21 answers

18 Month Old with a Nasty Cough

My daughter is 18 months old and she has a cough and runny nose. She's to young for cold medicine, her doctor won't give her anything. I have done vapor baths and used vicks and have been keeping her warm but what else should I try? I have two other children a home and they all seem to have it but my other two are old enough for cough medicine but what should I do for the baby? I hate having her feel bad because of her cough. She will barely eat as well she only wants pudding and mac and cheese and I think it's because her throat hurts from all the coughing. What do you think? Am I doing the right thing?

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Awe, it's tough when they are sick. The younger they are the more miserable they seem to be. What really stops coughing is putting vick's vapo rub on their feet and covering them with socks. I know it sounds crazy but trust me, it does work! Hope you are all feeling better soon!

1 mom found this helpful

Two remedies for you:

Put Vicks Vaporub on the soles of her feet. Cover up with 1-2 pair of socks. This works beautifully for us, esp. at night.

Raw honey (try Trader Joe's) is also great for coughs - try a teaspoon or two.

Also, dairy can make coughs worse.

Best wishes!

1 mom found this helpful

More Answers

try dissolving 4 tbs honey and 1-2 tsp lemon in 1/4 cup warm water. It should soothe her throat

2 moms found this helpful

Awe, it's tough when they are sick. The younger they are the more miserable they seem to be. What really stops coughing is putting vick's vapo rub on their feet and covering them with socks. I know it sounds crazy but trust me, it does work! Hope you are all feeling better soon!

1 mom found this helpful

Two remedies for you:

Put Vicks Vaporub on the soles of her feet. Cover up with 1-2 pair of socks. This works beautifully for us, esp. at night.

Raw honey (try Trader Joe's) is also great for coughs - try a teaspoon or two.

Also, dairy can make coughs worse.

Best wishes!

1 mom found this helpful

C., there is a homeopathic cough syrup with Honey made by Hyland's that is for children ages 1-12. They also make little homeopathic tablets that help with cold symptoms. I would recommend you go to Sprouts or Whole Foods and ask someone in the homeopathic medicine department - they are always very helpful. For her runny nose, putting saline solution and then suctioning really helps. It's difficult to get them to allow you to do it, but the benefits are worth it for everyone. I would also recommend a humidifier on for naps and nighttime. Good luck!

1 mom found this helpful

We use a cool mist vaporizer at night and naptime. It seems to help. Also, nasal saline helps clear the nose. I've had limited success with a spoonful of honey (since your baby is past 1 yr)to calm a cough. Hang in there. Feed the child whatever she will eat even if it's not the most nutritious, whatever fluid she will take and try to rest as much as you can so you can stay healthy. R., midwife mom of 2

I know this may sound weird, but I did it everytime for both my daughters and it always worked. In a bowl all water and sliced onions. Put in under her bed.

I put a cool mist humidifier in my daughters room and the vicks plugs-ins for kids. Hope she feels better soon.

I am so sorry you little one feels so bad!! I have an 18 month old who just got over the same symptoms. We use a cold vaporizor in his bedroom. That seems to really help the cough. Suck those boogers out!!!!!! That is really important.Our pediatrician advised us to use children's Benadryl. 1/4 tsp every 4 hours. Hope she feels better.

I have used a spoonful of honey on my boy and use it for myself too.

Do you think the pudding and mac & cheese might be increasing her mucus and causing her to cough more? I know some dairy products tend to do that for me when I'm sick, and I have a friend who cuts out milk and cheese and other dairy items for her son when he is sick. Hope she feels better soon!

go the homeopathic route...go to whole foods, they are very knowledgable and helpful so you can find the right remedy for your child.
I could recommend some things but your daughter may have symptoms other than the cough and runny nose.
Yes, stay away from any dairy, get her soy for right now. They are soy free products at whole foods too.
hang in there, it is never easy:)

I give my kids sleepy time tea it is a mix of peppermint & chamomille. it does wonders for the cough plus the heat helps break everything up. Mix it in with some honey for the little guys so they will drink it. When my kiddos are sick they get this in their cups in place of water or milk. My daughter now is old enough when she starts feeling sick will make it for herself

Hi C.,

When my son was 18 months and had a cold, I would use a cool mist humidifier. This did help because there was a little more moisture in the air from it. I have also used the Vicks Plugs ins and that helped him as well. I still use each one and he's 4. I hope that this helps!

I.

I have a little girl that is 21 months old and I have been giving her Hyland's cold and cough medicine - it is homopathic and works really well. It's the only cough medicine I found for younger children.

