Here’s a useful “how to” inspired by my little Daughter #2 who recently SHOVED a raisin up. her. nose.

IMG_1774This sounds like an irresponsible parenting story. I swear it isn’t. Daughter #2 is a very slow eater so I have to let her graze and take her time, and her plate is always the last to be cleared because if I clear it too early, she’ll decide she’s still eating and then cry a lot that she wanted that plate of food that she stared at blankly for 1/2 hour shoving food around with her fork but never putting anything her mouth. SO… I was clearing our lunch plates quickly so we could get our nap underway because if nap doesn’t happen in a certain window, it goes late and then the afternoon is shot and also she won’t fall asleep until 10:30 at night.

What we do when D2 stayed up until 10:30 -- we wear a tissue box on our heads.
What we do when D2 stays up until 10:30 — we wear a tissue box on our heads like a hat and take selfies.

Daughter #2, who is 2 years and 4 months old, says to me, “Mommy, I put a raisin up my nose.” Freak out time. I’m not good with emergencies or vomit clean up (which is a type of emergency but not one that happened that day) or anything that has to do with blood (which also didn’t happen that day).

I called my husband, who is good in an emergency (thank goodness!). He called the pediatrician’s office who has an elaborate phone maze to ultimately leave a message for someone who will eventually call you back. In the meantime, I attempted to calm (the F) down, bundled up my two little daughters and got them in the car during said car-ride we had to keep the windows open to prevent D2 from taking that allusive nap I just mentioned. And I had to keep screaming, “STAY AWAKE!!!”

Here’s the HOW TO you were hoping for. It’s coming. We get the doctor’s office, they usher us into what is basically their kitchen which calms me immediately because this doesn’t look like a room that any non-food surgery is performed. The nurses say:

1) Mom, you’re going to lay her down and hold her head;

2) Then you’re going to close the non-obstructed nostril (… at this point I assume this is where tiny tiny tweezers come into play. I was wrong.); and

3) You’re going to blow HARD into her mouth.

….. I’m gonna what? Blow into her mouth.

….. How hard? Like [insert hard quick CPR type blowing sound].

4) [To D2]: Mommy’s going to give you a funny kiss!

They tell me that what usually happens is that the item just flies out. D2 hated that “kiss” they made me give her but it dislodged the raisin enough to give her a sneezing fit and she sneezed that sucker out right onto her shirt. I thought about taking a picture of it but really… a raisin’s a raisin.

Today D2 has been announcing: Raisins goes in the mouth!

I know my kid is not the only curious monster. For some reason, most of the stories I’ve heard involve pussywillows. Why so many people have so many pussy willows just laying around their house is a mystery to me.

Share with us your up-the-nose or in-the-ear stories in the comments!

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Mary Galioto is the founder, publisher and editor of MercerMe. Originally from Brooklyn, Mary has progressively moved deeper and deeper into New Jersey, settling in the heart of the state: Mercer County. Formerly the author of an embarrassingly informal blog, Mary is a lifelong writer and asker of questions and was even mentioned, albeit briefly, in the New York Times and Washington Post. She holds a bachelor’s degree in English from SUNY Binghamton and a Juris Doctorate from Seton Hall Law School. In her free time, Mary fills her life with excessive self-reflection, creative endeavors, and photographing mushrooms. Mary also works as the PR Coordinator at the Hopewell Valley Arts Council, serves on the volunteer Board of Trustees of the Lawrence Hopewell Trail (LHT), holds a seat on the Hopewell Borough Board of Health, and is a member of the Hopewell Valley Municipal Alliance.


  1. I think pussy willows were a decorative staple of the late 70’s/early 80’s. We had some that had really soft little buds, about the size of a raisen. Come to think of it, there may have been a certain sister that may have stuck one up her nose at some point. Can’t remember. This is an awesome how-to. Because it didn’t happen to me.

  2. mine was tiny little balls of tissue rolled up and inserted into my nose to make a machine gun when I blew them out at rapid-fire speed, targeting my older sister. Only, they wouldn’t come out. My vision of a self-made bodily weapon quickly deteriorated into a scary sobbing mess and possibly some screaming. My mom did break out the tweezers and removed the offending kleenex.

