36 answers

9 Month Old with a Cold and Cough

Hi. I have a 9 1/2 month old baby boy who has had a cough now for a couple of weeks and has just started with a stuffed up nose. At his last check up, the doctor didn't think anything of the cough... of course he didn't cough once while we were at the office. Now it is getting worse when he is asleep. We are using a humidifier and I've been putting Vicks baby rub on this chest. I even tried propping up one end of the mattress so his head would be raised. That didn't do any good because during the night he rolls a lot and ended up with his head going the other direction.
Any type of cough medicine that I've looked at has a minimum age of 4. Any suggestions on what I can do to help with the cough would be appreciated!

What can I do next?

Featured Answers

Try putting a lot of Vicks Vapo Rub on the bottom of his feet before he goes to bed and socks on them that will not fall off. I have tried this with both of my kids which are 7 and 4 and it has worked every time. And saved money on doctor visits. Let me know if it works for you. Good Luck and I hope the little guy feels better.

At Long's or any health food stores they have the homeopathic remedies - one of which is for cough, I had to uise it for my girl when she was 8 months and it was great - no weird chemicals and so no weird side effects, just a help in making her cough mellow and her body had the chance to fight the bug of on it's own.

Good luck


Place a lot of the Vick's Vapor Rub on the bottom of his feet with socks. He should stop coughing in a matter of minutes.

More Answers

You can't give any OTC meds for cough. They are too risky now. My girls have both struggled with bad coughs since an early age. We got a nebulizer from our pediatrician and use liquid albuteral when they start a cough. Talk to your ped about that.

1 mom found this helpful

Hi N.,

I have been using homeopathic remedies for both of my children almost since they were born with great effect. They have ones that dissolve on the tongue so are in no way dangerous (in terms of choking etc) . I a not sure where you live but there is a great homeopathic pharmacy in Santa Monica on Broadway and 7th:

Santa Monica Homeopathic Pharmacy
Pharmacy Hours:
9:30am to 5:00pm
Monday - Saturday.

Order Online or Call:
Tel: ###-###-####
Fax: ###-###-####

629 Broadway
Santa Monica, CA

They always have registered homeopaths there to help you get the right remedy which is a great help too. I am sure if you are not nearby you could phone and they could mail it to you.

Best of luck!

1 mom found this helpful

I agree that you should go back to the doc and insist the doc give you the proper dosing for an antihistimine to dry up his nose, which will decrease the post nasal drip which can cause nighttime caughing. Also, never use combo meds. my son is under 2 and I have, with my docs help given him benedryl during bad colds and on a few occasions dimetapp for a severe stuffy nose. I got the proper dosing for his weight and only administer when he is so miserable that he cannot sleep. Using meds safely can work so long as you give him the right dosage. I do use hylands remedies and they seem to help alot. They have a cold remedy that works but has to be given every 30 minutes to be effective.
Dr sears has a website with medicine dosing by weight which is helpful. Askdrsears.com has tons of info for illness and meds.
I also agree that certain coughs can be a sign of a reactive airway caused by allergies and or viruses. It is similar to asthma and can present itself with a persistant cough or with wheezing. I use to dread coughs with my daughter who is now 5. She use to cough so much all night it would scare me. I found out at age 4 she has allergies and gets the reactive airway with certain viruses. She has a nebulizer now with zopanex which does not give her the jitters. It has made such a difference. Now, I do not fear her coughing. All along, she had trouble breathing during illness and I had no idea. Now, the nebulizer allows her to breath easily when sick. She does not have asthma unless she is sick. I would check into this and ask to see an allergist. It will make all the difference if this is the problem. Good luck and hang in there!

