sit in front of the mirror with your child and grab some tissues.
- Take the tissue and blow the tissue with your mouth – you are showing him how your breath moves the tissues.
- Get your child to imitate you and blow the tissue while watching in the mirror. If he’s unsure how to blow out his mouth, ask him to say, “Shh!” It almost always does the trick.
- Show him again, but this time by blowing through your nose.
One at a time
Sometimes, teaching your child to blow one nostril at a time helps ease the task, because it creates a bigger force.
- First, demonstrate on yourself and then talk to your child about what you are doing. Tell him, “I’m blocking this nostril, and blowing out with the other nostril”.
- Do the same thing again do it with a tissue.
Xanet is an award-winning journalist and Living and Loving’s digital editor. She has won numerous awards for her health and wellness articles and was a finalist for the Discovery Journalist of the Year in 2009 and again in 2011 for the Discovery Best Health Consumer Reporting and Feature Writing category. She is responsible for our online presence across social media channels and makes sure our moms have fresh and interesting articles to read every day. Learn more about Xanet Scheepers.