Friday, May 24, 2013

Snot-tastic! Another Product Review.

BrowFrida is the totally wrong Frida!
(You'll get it later)
We all know from experience how down right annoying a stuffy nose is no matter the cause of the excess mucus buildup.  I've always been personally amazed at the amount of snot the human body can actually produce.  When I have a cold it doesn't seem possible that so much slime can constantly be coming out my nose.  I mean, where the hell is it coming from?  Where is it all stored?  Regardless of the answer to all those high-falutin scientific questions right there, the point is having a nose clogged full of boogers just sucks!  Am I right, or am I right?

If the inability to breathe due to excessive schnozzle slime irritates the living shit out of me, one who is perfectly capable of taking mass quantities of medications or at least blowing the little boogs out, then how does the same scenario affect Piper? I would presume she would feel just as annoyed as myself but with one major difference...she has absolutely zero ability to do anything about it!  I would literally go insane if I was in her onesie when it comes to the whole stuffy nose bit.

Taking into account how miserable she must feel in her incapability of helping herself rid her nostrils of excessive snot, I have been scouring the land for the perfect nasal aspirator for her.  For those of you unfamiliar with nasal aspirators, they are useful little tools used to suction boogs out of the nasal passages.  They come in various shapes and sizes, but their end goal is the same...nice, clean sinuses free from all debilitating congestion.  They are an absolute must-have when you have children who are still too young to grasp the concept and/or lack the ability to blow their own noses.  And although nasal aspirators are necessary and have the same end goal, I discovered as a new mom that they are definitely NOT created equal.

One of the many items I received from the lovely staff at the hospital where I gave birth was an aspirator.  Below you will find a picture of said aspirator.

Bulky and plain at best!
I imagine most hospitals give away a similar style aspirator if not the exact same one, so many of you mothers I'm sure are more than familiar with this model.  For a freebie, it's actually a pretty decent one.  I found it to be a bit large on the nozzle end as Piper has tiny nostrils, but for the most part it sort of worked, I guess.  Actually, I found it difficult to tell if it was working due to the fact is wasn't see-through nor did it have a removable cap or bottom so that I could properly examine any possible internal contents...which, by the way, makes it also very difficult to clean.  Needless to say, this particular aspirator was a good starter model, but I knew I could find better.

The second aspirator I adopted into my baby-aid repertoire came with my baby first-aid kit.  Now you think that an American Red Cross first-aid kit would carry a top-of-the-line aspirator.  As you can see from the picture here, it looks like it should work pretty well.

Not as good as it looks!
It's from a reputable source, it's good looking for what it is, and it has a removable bottom for easy cleaning (that grey part at the bottom).  Well that's all good, but that removable bottom was actually it's Achilles heel.  The concept may have been easy to clean, but the result of the design created a major flaw in that every time I went to squeeze the bulb, the back popped off.  Well that's just friggin' genius!  I hope someone got reprimanded for their lack of foresight or shoddy real-world testing of the mechanism, but I doubt it since it's still being sold.  But hey, maybe I was just using it wrong.  I'm not sure how that is possible since all it requires is a squeeze and release action to operate, but I could just be a lousy aspirator operator.  Regardless, this model sucked, well actually that is exactly what it didn't do, and I was immediately in the market for another candidate after just a few tries with this one.

My next aspirator came in a boxed set with saline nasal drops by Little Remedies.  I absolutely love their gripe water and gas drops, so I just knew they would make a good product.  I so wish I could report that their aspirator was top notch, but alas it also had some design flaws, at least from my perspective.  Before I point out the flaws, let me first compliment it's overall design elements.

Not bad but still lacking!
I loved the clear nozzle on this model as it allows one to see the fruits of ones suctioning labors.  Also, the nozzle snaps off for easy cleaning.  It is also a very stylish aspirator, if one could call such an object stylish, especially when compared to the hospital issued one.  Those aspects were nice, but now on to the flaws.  In all actuality there were only two major flaws that I focused on.  Firstly, the nozzle was just too damn skinny, just the opposite of the hospital model.  The clear tip was nice, but it was so narrow that it couldn't actually cover Piper's nostrils, which is pretty necessary to create that suctioning force, and her nostrils are small!  That issue led to the second problem, the suction was way too weak to do any good whatsoever.  What good is a snot sucker that won't suck snot?  Those two fatal flaws made this aspirator not so usable.  So once again, after trying this aspirator out, I was back to square one on my great aspirator hunt.