1 mom found this helpful

there are about 40 homeopathic remedies listed in the "cough during sleep rubric".on your own you can try Cham. 30C (sold in Whole Foods)if it does not work, final selection should be done by professional homeopath.
Good Luck

You may want to take the baby back to the Dr. Both of my little ones used to get colds like this and then the weezing and crouping with asthma like symptoms. She prescribed a nebulizer...and sometimes they are free through home health care. Your Dr. may prescribe some medication to put in the nebulizer with a mask for the baby's face. This has always worked wonders for my little ones. I think the medication was similar to Albuterol. Good Luck.

You've already received tons of advice and I haven't read through them all, so I apologize if I repeat something. When my son had his first cold at 11 months, the doctor recommended warming some apple juice for a cough suppressant. Your little guy is too young for honey or any sort of over-the-counter remedy. Hope this helps!


Any of the Infant's Cough and Cold stuff...they are with a dropper for the littlest ones. Contrary to med. clinics now, I used over the counter stuff all the time on both my girls(one is 16 now and one is 3!, single mom, crazy huh.). My dad is a doctor.
It is true that antibiotics wont touch a cold, but when it moves into the chest, antibiotics can then help mend. The throat and chest is an infection. A plugged nose is a virus.

So many precautions lately, and hesitation on prescribing anitbiotics...it wont hurt a bit, unless your giving anitibiotics every 2-3 months for every little thing! Obviously dont do that!


Dear N.:

We never gave our children any medication and our beloved pediatrician agreed and supported this. The things which worked the best were (as mentioned below) saline drops, a humidifier, and, per the pediatrician's recommendation: bundling up the baby and strolling them outside at night. The cold and moist night air eliminated the coughing. Once baby was asleep, we'd stroll back and I'd sit up in a rocker all night with baby so that the nasal passages stayed open. I did NOT overheat the house. After two or three nights, all was well. Also, if you breastfeed, keep the baby on your breast and baby's healing will come even more quickly.

Best wishes,


My son's the same age as yours and we did exactly what you did, but it turned out that he had an ear infection. You may want to get a second opinion.

Does your child have chest congestion? I give my kids Herbal Expec from Naturmade when they have bad chest congestion to help their cough be more productive in getting the mucus out. Since both my kids are under age 6 (4 and 1) I give the 1 yo about 1/4 of a teaspoon every 4 hours. I also take the full dose whenever I have bad chest congestion and coughing.

There are a bunch of herbal remedies made specifically for kids, but I can't remember their names off the top of my head. But I have used a few with my kids.

If you want to try something truly natural that works GREAT for mild congestion and cough:

Cut half an onion into small chunks and put into a cup then sprinkle a 1/4 teaspoon of sugar on top. Let it sit on the counter for about an hour. Then spoon feed the sweet tasting liquid (not the onion chunks) in the cup to your son. I also do that for my kids when they have mild symptoms and they love it because it is sweet.

At Long's or any health food stores they have the homeopathic remedies - one of which is for cough, I had to uise it for my girl when she was 8 months and it was great - no weird chemicals and so no weird side effects, just a help in making her cough mellow and her body had the chance to fight the bug of on it's own.

Good luck

Hi N.,
If the cough has been on going for a few weeks, maybe take him back to the doctor? Is he wheezing? My daughter who just started pre-school has been sick on and off and I noticed her cough was getting worse followed by wheezing. Brought her to the doctor's and was told she had phnemonia so she's been on antibiotics and doing great (got 3 more days to go of the med). Of course a few days later my 4 1/2 month old is now coughing / sneezing and to take precaution, her peditrician prescribed a different antiobiotic along with prescription cold medicine. Both seem to be doing better, hope your soon gets better soon!

Is he eating dairy, any mucus prodicing foods? Babies often have a cold sounding cough alone, is it along with a fever? Have pets? There are a lot of things to consider that you do not mention. Allergies will give them the stuffy head which is easy to turn into drainage in a small throat and cause the cough.

There are liwuid immunity and antioxidant supplements that are organic you can add to water. we-us.mychoices.biz They are called Twist Tubes. My ids use them all the time.