I'd stay away from the pudding and mac n cheese. Dairy products cause increased mucus production and will worsen cold conditions. Make sure she's sleeping with a humidifier. Also, I haven't tried this, but I've heard a wonderful way to treat bad colds is an herbal bath. Add 1 to 5 drops of eucalyptus, thyme, or wintergreen oil to a warm bath. The combination of warm water, herbs, and steam is supposed to relax the breathing and loosen congestion. Good luck!

I'm from Russia and we traditionally use warm decaf black/green tea with honey and lemon juice for coughs. You can give her a little with a spoon or in a sippy cup. I'd say half a cup at a time every couple of hours (1/2 tsp of honey, a squeeze of lemon juice). My son thought it was a treat when I gave him this tea in a special grown up cup :)

Also just a tea spoon of honey by itself before bed helps to sooth the throat and cough.

I hope your daughter feels better soon!

A.

My son used to have asthma-like symptoms at that age. We used Delsym cough syrup and a humidifier. If you can, open your windows to get fresh air circulating through your house as well. Prop her head up when she sleeps or have her sleep on your chest propped up. These are just a few of the things we did for my son, that seemed to help.

I am not sure why doctors have gone all crazy saying that our babies can't have medicine, they're too young, etc, etc. They only did this because parents were overdosing their kids, now the rest of us have to suffer. The Delsym cough syrup is just for a cough, it is not a multi-symptom medicine. It should not harm her-ask the pharmacist how much to give her.

So sorry you are dealing with this. I just called my son's doctor with the same question, they did offer a little more advice. PediaCare makes a Vapor plug-in that is a night light. It has basically the same stuff as Vicks, maybe a little more, but they call it "non-medicated vapors" I went and got it at Walmart (under $10)plugged it in his room and my son slept through the night that night, I didn't hear him coughing. Also, as someone else recommended, Vicks on the feet with socks.
A humidifier in the room helps a ton too. When my son was really coughing, day and night, I just took the humidifier with us into each room and it controled the cough, if I forgot it, I knew within a few minutes because he was coughing again.
I would make a fist and "burp" him on his back (chest area) that seems to help break up the congestion and calm the cough. I had to do it firmer than a burp, but obviously, not hard enough to hurt him. My 3 year old has learned that this works and will ask me to "pound my back" when he is coughing.
Sorry, this is long, but I feel for you because I just am getting over dealing with this. Oh, one last thing, dairy makes the cough/congestion/runny nose worse. Be careful with the pudding and mac and cheese. Maybe try Jello, soup, applesauce, oatmeal, non-dairy soft stuff.
Good luck!

My son has had something similar on and off for a couple of months. We've been told it was allergies, he had a cold, reactive airway disease, etc. But the one thing that has helped the most is to do percussions on his back and sides. (We were instructed to do so by his respiratory therapist.)

You hold your hand like a cup as if you have water in it and gently but firmly pat them on the back. (Now it is going to sound like you're patting her harder than you are but that is due to the way your hand is cupped.) It helps break up whatever is in the chest and makes the cough more productive. Since your daughter is young, you will most likely have to suction out the mucous when she begins coughing it up since she can't spit it out.

You do the percussions starting on one side of the back at the bottom of the lung and work your way up, move to the next side doing the same thing, then the actual sides. You will want her laying on her stomach on your lap with her rear slightly raised (like on a pillow or with one foot flat and the other on the toes).

It usually takes me about five minutes to do the full cycle - 1min on each side and about 1min total for the readjusting/moving. When he is sick I do it when he first wakes up and before he goes to sleep. I also do it whenever I hear the rattling in his breathing whether he is sick or not.

I really hope this helps out.

With my first, I listened to the dr. on everything....by the time my 5th was 18 months old, my instincts were more important. At that time, when my 18 month old was sick with RSV and the dr. wouldn't give her anything, I decided to go with NyQuill....if a child is 12 and gets a 1/2 dose, I figured 6 would get 1/4 dose, 3 would get 1/8 of a dose and 1 and 1/2 would get 1/16th of a normal adult dose....
I can't remember what that was but it worked amazing and I never regretted it. Once they can sleep, they can heal!
Best wishes,
K.
By the way...she's now a healthy 13 year old and none the worse for it!

I would give her what she will eat right now...but mostly increase fluid intake, not cold drinks, but the healthiest immune system boosting stuff I could find. I used to give white grape juice and a pinch of sea salt...could mix some vitamin water/ pinch of C...not so much to cause diarrhea....she is probably old enough to drink things with honey now...if stuff is in her chest....I would make sure to get a second opinion. Sometimes raising arms and cupping your hands, drumming up the lungs can loosen stuff up. Chamomile out to be safe (unless has allerigies specific), and has cleansing, relaxing, properties...maybe a little peppermint with it. I just saw a new vicks too..with herbs that might do a bit more..made for the little ones.

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