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Nose-Blowing

By Heather Zimmerman, M.D.

Baby smiling on bed.

When you have a stuffy nose, tissues and nose-blowing are normally involved. But for a toddler, nose-blowing can be a tricky skill to learn. Some learn the skill simply by imitating parents or older siblings while others may take a little longer. It is important to remember every child learns and develops differently.

While the transition between a nasal suction and nose-blowing is not the prettiest, it can be an entertaining process. Most children start learning and accomplishing nose-blowing techniques between the ages of 2 to 4. Boys Town Pediatrics offers insights and tricks on nose-blowing.

  • The Imitation Game. There are a few tricks to helping your toddler learn this skill and many learn through imitation. Watching mommy, daddy and the rest of the family will be an incentive to imitate and learn the technique of nose-blowing. No more nasal suctions, hooray!
  • Mouth. Having your toddler first learn to blow air through the mouth by having her blow bubbles, pinwheels and pieces of tissue rather than going directly to nose-blowing can ease the learning curve. Have tissue-blowing contests so she becomes familiar with tissues.
  • Nose. Have her feel the air that comes from your nose when you close your mouth. Blowing with the mouth closed and then slowly showing how to use a tissue to block one side of the nostril can be very interesting for your toddler because she might not have noticed the sensation of air blowing through her nose before. Don't be surprised if she gets caught up in giggling fits with the newfound skill!
  • Story-telling Demonstration. Demonstrate the art of nose-blowing by explaining the process in a creative way. Make it a story, such as the journey of removing boogers to clear the pathway in order to breathe all counts in the proper nose-blowing technique. With the swipe of  a tissue, you can save yourself from a world full of stuffiness! Your toddler will begin to understand and relate nose-blowing to helping with stuffy noses.
  • Practice. The old saying practice makes perfect is true. Be patient with your child. Show her what she did wrong and praise her when she accomplishes the skill. Nose-blowing will soon become normal in your child's routine. Now with a clear pathway to breathe and a newfound skill, let the possibilities began!