Hello N.,

Your poor baby as well as yourself! First off, keep going back to the doc. If you have a video camera record your son while he is coughing. But, again keep going back to your doc. till something is done.

My son is 3yrs old. since Oct. he has had a presistant cough, at first the doc treated it like a sinus infection, so a round of antibotics, that round didn't work, so a second round of antibotics. But, when we saw the doc when he gave the second round said if that doesn't work in two weeks come back in and we'll do chest x-rays. The doc and I both had a hunch that it was asthma, since my husband and myself have asthma.

Cough didn't go away with the second round, chest x-ray was ordered (the Monday before Christmas) ASTHMA it is. Asthma can come in many different forms, not just whizzing. So, by Christmas Day the cough was under control and we had a wonderful holiday.

We have a wonderful doc and doesn't mind that I keep coming till I find out what is wrong or get my son the relief for him.

Best of Luck and Get Well little man,

Hi N.,

You did not say if you were breast feeding or not. I would be looking at making sure there was no dairy or soy of any kind in his diet at this time just in case it is an allergan and causing this inflammation. If you are nursing, try adding some olive leaf extract supplement into your daily supplement and tumeric (a seasoning that also comes in pill form, great for inflammation).

I have heard wonderful results with a Netti Pot. You put salt water in it and use it to flush out the sinuses. I have not heard how this would work on an infant though.

On another note, do not vaccinate your baby, especially when they are the least bit sick. Do not get your baby 'caught up" with their shots, ever.

Here is more information and studies on vaccinations:

The Vaccine Book, by Dr. Robert Sears
What Your Doctor May Not Tell You About Childhood Vaccinations, by Dr. Stephanie Cave
Evidence of Harm, by David Kirby

www.tacanow.org (Vaccines, studies listed there)

Take him in a hot shower with you to loosen up the phlegm. Put your mouth over one nostril at a time and suck out the goo. Works much better and less scary than the plastic bulb thing. If you are still breast feeding, nurse like crazy so he gets the immune boost. Medicine is just going to be one more toxin that his sick little system has to remove. Mommy love helps them heal the fastest. Hold him and hold him and don't let him cry or he will build up more phlegm. Make sure he isn't eating any sugar or dairy, also mucous-causing. You can also put salt-water drops in his nose. It's not so nice, but will clean his sinuses.

Best of luck!

I use to give mine a teaspoon of honey with a little fresh squeezed lemon on and it worked. But you need to check the honey jar label for a warning about giving to babies, i'm not sure what the age is. I didn't like the cough syrup with medications so thats why i stuck to natural,

times have changed, i do remember something called triminica not sure of the spelling but it seems pediatricians recommended it.

Well there are a lot of young mothers out there, so i'm sure you will get some good advice.

I do remember one time my grandaughter had croup, and it was recommened to her that the cold night air would help. So they bundled her up and went for drive in the car, she couldn't get over how well it did work. Of colurse you have to be sure they are good and warmly dressed.


I have heard that Vicks on the feet with socks is supposed to help within 5 minutes. I have not tried this and you might want to check with a doctor first. It is worth a phone call. Good-Luck.

PS- Just happen to read other responses - I guess others have tried it. :-)

There is not a single Over The Counter med that is okay for your child's age. Most of them don't really do much anyway. If your son is sick, and has been for two weeks and has now developed a stuffy nose, call his doctor and get him in today if now sooner.

Symptoms always get worse at night. It just happens that way, and really it sounds like you're doing all you can.

I have a rule for when my son gets sick...three days max and then we go to the doctor. Since you already saw the doctor I would call again.

It could be something else, like allergies. I found out my son had allergies and most of his 'cold' symptoms were hay fever.

Good Luck

You should take your baby back to the doctor and make him/her listen to his chest. These endless coughs are very common round here, and he may need an antibiotic to get rid of it. If your doctor hears wheezing in his chest, he may be asthmatic (probably temporarily) and there are good medicines for that.

