Plug-in vapor thingies help congested kids breathe at night

I'm not sure what to make of the BabyVac, so beguilingly described by Greg at Daddy Types. Apparently you hook the thing up to your vacuum cleaner, stick it in your kid's nostril, and sluuuuuuurp, no more snot.

I shudder as I write this.

Give me a nasal aspirator (the one that came in the newborn swag bag from the hospital), some saline drops and Vicks Vaporub, and I'm good to go.

Lucinda at Suburban Turmoil has another tip:

When my toddler woke up a few days ago with a chest cough, I took out my anxiety in the drugstore aisles, buying up everything I could find that might help her get better. Included in my overloaded basket was the new SudaCare Children's Nighttime Vapor-Plug. It's a plug-in that releases nasal cavity-opening vapors like eucalyptus for eight straight hours. [I know what you're thinking. It plugs into a wall outlet, not the kid's nose. — Ed.]

I was skeptical about the powers of the Vapor Plug, but what the hell? My baby was sick and she needed relief, dammit. I used the Vapor Plug in conjunction with a humidifier and I have to say that the next morning, she was farther along on the road to recovery than she usually is on day two. I don't have any scientific proof that the Vapor Plug was responsible but I am wishing I was an old fishwife right now, because I'd have one heck of an advice tip to pass along to the villagers.

Another advantage was that the room smelled great. All diaper pail traces were completely eliminated. I'd actually recommend the Vapor Plug for parents and kids alike. And no, I'm not sleeping with Mr. Sudafed.

More: Best of Parent Hacks: Cold and flu season tips


  1. JMA says

    We’ve used it with great success, too. The only caveat … the package says not to leave it plug in for over 8 hours. We’ve had good luck with plugging it in an hour or so before the little ones go to bed then unplugging it before we turn in a couple of hours later. By morning, the room still smells of menthol.

  2. says

    The aspirator is my arch nemesis. I had to hold my babies down sumo-style just to do it. A cold is bad enough, but a device that forces you to add to your child’s misery just spreads a thin layer of suckage onto an already sucky situation.

  3. says

    I actually like the one by PediaCare better, it seems to permeate the room more thoroughly. It also functions as a nightlight, which I couldn’t care less about, but might be a feature for some.

  4. kirsten says

    I have the one by PediaCare. Originally I thought that was great since I would have to unplug the nighlight to use this (the rest of the outlets are covered by furniture)but the nightlight is very bright. That’s a drawback for my vampire baby. Today I purchased the Vicks BabyRub ( for use during the day and it seems to be helping. I am surprised at how good it smells since my childhood memories of Vicks VapoRub are not very good.

  5. kittenpie says

    I also love the Johnson’s vapour bath. But as far as emptying the poor babe’s nose of snot… ***NOT FOR THE SQUEAMISH*** I read this somewhere and there are times it’s been the only things that worked. This is what they used to do: clamp your mouth over the baby’s whole nose, suck it out, and spit into a kleenex. Gross factor? Not as bad as it sounds, frankly. Tiny baby noses don’t hold much and it’s out of your mouth instantly into the waiting hanky. But unlike the aspirator, it’s fast and clears both sides like nobody’s business. I am happy she knows how to blow now, though! I only hd to use this when she was a wee thing.

  6. EMILY says

    I Came across the BabyVac at the last Baby and Toddler show at Toronto. I have to say I was sceptical at first. However, my child was hospitalised before, so I witnessed paediatricians actually using a unit almost like this on my baby of 6 weeks old!!. The only difference is that their unit is conveniently built into the wall. WELL this one you can actually take home with you. So My questions to the sceptical is: WHY NOT USE THE SAME TECHNOLOGY as paediatric hospitals

    THIS UNIT SAVED so much hassle for me. And my toddler can use it too. He actually LOVES the part when he puts this unit together. This device just WON THE BEST PRODUCT OF 2005 by Quality of life of Omnimedia. This was enough reassurance for me. Check it out:

  7. Michelle says

    I love the PediaCare as well. I have also found that you can use the Tylenol/Pedicare coupons on them so I stocked up when I had a $2.50 off 2 coupon.