27 answers

16 Month Old with Cough and Congestion Every Night

hello, My 16 month old son does not sleep well at night, he wakes up about every half an hour because he is coughing, and gets really congested, and its only at night, he is completely fine during the day, I've taken him to the ped and he says its a cold or allergies, but its been going on for at least 6 months. Should i take him to an ent doctor? Has anyone else have this situation, or been in this situation that can give me any advice? Thanks everyone!

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So What Happened?™

Thanks everyone for all the responses, i am taking him to the doctors on tuesday. So hopefully they will find the problem and help him sleep better! I'll let you all know how it goes. Thanks again

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My daughter is 20 months and had the same problem. She just had her tonsils and adnoids out and it has made all the difference in the world. She sleeps through the night and no more coughing or snooring.

Yes take him to a ent ears nose and throat doctor my son was like that from the age of 2months to the age of 2yrs...the ped said he was asthmatic and so did the pulmonologics...things got worst took him to a ent and it was his tonsils and adnoids...took those out and no more asthma...no more heavy breathing no more congestion..it's worth a try A LITTLE ABOUT ME WORKING MOM...MOTHER OF 5...AGES 26,15,13,11,9

Have you tried using saline spray? My daughter gets congested when she sleeps and snores really bad. The doctor gave me rhinocart to help her and it worked really well, but after that ran out I just got her the saline spray from the grocery store and it works just as well. You may want to try that.

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Hi L.,

If he's only having trouble at night there is a trigger. There may be something in his room or maybe even the laundry detergent that is causing a problem. If you bleach your sheets, stop. Chlorine bleach was invented by our military to do neurological and respiratory damage. WE dilute it down and say we're killing germs. Remove any synthetic chemicals from his room. I'm sure that will help him a lot. I detoxed my house and have not had ONE sniffle since. My daughter began sleeping through the night immediately. She was seven! :)

If this problem has been going on 6 months and only at night it is NOT a cold. And "allergies" don't just appear at night and go away in the day time. Medicines won't help, they will just complicate the problem. You need to remove the stimuli. That will also build his immune system. If you think you want to try this, let me know and I can walk you through even removing residues that continue to outgas.

Regards,

M.

1 mom found this helpful

Do you have a nebulizer? Colloidal silver in the nebulizer is wonderful! I did that with my 2yo when she was your little ones age. (I actually took colloidal silver when I had Pneumonia and got rid of it.)

You can get colloidal silver from a local health food store (I get mine at www.compassconcepts.com) I would use about 20ppm.

Another thing is using Eucalyptus oil (someone mentioned the baby vapor rub...this is the oil that is in there). Rub on feet and chest. It's GREAT for congestion too. I would do it at least once a day, twice if you can remember.

Another thing that I do for congestion due to allergies, colds, asthma, etc., lots of stuff is 'Lung and Bronchial' formula. You can get the extract from www.herbsfirst.com. It's awesome and we are never without it.

My daughter is 20 months and had the same problem. She just had her tonsils and adnoids out and it has made all the difference in the world. She sleeps through the night and no more coughing or snooring.

Make sure you go back to your pediatrician and get referrals. They will make sure your son is correctly diagnosed before putting him on medicines. My son had similar problems and was diagnosed with 'general allergies'. He takes Rynatan and is much better.

Good luck

You may try taking him off cow's milk, change to rice milk or almond milk. If you want to get more fat for him, add cod liver oil to the milk. Often, a milk intolerance will cause these congestive type reactions. Won't hurt to try, you will know if you get in benefit in two weeks or so. Best of luck, J.

Yes take him to a ent ears nose and throat doctor my son was like that from the age of 2months to the age of 2yrs...the ped said he was asthmatic and so did the pulmonologics...things got worst took him to a ent and it was his tonsils and adnoids...took those out and no more asthma...no more heavy breathing no more congestion..it's worth a try A LITTLE ABOUT ME WORKING MOM...MOTHER OF 5...AGES 26,15,13,11,9

My daughter had/has this problem. Her ped told us that it is her sinus draining, so I should give a little bit of childrens Benadryl before bed to help dry this post nasal drip. Of course this helped my daughter. If I were you I would call the advise nurse at the ped office and tell her/him the problem again.

Best of luck!
M.

Make an appt with a pediatric pulmonologist. This is a lung doctor. He may have asthma. Coughing (especially at night) for prolonged periods of time is just as suggestive of asthma as wheezing. I have twin boys: 1 has wheezing and 1 has night time coughing...BOTH have asthma. We've been on Singular, Zyrtec and Flovent. No wheezing and coughing for MONTHS.

Hi. My daughter had the same problem when she was about that age. Its really hard to listen to them cough all night and not really know what to do to help them. It sounds to me like your son may have a touch of asthma and allergies. My daughter has that, but she is not coughing as much now at all, since we had it diagnosed and have her on the proper medication. If he does have asthma, using a humidifier will only make it worse, or so my daughters doc. says, because sometimes dust and mold particles get into it, and no matter how well you think you clean it, theres still germs in there. But anywho, my daughter went to see a pediatric pulmonologist, which is a lung doctor for kids. An ent doc will tell you the same thing, b/c they don't really deal with allergies or asthma. After my daughter saw her pulmonologist, and she got a nebulizer and an inhaler, and she takes singulair. She no longer has to use her inhaler or nebulizer, thank goodness. I really hope this helps.