Dear Nicol,
The one thing you CAN do is give him more liquids, and make sure he's getting a baby vitamin, along with it.

I would always give my kids extra vitamin C too at his age. At trader Joe's you can get powdered Vitamin C (Ascorbic Acid) that mixes great with liquids. You don't need a lot - just a pinch contains enough to mix with a bottle of juice. I always added vit c to my kid's apple juice and they would take it without it being too sour.

When I myself had pneumonia once, the doctor told me I had to constantly drink liquids, because the coughing meant my body was severely dehydrated and I had to get the mucous loosened up and out.

Do you know how to loosen dried up mucous in the baby's nose? A few drops (3 drops is enough usually) of saline solution (that's salt water - you can make it yourself using one tsp of salt to one quart of water) in one nostril at a time loosens them enough to use an aspirator and suck it out afterwards. But don't use the long pokey aspirator they give you in the hospital when the baby is born - get a NASAL aspirator with a removable clear plastic tip that is more rounded and won't hurt if he wiggles while you are doing it. It helps if you have someone else hold him steady, too!

Also (if you can find them) One other thing that worked was homeopathic remedies - the one called "Aching cold' was the one that always helped us - adults and children. They're such a low dose they are quite safe and the lactose tablets melt in a drop of water. Some health food stores carry them and some don't - you can call around to ask.

My best wishes to you on this challenging time with your precious boy. He's lucky to have a mom like you who cares so much to do the right thing!

My son had the same type of thing at 11 months. From what you are saying, you are doing good things. Medication dosages need to be done by weight, not age even though the label gives a "suggested" age. I suggest getting a cough & congestion medication that has an expectrant in it (these are usually by the mucinex products). If you cannot find it, ask the pharmicist. Since little ones don't blow their nose or know how to get the mucus out of them we have to help. Putting saline drops in his nose, waiting a minute and then suctioning it out can help as well (the saline helps breaks up the mucus). If it doesn't get better then yes, take him back to the doctor. With how cold it has been its hard to get a little one better quickly. Make sure he is dressed warm, during the day (especially with a beanie or hat whenever outdoors) & at night time. I hope that your son gets better soon! :)

My twins are 8 months old now. They have had a cough and congestion for almost a month now. Their doctor prescribed a nebulizer and breathing treatments with Xopenex and Pulmicort. They were 11 weeks early and they get sick easily. They may have allergies so now we are trying Singulair. The twins seem to feel better after their breathing treatments. You should definitely take your son back to the doctor again. I was told that they stopped over the counter cough and cold meds for children under 2.

I don't know how or why this worked with my daughter but they advised me to put the Vick's on the bottom of her feet then put socks on. Between that and a humidifier she didn't cough at night. As weird as it sounds it worked! But trust your instincts, if his coughs as gotten worse then a trip to the peds office is worth the extra looks you think you might get! I hope the poor guy feels better soon.

Try putting a lot of Vicks Vapo Rub on the bottom of his feet before he goes to bed and socks on them that will not fall off. I have tried this with both of my kids which are 7 and 4 and it has worked every time. And saved money on doctor visits. Let me know if it works for you. Good Luck and I hope the little guy feels better.

hi. i have a 5 yr. old boy and a 3 yr. old girl and i always worried too when they were sick a lot with the cold and cough.i never really messed with the over the counter cough medicines especially when they are age appropriate or messed with home remedies either. you don't wanna give too much or too little of the medicine. most of them medicines either help temporarily or make the kids hyper anyway. so your best bet is to take your baby in to be checked out for your piece of mind especially so if your baby has been coughing for weeks now. md's are very careful about prescribing antibiotics to kids nowadays because of the immunity issue, but you don't want to risk your baby having a pneumonia or RSV either as your baby is much too young to fight all these infections. your physician should be able to determine if your baby needed to be on antibiotic and maybe will recommend an x-ray test.also continue to use the humidifier as it helps a great deal.for the congestion, have you tried saline nasal drops? they are over the counter and it helps with the congestion.also know that if you are uncomfortable about anything or feel like you need to speak to your pediatrician because your baby does not look right, know that you can page them day or night and they are required to call you back immediately.you can never be too careful with babies especially your baby is only 9 months old. hope this helps. good luck.

