Coughing All the Time

Updated on July 10, 2007
S.L. asks from East Providence, RI
17 answers

Just before my daughter turned 6 months old she got a cold and had a really bad cough that always kept her up at night after a couple weeks it would go away but she gets it all over again every month and the pediatrican won't give me anything for it because she says she is too young. Some people have told me she may have allergies. I don't know what to do I feel so bad. I have given her some over the counter infant drops for cough and congestion but it doesn't really help. Has anyone else ever experienced this or have any advice. ??

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M.G.

answers from Providence on

I have a seven month old who also has had a perpetual "cold". I have found that the cough is more from post-nasal drip than anything (his lungs are always clear when he goes to the doctor). Have you tried saline drops in her nose - they seem to help my son breathe better and gag/cough less. Also, now that he is rolling over by himself, he sleeps better on his stomach or his side - less drip into his throat. There is also a Vicks rub for babies - it's a lotion not the greasy stuff - it seems to help my older son who has a heavy cough whenever he gets a cold. Good luck - I hope Amber is feeling better soon and you are able to get some sleep!

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J.J.

answers from Boston on

I feel for you Stacey, I went through something similar with my son who is now almost 3. He also spit up a lot without much distress. As he got to be a bit over a year the coughing got much worse with a cold and then would not go away, we did the humidifier, the docs all said his lungs sounded great. It ended up being reflux for him and we started him on Zantac. Since then he's been cough and vomit free and gains weight.

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R.J.

answers from Boston on

Hi S.,

My son had the same thing when he was about 8 months - nasty cough that wouldn't go away. Aftre trying out a lot of tuff, I gave him a steam bath everyday with the shower on. so that the bath room could steam up-that did help get some of the mucus out. But the final remedy was (don't gawk!) pearl onion juice. I grinded one pearl onion with a lot of sugar and some ginger-gave him a teaspoon of that juice 3 times day forbaout 4-5 days. His cough was gone by the 3rd day-hope this helps!

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H.W.

answers from Providence on

S.,
Try running a humidifier in your daughter's room. It should help to open up the passageways and help her breathe easier.

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M.W.

answers from Boston on

Hi S. me and my son both get allergies mine comes with a cough we both take claritin his is in a children's form but as an infant the doctor reduced the amount plus game him infant cough medicine I would check and see if she can take that I'm not sure because of her age good luck let me know how it go's -Colleen

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J.J.

answers from Boston on

I feel for you Stacey, I went through something similar with my son who is now almost 3. He also spit up a lot without much distress. As he got to be a bit over a year the coughing got much worse with a cold and then would not go away, we did the humidifier, the docs all said his lungs sounded great. It ended up being reflux for him and we started him on Zantac. Since then he's been cough and vomit free and gains weight.

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L.J.

answers from Boston on

Ask your pediatrician if elevating her head and using a cool mist humidifier will help. To elevate her head you can get one of those wedges that go under the crib sheet.

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J.B.

answers from Springfield on

Has she been checked for asthma. My first son devolped asthma after a bad cold. His cough never went away and he would just cough and cough, esp. at night. He was dx with asthma. I never knew some kids with asthma just cough and cough, instead of wheezing. Be assertive and continue pressing the doctor for an answer and if your not satisfied look for a second opinion.

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T.C.

answers from Boston on

My daughter has also had a cough and I finally went out and purchase a cool mist humidifier. This has done the trick. It took about a week to clear up but it has not come back. She does have the extra saliva because of teething that will make her cough but its not the congestion that she suffered from before. If you have not used this I highly recommend it.

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R.S.

answers from Providence on

Sorry so long.
I would get a second opinion. If it's just a cough, then they usually don't recommend anything for children that young. However, my son's chronic coughing was asthma related & he started on asthma meds around 6 months old. I beleive for chronic allergies they do the same. Since it's been for over 2 months, you have reason to see an asthma, allergy specialist.
Some things that help with nightime coughing is keeping the room moist, washing all bedding frequently in really hot water, avoiding any smells (including cleaning supply scents)& keep the windows closed in the warm weather & open in the cold. Also, try to keep your daughter upright as much as possible. Will she sleep in her carseat? I used to sleep on the couch with my son sitting on my lap, not overly comfortable but the only thing that worked. Also if the coughing gets really bad, steaming up the bathroom helps as does going outside in the winter. My son has gotten better as he's gotten older & most kids improve with age or outgrow it completely. Hope that helps & good luck to you & your baby boy.

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R.K.

answers from Boston on

I would suggest trying a cool mist vaporizer when she's sleeping. Maybe also an air purifier, but I would definitely start with the vaporizer. If it is allergies, that will definitely help. My 5 year old daughter has allergies and she always wakes up coughing, but in the day it usually goes away. When I use the vaporizer it really helps. Good Luck!

