37 answers

Child Coughs Every Night

I have a 4 year old (just turned) and every time I put her to bed she coughs. She could be fine all day but every night she has this cough. It could be right as she goes down or after she has fallen asleep she'll begin to cough. Not sure why this is and if I should be doing something like running the humidifier? When it first happened I gave her a bit of Children's Tylenol but I hate giving medicine if there is no fever. Water helps a little but I don't always do to avoid bed wetting. I just would like to ask if any one knows the reason for this and if it's common and will eventually go away? My 21 month old sleeps in the same room and she does not have this problem. Any thoughts would be appreciative!

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What can I do next?

So What Happened?™

Thank you so much for the wonderful advice! I read all of your suggestions and the majority ruled in favor of a possible allergy. She has a doctor appointment on Aug. 12th so I will mention this to her pediatrician. Meanwhile, I'm going to dust her room a lot better, especially the window blinds. Her bedding gets washed regularly including her pillow case. I hope this will help her. Thanks again you wonderful moms!

Featured Answers

My daughter started that at about the same age. Call you pediatrician - they put my girl on Singular, and the coughing stopped. She used to wake up at 2:00 am every night. Could be allergy.

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Hi G.,
I know you've gotten a lot of responses. I just wanted to add that I have allergies and cough at night too. I use a cold air humidifier and I sleep with my head up on a couple of pillows and keep a cold glass of water next to the bed. Try this too along with testing for the allergies. This should help in the meantime.

Good luck!

2 moms found this helpful

Most coughs are caused by post-nasal drip. She may have allergies. My son has allergies as well. I find that giving him a spoonful of honey really works. It helps coat his throat to stop his coughing.. In fact in a clinical trial, honey (specifically buckwheat honey) worked better than dextromethorphan (DM) or no treatment. Besides it is much easier to get them to take honey than medicine :)

The study is published in the December 07 issue of Archives of Pediatrics and Adolescent Medicine, lead author Ian Paul.

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More Answers

Hello G.!!

I would agree with Deanna, it sounds like an allergy. My son is allergic to dust mites. He gets this little cough that sounds like he is just trying to clear his throat. When I hear the "allergy cough" he get a zyrtec:) The first and most important step to reduce dust mites is to cover mattresses and pillows in zippered dust-proof covers. These covers are made of a material with pores too small to let dust mites and their waste product through and are called allergen-impermeable. Wash bedding in hot water weekly. Your little girls spends alot of time in her bed that is the best place to start first. I would also see an allergist and maybe get her tested. This afternoon wash all her bedding and even wash her whole pillow and see if it helps. If you see an improvement go and buy some covers tomorrow:)

Good Luck
-M.

FYI- if your little girl is indeed allergic to dust mites you do not want to add humidity to her room. You should keep humidity levels below 50%. Dust Mites Love Humidity.

3 moms found this helpful

G.,

It sounds like she might have allergies, and probably a few simple fixes might help ease it. Check what kind of stuffing is in her pillow and maybe get one that is made of foam, remove all stuffed animals from her bed and bed area (they can habor dust even if they don't look dusty) and wash and change her sheets often. I always run a humidifier in mine and my son's room and that might help too. But, you might also want to invest in a good room air purifier, I love mine.

If she's not sneezing and coughing during the days it's most likely a dust allergy or something in the filling in her pillow or stuffed animals. My sister has to use a foam pillow and sleep on 100% cotton sheets, and this helps her at night.

Tylenol will not help her with her cough, that is strictly for pain relief. If you are concerned you might want to check with her Pedi just to be sure.

Good Luck!

3 moms found this helpful

she could have post nasal drip, which is worse when you lay down, and would make you cough. Tylenol will do nothing, but allergy medicine will - Claritin, Benadryl, etc.

Obviously, consult your dr.

2 moms found this helpful

My Daughter did that, and it was allergies. The Dr. gave her a Rx for some caugh syrup with albuteral(sp) and it help alot. Once her caugh quit it never came back. It was during the summer so I quess she was just allergic to something, and when she whould lay down she would get congested and caugh. Hope this helps, good luck.