I am sorry your LO is not feeling well. Did you call your pedi again because it's been going on for a while?

I bought this vapor thing that you can plug into the wall, not sure of the brand is, but it says 3 months and up. Also- you can sit in a steamy bathroom with him a couple times a day to help break up the flem.


Benadryl (call a pharmacy for dosage) and tylenol.

Check with your doc about using the humidifier. Sometimes it makes coughs worse because it makes the junk in their lungs heavier. There are only certain times to use a humidifier. If he's doing worse at night, I would try a night without it.

There's a yucky cough thing going around that lasts up to 6 weeks. We got it over here. It's a bummer. A friend had it and tried antibiotics and steroids. Nothing worked but time. I'm a big fan of homeopathics for relief of symptoms in people as small as your boy. Try Boiron or Hylands for starters. If you go to Whole Foods or something like that they will help you out with it.

Hope your little guy is doing better soon!

When my boys cough bad at night I would take them in the bathroom and shut the door and turn the shower on the hotest it can go. I would just sit on the toilet holding them for a good 20 to 30 minuts. The stem seems to loosen their tight cough. Hope your little one is feeling better soon. S.


Place a lot of the Vick's Vapor Rub on the bottom of his feet with socks. He should stop coughing in a matter of minutes.

sorry to hear he's sick..i love Bioron products...they're homeopathic and can be used on a 9 month old..go to WholeFoods they have their cough syrup "Chestal" also "Cold Ease" give 1/2 dose of "Cold Ease" i use a vaporizer ...b/c u only have to clean a vaporizer once a week..are u cleaning the humidifier? u have to clean it every day w/ white vinegar and a vaporizer once a week also with white vinegar.
well good luck..the colds get easier! my son is almost 3..i remember those days.


Congratulations on your baby! Just wanted to reiterate what the first Mom said because it is so important. You CANNOT give ANY over-the-counter cough medicines to a baby this age. The guidelines have changed over the past couple of years, and they have become much more stringent. Use the saline and suction to keep nasal passages as clear as possible. When was your last appointment?? You said the doctor wasn't concerned about the cough, but if the appointment was at the outset of this episode, and it's now been going on for two weeks or more, you should check again with the pediatrician.

When my son was that age, he had frequent coughs, which were worse at night. At 12 months, he was placed on nebulizer treatments, which we continue with to this day. He also has numerous allergies (confirmed by skin test), so it is certainly something to consider with your son. Listen to his breathing, and if you detect wheezing, take him in immediately.

Good luck to you and your son!


Hello! I have a 21month old, first time mom to Haley. You are doing the same things I've done when she's experienced the same symptoms. One thing you can try is a steam shower. Close the bathroom door, and run the warm water, until it creates steam. Have your son breathe in the steam, and that may help w/the congestion. Always keep your son hydrated w/fluids. The coughing part I haven't treated except from the doctor. Recently she was given an antibiotic b/c the congestion went down to her chest/lungs. If you don't feel comfortable, I would bring him back to the doctors for another check up. Trust your motherly instincts. I hope this helps.

maybe you can try a natural type elixir i think it is called saluprent...ask you pediatrician. it helpped my son'
s conjestion and stuffy nose. sometimes these things have to go away on their own. make sure u keep givinghim oj, vitamins and plenty of liquids. if u r not happy with what your doctor has to say your in control, get another pediatrician, or even a 2nd opinion...

I concur with the vicks rub on the feet with socks. Know it sounds weird, but it really works!

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