23 answers

Chronic Cough / Cold (Or Allergies) in 10 Month Old

Our little girl has had cold-like symptoms on and off since January. She may go a few weeks and be fine and then she gets it back. The last month has been worse with a lot of phlegm. She's been coughing a lot more too and it has disrupted her sleep on a few occasions. Her pediatrician had given us a cough medicine in January, then a stronger cold medicine in March and now she's on an allergy medicine (Zyrtec). Nothing seems to be helping. She has been sleeping with a humidifier (w/vicks medicated steam) and some days I think it helps, other days it doesn't seem to matter at all. I am so tired of her being on medicine and her doctor doesn't want to prescribe anything too strong since she has been 6-10 months during this time. I've tried the vicks on her feet with socks at night and that doesn't seem to help either. I've called the doctor again (waiting on a returned phone call) to ask what the next step is in checking allergies or he even mentioned acid reflux. Has anyone had a little one go through similar symptoms? Any at home remedies that have worked would be helpful. She is also teething (has two through and two half way through). She is also in a daycare facility with other little ones with colds, etc. I feel like an awful mom for letting it go this long but I've been taking her to the doctor and can't figure out what's wrong. Most times her disposition is fine, like nothings wrong but the last few nights have been really bad for her, I know she doesn't feel well and I just want to help her. Any suggestions would be great. Thank you!

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J., YOUR DAUGHTERS PROBLEM IS NOT UPPER RESPIRATORY, ITS LOWER RESPIRATORY!!! i went through the same thing with my 3 month old. she seemed like she had a cold, yet none of us did, and she was not a daycare child. because she was only 3 months old, my pediatrician was very aggressive and immediately prescribed us with a nebulizer. in laymans terms, its called a breathing machine. first of all, cough suppressants encourage infection becuase when a baby cant cough things out of the lungs, the stuff stays in there and worsens. this is exactly what happened with us. before they diagnosed her with asthma, they were treating cold symptoms, but were not considering the fact that there might be some underlying infection. so the infection grew and grew and eventually one day she ended up with 104 fever at 9 months old and they took a chest x ray and found she had a staph infection. coulda killed her! totally amazing. unfortunately it led to an emergency surgery to remove the golf ball sized staph from her lung, and then she was sedated and on a respirator for 9 days in ICU and 7 more days after that in the peds unit. you dont want to go through that. we were there the entire time. good thing we are self employed otherwise we both would have lost our jobs, we were not leaving her side, especially since drs were telling us she was critical... it was so sad and if i can prevent anyone else from this experience i will. GO SEE A PULMONOLOGIST (LUNG SPECIALIST) AND HAVE A CHEST X RAY FOR YOUR DAUGHTER, BUT FIRST REQUEST A NEBULIZER AND MAKE SURE YOU USE IT AS DIRECTED. if you have any other questions feel free to contact me, J....good luck...

1 mom found this helpful

Hi J.
Have you thought about alternative medicine?

Try taking her to a Herbologist - the one I go to is Tracy Dozier her number is ###-###-#### she is located in the same building as my GP in Florence. Your daughter may have something else going on and maybe all the medication she has been given is not necessarily the right thing for her.
Medications don't take care of the problem, they only mask it. You need to take care of the problem at the root.

I hope this has been helpful for you. Good Luck.

The teething can cause a runny nose and mucus. Has she been around any one that smokes ? Some little ones are very allergic to smoke. Day cares are full of germs and little infections ,maybe you need to change day care facilities.Or maybe she is allergic to your two four legged boys.
You might try a little horehound tea with cinnomon for flavor. I make a horehound cough medicine from scratch here at home.It will knock a cough out in nothing flat. If you want the recipe e mail me.

Maybe you need to go to a different doctor for a second opinion?

We have had similar things going on with our now 19 month old daughter. We started to seek help around 8 months for her and nothing seemed to help. We were told she has asthma. After treatment with not much improvement we continued to look for answers. Finally, just last week we had an appt with a pediatric pulmonologist who we really liked. He told us that she has a mild case of reflux, but more concerning is her trachea. He diagnosed her with Tracheamalacia. Although there is no immediate cure, or fix, it is nice to know what is causing her coughing, gagging, and often difficulty breathing.
It took four doctors for us to come to this diagnosis.....and afteer looking at her chest x-rays myself it seems pretty clear. Specialists know what to look for that others may miss! Be persistent! You are not a bad mom! YOu are doing what you need to do to help your little one! Good Luck! You are welcome to e-mail me if you need more details!