Dana
www.scentsy.com/danacarey

2 moms found this helpful

Most coughs are caused by post-nasal drip. She may have allergies. My son has allergies as well. I find that giving him a spoonful of honey really works. It helps coat his throat to stop his coughing.. In fact in a clinical trial, honey (specifically buckwheat honey) worked better than dextromethorphan (DM) or no treatment. Besides it is much easier to get them to take honey than medicine :)

The study is published in the December 07 issue of Archives of Pediatrics and Adolescent Medicine, lead author Ian Paul.

2 moms found this helpful

actually there is no need for meds even with MOST cases of fever. remember - fever is your friend - first it lets you know something is wrong. second - it helps the body to fight off the intruder and develop immunity. stopping the fever is like plugging the exhaust pipe. Re: the cough – there are several homeopathic remedies that can be helpful for this type of cough. Exact one must be determined by professional homeopath, but you can start with trying out what single remedies you can get in the stores: Lachesis or Grindelia – give her Lachesis 30C right before she goes to bed (2-3 pellets with a little water). Wait for a week. If the cough does not change, but something new comes up, she’ll need another remedy. TBD by the rest of her symptoms.
Good Luck
V.

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My daughter had the same thing and her pediatrician diagnosed it as asthma. She's not on daily medicine, but when she coughs like that, she uses her albuterol inhaler and stops coughing. The cough is the indicator that she's not getting enough air. Good luck!

2 moms found this helpful

My daughter started that at about the same age. Call you pediatrician - they put my girl on Singular, and the coughing stopped. She used to wake up at 2:00 am every night. Could be allergy.

2 moms found this helpful

I would try rubbing some Vick's Vapor Rub on her feet at night, then cover with socks. This has always worked for me to take away any cough.

2 moms found this helpful

My son(s) had the same problem; the easiest thing, I found is to run the humidifer at night as they are sleeping, but not too high. I also was worried about giving medication when it is not needed.
Dr and pharmasist recommended this to me; tried it, and it worked wonders.
Good luck, hope it helps. :)

2 moms found this helpful

it could be allergies but it could also be asthma. when my daughter got diagnosed with it she had a cold (for 2 months) and had a persistant cough at night and seemed fine all day. if you think its an allergy try a little benadryl and see if that helps if it doesnt maybe have her see her dr. a cool mist humidafire will help. also a big FYI on asthma is that they dont always wheeze! my daughter has never wheezed since being diagnosed with asthma at 10 months (shes 2 now). but her airways get inflamed and cause her to cough and when shes sick her lungs get that wet sound. good luck! i hope you find out what it is soon!

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Hi G.,
My daughter has had the same problem ever since she was a year old (She is now 3). It turns out she has Acid Reflux disease/Broncial Asthma. The acid reflux starts when she lays down which then irritates the Broncial Asthma (the constant coughing. It will get so bad that she'll vomit nearly every night.
After many visits to the Dr's she now has an inhaler for her "episodes" which helps : )
I had no idea when this all started that Acid Reflux & Asthma played a part together.
I hope this was somewhat helpful!

2 moms found this helpful

my boy had the same thing and his ped said it was asthma. A bronchial type asthma that creates a cough only at night. no wheezing, shortness of breath or anything. Just a terrible cough that won't go away and only subsides when he coughs so much he throws up. Quite tramatic in the middle of the night. The MD put him on Singular ( nightly), Albuterol syrup (as needed) and Qvar inhaler (as needed) When he has major flare ups, she also puts him on a 3 days therapy of Prednisolone. This helps with the inflammation in his lungs.
sounds very similar!
Good news, by 8 yrs old they typically outgrow it!!

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Hi G.,

Could it possibly be allergies or asthma? My daughter used to cough whenever she ran around. I got some preventative meds from the doctor that I use during cold and flu season, and it seems to have made things better for her.

Good luck, and I hope that her cough gets better!

Lorna

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A couple thoughts...

-Is your little ones bed nearby or in direct draft of a window, a/c, or fan.
-Could your little one be asthmatic?

Try using the Mucinex packets... they've worked for my almost 5 yr old who is asthmatic, what I call the "weather" asthmatic... Only gets sick with a change of weather... or fires nearby.

Also, try the humidifier at nights with just water... no medication... There's also medicines for the little ones that are for cold and/or cough only... try those...

Good luck and take care.

p.s. remember each child is different and is affected differently by different things in their surroundings.

