15 answers

HELP! My 2 Year Old Can't Stop Coughing at Night!

He's got a terrible head cold and the drip causes constant coughing all night. We're all exhausted! The poor guy literally coughs about every 4-5 seconds; his throat must be raw.

I've tried benadryl to dry him up, and it worked alittle, he had 10-15 minute intervals wihtout coughing. But after a few hours, it went back to constant.

Any tips???

What can I do next?

So What Happened?™

THANK YOU SO MUCH TO EVERYONE!! Last night was much better; we put in a humidifer, vicks on the feet and chest, elevated the mattress and took a bath in a steamy room before bed. He hardly coughed at all!

Tonight so far is not so good, but still better. It's a very obvious post-nasal cough, so I know as the sinus thing gets better, so will the cough.

Thanks again to all!

Featured Answers

Try propping his crib mattress up on one end a bit with a big book or a rolled up towel. (the end where his head is) The elevation should help with the nasal drainage. Hope it helps! Poor little guy!

Hi L.,

My son was like that at 2. My doctor said it was asthma and perscribed Albuterol. The spray works better than the liquid, but it works, and it works almost immediatly. I've had pretty good luck with Motrin cold too. I feel for you. It's so scary when they're that little and they can't stop coughing.

H.

More Answers

Our babysitter from Mexico taught me to make a tea that really helped my one-year-old's nighttime cough. I don't know why it works, but it does. Boil together water, a chamomile tea bag, a cinnamon stick, a couple crushed cloves of garlic, and honey. Strain and cool until he can drink it. Give it to him before bed and in the night if he wakes up coughing.
My pediatrician also recommended propping up the head of the mattress by putting a pillow or two under it so he's sleeping at a slant and fluids can drain. My guy just ended up in a pile at the bottom of the bed, but maybe it will work for you!
I have another friend who swears by putting Vick's on the soles of their feet. Sounds weird to me, but she says it works.

1 mom found this helpful

Try propping his crib mattress up on one end a bit with a big book or a rolled up towel. (the end where his head is) The elevation should help with the nasal drainage. Hope it helps! Poor little guy!

Stay away from cold medicines if at all possible. Not sure if you've been getting all the negative press on those products for children. Try something homeopathic...there are some great homeopathic cough syrups at Wholefoods or your local coop. These remedies work great for couphs!! Much better then Benadryl and you can stop worrying about all the adverse effects...good luck!

Hi L.,

My son was like that at 2. My doctor said it was asthma and perscribed Albuterol. The spray works better than the liquid, but it works, and it works almost immediatly. I've had pretty good luck with Motrin cold too. I feel for you. It's so scary when they're that little and they can't stop coughing.

H.

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Vicks vapor rub, humidifier, and prop him up to sleep

Hi L.,
I have 2 boys - both have suffered from this. In fact, my four year old is going thru this right now. It is very frustrating and kind of scary, I know. First of all, coughing by itself is a good thing. Second, the best thing is to sit with him in the bathroom while you put the hot shower on. Let it steam up ther room really well and stay in there for 10-15 mins. That helps alot. I have prescription medication frankly (Tussi 12) that my pediatrician gave me.If he is 2, then you can probably get some - I would definitely call your pediatrician b/c you want to give your child some relief in order to sleep. The cough is probably so tight and irritating. Usually as it gets better, the cough will be more productive. Sit him upright too. Another great thing is simple saline solution ("little noses", "Ocean Spray"). You can buy it anywhere - squirt it into his nose a few times a day and it really helps to flush out the cold and it helps immmensely. Try a humidifier also.

UGH! my 22 month old son and i both had that cold 3 x's! the last time i used Chestal by Bioron cough meds for my son..you can get it at Whole Foods..also Cold Calm by Bioron 1/2 dose.
stay away from Benadryl..i gave some to my son and he couldn't sleep it was so bad i called urgent care and the nurse told me there is nothing in Benadryl that really helps children.
can't remember exactly what she said but try the Chestal cough syrup if you can. Also make sure he's getting his multi vitamin in the day and DHA liquid.

i put a little vix on her back stomach and under her nose because she was coughing and congested and it seemed to stop her cough

Try a humidifier. We use it in our son's room every night since we leave the heater on at night.

My 2 yr old went through the same thing and I was exhausted so I feel for you. Moisture is key. Humidifier in the room when he sleeps. My mother made my son a home remedy which really helped. Take Asian pears, peel and sliced them really thin and placed them in a saucepan (no need to add water). Simmer the pears under a very low flame/heat for up to 4 hours. The juice will render from the pears. Mix this Asian pear juice with honey and warm water and put in a sippy cup. Everytime my son coughed, we asked him to drink. I let him sleep with a sippy cup of it and he would drink it throughout the night. It worked and he slept through the night. Good luck!

Try a cool mist vaporizer (not a warm humidifier). Cool air suppresses a cough, and the mist will help to soothe any irritation. Alternatively you could take a walk in this glorious LA rain, but then you'd probably be welcoming other ailments....
anyway, I got my vaporizer at Walgreens for under $20. Hope this helps!
-S., RN and mama of 2

What I do with my 2 year old when she's sick and coughing like yours is first off benedryl. I know you said you're already doing this, but check with your pediatrician to make sure you're giving him enough to really work. I give my daughter 1 tsp. Once it makes them sleepy that helps the rest of the night. Also, keeping the air moist with a humidifier and putting a pillow under the mattress to raise their head a little more than normal can help as well. Good luck.

Have you tried a doctor? Allergies in the air cause his sinuses to get congested. An anti histamine in benadril is releaving this. Try to put a heat humidifyer next to him to breath at night. Ask your doctor about the pills though,in case he is allergic to anything.

Something that works GREAT to quiet a cough with my kids is putting Vicks Vapor Rub on their feet and then a pair of socks. I don't know why it works - but someone gave me the tip..and it does. It is totally harmless (topical) and it really soothes. Just rub it on babies feet and put a pair of socks over and get some rest!

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