    • I like that… kind of like spit balls for the nose? Too bad it didn’t pan out. I don’t know if tiny balls of tissue would come out with the same method raisins do… Thanks for sharing Nerak!

      • Also, I would like to point out that all of the offending items have gone up THE LITTLE SISTERS’ NOSES. Coincidence? I think not…

      • I’ve always been kind of bummed too. It would have been AWESOME. If it weren’t horrible. But it was, and, the lesson was learned.

  3. My d2 ( and it is always d2; d1 would never think to do such things) put a bead up her nose. I actually am good in emergencies so i just laid her on the couch, told her to keep absolutely still, and grabbed it with tweezers. Then i asked her:”how did that bead get in your nose.” She shrugged and said, “I dunno! It just jumped there!”

    • My D1 would never do something like that either.

      I tried with tweezers for the raisin. She was screaming, I was screaming at her. It was a terrible parenting moment.

      Thanks for the warning about those jumping beads!

  4. THANK YOU!! You saved me a trip to the pediatrician. My situation played out much the same way with my D3 announcing there was a craisin up her nose – so matter-of-factly. I made an appt with the ped not wanting to try anything with tweezers (youch!) but your post came up first in my google search and my D3 was willing to let me give her a “funny kiss”. Out it popped!!

  5. THANK YOU! Today, my almost 3-year-old daughter put a raisin up her nose! While my husband was on the phone with “ask a nurse” I tried your suggestion – it worked! It took a while to calm my girl down and convince her to let me do this but I think she was finally at the point where she was ready to try anything. Considering it’s Sunday and also well below zero where we live right now, the LAST thing we wanted to do was spend the afternoon at urgent care. again, thanks!

  6. Oh my gosh! My son 2 1/2 comes through a bit distressed and we work out that he has a raisin up his nose! I’m quite a calm person but thinking oh no here we go A&E, so I check on the internet first find this first, give it a go and what do you know out flies the raisin!! Thank you o much for sharing this information I will be spreading the word!

  7. Worked like a dream for me too, spent 20 mins trying tweezers but it seemed to be getting further in. I was getting ready to ring doctor but my 3.5 year old son was really calm so tried this and it flew out on second attempt. He was so relieved he started to laugh and cry… Thanks!

  8. Thank you for posting this! My 2 1/2 y/o daughter did this exact thing. Thanks to your post I was able to avoid an Urgent Care trip with a toddler and newborn during nap time. The raisin popped right out when I followed the steps listed. Thanks for saving my sanity today!

  9. You just saved me a doctors visit. My little girl had a piece of carrot in her nose. We applied what you mentioned and it shot out like a rocket. Thank you for this information.

  10. Thank you so much for this post! My three year old put a raisin way up her nose in the middle of a move. I was so grateful not to have to take a trailer of furniture with us to the emergency room while sweaty and slobbily dressed! Applied the above method and that raisin shot right out! Thank you, thank you, thank you!

  11. My 2 1/2 year old put a raisin in her nose yesterday but, we ended up having to use tweezers! This wasn’t my first “rodeo” my now 14 year old put a watch battery up his nose at 3 on Christmas eve. This was real scary especially when orange stuff started running out of his nose! We rushed him to the ER but the ear nose and throat Dr was on holiday so, he brought us to his home office. We will never forget this day!

  12. Thank you thank you for posting this technique!! My D2 (yep always the second) put a raisin up her nose tonight. Luckily she told me I looked but could see nothing so I struggled to believe she really got it up that far that quickly. Anyway, a few hours later and the alternative of going to the ER I found your post here, tried it and after three puffs it was out. Came out of no where! Why didn’t any of the three nurses I first called know this technique?! I’m so glad you shared this!

  13. It worked! Thank God. You saved us a trip to the ER and some very uncomfortable moments for my toddler. She Loves raisins and was eating her last one when it detoured to her left nostril. Why? No idea. But your page came up first in the search and now hallelujah.


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