Reviewed by Louise Watts
As parents of small children, we have all experienced the unpleasantness for them of a blocked nose and the difficulties with clearing it. Disturbed sleep, grumpy babies / small children (and parents!) and painfully long days / nights as a result of a cold!
Those feelings of frustration and helplessness at not being able to make things better for your little one are hard for any parent to experience. There are many products around to assist with this, but do they actually work and are they actually meant for babies / children?
Snufflebabe is a family run company who have created a range of products specially to decongest your small person and make for a more pleasant family dynamic all round. The range consists of 5 products:
- Snufflebabe Vapour Rub
- Snufflebabe Nasal Aspirator
- Snufflebabe Nasal Drops
- Snufflebabe Nasal Spray
- Snufflebabe Vapour Oil
I have been given the opportunity to test a few of these products to see if they do actually work as they say they do.
When the items arrived, my first impressions were positive. All the items come in very similar packaging with the Snufflebabe trademark in pretty child friendly colours, looking like building blocks. The packaging is simple but relevant and it screams out that this is a product for babies and small children.
First up was the Vapour Oil. This comes in a traditional oil looking bottle, similar to baby massage oils. The bottle contains 10mls and comes with the ever-important childproof lid. The instructions are clear and simple to understand on the side of the bottle. As well as telling you how to use the product, it tells you very clearly what you should not do with the product – always very useful!
On opening the oil, you can immediately smell that familiar herbal aroma which instantly draws you in and before you know it you are sniffing it. With a lovely blend of lemon, pine and tea tree essential oils, this is perfect for relieving congestion in your small ones. The bottle states that this is suitable from birth, although I think you would need to be careful how much you used. Given that you only need to use 1 – 3 drops each time, your 10ml bottle will provide up to 100 uses. With an RRP of £8 (although I managed to get it cheaper by hunting online), it is considerably more expensive than some of its well-known competitors. It certainly works and does exactly what it says it will do, easing congestions and enabling clearer breathing which in return provides better sleeping and feeding but whether it is worth the extra money you will need to decide that for yourself. This is however the only product of this sort to be recommended from birth, all others are from 3 months so it may well be worth the extra for that reassurance in a very small baby.
The second product I tried was the Snufflebabe Nasal Aspirator. You can get this from pharmacies and also on prescription. It comes in 2 options – with a handy storage case or without. The RRP is £7.99 without the case and £8.99 with (again by searching online, I was able to find it a little cheaper).
The product I received had the plastic case and I think for the extra £1; it is well worth buying the case as it gives you somewhere safe and clean to store it between uses. On opening the case, I initially thought there was a piece missing. The set contained a flexible tube with a chamber one end and a mouthpiece the other. I then went on to read the instructions to find this was not the case but was fairly horrified to see that I put one end up my child’s nose and suck through the other end!! For anyone who has ever seen what comes out of my sons’ nose, this was not an appealing prospect!! On further examination, I could see that whatever is retrieved from your child’s nose is actually caught in a sealed chamber and goes nowhere near your mouth. This gave me the confidence I needed to try it out.
It recommends that if the mucous in the nose is dry, then to use some saline drops prior to aspirating as it easier to remove moist mucous than it is dry. In order to get my son to allow me to try it out, we had to make a bit of a game of it. This worked well and he was very compliant. If you had a small baby, I can see that it may take more than one of you to control the arms and aspirate. I have to say the process was very successful and my son was very proud to examine his bogies at the end! Cleaning the aspirator is easy and it comes with a spare filter for ongoing use. This again is marked as suitable from birth but I would be very cautious about putting this up a small baby’s nose for fear of actually pushing anything higher up. Price wise, the aspirator is fairly consistent alongside its competitors.
The third and final product I tried was the Snufflebabe Nasal Spray. This consists of saline drops and can be used for softening mucous in the nostril making removal easier or to “rinse” out a dry nose helping make baby more comfortable. Again, suitable from birth. The bottle contains 15ml of saline and comes with a nice spray dispenser so you do not squirt too much liquid up their nose which would clearly not be a good thing! The dispenser is easy to use and whilst my son was not very appreciative of me squirting it up his, he did accept that it made his bogies easier to remove! The nasal drops have an RRP of £3.05 which is actually cheaper than many other well-known brands.
In my opinion, my favourite product was the vapour oil. If you use the vapour oil and it clears the passages, then there may be no ned for the aspirator or drops. If you can get away without having to put anything up a baby / child’s nose, that has to be the safest option. However, if you really cannot clear it and ned to use more invasive methods then you can feel safe in the knowledge that these products have been tried and tested for safety from birth.