32 answers

*5 Month Old with VERY Long Lasting Cough*

I have a 5 month old little girl with a very nasty cough that has been ongoing for the past 3 months now! I have been to the doctors several times for this and all they have to say is that she has an upper respitory infection. In the beginning of August i finally got so fed up that i took her to see an allergy/asthma specialist. He told me that if this was true, then it should have been gone by now. He then sent me over to the hospital to have her chest x-rayed (came up normal) and he prescribed her to Amoxicillian for 2wks. Nothing has changed since and i just dont know what to do at this point. I've switched her formula but that made no difference... PLEASE- any suggestions let me know!!!

What can I do next?

So What Happened?™

Oops! Forget to mention in the rush of writing my last request- I actually have had a cool mist humidifier in her bedroom since the beginning of the cough, and i also have been using the vicks on her little footsies w/socks as well as a lavender and eucalyptus rub on chest, neck, and back... And whats pretty neat is her humidifier actually has a spot to put vicks on so that when you turn on the humidifier, you actually breath in the vicks from the mist as well.. This is the second doctor i've been through with her because the last peds insisted on ignoring everything i had to say... Just so lost for hope at this point don't know what else to do. I have a follow up with the specialist this thursday so hopefully he will have more suggestions. I agree with the nebulizer idea though i think that would help even if just a tiny bit. And everytime i've suggested allergies/asthma to her peds, they all have told me the same thing "she is too young to diagnose her with either"... blahh- blahh- blahh!!! Fortunatly she hasn't had any fevers up until now. Maybe my best is to wait until thursday to see what the doc has to say...

Thank you so much for all of your suggestions ladies. I sincerely appreciate each of you taking the time to respond to me with care...I will be sure to post after her doc appt on thursday to let all of you know how things went... Have a wonderful evening!

Featured Answers

Hi, I hope she is feeling better now, incase she is still showing symoptoms, my daughter developed a persistent cough around 7mths. It was diagnosed with asthma eventually and although she doesnt have a wheeze she had a persistent cough especially at night. I eventually found that Cows milk was one of the culprit although she still always get a bad cough when sick..

HOpe it helps.

Hi K.,

Here is a web page:


Hope this helps. D.

Did the doctors give you breathing (Nebulizer)
treatments for the baby? My son had RSV (upper respitory infection)when he was a baby. Try the Geisinger Medical Center in Danville Pa

Hope the baby gets better

More Answers

She could have reflux and is aspirating into her lungs. Does she grunt? Talk to your peds about it....it is very common

Did the doctors give you breathing (Nebulizer)
treatments for the baby? My son had RSV (upper respitory infection)when he was a baby. Try the Geisinger Medical Center in Danville Pa

Hope the baby gets better

Hi, I hope she is feeling better now, incase she is still showing symoptoms, my daughter developed a persistent cough around 7mths. It was diagnosed with asthma eventually and although she doesnt have a wheeze she had a persistent cough especially at night. I eventually found that Cows milk was one of the culprit although she still always get a bad cough when sick..

HOpe it helps.

I would see a specialist at CHOP or St. Christopher's. When in doubt, I'd go to a specialist. We're lucky to have great children's hospitals here. Good luck.

I was distressed reading the responses with so many drugs treatments which has so many effects besides the ones you are hoping for. I also take my son to a chiropractor routinely, as does one other repondant. I don't do it for symptoms, but because children are so active and their nerve systems busy developing their bodies. My chiropractor reccommends a nationally known pediatric chiropractor in Media named Dr. Jeannie Ohm. She continues to see patients in addition to speaking and teaching around the country. Think Chiropractic first and drugs second.

I just signed on and scrolled the (other topics) I saw this and had to respond. My then 2 1/2 yr old had a caugh for a good 8 months. She was treated for walking pneumonia, cold, constant ear infections.
BUT finally the dr from childrens ordered a milk test. It was found that she had gastro intestinal reflux disorder. She was put on previcid and in almost 3 wks, the caugh was finally gone.
Is your little one better, or is the caugh still happening?
Take care,

I'm not exactly sure on this, but my son had a really bad cough and it ended up that he had the "whooping cough." It's like an upper respitory infection but worse. Usually with this kind of cough, the child can't lay down flat, especially at night, because it makes it worse and he/she needs to be propped up at night to sleep. Does any of this sound like your daughter's case? If so, you might want to bring that up to the doctor. Also, something else you could do....talk to your Pharmacist about it. Sometimes they know something that might help. Hope this helped, even just a little bit.