Before I move on, I need to interject here regarding the Little Remedies nasal spray shown in the above pic. While I have been very pleased with their other medicinal products, this one was not so hot.  It's not the contents of the container that bugged me, but the container itself.  The spray bottle leaked when not sitting upright, leaking most of the contents into my diaper bag just a short time after purchase.  And yes that is with the lid firmly screwed on!  I absolutely hate wasting money so that really irritated me.  Also, it is recommended that with newborns you "drop" a few of the saline drops into the nostrils rather than "squirt" them.  This required me to turn the bottle at a downward angle.  This downward position caused the contents to leak without any pressure whatsoever to the bottle.  In other words, the crap would just start dripping all over poor Piper's face.  She is wiggly like all babies, so it took a few tries to get the nozzle into a nostril.  Since the contents just free-flowed out of the nozzle, she ended up with saline solution all over her little face...not cool!  This free-flowing problem was most likely the culprit of the leak when the lid was on, too.  I hope these issues were due to a defective bottle instead of poor design, but I am unwilling to spend the money to find out for certain.  Let's just say you've been warned!  Feel free to leave a comment at the end of this article if I am right or wrong about the one I purchased being defective.  Okay, back to the aspirators!

I ran across my new, and most likely final, nasal aspirator whilst browsing for necessities on diapers.com.  Since I needed to order a certain dollar amount to get free two-day shipping, I decided to take a gander at their available aspirators to fill that need on my last purchase.  Of all the various models, the NoseFrida stood out as odd, yet conceptually quite brilliant.  I had heard someone mention the NoseFrida before, but had no idea they were referring to a nasal aspirator.  They had given it much praise, so after putting two-and-two together, I figured I just had to try it for myself.  Before I go any further, I would like for you to study the picture below, absorb it all in, and then continue on with the discussion.

Pretty cool looking, eh?
As you might have deduced from the pic, this aspirator takes a very personal approach to decongesting the sinuses.  With this aspirator, the operator puts the blue rocket shaped tip over the nostril opening and gently sucks the snot out via the red mouthpiece, hence the products tag line "the snotsucker". Sounds totally gross doesn't it?  It may seem disgusting to some, but it is completely sanitary.  If you look closely at where the blue tip meets the suction tube, there is a spongy blue filter which prevents boogs and/or germs from entering the suction tube.  I will admit that at first I was wary of purchasing such an odd device.  However, the more I stared at it, the smarter the concept seemed (gotta love those Swedes!).  I am so glad I overcame the initial "ewww" factor and bought the damned thing, because it works like a charm!  Here is a video of it in action, yay!

Mmmmm!  Yummy!!!      

The key to this handy device is to rotate it slightly as you suck.  For some reason that creates a better suction and therefore more sticky rewards for your efforts.  I was amazed by the amount of snot I collected on my first try, especially when compared to how very little to almost no snot I collected using the other aspirators.  And it wasn't because Piper had less boogers in her nose than the other times, it was that the aspirators just didn't work as well.  Check out the gross pics below to see what I mean!

NoseFrida, collection side 1!

NoseFrida, collection side 2! 
(tube rotated half turn from side 1)
I know the pics are icky, but I felt it necessary to post them in order to demonstrate the NoseFrida's collection ability.  All those boogs are from the same suction session.  Pretty impressive, right?  And Piper doesn't even have a cold, just a bit of congestion due to normal everyday baby life.  God only knows how much snot I'll retrieve the first time she gets a genuine stuffy nose, blech!

In the end, the NoseFrida kicked aspirator ass.  I 100% recommend it to all parents or guardians of young-uns out there.  I'm a picky gal (no pun intended), and this product absolutely delivers on all it's promises.  After using it, I no longer feel the need to continue on my search for the perfect aspirator, because the NoseFrida is it.  Now it may be a bit inconvenient to use on the go, but I really don't care.  Can you imagine me breastfeeding and sucking snot with this in public?  Hahahahahaha!  That may be something worth filming down the road!  I am so just kidding!

Before I wrap things up here, I would like to give props to Little Remedies for coming up with a secondary saline nasal spray design.  This one works oh so much better for my needs and solves all the previous sprays issues.  After discovering the NoseFrida, I also discovered this:

Same great product,
 much better delivery device!
The saline mister made by Little Remedies is kick-ass.  Now I can simply place the tip in Piper's nose, give a squeeze, and a fine mist is pumped into her nasal passages.  It doesn't drip, it can be held at any angle, and it moistens her mucus so that I can suction it right out.  This combined with the NoseFrida is all I need to get her breathing properly again...and believe me when I say she is also thrilled with my discoveries.  We are both much happier now that we have sufficiently solved the booger problems in our life.

Well that about wraps up my nasal aspirator review session.  I should probably mention that the NoseFrida does cost a little more than other aspirators.  I paid $15.99 at Diapers.com for it, but it was totally worth it.  Also, you can purchase replacement filters for just $3.49, although a few come with the aspirator itself.  Since you can clean the boog tube by simply popping it off the suction tube and rinsing it out, I imagine each filter lasts a pretty reasonable amount of time.

I hope you all have found this product review helpful and enlightening.  I do not do these for companies, just for myself and for my readers.  In other words, I am not being paid to be biased, so feel safe to believe I believe in what I'm saying.  Now that I am beginning to use all these new baby products, I will continue to make product reviews a regular thing on my blog.  I enjoy passing along my experience with products and promise to always be 100% truthful.

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Oh, and here are a couple of silly Piper videos for you to enjoy!


 

I just love silly videos!



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