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M.F.

answers from Boston on

Hi S.,
I have tired many of the things the other moms have advised you, but I am a believer in holistic methods as well, if you have an open mind and are willing to try it, here's what I find works for my son when he is congested. I make barley soup, I just buy dry barley, boil with water/broth until tender and (add tomato sauce for flavoring optional) Barley helps dry out our system and clears mucous. My son love eating it and I never have to use saline solution or the bulb syringe on him after I give him a serving or two. If you think allergies are causing it, another great item is probiotics they come in baby formula purchased at the health food stores. My pedi NP told us about it and there is many website full of information on use of probiotics that you might find helpful.
good luck
M.
PS I am a health care professional and believe natural cures are effective too

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W.D.

answers from Boston on

try an air purifyer in her room at night.. don't open her windows either.. wash everything in hot water and vacuum really well.. see if that helps..

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S.C.

answers from Boston on

The first 2 things that come to mind are allergies and Asthma. I for one have both as does my son. It started with the coughing and I went to see me dr. after a couple weeks of it. The dr. did nothing. So I requested to see one of the other drs. in the office. And they asked how long is was going on for which I told them a couple week and he had had some cold symptoms but they had went away. So he listened to his chest and said that there wasn't any wheezing but he wanted to do a chest xray any ways to rule out asthma. And it turned out thats what he had was asthma. Also this dr. picked up on the allergies but a purple color that was showing on his bottom eyelids, which he called "allergy lids". Don't take anyone drs. opinion if you don't feel comfortable with it. Get a second opinion. Hope I have helped some.

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R.T.

answers from Boston on

Unfortunately, I can't give you much advice, only sympathy. My daughter is 14 months, but for several months (Oct - March) she was constantly sick. She often had a bad cough that kept her up. I called the emergency line for Southborough Medical Center in the middle of the night once because she was coughing constantly for 30 minutes. Every time I brought her in to the doctor's for a serious cough they would say "her lungs sound fine". We did all that they recommended: inclined her matteress, ran a humidifier, and when it got really bad we had her in the bathroom with a hot shower running. This seemed to help the "coughing fits" a little. Especially if we kept wiping her nose clear. The over the counter stuff that we could give her didn't work well because they didn't have a cough surpressant.

It was really frustrating to get no help from the doctor's. I had asked once if she could have allergies, but they didn't seem to think so. I wish I had more advice. If it helps at all, she is better now. She hasn't had coughing fits for awhile. Good Luck

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K.D.

answers from Providence on

Hi S.,

My son had the same problem, after listening to his dr say it would go away I ended up taking him to an ENT and found out he had asthma & bad allergies (he was miserable for months until he went to the ENT). I would definatly get a second opinion.

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S.S.

answers from Boston on

S.,

I don't know if this helps, but my pediatrician would not let me give my daughter anything either. In my area there have been 3 or 4 infant deaths related to too much cold medicine. I read the labels and many of them contain a medicine that I use as an ICU nurse to support blood pressure for really sick patients. It is not harmless stuff.
As far as allergies. There is different schools of thought that children are not old enough for them until the age of 2. I don't really know why that is.
Make sure your little one drinks lots of water. Try some saline drops in her nose and a bulb suction to clear some of her secretions. It kind of seems like torture but in the end she willl be able to breathe better. Good Luck!

S.

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M.G.

answers from Providence on

I have a seven month old who also has had a perpetual "cold". I have found that the cough is more from post-nasal drip than anything (his lungs are always clear when he goes to the doctor). Have you tried saline drops in her nose - they seem to help my son breathe better and gag/cough less. Also, now that he is rolling over by himself, he sleeps better on his stomach or his side - less drip into his throat. There is also a Vicks rub for babies - it's a lotion not the greasy stuff - it seems to help my older son who has a heavy cough whenever he gets a cold. Good luck - I hope Amber is feeling better soon and you are able to get some sleep!

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C.G.

answers from Portland on

S., just a thought, but your daughter might have asthma or enlarged adenoids. My son coughed all the time until he was three years old. Then, he had his adenoids out and was diagnosed with asthma. After that, we haven't heard a cough since. He takes meds. for the asthma and has been doing very well. If it is asthma, you'll know soon enough. There is no procedure to tell at that young, but I can give you a few signs. If her lips are a pale color when she is coughing, if her throat constricts, or if she has white spots under her finger nails, those are all signs that she is not getting enough oxygen and can be having asthma attacks. Another one is blueish color under her finger nails. Remedies for this? Well, believe it or not, a small dose of caffeine~ my son's specialist recommended that he have a quarter of a cup of rootbeer (with caffeine) to stop his attacks. The caffeine triggers something to help calm the spasms in the lungs. Then once he was fully diagnosed, then we were given medicines like albuterol and steroids for his lungs. IF she is still coughing all the time, I would take her for a second opinion. Kids don't cough like that for nothing. Good luck!

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