Although a cough that lasts that long could be from viral upper respiratory infections, if she was unlucky enough to get a few back to back...it's probably more likely that it's a chronic problem. I think that the most common in this age group would be reflux. All babies have reflux to some degree, because the muscle between their esophagus and stomach isn't fully matured yet, so some of what they drink comes up toward their mouth instead of going forward. Some babies have it to a worse extent than others. These babies may exhibit pain from it (crying, arching their back) or may spit up often (sometimes to the point where it is difficult for them to gain weight) or may develop a chronic cough due to the irritation in their esophagus from the stomach contents. Often the reflux cough is worse at night or with naps because gravity isn't helping things move in the right direction when she's lying down. If the cough is from reflux, it should go away as she gets older and this muscle matures and the cough isn't harmful to her. You could try putting a pillow under her mattress at night to make her mattress be on a slight angle to see if that helps the cough. Or you could try thickening her milk a little with cereal to make it thicker so it will stay down where it belongs - but do this at the guidance of your pediatrician.
The other possibility for the chronic cough would be reactive airway disease (similar to asthma but in a young child). Your pediatrician would likely have heard wheezing at some point if this was the problem and given that her cough started at such a young age this is a less likely culprit.
I hope that you get an answer for this soon! Definitely talk to your pediatrician about these possible causes to see how they feel they pertain to your daughter. Good luck!

When I was younger, I had a cough that seemed to not go away. It was uncontrollable at times. I constantly had throat spray and cough drops for relief since nothing else seemed to work. I struggled during gymnastics and was eventually diagnosed with asthma when I started getting shortness of breath. The coughing was basically a prolonged asthma attack. Looking back, my Mother and I cannot believe we missed such obvious signs as my older brother has bad asthma, however it also took my doctor a few months to pick up on it. Hope your little one gets sorted out. I feel for her.

I too have a daughter who is 4 1/2 and she has had a cough for most of the summer. It is congested and very mucuosy and for a while, and her nose wasn't running, but now it is. The first time I took her to the doctor it was because she was complaining about her throat hurting, so I had her checked for strep. NOTHING! The second time I had her checked, she had an ear infection, so we were on antibiotics, and I too, thought this might clear up the cough. NO! I just called the doctor's office yesterday, and they said that they will have me come in to "check her lungs again" but I am not going to take her. She sleeps soundly at night, and the frequency of the cough is diminishing, so I think I am just going to let this one "run its course" even though it has been so long. The docs did suggest a cool mist humidifier and to elevate her pillow and/or the part of her bed where her head rests, so maybe those suggestions would help you. If it is any consolation to you, I have talked to NUMEROUS people (parents and kids alike) and have heard many complaints of this long-lasting UR infection and cough. So I think this is something that is just going around. Not much help here, but just thought I would let you know I am experiencing the same. Good luck!

Hi. I would try the Vicks Vapo bath. I know that you are trying the Vick's rub but sometimes the bath can help b/c it's warm water. I know that your baby is still little but my daughter (she's almost 22mos) loves that it makes bubbles. Regardless of what you try, keep trying and keep making those doctors listen. No one knows your child like you. I will keep you in my prayers. Keep us posted.


Dear K.,
My son went through a similar phase, although he was a little older, and his was during the winter months. Typically, asthma/allergy stuff is not diagnosed at this age, b/c children often "outgrow" the symptoms. When my son had the "cough" he also had breathing problems, so they put him on a nebulizer ~ good luck with that, if that's what they do for you. He did NOT like it, and every treatment was a HUGE battle for the first few days until he realized that this was necessary, & we weren't going to let it go. Be thankful that the chest X-ray was clear. At one point, my son developed both pneumonia AND bronchitis at the same time (we ended up in the ER on Thanksgiving~NOT fun)! Since she doesn't have a fever or other issues, I would say just continue to monitor it. Keep doing what you're doing & if it gets worse, make the necessary calls. In the meantime, try to find a ped/doc that will listen to you. Nothing is more frustrating as a parent than talking to someone who blows you off because you don't have the same letters behind your name. (I won't even get started on that one.) ;) I'll be praying for you & your little one. God Bless!

The same thing happened with my little boy (forget how old he was though-probably around 1) It turned out to be asthma/allergies. Yes-little kids are too young to "test" for asthma but can be diagnosed by symptoms. Five months old is NOT too young for a diagnosis. We had a nebuliizer for a while but then went to allergist who put him on Singulair and Zyrtec. He has not had a problem since.

