46 answers

2 1/2 Year Old Coughs Only Late Night..

Hi all. My son is 2 1/2 and for the last 2 nights has been coughing all night. I have been having to get up every 2 hours and rub vicks on him or give him a dose of cough syrup if its been long enough between doses. He hardly coughs at all during the day, but when night comes-it gets pretty bad. I have a call into the doctor, but haven't heard back yet. Has anyone else experienced this?

What can I do next?

Featured Answers

I would try rubbing his feet at night with vicks and putting his socks on to sleep with. Some believe in it, others don't but it's worth a try. It does work for us! Also heard that a half teaspoon of honey helps the coughs for smaller children, not younger than one, a full teaspoon for older kids. Do you have a humidifier? That may help. Also try keeping him on his side and if you can elevate his head and chest while sleeping, like in a hospital bed, this helps.

This is classic croup. Kids almost only cough at night. It's caused by the upper airways getting inflammed and swelling. Worry when his cough starts to sound like a dog barking, and you hear a deep rasp as he breathes in and out. Thats when you need to go to the ER. It's often caused by a viral infection. My daughter is 7 and gets chronic croup, once her airway was almost completely closed from swelling. (Also, I'm an RN) The BEST treatment is cold air, the colder the better. Wrap him up and take him outside into the cold. If it's warm where you live, buy a cold mist humidifier and stick his nose in the cold, that will bring down the inflamation. Some people swear by having the humidifier on while sleeping next to the bed. If he's having a lot of mucous, sitting in the bathroom with the hot shower running will loosen it up, but try that before bed.

My daughter started cuoghing through the night at around two. We tried every kind of cough medicine we could find and nothing helped stop it. After weeks of this the doctor finally diagnosed her with asthma.... the main indicator being coughing through the night...and he put her on singulair and albuterol nebulizer and she finally stopped coughing. I was freaked out with the diagnosis but we have learned to live with it. We still have her on asthma meds, shes almost seven, and we only have problems when she gets a cold. Good luck

More Answers

Well call me crazy, but rub the Vicks Vapor Rub all over his feet(especially the bottoms) and put socks on his feet to keep the vapor in. Studies have shown that if you put garlic on your feet you can taste it after a couple of mins. That is because your feet are so pourous. So they tried it with Vicks Vapor Rub on a lady who had a hacking cough every night. And she said within 5 minutes she was sleeping soundly with no cough. She also said that it was like a big warm blanket just covered her.

1 mom found this helpful

Hi C.,

It could well be allergy. When one lays down, the drainage goes down the throat and iritates it at nightime. I would try some Zyrtec. It is now over the counter, and has worked well for my grandson through the past years. Some people have allergies to molds and things that occur during the winter. A pillow helps also. Make sure it is hypoallergenic, though.

The other response is right on. Both of my kids do this from time to time, and I have always used the Vicks vaporizer in their room at night when the coughing or stuffiness starts. Even if they have a cold without cough, the vaporizer really helps them sleep through the night. I haven't tried the plug in yet, but I would definitely steer clear of cough syrups.

I have experienced this with my nephew. If I was you I would have him checked for asma. My nephew started this same way. At night when the child's breathing slow's down it will act up more then during the day. Have you noticed any up and down's in his playing habit's. If so I would make an appointment asap.

Cut out the milk towards the evening and offer only juice or water

My son who is now 12 had the same problem throughout his youth. He would cough all night sometimes to the point that he wouldn't sleep and, when he was older, would have to skip days of school. One night I ended up taking him to an instacare and he was diagnosed with allergy-induced asthma. He now uses an inhaler and a nebulizer to help him control it. It has gotten better and he needs the medication less now, but this season has been a bad one. The air quality is very poor and causes more problems. If your son has this problem, it may be hard for the doctor to diagnose unless he is coughing while there. I had to take my son in during the night when he was at his worst. I would ask the doctor about this possibility if it is a frequent occurrence. Good luck!

C.,
I've got 6 kids and 3 of them have done this, my teenager still coughs at night and in the morning when he first gets up. After numerous dr. visits and even specialists we determined it was a combination of the dryness, like the others said, and allergies. Since we got them on allergy meds the coughing has decreased significantly, unless its right in the middle of allergy season then it picks up a bit. I swear by the humidifier! It works wonders. Good luck

My daughter is nine years old and has been a night cougher since she was small. Sometimes are worse than others, and she still has flare ups when it can get bad. She has allergies and asthma also. We saw a pulmonologist at Primary Children's (which I'm sure isn't necessary for you to do - your family doctor or pediatrician should be able to handle it - we were there for other reasons as well) and he said there were many possible causes but the most likely were sinus drainage and the change in position (lying down) aggravates it, it could be allergies, or it could be reflux. Try to keep a record of when it happens and what if anything seems to help or worsen the problem. That will help the doctor figure out what is going on. I have found that giving my daughter a Triaminic berry flavored cough strip about 20 min. before bedtime has helped on many occasions, sometimes better than a prescription cough syrup, and it tastes better. I wish you luck and hope you can resolve it soon.

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