Check to see if he may have reflux. If it only happens when he lays down you could be mistaking the cough for congestion. If there is truly congestion change the detergent and remove all stuffed animals or wash them in baby detergent. Good Luck always be an advocate for your children they don't have a voice of their own in these situations

My 4 year old has the same problem- usually during most of the fall. I run a cold mist humidifier in his room overnight. I usually turn it on a hour or so before bed. Make sure to clean it according to their directions or mold will grow quickly. I believe that most of them have you at least dry it out completely each day. I also prop him up on a couple of pillows and make sure that he is not dressed too warmly. If your son is still in a crib, you could put a pillow under the crib mattress on one end to elevate it slightly. Our ped wanted us to give him nasal spray. We tried it a few times and it did not help. I don't like giving them meds like that anyway. I hope that this helps.

Have you tried using saline spray? My daughter gets congested when she sleeps and snores really bad. The doctor gave me rhinocart to help her and it worked really well, but after that ran out I just got her the saline spray from the grocery store and it works just as well. You may want to try that.

If it is only at night, then he is probably allergic to something in his room. Try to identify what that is. Is there dust, mold, or mildew in his room? If I were you, I would get an air purifier for his room.

Our son suffered from chronic nighttime congestion which interfered greatly with his sleep. We finally took him to an ENT specialist who diagnosed reflux. Reflux (which is worse while lying down) can actually creep all the way up into the nasal passages and cause swelling, thus the congestion. After a month of being on Prevacid and Nasonex, our son's congestion was cured and he was sleeping well. The ENT said regular pediatricians often miss this diagnosis, so it might be worth a trip to the ENT for a specialized expert's opinion. Good luck to you!

Everyone has mentioned allergies, but overlooking asthma. My daughter had the same symptoms at 10 months and it took a while for me to get a diagnosis. I finally convinced my pediatrician to give me a nebulizer. She has no problems now, but has to take astham medicine and does get worse during certain times of the year. You should find a pediatric allergist.

Try a humidifier it works wonders for congestion, coughing, etc. Also a nebulizer is good way to relieve congestion.

Hi L., my 3 1/2yr.old son had bad allergies during spring and had the congestion and said he couldn't breathe through his nose at night.We tried allergy meds. they didn't work so we got a humidifier for him and used it every night. That helped him a great deal, we don't have to use it for now. He seems much better. take care

Try a humidifier and those vapor rub plug-ins for the congestion. It seemed to help my son. As for the coughing, I have heard that rubbing vicks on the bottom of your feet and putting socks over it will cure the cough. I haven't tried it so I don't know if it works or not and I might be hesitant about using it on a 16 mo old. So you might want to use your own judgment there. Good luck

Wow, that sounds like me! I feel the same way just a night. I would suggest that you wash his sheets often due to dust mites and rub some vicks on his nose and chest to allow him to breathe easily. This works for me when I"m awaken because of congestion. Try it out and let me know if it works. Happy sleeping!

Have you tried raising the head of his bed so his head is higher than his feet? That may help with the sinus drainage which is probably what is making him cough. Also try putting an air purifier in his room. As a last resort, you can give him plain sudafed during the day and make sure he is drinking lots of water to decrease swelling in the nasal passages and hopefully drain them a little. An antihistamine like benadryl at night when it's really bad will dry it up and help him sleep. Does he also have stomach problems? You might want to look into milk allergies.
Hope this helps,
A.

L., we went through this with our son at an even younger age. By all means see an ENT if it doesn't improve with allergy treatment but I would first see a pediatric allergist. My son is allergic to dust mites (which you can't help having!!!!) and once we eliminated carpet and did some other allergy friendly things, he improved dramatically! Whatever you do, don't wait because if you allow him to establish poor sleeping habits now, you'll never be able to get him to sleep well. Good luck!

Definaltley agree with some of the other moms, don't give meds to cover symptoms. Find the problem first. Carpet, stuffed animals, try a chloine free laundry detergent. Get rif of anything that can carry allergens and make sure you are cleaning with products that won't make it worse. TIDE is the worse for allergy problems!!

It does sound very much like allergies, given the chronic nature of it.

It might be a good idea to take him to a pediatric specialist. Allergies (particularly in young children) can be very different than they are in older children. My concern is that the allergen is in your home though and not seasonal in nature (six months you said). You are going to want to identify it so you can make him more comfortable. Good luck.

Yes, request a ENT visit, just to be safe. I see mostly adults and a few teens at my practice with this problem and it sounds as if he has a sinus problem. The temp at night could be not right for him and his nasal cavity may be too small to get any air through, which would lead to congestion. If persists it could cause a serious ear infection. So see the ENT and make sure they are a pediatric ENT specialist. If it was allergies it would persist through out the day, some allergies get worse at night, to be safe remove any thing that collects dust and put a HEPA Filter in his room.
Good Luck

Have him tested for Bronchitis i know as a kid when ever I had it (4 times a year) it ALWAYS kept me up at night due to numberous off reasons

I would guess that it is allergies. Have you done a clean sweep of his room and bedding? Removed all stuffed toys, gotten a hypoallergenic mattress cover, completely cleaned the room? He could be allergic to dust mites and curtains would keep them present. You might want to take any curtains and blinds down and use window shades that you can keep clean. Also, run a vaporizer in his room. If none of this works do see an ENT and possibly have him allergy tested.

My oldest son suffered from several rounds of bronchitis when he was 13 months old. Our pediatrician referred us to an allergist at that time, and it helped him greatly. We found out he was allergic to dust and certain pollens and also some foods. Now he takes Singulair seasonally and is doing great!

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