I, too, suggest a cool mist humidifier in her room at night. At the very least, I don't think it could hurt. Sorry, no other ideas for you. Good luck to you and your daughter!

When my daughter was 4 years old, she had a persistent cough that also wouldn't go away. My pediatrician finally put her on an asthma inhaler because she said that persistent cough can be a sign of asthma. Sure enough, it went away. Hope this helps.

I babysit for a little girl who has acid reflux that is causing a chronic cough like you are describing. She does use a nebulizer to help with breathing, but you are not describing wheezing or difficulty breathing. I would ask about the reflux.

If you are not completely satisfied get another opinion from maybe another pediatrician.
it seems that most doctors always treat us like we do not know our children. And we dream up stuff just to run up our medical bills.

Hi Kim! I would press the doctor's for more information. Just given the duration of the cough, they should be more informative with you. It sounds like asthma to me, but could it be whooping cough? I've never known anyone to have that. What about a nebulizer? Maybe the doctor could prescribe that to help?? But, if you're looking for a little relief at this point, put some vicks vapor rub on your daughter's feet and then put socks on before bed...I know it sounds bizarre, but it was recommended to me for my daughter's cough and it helped her sleep through the night, instead of waking up coughing all night. Good luck!

This may seem strange, but have you considered a chiropractor? He won't diagnose her cough, but they do very gentle manipulations with little ones and each time you are adjusted (even adults) it boosts your body's ability to heal itself. It's very safe and painfree. All 3 of my children were adjusted within a week of birth and occasionally since for "attitude adjustments" or when they are ill to help their bodies fight most effectively. My oldest is almost 5 and while it's not her favorite thing to do, she will admit that she feels better afterwards. When I get a cold, I go myself as well. It instantly opens passages in your head and makes it feel like things can drain better. My youngest was 1 in May. She had a string of 5 ear infections that we just couldn't get over - never made it to a well visit recheck before it returned. At hte beginning other things were crazy and we didn't her adjusted quite as much, but my ped started talking about tubes and so we made it the top priority. My chiropractor actually adjusted her ear to physically open things to let them drain. That was her final infection.

I'd be happy to share my chiro's info. It's a family practice and they all have lots of kids so they are great with little ones.

Possibly acid reflux or allergies

Try putting her to bed in her car seat. She may have acid reflux that is causing her cough. Please ask your doctor to try her on a prescription for acid reflux. You don't have to have projectile vomitting to have it. There may be a problem with her esophagial muscle closing where it enters the stomach. This can cause stomach gasses to irritate the bronchial tubes and produce a cough.

My daughter had a nasty sounding cough at 6 months. We constantly used a humidifier, used only dreft laundry detergent and "green" product to clean her bathroom and bedding as well. At 6 months she started taking a dose of Claritin in the A.M and Zyrtec in the P.M. The allergy meds are what has helped. She is now 5 years old and only now requires Zyrtec once a day. Maybe U can ask your specialist if this is a possibility for your kiddo? Best of luck to U!

My daughter had the same thing around the same age and for many years after. The doctor at first said it was just a cold, then they started to say it was the croup. I believe it was the croup, but it took us years to figure out what was triggering the croup was her allergies to pine trees and mulch on the playgrounds and flower beds. She kept getting sick around christmas and then spring and we didn't put the two together until we stopped buying fresh christmas trees and stopped mulching in the spring and she stopped coughing. Her coughs would last months. When she got older she would start coughing when she came home from going to the playground next to our house which is lined with pine trees and covered with mulch. We put her on Zyrtec when she was young but it did nothing for her and the nebulizer only helped temporarily. It wasn't until she could be put on Singulair that I can now control the cough. No more getting the cough from the playground and just more conscious of her going too close to pine trees. Mind you, we had to figure this out ourselves, no allergy tests by the doctors. Do you have a pet? Maybe she is allergic to the dog or cat? Not saying you should get rid of them, but an allergy medicine might help...i know it is hard to start medicating so early, but had I known earlier what
was causing her cough, I would have gladly started to treat it. Good luck.