2 moms found this helpful

Your child might be having allergies. Try cleaning the carpet with an allergy cleaner or allergen sprays for your home. Some children are extra sensitive. We we're having the same problem with our 10 year old a few months back. But our problem was resolved after we cleaned her bedroom carpets twice. Good luck!

2 moms found this helpful

It sound like allergies. My daughter was the same way...
we changed her mattress actually.. to an organic one and it did the trick! We were just walking through toys r us one day and happened to notice it and thought it could help. We also changed her blanket too. We got a down comforter for her too and she doesn't cough anymore.
Also, elevate her head with a pillow too. If you're going to give her medication.. you need to give her benadryl not tylenol :)

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Does your child have reflux? It could be a reason why. It may not bother your child until she's laying down, which is common. You should talk to your Child's pediatrician.

2 moms found this helpful

Definitely consult your daughter's doc on this. It might also help to elevate the head of her bed to help the gunk that she's coughing stay down out of her head. Maybe she's allergic to something in the room that your other daughter doesn't have a problem with.

2 moms found this helpful

I just recently went through this with my 2 year old daughter. She was sick back in December and she would get well but she would continue to cough and it seems like it only happened when she was laying down. We took her to the dr back in December and dr said it was a virus and we just had to wait it out, well she got better but it seems like the cough just kinda stuck around. Well back in June it was really bad so we took her in and the dr said it was her sinuses and the reason it only happened when she laid down was because they were draining and it was causeing her to cough. She gave us Zyrtec to give her at bedtime. We gave it to her that night and maybe a for about 4 or 5 more days and she was able to sleep without coughing. We havent given it to her since then and have not had any coughing

2 moms found this helpful

Two of my children have seasonal allergies and allergy induced asthma. Like your daughter, they would begin to cough at night. They also coughed some during the day especially if they were very active, but mostly at night.

2 moms found this helpful

My son had the same thing. Wasn't all the time or even every night, but once he was in bed or falling asleep (even in his carseat) he would start coughing. I tried all the cough stuff and humidifier etc. Finally a doctor suggested asthma. I was dumbfounded... He plays and runs and everything is fine, how can it be asthma?? Anyway, he gave us an inhaler and told me to try it at night if he starts coughing. Thinking he was crazy, we took it home. Couple weeks later he was coughing and I did the inhaler. It WORKED!! He didn't cough the rest of the night. Next night cough was back, did the inhaler and again no coughing. 3rd night no coughing. We went a couple months without a night cough, then it came back. I did the inhaler one night and he hasn't coughed since (about 18 months now). I don't know if he just grew out of it or what but the inhaler seemed to work and I still don't know if it was actually asthma. Hope you and she get some relief very soon!

2 moms found this helpful

do you have carpet in your child's room? if so, put in a different floor. we did this and it really helped our little guy. the carpet is so tough for allergies.

2 moms found this helpful

Hi G.,
You have recieved some interesting advice. So now you are wondering...is it allergies? Is it dust mites? Is it asthma? confusing huh? Well I am going to add one more... my daughter coughed anytime her head was tilted back a bit back, in her car seat, in her bed and sometimes just cuddling on the couch.(she also snored and drooled while she slept) She was not sick (and thank you by the way for NOT GIVING MEDICINE - we can talk about other alternatives for when you children do get sick, but cough medication does more harm than good). So we went through the whole mariad of "is it allergies?" "is it asthma?" "is it (fill in the blank)". I will tell you the doctors were very quick to prescribe something as opposed to finding out WHY this was happening. Onew timy symptom meant 2 or 3 drug options. I thought how crazy...a pill for every ill...but i knew my daughter was NOT SICK!

Thank heavens I have a friend who suggested I see her chiropractor. I took my daughter, he did a muscle test (no bone cracking here), checked the organs etc in her body through energy work - no xrays - it was pretty cool - but he found that she had over sized tonsils. He suggested we make an appointment with our dentist about the problem. It sounded weird, but at this point we had tried everything. Sure enough we went to our dentist, she took a look while Rydel (who as 5 at the time and not really needing a dentist) was in the chair, her tonils were there, as big as could be and then some. She booked us with an ENT, Rydel had a 30 min laser procedure 2 weeks later where her tonsils were "shaved" to a managable size (they were not removed and they will not grow back). She has had no breathing, coughing or drooling problems since (she is now 13).