Ever thought about investing in an air purifier? I'm a consultant for indoor air quality. I work with a company who uses the same technology that NASA uses on the space station. We have helped thousands of people with allergies, asthma or other breathing problems simply by treating the air indoors. Just a thought.

Hi J.,

So sorry your little one is going through this! it is tough on you too.

You mentioned checking for allergies. I would start to keep a food diary for her--note everything she eats/drinks, and also when her symptoms occur. An allergist may ask you to do this, so if you have a start on it, the evaluation should go quicker.

Did anything in your home, the day care, or her diet change around the time she got sick? New pet? soap? formula? cleaning products?

Just some thoughts. Good luck!

K. Z.

My son and daughter have allergies and always have runny noses and coughing this time of year. I add Sol-U-Mel to their humidifer and it works wonders. You may also want to look into removing the toxins from your home. If you would like more info, you can go to www.livetotalwellness.com/SoCanYou

hello....not sure if this will be much help at all. My now 10 month old girl seemed to always have a "cold." RUnny nose, cough, somtimes would disrupt sleep, no to often though. Was very whinny at times and we blamed it on "teething." But no teeth ever came! Finally the two bottoms one came, but the symptoms didn't improve. We finally took her back to the doctor and I suggested an antibiotic. They also stated the possibility of allergies or asthma. The antibiotic cleared her up perfectly in days and she has been perfect for about 2 months now. We also switched in hom child care providers. Her other one always seemed to be congested and she would take sick kids ALL the time!! No, good.

but we did all the things that you did, vaporizer, vicks etc. etc. Nothing worked till the antibiotic.
hope this may help.

Do you have a cat?
My daughter, when she was little, used to cough a lot and honestly we did not really figure out her cat allergy until she was a teen and we had a kitten and she was holding it and broke out on her neck.

My daughter has been dealing with this most of her life and she is now 14. You need to rule out whether it is reflux vs allergies. Then you need to if it is allergies get her allergy tested. Then you will have a better idea what needs to be eliminated. If it is reflux it could be a food allergy. I don't know where you live but I go to an osteopath in Richfield who deals with kids with food allergies/allergies. SHe treats them noninvasively. If you are in the Cleveland area email me back and I can give you 2 names of people who treat kids this way. Another idea to check out of it is not resolved is whether she has an immune deficiency. They can do specific testing for that so that they can identify how it can be treated. Good luck to you.



You'll always have a handy resource guide at hand.

Just thinking out loud with a couple different possibilities. Perhaps your home's air ducts need to be cleaned? Perhaps her body is on overdrive from trying to get rid of her original cold. My sister actually has this happen to her. Her immune system gets so revved up fighting a cold that it can't slow itself back down without the doctor giving her steroids. She's had a horrible cough go on for months at a time before they realized what the issue was. I know it may not be feasible, but could you or your husband take some time off of work or find a friend or relative who could watch your little girl for a couple weeks. Perhaps just getting her away from the "germy" environment of daycare would give her immune system time to fix things up and calm down.

Hi J.,

I wanted to tell you that your not alone. I have a son who will be 9 months on May 20th, who also had alot of bad colds. Truly one after another with maybe a week or two in between. I recently took him in to see the doctor and they put him on a nubilizer,(breathing treatments) because they said it was Bronchitis due to other infectous organism. They said that probably one of the times he was sick the infection or virus settled in his airway and thats why it keeps coming back, and they are hoping that the breathing treatments will help to break it up and I guess cough it out. He's been on them a week today and although he seems to be feeling better, he had been so miserable and crying alot which is unlike him, he still sounds bad and is very congested. Its so hard to see your children sick, and I'm sorry your going through this. I wish I had better advice for you and hope your baby gets better soon.


Teething can cas a lot of the symptoms you described too because she's drooling so much.

Our oldest has had a rough time with being sick too. Back in March, she had such a hard cough, that they gave her a steroid to get it under control, and something called Donatussin, which has a decongestant, a antihistamine, and mucinex in it.

My pediatrician's office said they're leaning towards telling people not to take cough medicines because they want the coughs to be productive. But at the same time, we also try to do what's best for our kids, and if they're up coughing all hours of the night, and not taking anything, something's better than nothing.

