I was not prepared for motherhood. Sure, I knew there would be raw moments, but I didn’t expect to have to physically coax farts out of my infant or study her poop to ensure she was healthy. And I didn’t know that babies cannot blow their nose, so parents have to extricate the snot and boogers from their nostrils. Gross but true.
Over the past seven years Frida has made a name for itself developing tools to tackle these utterly disgusting moments of parenthood. It is best known for its original product, the NoseFrida, a $15.99 manual device that allows parents to literally suck snot out of their infant’s nose with their mouths. As revolting as that sounds, the product is considered an essential tool for new parents: More than 3 million NoseFridas are sold annually in the U.S., where 4 million babies are born every year.
Just in time for cold and flu season, Frida has given the NoseFrida a high-tech makeover. This week, the company debuts a $44.95 Electric NoseFrida that vacuums snot out of the child’s nose—and, importantly, does not require the parent to do any of the sucking. It’s a godsend to parents like me, who have a low tolerance for ickiness, but it is also designed to have more functionality than the original device.
For more than three years, CEO Chelsea Hirschhorn has toyed with the idea of developing an electric version of the NoseFrida, believing that technology could enhance the product. The Electric NoseFrida has a light to distract babies who are prone to freak out when you put anything close to their face. The device also has three levels of vacuum power to deal with different kinds of snot: You can use lighter suction when your child has a watery runny nose, while the more powerful suction works well on solid, hardened snot. There are also two different sizes of silicone nose tips so you can use the device on older children.
“Kids usually learn to blow their noses between the ages of 3 and 5,” Hirschhorn says. “The beauty of the Electric NoseFrida is that it transcends infancy.”
Hirschhorn says she was nervous about launching the new device because the Frida brand is so closely tied to the original NoseFrida and she didn’t want to mess with a classic product. Ultimately, she was persuaded to develop the high-tech upgrade because she believed it wouldn’t necessarily replace the original, but rather be an addition to parents’ tool kit.
The original NoseFrida is lighter and more portable, so it is easy to carry around in a diaper bag, and it’s ideal to use on infants with watery snot trapped in their nostril. But there are times when a baby has thick, hard snot or a nose that is constantly running like a leaky faucet, making it hard to continuously suck with your mouth. In these cases, the electric version will be more useful.
The Electric NoseFrida is part of a broader brand expansion for Frida. When Hirschhorn came on as CEO in 2014, the company offered only the NoseFrida and the Windi, a tube you stick in a child’s butt to release gas (really). Over the past seven years, she has built a brand focused on helping parents deal with the less-savory aspects of child-rearing, from cradle cap (crusty patches on a baby’s scalp) to nipple soreness from breastfeeding. The company even developed boxer briefs for dads who keep getting whacked in the balls by jumpy kids.
Frida markets all of these products in a frank, jovial way, helping exhausted parents find humor in the gross problems that come with raising babies and children. The company now has upward of 60 products, 36 of which launched during COVID-19. “We want to give parents the satisfaction of knowing that they have what it takes to solve their baby’s problems,” Hirschhorn says. “We want them to know that they have what they need to deal with the messiest parts of parenthood in their top drawer.”