So G., DO NOT GIVE UP. Keep asking...but please EDUCATE DON'T MEDICATE!

B.
Family Wellness Coach

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Have you had a chance to check the room for possible mold? Or maybe she is allergic to the residues from cleaners. You might like to read the info on registered chemicals at http://healthyohana.net/HealthQuiz.aspx

Marie-anne :O)

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its allergy Hon, run hummidifier.

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Hi G.

Put Vicks vapor rub on the bottom of your 4yr olds feet. It works like a charm (for adults too). This will stop her from coughing through the night. I hope this helps:)

N.

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Hello, This could very well be allergies. I would check with her pediatrician. Our oldest son had the same problem when he was an infant. We tried raising his crib at one end, and I spent many nights sitting up holding him. Eventually, we decided to mention to the pediatrician that we thought he was allergic to milk. Bingo.
Good luck with your precious family.
K. K.

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Hi G.,
I know you've gotten a lot of responses. I just wanted to add that I have allergies and cough at night too. I use a cold air humidifier and I sleep with my head up on a couple of pillows and keep a cold glass of water next to the bed. Try this too along with testing for the allergies. This should help in the meantime.

Good luck!

2 moms found this helpful

Your daughter might have asthma. The same thing happened with my son when he was younger, which was the start of symptoms.

1 mom found this helpful

My initial thought is maybe the sheets?? Maybe her pillow?? I would change those things out and/or do a thorough cleaning and see if that helps at all. Maybe she is developing an allergy of some sort to the detergent? And it's a subtle one, so she doesn't start to react until she has her head on the pillow?? I am really not sure. Just my first thoughts on it. I hope it gets better!

1 mom found this helpful

My daughter was also 3 yrs going on 4 when she started experiencing that also. She would be fine during that day but once she starts feeling sleepy the coughing begins and would persist throughout the night. I was applying all kinds of remedies I knew, some helped but only temporarily. I would even stay up with her and sofly massage her back and chest, she used to like it cause it puts her to sleep. But one remedy that I really like is I rub Vicks all over her feet then cover up with her socks. This almost always helps. She is now 7 and hasn't had that problem since she turned 5 1/2. So either she grew out of it or it's the new environment we're in now. I know your concern and worry and I hope you find a quick solution. Good Luck and I will pray for you and your daughter.

1 mom found this helpful

One time when my child (at around 3) was coughing only at night the doctor said it was a sinus infection. She was put on antibiotics for like 10 days. I hated that. Since then, if I or they are coughing at night like that (only), I have gone to the homeopathic pharmacy and described it (one time I said sinus infection feeling that it had to be that) and the stuff they provided worked. I would go to one of those (Santa Monica or on National and Barrington) and describe the situation and see what you can get.
Good luck

1 mom found this helpful

Post-nasal drip? Reflux?

1 mom found this helpful

Have you taken her to the dr for this. When I was younger I had the same symptoms and it turned out to be asthma. It usually started at night with uncontrollable coughs. Hopefully it's not asthma but you should get her checked asap just in case.

1 mom found this helpful

G. E

I have the same problem and I am 53 yrs old. The coughing could be caused by allergies. Allergies will produce no fever, just runny nose, and congestion. Check with your pediatrician, but from my experience drainage from the sinus' can continue while sleeping and cause coughing to clear the throat. If your daughter is coughing excessively at night, try elevating her head at night and see if this can stop the coughing, or use vicks vapor rub to help her sleep through the night (that is what I use).

Most of the time allergists will tell you that she will grow out of it, don't let them get away with this excuse. The percentage may be high that children will grow out of some allergies, but not all do. My youngest, now 29 yrs old was born with bronchial asthma and since he was an infant the doctors refused to treat him. I had to fight to get him help for his asthma, he was finally given asthma medication at 4 yrs old. For the first six months of his life he slept in a car seat to help him breath normally. He still sounded like he had run the 440 track when he was resting. He is doing fine now, and has three boys of his own.

If I were in your shoes I would give her night time decongestant medication that will control the coughing. Check also with the pharmacist to see which one would benefit your daughter and her situation. I hope this helps. Good Luck.

1 mom found this helpful

I think you should take her to the doctor. The same happened to me and I was diagnosed with asthma. It might be something of no importance, but still, I think it's weird she coughs only at night.

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