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    This $20 Device Makes Life With Allergies Or The Flu So Much More Bearable

    It'll literally help you and your baby breathe easier pretty much immediately. Stuffy nose, be gone!

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    When my son was about 2 months old, he got the flu.

    Fox / Via Giphy

    NBD, you say? A simple cold, huh? Not quite. As any parent will tell you, it's a *big* effing deal when a baby, an inherently wretched and pitiful creature even on their best days, has the flu and is miserable because they can't breathe properly. Since babies haven’t mastered the art of mouth breathing — i.e., they’re a total disaster when their noses are congested — this often leads to not being able to eat properly and sleep properly, which leads to a properly unhappy baby and accordingly desperate parents.

    We tried several bulb syringes and nasal suction bulbs and NoseFridas, to no avail. Nothing provided the necessary oomph to clear his nose effectively.

    Our stuffy-nose saga continued, until our pediatrician recommended to us the HOLY GRAIL OF FREE BREATHING: the Baby-Vac Nasal Aspirator.

    Sarah Kassem-Ableev / BuzzFeed

    Basically, it’s this thing you plug into your vacuum cleaner and then you suck up all the gunk in your nose with it. I shit you not. (Also, it was created by a Hungarian scientist, which I think only adds to its cred.)

    Sounds super dramatic, but it actually isn't. The apparatus sucks with the help of a handheld vacuum cleaner, but not with all its strength — it adjusts itself so the suction is continuous and strong but still safe and gentle.

    Here's how it works:

    Sarah Kassem-Ableev / BuzzFeed

    It’s made up of three parts: the evacuator, the collecting cylinder, and the vacuum cleaner adapter.

    You just attach the three parts and then plug the thing into the attachment hose of your handheld vacuum cleaner (the vacuum should be between 800–1800 watts). Then you hold the tip to your nostril and drain away.

    Baby Vac / Via amazon.com

    All these steps are absolutely foolproof for sleep-deprived parents or any flu-ridden person.

    And then — the magic happens.

    Lifetime / Via Giphy

    Gross, but we were floored by the amount of mucus and gunk that came out of baby’s nose. Who woulda thunk so much snot in such a little nostril?? Mind blown. Our baby was a bit confused and equally mystified by the sound of the vacuum cleaner and the sudden freedom of breathing. Then he slept like a literal baby for the first time in weeks.

    The Baby-Vac is now one of our favorite household items. It’s been in constant use for over two years and it’s still kicking. We paid $20 for it, and it was worth every single cent.

    The cherry on top is that it is just as effective for adults! About a year ago I had a bad flu, and my stuffed nose was driving me up the wall. My sinuses started to hurt and I could already feel a bout of sinusitis on the horizon. In my desperation I used the Baby-Vac on myself, hoping for release. I’m sure the neighbors heard me moan in pleasure and relief — because it was, truly, amazing. Immediately my sinuses felt clear and I could breathe easily.

    My son is is now 2 years old and hates the aspirator at the moment....because toddlers pretty much hate everything. (We sometimes joke about adopting the Baby-Vac as our new child and then we cuddle the aspirator and shower it with kisses while our son rolls his eyes at us.)

    But seriously, though, this thing is amazing. With 4.6 stars on Amazon, it's a favorite of plenty of other parents (of children and cats, apparently) too.

    Baby Vac / Via amazon.com

    "I was hooked on the NoseFrida and was annoyed my husband bought this — ha! But now I’m hooked. It’s way more productive than the NoseFrida and it doesn’t make me lightheaded desperately trying to suck the snot out in one big breath while my kid flails and screams. Overall, great suction and does the best job getting snot out of my baby's nose." —Sizzle

    "Wonderful product! Works more effectively than the NoseFrida and without any of the strain on the part of the parent. Helped get my 11-month-old through a bought of RSV." —Romance Reader

    "I actually use it for my cats' chronic sinusitis problem as well as for myself! It really does work! But you have to be gentle with the nasal attachment to their nostrils. And also be careful to not create too strong a suction — pull in all user's sinuses (both people and cats), or else you can break some capillaries in their noses and create a slow bleed with lots of messy clots when they sneeze! This occurred during the worst of their sinusitis infections. But despite this happening two or three times, they don't get bleeds anymore now that the severity of their illness is now under control, and I'm thrilled with the device and hooked on it for life!" —M Rich

    Get it from Amazon for $19.99 or Walmart for $16.50.

    Do your holiday shopping with BuzzFeed. Check out all of our gift guides here!

    Alison Krausman / BuzzFeed

    Reviews have been edited for length and/or clarity.

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