There is the Pediatric Robitussin long-lasting cough medicine, and it actually has weights listed on it, so you can gauge how much to give as a dose, but I'm not sure how young it can be given.

It might be something you have to wait out until teething's over to see if that's really what it was.

Be sure to consider what it is you're trying to accomplish too: does she have pflem? is it too loose, or not loose enough?

THe reason I ask is that antihistamines will dry up the drainage. Decongestants loosen it up, and mucinex thins it out. So something like Donatussin that has all 3 is nice. BUT be very cautious whenever you give something to your 10 month old because some over the counter medicines contain multiple ingredients. It could be harmful if you give her something that's "cold and cough" and then something else that's for cough - you run the risk of OD'ing the child on something you didn't mean to. That's one thing our favorite allergist said - if you need a decongestant, take one, but don't take the antihistamine if you don't need it. Treat whatever symptom you have.

I hope this makes sense. Just be very careful, and of course, keep checking with the doctor until you guys can come up with an appropriate course of action to help your 10 month old.

(Don't be afraid to change pediatrician's either.)

Ask her doctor if it could be Asthma.

If your daughter is consuming wheat and dairy products, they could be causing this problem. Dairy has long been known to cause excess mucous. I had trouble with chronic cold-like symptoms all my life until a little over a year ago when I stopped eating all grains (except oats) and all dairy products (except 4 oz of probiotic yogurt daily).

My doctor, an Integrative M.D., told me that wheat can cause allergic symptoms ~ even to other allergens ~ worse. It was amazing how quickly my symptoms disappeared when I stopped eating wheat and dairy. I have sensitivities to both, and many people do. they are two of the most frequent food sensitivities around. It's easy to just try to remove both foods from her diet for a few days to see if she shows improvement. If she does, then you will know that they are likely to be causing her problem.


I have an 8 month old in daycare and we've been going through the same type of thing - it really wears you out! We feel so bad for her, so I know what you're going through. On a few occasions it turned into bronchiolitis, and more often into ear infections (she's getting tubes put in this week). Our ped prescribed albuterol administered through a nebulizer, and we do breathing treatments whenever she gets to coughing. It seems to help loosen things up so she can clear them out. It also helps with wheezing.

Hope she feels better soon!


I didn't read all the responses but the last cold that my family had was pretty rough. Everybody got it except me (good thing too because I was 8 months pregnant at the time!!)anyway, it seemed to be a really mucousy one. My daughter got over it the fastest but my husband and my 1 1/2 year old son had it the longest. Both of them had a cough and phlegm for over a month. I think my son coughed for two months!! So it could just be a bad cold. It dosen't help that she is teething either because I think that produced extra saliva to add to it. Everything you are doing is right though. The humidifier is the best thing in the room. You never know though, she could have allergies so if you want to check into that just for piece of mind I would do it. Good luck and hope she gets better either way! When they are that young, you feel so bad for them.

One of the things that I have found to work for my children and grandchildren was keeping the room during the night hours. I also used the cool steam vaporizer with nothing in the machine but water. Coolness seemed to help the babies breath easier.

I know exactly how you feel. My daughter started with the same thing at around 20 months old. We went through over a year of allergy meds, humidifiers, TONS of vicks, and Dr. visits. We had her tested for allergies which came back clear. I changed Dr's and she was diagnosed with Acid Reflux but only after it had gone on so long that it caused her to get Pneumonia. It sounds like your child has Acid Reflux as well and it's easliy treated. They gave my daughter Prevacid which she took for 6 months 1 time before bed & she became 100% better. Be persistent. Change Dr's. if you need to but have them check for GERD. Good Luck!

I would definitely see a pediatric specialist, at a Children's Hospital, ear/nose/throat.
Being a specialist in a children's hospital, they can narrow down things a lot faster, and your baby won't have to go through as much to find the cause.
It may be just teeth, it could be reflux (although something just doesn't sound like that to me), asthma is a possibility. I have a friend whose boy everyonce in a while gets a cough and he has to take the steroid type medicine and then he is soon fine in a few days.

My now 19 month old had the same problem, and like you we got the allergy medicine, cough medicine, and nothing seemed to work. Finally my doctor prescribed a nebulizer for her. It did the trick. She began sleeping all night and the cough was gone. I would ask your doctor about it being asthma. Hope it works.

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