This sounds a bit like what we went through with my son. When he was about 6 months old he started wheezing - slightly, but it was there. His ped diagnosed him with "reactive airway disorder", a condition which he said often occurs in response to a cold. We were given a nebulizer as well as prescriptions for pulmicort and albuterol. He used the nebulizer off and on for about 6 months (during the cold and flu season). The doctor also had him on oral prednisolone for a while - too long in my husband's opinion, so we sought a second opinion from another ped. She sent us to an asthma/allergy specialist who diagnosed him with asthma. I questioned it since I had heard/read that kids this young can't be diagnosed with asthma. His explanation was that peds don't like to diagnose young kids with asthma because these symptoms can disappear around age 2-3 so they don't consider it to be true, longterm asthma, but rather a short-term condition. He told us to continue with the nebulizer as prescribed. My son's need for the nebulizer decreased over time and by the age of 2 he rarely used it.

One other thing...the allergist we saw felt that this could be a long term condition because of my son's eczema and the strong history of allergies and asthma in my husband's family. My son now has a totally unrelated medical issue that he takes steroids for so we don't know if the steroids are keeping his symptoms away or if he has outgrown the "asthma". I'm sure your docs have asked, but if not, let them know if your daughter has eczema or is there a history of allergies/asthma in your or your husband's families. Good luck!


My daughter went throught all of that too. I took her to a different doctor and he told me to put a hepa filter in her room and run it 24/7 to get the dust particles out of the air. It worked and she stopped coughing/wheezing in about 3-4 days and cost me about $40 (less than the meds and doc visits!).

I lived across the street from train tracks and she had stuffed animals in her room that caused all the dust.
Good luck.

did you try a vaporizer or humidifier...maybe she is dried out

Since you took her to an allegry/asmatha specialist, it is very puzzling. My first reaction was it sounds just like what my son had at that age. Antibiotics did not help. About 2 months into his cough, his ped started treating him for asmatha and reflux. I also took him to a ped pulmonologist and he told me that asmatha is very difficult to diagnose for infants, but since he responded to the inhalers (Flovent and Albuteral), we kept him on it for several months and the cough just went away. He also explained to me that sometimes babies are born with restricted airway passages in the neck (which could cause the cough as well), and there is nothing that can be done, they just grow out of it around 6 months. There are some physical signs that may show your daughter has allergies/asmatha, one is creases under the eyes and the other is ezema. If your child is in daycare, it may just be the famous "daycare cough?" Perhaps you should get a second opinion.

Hi K.,
We had a very similar problem with our second child that started at around 3 months of age. He was fine with me, when I was breastfeeding, but when my mom gave him a bottle (with formula) he couldn't breath well. This went on for months and the pediatrician kept saying it was a cold. Then he developed ezcema on his face and one night his breathing was so labored we rushed him to the hospital. (The doctor at St. Clair brushed me off as if I were some paranoid first-time mother and did nothing for our son, so now I only take the kids to Children's Hospital.) My mother, wise as she is, insisted the problem must be an allergy to the milk-based formula. I finally switched him to soy-based formula and viola - within two days the cough was gone and in two weeks the ezcema was also gone, never to be seen again. (He's now turning 7.) We kept him away from straight milk until he was 3, and we still don't push it now. (He's fine with yogurt and cheese, etc.) My advice to you is to trust your instinct and keep pushing for answers or turning to other doctors. You and your child deserve nothing less!

Hi K.,

Here is a web page:


Hope this helps. D.

have you tried a humidifier,they also sell a litle plug ins at the drug store,that worked for my grandbaby.

It is good to read all the replies for the approach to Chiropractics.
Having a dd with acute asthma for 13 years Chiropractics were a remarkable blessing.

I have not read all the responses only about the first 4 so if I am repeating I apologize.

Chiro, pay attention to the possible milk allergy, and make sure you are removing ALL toxic chemicals from the cleaning environment. A gentle approach to cleaning removes many triggers for a delicate respiratory system. There are also links to asthma and disposable diapers. I prefer to suggest one does the research themselves on this topic as many don't believe the connection.

Just a few things to consider in the surroundings of your child that could contribute.

Hoping your little one feels better.

It sounds like asthma to me. You should ask your doctor about a nebulizer, that helped my kids both of them have asthma.

Required Fields

Our records show that we already have a Mamapedia or Mamasource account created for you under the email address you entered.

Please enter your Mamapedia or Mamasource password to continue signing in.

Required Fields

, you’re almost done...

Since this is the first time you are logging in to Mamapedia with Facebook Connect, please provide the following information so you can participate in the Mamapedia community.

As a member, you’ll receive optional email newsletters and community updates sent to you from Mamapedia, and your email address will never be shared with third parties.

By clicking "Continue to Mamapedia", I agree to the Mamapedia Terms & Conditions and Privacy Policy.